Call of Duty Infinite Warfare, what is up with that? I mean, it's another year so it's another Call of Duty. Love it or hate it, it doesn't really matter, everyone is playing it. So what is the point of even trying to "review" it? What's the point in listing what's new, what's the campaign all about and how did they screw up the multiplayer this time around? I know it, you know it, everybody knows it, but I still have an obligation to the amazing folks of PR to write this review, so let's just power through it.
Infinite Warfare is set on a totally new timeline and unlike the other games that came before, it's not just a globe-trotting adventure, it's a solar system-trotting one and I have to say that I was very impressed by it. I was extremely disappointed by last year's Black Ops 3 campaign so I was very skeptic about Infinite Warfare. Luckily there was no nonsense-AI-bullsh*t-WTFery going on here. Instead, it is a story of a conflict that sends you and the Retribution fighting all across the solar system. The Earth has colonized the entire solar system, all things are good when the Mars-born douchebags known as the Settlement Defense Front or SDF declare war on the United Nations Space Alliance and launches a surprise attack on Geneva, severely weakening Earth defense forces.
As the newly-appointed commander of the UNSA Warship Retribution, Captain Nick Reyes, a Tier 1 badass pilot of the SCAR, you are tasked leading a crew to defeat the Settlement Defense Front on Earth, as well as journey to outer space and across other planets in the system using space-based fighter craft, referred to as Jackals, to stop the Front from taking over the entire Solar System... thanks Wikipedia. Yes, we are talking about a "star war" of an epic proportion, but the story is so much more than that.
It's a very personal story, the story of the main protagonist Nick Reyes, Salt, Omar and the rest of the Retribution crew. It's their story, how against death, loss and how against incredible odds, they rise, answering to the call of duty, fighting and going through hell for a better tomorrow. Infinity Ward manages to tell this story in a spectacular, epic and very emotional way. The future the game depicts is fleshed out nicely as are all of the characters along with their actions and motivations. As I said these are just people who rise above and beyond the call when sh*t hits the fan.
What happens during the main missions is extremely well, Call of Duty-ish. Bullets flying everywhere, SDF soldiers and robots to shoot for days, explosions and set-pieces you'll see coming from a mile away, but there are some cool new scenarios we haven't really seen before or seen as fully realized in a Call of Duty game before. First thing, zero gravity traversal and combat. While we saw a brief sequence of zero-G combat in Ghosts, what we get in Infinite Warfare is way better and far more engaging. Floating through space, grappling asteroids and space debris, engaging in combat against floating space dudes has never been so satisfying. Next thing, space dogfights. Again, while we saw something similar in Black Ops 3, unlike back then, these dogfights are not on rails, you have complete and total control over your Jackal. Piloting the Jack is very easy to get into and shooting down enemy spaceships, warships and big ass destroyers is just a blast and extremely satisfying.
The campaign is paced really well, once you start, you just keep on going. Jumping, boosting, wall-running, shooting future inspired weapons, throwing cool ass grenades like the Seekers and using the variety of special gadgets like the Hacking tool, Foam Grenades, Air Drones and Blast Shields have never been so nicely realized before. In the end, the campaign is just a blast to play through and probably the most fun you'll have with Infinite Warfare if you are someone like me.
Yeah, time to talk about multiplayer. I don't like it. There are too many variables at play that end up totally screwing the game balance. To me, it felt like I was playing an unbalanced version of Black Ops 3 multiplayer all over again. It looks the same, like literally the same from the UI menus and HUD elements to the character models, animations, taunts. I mean, if you copy everything from the last game, why not copy all the weapon, perk, specialists or rigs balancing tweaks that Treyarch has been meticulously putting out for BO3? Like in BO3, Infinite Warfare offers up a number of classes each with its unique special weapons or abilities and perks which are, at the moment, highly unbalanced.
Throw in the nonsense of the Supply Drops weapon variants which grant players gameplay advantages known as the "Gun Perks" on top of the Rig's perks and the loadout's perks and you have an unbalanced clusterf*ck. Spawn in, you immediately die, killed by someone who has a badass Epic weapon variant he/she got from buying, maybe with real cash, a damn Supply Drop. TTK or "Time To Kill" is also all over the place. Yeah, I don't like it and I don't see myself playing it.
Other than these two modes, Zombies return and I have to say that I found it quite refreshing.Set in an '80s movie style theme park, featuring four 80's archetype characters, the mode is designed to be more accessible to new players, with new features such as sharing points and teambuy doors, as well as keeping the core gameplay of the mode intact, such as perks and power-ups. Unlike the campaign and multiplayer, Zombies is not themed in space combat, and retains the normal movement system. Players who are very familiar with this mode from the Treyarch games will feel right at home here. The map is quite big, filled with minigames and secrets to find, tons of easter eggs and tons of zombies to mow down.
Now to sum this up, I really enjoyed Infinite Warfare's campaign. The pacing is great, the combat is as fluid and engaging as it as ever been and the story is the best we've had in years. New mechanics and the improved old ones are beautifully realized and come together to make a fantastic single-player experience. Multiplayer, it's not for me, it hasn't been for quite a while in Call of Duty games and this one continues the trend, but it may work out for you. Zombies is also the best it as ever been, with a cool cast of characters, setting and a ton of stuff to find and explore. As for the presentation, the singleplayer campaign is awe-inspiring, the graphics are fantastic, the lighting is gorgeous, the VA is amazing and the overall depiction of the future is innovative and fantastically fleshed out. The same however cannot be said about the other two modes, as they look extremely bland and plain when compared to what we got in the campaign.
Again, as I said at the beginning of this "review", all of my 1180 words, so far, will have close to no effect on what you think of Call of Duty Infinite Warfare, you either are playing and enjoying it or you are flying "paper" airplanes over the Italian Alps. Thanks for reading!