By: Richard Wilcox (@RichardW55)
Reviewed on: Xbox One
Copy provided by publisher: No
With the arrival of fall, and to the surprise of virtually no one, among the litany of titles available is a Call of Duty game. However, there is something incredibly different this time around. developer Infinity Ward has completely embraced a sci-fi setting and have taken the franchise to space for the first time in the series history . A shooter in the past that has usually featured ‘boots on the ground’ combat and realistic ballistic weapons now focuses on quick, airborne movement, laser technology, and spaceships. While there are a few traditional ballistic choices, a majority of the arsenal of weapons at your disposal have a significant science fiction flair.
The big baddie in the campaign this time around is Salen Kotch, Leader of the Settlement Defense Force, and voiced by Kit Harrington of Game of Thrones. The SDF is a militarist extremist group that just 30 years prior to the start of the campaign liberated Mars from Earth control and claimed it for themselves. Right in the prologue of the game, through a playable helmet recording, we see just how much of a sadist Salen really is. As he captures one of our men he gives him oxygen, only to take that very same oxygen away and have Bradly Fillion, voiced by Connor McGreggor, beat him to death. This opening serves as a shock to the player to really let them know that the SDF is dangerous; not only because they have a powerful arsenal of weapons, but also because they have a complete sadist leading them. The campaign is incredibly fun, using its sci-fi setting and embracing it completely to create one of the best campaigns in Call of Duty’s history. Space doesn’t mean salvation for mankind and you learn that very quickly.
You will be happy to know that after spending over 15 hours with the game’s multiplayer, I cannot get enough of Call of Duty: Infinite Warefare. While previous games seemed to have lost what made the multiplayer so great, this iteration in the Call of Duty series seems to hit the mark perfectly. The jump-pack makes its third appearance in a Call of Duty game, this time electing to be more of a double jump/wall run assist and less of a full on jet pack. This serves as a much needed change in the multiplayer, bringing the game closer to its ‘boots on the ground’ gameplay roots, while still keeping some of the verticality. This creates exciting combat for multiplayer matches across the variety of modes the multiplayer has to offer. Fan favorites like Team Deathmatch, Kill Confirmed, and Search and destroy make a return along with some new modes like Frontline--which is basically Team Deathmatch with a twist, each team has their own designated “spawn Area.” I appreciate how developer Infinity Ward tried to re-invent certain game modes to keep them fresh and exciting, while still giving the options to play the classic game modes we all know and love.
Much like the last few Call of Duty releases, Infinite Warfare ships with its very own zombies mode, titled “Zombies in Spaceland” and I really cannot say enough good things about it. I have already clocked over 24 hours in zombie mode alone, whether that be solo or with a crew, and after every game ends I always find myself thinking “okay maybe just ONE more game”. The 80s theme park of SpaceLand is probably my favorite setting in Zombies history. Every branch of the park has its own unique feel. The characters are hilarious, with their voice cues giving you hints about the map, parts of their background, and even info about the other characters! The fate and fortune card system is a welcome new addition to zombies, allowing you to cycle through a preset deck of cards and choose a power once you fill up your meter by earning and spending points. Whether you use a card to revive all your downed teammates or spend it on the next weapon you buy off the wall, using your fate and fortune cards are essential to your survival in Spaceland. There are a bunch of new wonder weapons added into the mix. With names like “Face-Melter” and “Head-Cutter,” it doesn’t take an active imagination to know that these wonder weapons will surely cause some satisfying zombie destruction.
Overall, this installment in the Call of Duty franchise is a MUST HAVE for fans of first person shooters. The fluid controls and excellent graphics come together to create one of the best first person shooter experiences I’ve had in a long time. With an excellent story, well executed multiplayer, and a zombies mode to DIE for (yeah I went there) it would be a mistake to pass up Call of Duty this fall.