Space, the final frontier, these are the voyages of Activision’s Call of Duty series as it leaves terra firma and heads out into the unknown void.
At least, some of the time it does and when this happens Infinite Warfare breaths new energy into the COD franchise. Unfortunately, the same things can’t exactly be said for the rest of the game.
The game opens with a nice set piece that actually feels great to play but soon has you following the same corridors to defeat the same over-the-top evil warlord type with th same band of soldiers. So it’s no surprise that getting out into the void of space actually makes the game feel fresh, even though there are still artificial borders guiding you forward toward your goal.
The single player narrative is just an excuse for lots of shooting and while Kit Harington chews the scenery well as the latest big bad, the same can’t be said for the enemy soldiers you kill on your way, even though some of them are highlighted as being highly important operatives (only after you’ve actually killed them, though). But it’s true that single player elements of COD games seem to be diminishing year on year in favour of the main draw; multiplayer modes and, yes, Zombies.
The freedom to play through some great maps in multiplayer with loadouts to your choosing and even some basic crafting is certainly welcome after the corridor shooter antics of the single player. It comes down to the usual twitch-based gameplay and, yes, some camping but there are elements that have been refined by the years of tinkering and it’s still a solid multiplayer experience that should keep COD veterans and new players happy for some time, or at least until the next release in the series appears.
Zombies is worth a mention as the return of the much loved mode brings a carnival of fun, quite literally, with its theme park setting, great tacky story and over-the-top weapons. It’s a great co-op experience that feels like another welcome change from the heavy handed political war of the main game.
Infinite Warfare isn’t a bad game, it isn’t even a bad Call of Duty entry but, bar Zombies and the space setting, it doesn’t really do enough to raise the formula beyond what we’ve already seen. That said, it will still gather many online gaming fans, which it deserves to do.