Within the last month, three A-List first-person shooters have been released across almost all platforms: Battlefield 1, Titanfall 2, and Call of Duty 13 (AKA Infinite Warfare). Without a doubt, Battlefield 1 has been the one to have far surpassed expectations, DICE delivering a brilliant, meaningful experience that feels fresh within an often bored genre. Titanfall 2, meanwhile, improved drastically on the first game in the series, offering an excellent single player and multiplayer experiences. In comparison to both these - and previous Call of Duty installments - Infinite Warfare feels remarkably boring.
My personal experience with the COD franchise has almost always been positive: while Modern Warfare was exceptional (and the remaster included with the Legacy edition is great) my favourite Infinity Ward product is COD 2. The game was one of the first Xbox 360 games to fully harness the power of online multiplayer and helped pave the way for all shooters to come. It’s that online experience COD has managed to perfect over the years and has consistently been the series' major selling point.
Infinite Warfare has seemingly accepted that its multiplayer has barely moved things on. There are no new exciting game modes, the weapons system is basically the same just with new clothing, and the maps feel oddly familiar. The primary difference comes from choosing your Combat Rig, AKA your class specialism. In short, each Rig features a special power it can use after you have killed enough other players. Each Rig is also meant to change the way you play - i.e. making your movement smoother or heavier - but the effects are so small it basically feels like choosing a different perk rather than complete system setup.
The battles themselves are fast paced and similar to every other recent Call of Duty. Energy weapons have been added, but really they’re just old guns with shiny bullets. As you may suspect, other players - many of whom will have played every COD since Modern Warfare (myself included) - have adjusted to Infinity Warfare over the first week phenomenally quickly, meaning often one team will contain a group of quasi-professional players while the other gets annihilated for wanted to try out a weapon other than a machine gun or quick scope sniper.
Unfortunately, if you’re familiar with the COD formula, there’s really nothing I can say that will surprise you or leave you feeling this is a necessary addition to the series. Infinite Warfare multiplayer is COD at its least impressive, playing more like a DLC package rather than unique game.
The same, it should be said, goes for Zombies. Introduced in World at War, the primarily-multiplayer mode has progressed a lot, thanks to the Black Ops series. Here, however, it once again feels like very little has changed. Sure, there are bright colours, scary clowns, and boss monsters, it would have been nice is Infinity Ward had introduced something new, particularly because Black Ops III’s bonus mode focussed on the undead. Something slightly different, perhaps even space focussed, would not have gone amiss.
Then, of course, there’s the single player. Going back to my previous comments about Infinite Warfare accepting the multiplayer has barely moved on, this would explain why - finally - the single player has improved. The story is relatively enjoyable, while the ability to choose side-mission from your spaceship at least allows you to believe you have some autonomy.
However, there are still some major problems. The character you control is insanely dull, following familiar story tropes. Kit Harrington’s villain is no way near as charismatic as Kevin Spacey’s, probably down to the Game of Thrones actor being wooden at the best of times disregarding the layers of CGI.
After leaving Infinite Warfare for a day or so, there really was no drive to go back. With the brilliant Battlefield 1 and Titanfall 2 installed on my Playstation, both seem far superior options; the only real motivation for play COD is that feeling of familiarity.Reuse content