Game Review: Call of Duty Infinite Warfare (XBox One)

Review performed with a review copy provided by Activision and played on a first generation XBox One

The annual installment of Call of Duty is always something to look forward to in the gaming industry. Fans may know exactly what to expect in the way of mechanics and style, but the universe the title takes place in and the narrative contained within piques our attention every time.

The three studios that work on the bulk of the series, Treyarch, Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer games, work tirelessly to come up with new ideas to keep the series fresh and most of the time the effort pays off. This time it’s Infinity Ward’s turn to bring the action and they do so in fine fashion.

cod-infinite-warfare_sp_ship-assault-zero-g-combat

This time around the campaign takes place on planets throughout the solar system. This isn’t a huge change considering the action has been moving toward that over the last few installments. Players become Nick Reyes, a special forces operative who leads the way in fighting off enemies to restore peace to his home planet Retribution. Reyes is teamed with the usual entourage of soldiers that aid in the mission.

 

Gameplay in this new title is far broader than in previous installments in that there is seamless ground into aerial combat. Aerial combat isn’t new to the series, but it’s never been done like this. Players are free to leave the baseline and move into the best tactical position and exploring just a little bit. Ground combat is everything players will expect from the CoD series; intense, close-quartered and littered with explosions. In Infinite Warfare the cut scenes do well to set up the in-game action that follows. I haven’t felt so pumped to go into virtual combat in a long time.

screenshot-2016-06-13-12-41-29

Visually the game looks great. As gamers we now take for granted the photorealism in video games because it’s incredible for the last ten years, however considering the XBox hardware when compared to the PS4, the game looks pretty impressive. The trade off in this is frame-rate which in heavy action scenes can dip considerably. This is a known issue across all current gaming platforms, but seems a little more noticeable on XBox One.  Overall, a great looking title.

The Call of Duty series isn’t known for its groundbreaking soundtrack and audio effects any longer, but in Infinite Warfare this is an area of opportunity. The reason very well could be that there are hundreds of other shooters out there who worked very hard over the years to catch up to what was once the top game when it comes to realistic audio performance.

Controls are exactly as they should be. Anyone who’s ever played any shooter will feel right at home.

Multiplayer is the Call of Duty series’ bread and butter. The maps in the multiplayer series normally are designed well with great visuals, but this year the series took a step up. The maps look absolutely stunning. In addition, the new loadout system called “Combat Rigs” automatically pull together the best setup for different types of players. There’s “Warfighter” for the all around diverse player, there’s “FTL” for the player who loves to run and gun, as well as many others.

cod-infinite-warfare_sp_operation-burn-water

Weapons are another great new feature. There’s plenty to choose from for both short range, long range and all out wild combat. They all feel great and work great, but in line with the overall audio in the game, could have used a little more attention.

As far as multiplayer modes go, it’s the usual game types like capture the flag and team deathmatch.

Zombies. Who doesn’t love them? It’s back again in Infinite Warfare and it’s awesome. Zombies in Spaceland brings zombie mode into one of the most arcadey game modes I’ve ever seen. Literally. The mode takes plays in a throwback amusement park complete with a working rollercoaster and arcade. It’s a ton of fun and one of the highlights of the game. Zombies in Spaceland also features split-screen multiplayer, which creates a rare opportunity for some couch co-op.

cod-infinite-warfare_zombies-in-spaceland_poindexter-in-astrocade

Overall Call of Duty Infinite Warfare is as good a CoD game as there’s been in a long time. The things that set this one apart from others in the series is the very well implemented Zombies in Spaceland mode as well as a great universe to roam around in. Infinity Ward did a great job in putting together a well-crafted game and looks like it took its time in making sure the game was polished and fun.

Go get it.