Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Review – There is no Downside in Space

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While one shooter franchise went back in time, the Call of Duty franchise launched into space. Was it worth the trip?

Read our review to find out.

The Call of Duty franchise has come a long ways since it started out with its first World War II based title. The series has spent time in Vietnam, Russia, Europe, China and even stateside. The series has long been known for serious first person combat and has had a few memorable campaigns a long the way but Infinity Ward’s Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare goes where none of them have went before: Out of this World.

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The campaign is set in the distant future where the Earth is wildly overpopulated, stripped of most of its natural resources, and space travel has allowed for mining in outer space. The nations of the world have had to unite together and formed the United Nations Space Alliance (UNSA) that handles matters related to trade, travel, land claims and all efforts relating to human space colonization. This colonization is the only way to gather resources for the survival of the people of Earth. The UNSA is protected by its military force, the Solar Associated Treaty Organization (SATO), but a radical group of militants, known as the Settlement Defense Front (SDF), are threatening an all out war. The SDF was formed during a previous war of secession and are on the verge of reigniting that war.

You play as Lt. Nick Reyes, who very quickly gets promoted to Captain of the warship Retribution. This vessel becomes your launching point for most of your missions as you play through the campaign, and is where you’ll initially find all of the available side missions. There a couple of different types of missions available to you spread out across our galaxy, from the Sun all the way out towards Pluto, these types are either a Jackal Strikes or Ship Assaults. Your Jackal is your space plane that looks similar to a Lockheed F-35B Lightning II, and in space it can float in place, move forward and back with ease, and carries several space based weapons including an upgradeable cannon and machine gun, and air-to-air guided missiles.

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The Jackal Strikes will have you taking out enemy aircraft piloted by aces from the SDF, some of which are high priority targets that will give you a collectible card when taken out. Along with the small aircraft, you’ll also pound SDF battleships with your cannon and machine until they are totally destroyed. Ship Assault will have you flying into combat and then boarding these ships looking for different items to recover or people to take out. Both types of missions are fun, but moving in space can seem slow and tedious at times, so luckily you have a grappling hook that can expedite your travel by grabbing on to asteroids and ships to pull yourself towards.

The main campaign missions can be completed without ever doing any of the side missions, but these side missions allow you to earn upgrades for your jackal and your different secondary weapons as well. Grenades, your personal shield, your small fighter drone, and even your hacking device are all upgradeable, so take the time to go throughout the galaxy and find all of the available upgrades. The hacking device is a very handy tool, giving you the ability to hack an enemy robot and have that machine turn on the folks it’s supposed to be helping. Sadly you can’t see the expression on the faces of the bad guys when their electronic buddy turns on them, but you can just imagine it’s an Oh Crap moment.

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The story line has a lot of depth and background info to it. It is a well thought out story that we were drawn into with characters that felt real and full of life. There were a couple of times in the game where folks died and we truly felt saddened by it. The voice acting is top notch, even though we were surprised at the British accent of SATO Marines Staff Sergeant Usef Omar (David Harewood). We had no idea the guy was originally from the UK as we have only seen him on TV and in movies playing Americans (Think J’onn J’onzz/Hank Henshaw from Supergirl or David Estes from Homeland). The voice actors did a great job of bringing these in-game characters to life and giving them their own personalities.

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The graphics for the game are top notch, with character facial animations that help bring those characters to emotional life. You can see anger, hurt, pain and more on their faces, and these are faces that are easily recognizable. Space environments also look incredible, with space shots of planets that are breath taking. Interior designs of ships and buildings are well detailed and look just as real as the characters moving through them. The weapons, while futuristic and space based, are also well detailed and handle nicely. I’m not sure if the science is entirely accurate, but the weapons and ships all seem plausible and not far fetched.

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The game also features a cooperative multiplayer Zombies in Spaceland mode, which has its own gameplay mechanics and story, separate from the campaign and can be played online in split-screen mode if you have a 2nd controller. 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. A new feature, Fate and Fortune Cards, is introduced similarly to the Gobblegums in Call of Duty: Black Ops III. Unlike the campaign and multiplayer, Zombies is not themed in space combat, and retains the normal movement system. It zombies, so you know it’s fun.

Multiplayer hasn’t changed a whole lot from previous COD games. The maps seem to be a little more chaotic, with tunnels and hallways that seem to lead you around in a deadly maze, with no real direction at times. One really needs to sit down and study the layout of these maps in order to actually form a plan of attack or defense system depending on the game type. Add in these unbalanced futuristic weapons that can shred you in seconds, and you end up with a multiplayer system that can be both unforgiving and scary at times.

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Infinity Ward did a great job of taking a well known franchise to a new level of game play, while still staying true to its core with Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. The campaign is one of the best in history of the franchise, but the multiplayer could use some work.

8

*Activision provided us with a review copy.

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