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The end of the year means an influx of AAA games, and Call of Duty headlines that each year. Being the thirteenth Call of Duty game, it’s reasonable to expect that gamers are getting sick of the franchise Are Gamers Sick Of The Call Of Duty Series? [MUO Gaming] Are Gamers Sick Of The Call Of Duty Series? [MUO Gaming] Call of Duty is huge. Every November for the last 5 years, a new Call of Duty has hit store shelves, and every year it sells better than the year before. Even the years that... Read More .

While rival series Battlefield has taken its warfare back to the first World War, Infinite Warfare brings the franchise into the future for its third consecutive year. This allowed Infinity Ward to improve the formula in some ways, but also causes it to feel stale for series veterans. Let’s examine each of Infinite Warfare‘s three modes to see if this year’s installment is worth your cash.

What I played (on PS4): Completed the Campaign on Regular, including all side missions, in roughly six hours. Played several hours of Multiplayer across a variety of modes to rank up to level 15. Played about ten rounds of Zombies both solo and online, making it as far as scene 12.

Campaign

The campaign of Infinite Warfare, unlike Advanced Warfare and Black Ops III before it, takes place almost entirely in space 6 Free Space Combat, Exploration & Simulation Games [Windows, Mac OS X & Linux] 6 Free Space Combat, Exploration & Simulation Games [Windows, Mac OS X & Linux] These days it can be hard to find a decent space sim, whether you’re into combat, exploration or the die-hard simulation experience. The genre is regarded as "dead" by many, with projects like Elite 4... Read More . In the future, a rogue group known as the SDF terrorizes the population. When the bad guys attack Earth’s home base, your team launches an all-out assault to take the fight to the baddies.

Though you’re fighting in space this time, this is still a CoD campaign. Linear missions consisting of “we need to stop the bad guys” are here, and you won’t find any branching story arcs like in Black Ops II. However, even with the core mechanics of a CoD campaign, gallivanting into space does bring some fun moments.

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After a certain point, you’re able to pick from a few different missions. Some of these are optional space dogfights, where you’re tasked with eliminating high-value enemy pilots. Other times, you’ll need to sneak aboard an enemy ship and use stealth to assassinate high-ranking officials.

These ship combat missions are a first for the series, and while they are enjoyable, they can drag on for a bit too long. The aircraft control wonderfully, but having to chase after a dozen tiny enemy fighters or deal massive damage to a destroyer starts to get old after a few times.

Infinite Warfare Campaign

While this game can’t compete with Modern Warfare, it is one of the best campaigns the series has seen. Solid voice acting Voices In Your Head: 7 Biggest Video Game Voice-Over Stars Voices In Your Head: 7 Biggest Video Game Voice-Over Stars In the world of video games, there has been a lot of buzz around the new PS3 title Beyond: Two Souls because it stars Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe. But this isn't the first time... Read More , along with gorgeous visuals and some great moments, make the roughly six-hour experience a good one.

If you’re looking to experience pain 7 Video Games So Hard They Will Make You Want To Throw Your Controller 7 Video Games So Hard They Will Make You Want To Throw Your Controller One of the major staples of old school video games is the incredible difficulty. I've talked about the level of challenge in older games before in an article about the things I miss most from... Read More , you can play through the campaign on Specialist difficulty after beating it once. This mode is more realistic — enemies can shoot weapons out of your hands and your movement is hindered if you are hit in the legs, for example. It’s not for everyone, but it’s something the series hasn’t seen before.

Multiplayer

No matter how solid the campaign is, people keep playing Call of Duty for the multiplayer. Unfortunately, it’s the weakest mode of this game.

It’s Call of Duty Multiplayer, In Space

Nearly everything that this year’s multiplayer has to offer is something that you’ve seen before. You’ll still be boost-jumping and running along walls, but with maps in space. The unique abilities that Black Ops III‘s Specialists had are now found in combat rigs, the robots you control.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with this multiplayer setup. It’s still Call of Duty, and Infinite Warfare feels faster than ever before, so you’ll be getting killed a lot. The lag and spawning issues of prior games haven’t been fixed, and the maps feel a lot more maze-like than the three-lane structure of those in Black Ops III.

With the Pick Ten system allowing you to choose your loadout and Supply Drops granting you special taunts and camos, anyone who played the past two CoD games will immediately get a feeling of deja vu. Even some of the elements, like the scorestreak counter and ability meter, look like they were was copied and pasted from Black Ops III.

Infinite Warfare could have done a lot more with the space theme to make the third year in a row of mechanized warfare stand out. Why didn’t we get a mode where players fight in zero-gravity, or larger maps that made use of the grappling hook from the campaign?

Infinite Warfare Multiplayer

There are a few new modes, but they have nothing to do with the theme. Frontline is a team deathmatch-like mode where you always spawn in a safe base, and Defender tasks you with holding onto an orb to score points. Another new mechanic is the factions that task you with completing small missions in a match, like getting five kills with a handgun. Completing these unlocks special gear.

While the guns feel fantastic to shoot 9 of the Weirdest Weapons in Video Games 9 of the Weirdest Weapons in Video Games Video games are weird. Allow me to clarify: Video games seem to have an even greater capacity for weirdness than any other kind of media. Read More , many of them are clearly re-skins of older weapons like the AK-47. We also found the lack of an option to mute everyone completely bizarre. Ultimately, Infinite Warfare‘s multiplayer ends up feeling like more of the same, almost like an expansion pack to Black Ops III.

Pay to Win?

One concern in the multiplayer is the Supply Drop system. As you play, you earn keys that can unlock boxes of random loot. These boxes can contain special variations of guns that have better stats and bonuses. For example, an Epic assault rifle might have no damage drop-off at a distance.

Since these keys will be available as microtransactions Is Free-To-Play Killing Competitive Online Gaming? [MUO Gaming] Is Free-To-Play Killing Competitive Online Gaming? [MUO Gaming] Who in their right mind would actually complain about something being free, right? That's a hard question to pin an answer on, but I'll bet that there are some very high-skilled online gamers who would... Read More , players who pay real money could have an objective advantage over those who don’t. It’s too early to tell at this point, but has the potential to be a frustrating issue.

Zombies

Once a bonus, Zombies has become a core part of the CoD package. While Zombies has traditionally been Treyarch’s mode, Infinity Ward has included it in Infinite Warfare. It’s a shame that they didn’t try something fresh, like the Extinction mode from Ghosts, but thankfully this year’s Zombies is one of the best offerings yet.

Zombies in Spaceland takes place when four wannabe actors show up to be cast for famed horror director Willard Wyler’s return to the silver screen. It turns out that Wyler is crazy and sucks the four into his movie, Zombies in Spaceland. The film takes place in the 1980s Remembering the 1980s - Hold On, Was It Really Like That? Remembering the 1980s - Hold On, Was It Really Like That? Ah, the 1980s. Whether you were born in the 80s, grew up in the 80s, or never set foot in that infamous decade, hearing the term “1980s” probably makes you think of something. Is it... Read More and the four players are transformed into cheesy 80s stereotypes.

If you’ve played a Zombies offering before How To Survive The Zombie Apocalypse How To Survive The Zombie Apocalypse Whether you personally believe that the zombie apocalypse is long overdue or that it's never going to happen, doesn't it pay to be prepared? Read More , you know what to expect here. The core mechanics of boarding up the windows, turning on the power, and buying better weapons are all present. It’s the aesthetics and player-friendly nature that propel this to one of the best Zombie modes in a while.

There are plenty of breaks for new players. When you die in a multiplayer round, you’re able to play arcade games and earn a revive. Multiple players can chip in to open expensive doors instead of forcing one person to pay. There’s also a “guide to the park,” which explains the fundamentals. For a mode that’s been rooted in complexity, these are welcome changes.

The 80s vibe and theme park setting work perfectly for Zombies. Killing zombies can drop tokens that you drop into a prize machine to unlock a temporary, powerful weapon. Completing mini-challenges from a robot earns tickets that you can spend on special items.

Infinite Warfare Zombies

The character voices are a treat — a particular standout is Paul Reubens (Pee-Wee Herman) as Wyler. He serves as the announcer in each round, and hearing him yell “You weren’t supposed to clear the set!” when you grab a zombie-killing Nuke power-up is phenomenal.

Zombies has plenty of replayability 5 Games You Can Play For Over 100 Hours – That’s Value! 5 Games You Can Play For Over 100 Hours – That’s Value! One of the many traits unique to video games is the sheer volume of entertainment a game can provide. While a movie is over in two hours on average, and a TV show may offer... Read More , as well. You’ll rank up just like in Multiplayer, and can unlock weapon attachments. You can play Zombies online with up to three other people, so we recommend having some buddies along.

The Verdict

Despite being the third sci-fi Call of Duty game in a row, two-thirds of Infinite Warfare are quite solid. The campaign is fun, features great moments and acting, and is certainly worth playing through. Zombies is full of charm and is more accessible than ever before. If you’re interested in these two modes, the game is definitely worth renting.

It’s a shame that the multiplayer doesn’t fare as well. CoD diehards will probably be disappointed by how samey everything is. If you haven’t checked out any other similar games in a while, now is the time. There are several other recently released multiplayer shooters that are more enjoyable that this game.

With Battlefield 1‘s epic WWI battles, the amazing teamplay and diverse characters in Overwatch, and the fine-tuned sci-fi antics of Titanfall 2 (which isn’t charging for DLC, to boot), we can’t recommend Infinite Warfare to those looking for a multiplayer shooter.

Have you played Infinite Warfare? What do you think about the multiplayer, and what’s your favorite mode? Share the shooter you’re hooked on down in the comments!

  1. Randy
    November 13, 2016 at 2:28 pm

    Great review and it helped me decide to steer clear of this game. The persistent multiplayer issues keep me away. If CoD wants to take multiplayer to the next level they should consider focusing on the zombie aspect. If they did something like Left For Dead it could certainly bring back fans who left the series for Battlefield or other shooters. Even a standalone zombies game at a reduced price would be interesting. I am currently playing Battlefield 1 and it is reminiscent of my favorite CoD game World at War. But the elements that bring CoD down are not present which make BF1 amazing and give no reason to return to CoD.

    • Ben Stegner
      November 14, 2016 at 3:12 pm

      I agree that Battlefield 1 is excellent. I think it's really telling that DICE/EA took their series backwards as the fans wanted, while Call of Duty kept going into the futuristic warfare. I think that it might be the three-developer cycle of the series that's hurting it.

      After playing both games, it does strike me how much more dynamic Battlefield is. CoD's maps feel a bit lifeless in comparison to BF's destructive terrain, dynamic weather, and crazy gas/trench warfare.

  2. Dan
    November 12, 2016 at 10:31 pm

    Reading the reviews on Steam, it's just a sea of negative comments and downvotes. I think I'll pass.

    • Ben Stegner
      November 14, 2016 at 3:10 pm

      User reviews can be good and bad, in my opinion. A knee-jerk reaction to playing 30 minutes of the game isn't a review worth trusting, but when the overall mood is negative, that's telling.

      Are there any games you're playing instead of Infinite Warfare?

  3. Alan
    November 12, 2016 at 7:06 pm

    I have been a fan of COD games since the beginning but this one just dosnt do it for me. I havnt bought it but watching the trailers fighting in space isnt my type of thing.
    I enjoyed Battlefield 1 and am enjoying Dishonored 2 so have a couple of games to keep me busy until the next interesting release..

    • Ben Stegner
      November 14, 2016 at 3:08 pm

      I've been playing Call of Duty since Modern Warfare, as well. I'm not inherently against the space combat, but rather the lack of innovation from this game. I'll probably go back to Zombies from time to time, but I'm loving Overwatch and Battlefield 1 too much to worry about the sub-par multiplayer of Infinite Warfare.

      You're right; there are plenty of other great games to enjoy this season.

  4. Jeff
    November 12, 2016 at 6:55 pm

    Great review! Thanks for the insight.

    • Ben Stegner
      November 14, 2016 at 3:06 pm

      I'm glad it was useful for you!

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