- Manufacturer:Call of Duty Infinite Warfare
- Publisher: Activision
- Release Date: 4/11/16
- Platforms: PS4/Xb1
- Game Supplied by: Publisher
There is no denying that the Call of Duty franchise is the flagship game for consoles these days as everyone, including your Gran has heard of it. Should that still be the case? I mean is today’s Call of Duty Infinite Warfare worthy of the series’ stella reputation?
Whatever you may think about Call of Duty, one thing you can always rely on is value for money. Some gamers buy the game for the Single Player only, others for the co-op Zombies, but a lot simply for the Multiplayer. No other game, indeed series, caters to it’s fans which such value for money in game content.
For this review I’ll break it down into three sections. The SP, Zombies and MP, and I’ll start with the SP.
I’ve always had a good laugh playing COD’s single player games. Although they have never been the most deepest thought provoking experience, they have all certainly had their moments of fun along the way. Somewhere along the line in the last three years however, Infinity Ward didn’t get that memo as i couldn’t find one bit of “ fun “ in the campaign. It’s frankly one of the most boring, if not THE worst and boring campaign in the series.
Put it this way, about 3 hours in I was more excited about a cameo appearance of Lewis Hamilton than I was in the game. Sigh…. One thing I normally credit the COD SP for is the superb graphics and sound, but everything seems to have been turned down a notch this year. Textures weren’t as detailed, and facial animations decidedly wooden.
The actual plot, if you can be bothered, is based around a similar idea of the Killzone universe. Earth looking to expand, new settlers discover their own power and as they are in space have their own laws and then kick back at the establishment. Surprise attack all but wipes out earth’s defences etc etc, you lead the fight back. Final boss, save the day.
The only really new thing about this Space adventure is that you can choose the sequence of your missions and your load out. Apart from that it’s standard, shoot everything that moves with some HORRIBLE flight/space fighter sequences, the handling of which is appalling. It’s not that you can’t win these fights, it’s just all you have to do is lock on and fire and fly around a bit.
I could go on about the boring characters, forgettable dialogue, and tedious repetitive missions, but you get the idea.
To be honest, the opening sequence of the Zombies aspect of the game was a wonderful nice surprise. It’s done in the style of an 1980’s cartoon, akin to scooby doo, and that’s a good thing because the game is indeed revolved around the 1980’s.
The scene is set for a mad film director needs four victims, ahem… players, for his new Zombie themed film, escape from Spaceland. To escape from Spaceland players basically have to earn points to unlock areas, and then power up equipment and so on until you finally escape.
There was a definite back to basics feel in the zombie campaign which I feel is a welcome change. It’s not too hard to think of the simplicity to the original Zombies of Call of Duty World at War, ( I loved that ). At the end of the day though, Zombies is as Zombies does, and it’s not a very deep experience but a thrilling one when things get hectic, especially with friends.
Technically, it worked well, and there was a lot of customization options not only in your load out but also in player cards which are in game buffs. All in all I enjoyed the Zombies aspect of this game more than the others, which is something I don’t normally appreciate.
My rule number one for multiplayer games is no matter HOW deep, complicated or simple, they have to work and are fair and balanced. You can see where this is going already can’t you! So to digress for a minute, I’ll mention the details.
Yet again there is a wealth of weapon options, load out set ups, and player customization options to keep a small design company happy for hours on end, let alone the player who lives and breaths Call of Duty MP. There are far too many options to list to make good reading, but let’s just say, Call of Duty does lead the field in how to let players express their character online very well.
All the expected game modes are back with 2 new additions:
Basically Team deathmatch but with fixed spawn points from the beginning of the game to the end.
Basically a new take on a mobile headquarters mode where the team that holds a “drone” for the longest possible time wins the game.
The meat and potatoes of the game and indeed the franchise though is based on its’ multiplayer aspect and how it plays. For me at least it was appalling.
Let’s get this elephant out the room. Yes I’m a 45 year old man whose reactions are not what they used to be, but that is not what bothers me about this twitch based MP. My problem with it was two fold. The first being far too many times when I did actually get the drop on another player, and get shots on target first, I still seemed to come off second best and died. Either the gun balancing is off or the game lags or both! The beauty of the killcam is that is shows you what the other player saw and more often than not on their screen they weren’t even being hit by me, ( on mine they were ) so I was easy pickings for them. Too many times to mention I thought, I had you, only to be killed first. At times I didn’t even receive any indication that I was being hit, and like a sack of potatoes, down and … dead. I really thought we had moved on from this shoddy net-code for games, as I struggle to find lag or issues like this on the other multiplayer games I play.
The maps also are very tedious. Although the game says it caters for different play styles it simply flat out doesn’t. It’s just twitch reactionary gameplay all the way as with so much building and corridor based shooting there is hardly a need for a sniper, or machine gunner or anything else apart from an SMG or Assault Rifle. ( they have a rig set up for a machine gunner to “suppress” the enemy – like you would even get the chance anyway ). It’s really hard to distinguish between one map to the other as they are all pretty much the same, building and corridor clearing!
Finally, I’m sure the reader will think oh it’s just his internet that let him down and the game ran fine. All I will say is that I play lots of Multiplayer games, and can hold my own on all of them one way or another, but I don’t get the “ I had you but died “ experience on anything other than COD. The multiplayer game mechanics simply aren’t up to scratch for modern day consoles. Other multiplayer game franchises seem to be able to make multiplayer games work from the box, on my same internet connection, so why not Call of Duty ?
I’m finding it really really hard to see any changes to Call of Duty Infinite Warfare that haven’t already been dabbled with in at least the previous two games, if not more. Call of duty still has that “broken online” feeling, it still has a decent zombies, but now the only new part is instead of a fun, exhilarating single player, you now have an utterly boring one.
Trust me, no one is more disappointed than me as I was hugely excited to get my hands on this game as whatever you may think of the franchise, there is always a good gaming laugh to be found somewhere on the disc. For me with this years game, I regret to say I found none, and I mean NONE. It’s one of the poorest entries into the series, if not THE poorest. The only reason there is a little forgiveness in the scores and my feelings is that you do get an awful lot of game for your money, and for me, that is a big deal.
Call of Duty, especially the MP, needs to give players the options to adapt to their own limitations but it doesn’t. All the franchise is doing right now is catering to the young teenager demographic. When I first started playing Call of Duty, the young were just part of the many demographics that played and mixed and enjoyed this storied franchise. The maps were laid out so the slower players could be useful, but not anymore. It’s sad to say, but The king is dead. Long live the King.