We all know Call of Duty (CoD) has gotten a lot of hate, but when we sit down with it, is it truly as bad as many claimed? Now, I prefer CoD, but have moved away from playing them as frequently as I use to (which wasn’t that often, honestly, just when friends wanted to play). However, when I first saw the trailer, I was intrigued, and of course the addition of CoD: Modern Warfare Remaster was amazing. While we won’t review that game, I will say, if you loved it, you’ll still love it.
Infinite Warfare brings us to space, which usually means a game has nowhere else to go. However, this is by far the best campaign in the CoD franchise since, arguably, BO2, some might go further than that. You play Reyes, a United Nations Space Alliance (UNSA) Navy pilot who seems to have come from Top Gun itself. You’re promoted to captain of a starship when the Settlement Defense Front (SDF), a terrorist group based on Mars, kindly removes the previous Captain from his post. The SDF has a very cartoon villain feel to them, with some Sith like quotes, along with a propaganda unit called the Veritas.
Just as all CoD campaigns, there are moments that’ll have you scratch your head, however, overall, the story is cohesive and continues you wanting to go forward. Everyone does a great job with their roles. They sell them well, and make you feel immersed, no matter the situation. This was the first CoD where I truly enjoyed my character, Reyes. They step away, let you see the character, and lets you see how they react. One of my biggest complaints of (most) previous installments was the lack of feeling a connection with the character you play as.
The campaign truly has some interesting aspects to it, with space battles, good action scenes, and a great military story. One major change to the CoD campaign is that now you can choose side missions, which extends the story, as well as gives you great space and flight battles.
Now, Infinite Warfare isn’t all brilliant, and has some issues. The controls are tight as always, and Reyes is a beautifully done character, however, the rest of the crew is somewhat bland, minus Salt and Gator. They want you to feel for some of the sacrifices done by some characters, but they’re weak characters and you don’t have the feel of loss. However, even with the minor problems, the campaign is by far a good Red Box rental (I beat the campaign, with a toddler in tow, in around 8 hours). As a side note, there is a fun cameo from Lewis Hamilton, a brilliant Formula 1 driver.
However, we have an elephant in the room, the Multiplayer. CoD is bought for the MP, and well, this MP is CoD…with issues.
Do you ever pick up a game that’s part of a really successful franchise and hope that it offers something new and exciting? After several years, I made the decision to come back to Call of Duty with the expectation that Infinite Warfare would rise like a phoenix. While the aesthetics of the game are excellent, I was left feeling very deflated after a few hours of hours of grinding out levels and unlocking different weapons and banners.
Classes and Builds
By today’s standards, there really isn’t anything new that Infinite Warfare brings to the table in regards to customization. You have six “rigs”, or classes, to choose from after you’ve unlocked them all, and each one offers various perks. The Warfighter rig is your balanced setup, Synaptic presents a more agile approach, Merc has life regeneration benefits, FTL allows you to close gaps quickly and use a limited stealth feature, Stryker is designed as a support class, and Phantom is your sniper setup. That’s pretty much where the customization stops, though, as you’re not really locked into any rig if you want to use a variety of perks and weapons. Sure, you should be smart and look at rig-specific traits and what perks and weapons offer the maximum synergy, but you don’t have to if you don’t want to. With two weapon slots, one each lethal and tactical accessory and three perk slots, you would think there’s a lot of moving parts, but there really isn’t. Certain perks are no-brainers while others are very niche. A quick browse at Reddit or some YouTube videos would show that once people find their favorite perks and grenades, they really only change out their weapons from time to time.
Personally, I go with a Warfighter sniper setup with the EBR-800 (a rifle that switches between semi-auto and fully auto with a removable scope) and Banshee shotgun. The Persistence perk is helpful since your streaks don’t end when you die, and either the CLAW weapon or Combat Focus payload help keep your streaks going strong. Admittedly, I’m not all that great at shooters, but this has been what has worked best for me since it’s a well-rounded setup that offers efficiency at both max range and close quarters.
CoD’s social media team has been hyping up the customization with Infinite Warfare, but I strongly disagree. You’re going to find that your favorites will rarely change. Most people are comfortable with a couple of guns, couple of scopes, couple of perks etc. Why else are people shooting for prestige levels already? It’s good for the pro scene to an extent, but doesn’t offer much for the casual enthusiast.
There’s really nothing new and exciting here. You have your Team Deathmatch, regular Deathmatch, Domination, Capture the Flag, and slight variations of each. It doesn’t really matter in the end, though, as I’m sure most of you are well aware. People just want to get out there and work on their K/D. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve played a defense map where no one bothered holding the objective(s). This, of course, is just a personal gripe I have with a lot of “team” based shooters. It’s like kindergarten most of the time – you play next to people instead of with them, and everything turns into TDM anyway. In this respect, I prefer Overwatch to CoD in regards to competition and teamwork.
While the maps are pretty, they’re your standard fare, just set in space. You’ll fight through torn up industrial sites, shipwrecks and, of course, the fan favorite Terminal map while (potentially) enjoying the futuristic setting that the devs have worked so hard on creating. There’s not a whole lot of variety with the current map rotation, however. Most of them feature long corridors and close quarters painball-esque rooms with corners and cover. It’s fine and all from an esports perspective, but I didn’t see anything particularly interesting about any of the maps. Even with wall-running, their layouts felt boring.
A pain point with a lot of players right now is the reward system. You unlock upgrades for guns by using salvage at the quartermaster. To get this precious resource, you just have to play and rank up enough to get it from your Mission Teams and personal level. Once you get enough salvage, you can either spend it on a random loot box (that could contain rare weapons, camo colorways for guns, emblems, etc.) or on the next tier for the gun of your choice. You’ll need thousands of salvage to fully upgrade a gun unless you’re lucky and get it from a box, and that could take a while.
Gamer Pantheon Score: 78%
- Rounds are fast, letting you experience a lot of action in a small window.
- General aesthetics are pretty cool.
- Loadouts are fairly intuitive and effective no matter what you do.
- Maps don’t require a whole lot of learning.
- Strong Campaign
- Good Main Character
- Fun Space Battles
- Zombies Mode is Good
- Customization feels like smoke and mirrors with some filler.
- No teamwork.
- TTK is very low, giving the MP experience a high learning curve.
- Surprisingly uninspired maps and gunplay.
- Takes awhile to accumulate salvage.
- Weak Side Characters
- Nothing New to the Story