CoD: In­fi­nite War­fare

An­drew White­head knows that the haters are gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate

Hyper - - EDITORIAL -

Set in the dis­tant fu­ture, and in its own separate Call of Duty uni­verse, In­fi­nite War­fare por­trays an Earth stripped of its nat­u­ral re­sources, re­ly­ing on the newly formed United Na­tions Space Al­liance (UNSA) for sur­vival and to han­dle off-planet coloni­sa­tion.

Now, a mil­i­tant group known as the Set­tle­ment De­fense Front (SDF) has de­clared war on the UNSA and killed the cap­tain of the space-far­ing war­ship, the Ret­ri­bu­tion. It’s up to Lieu­tenant Nick Reyes to step up, take con­trol of the Ret­ri­bu­tion, de­fend Earth, and yeah you get the pic­ture. It’s Call of Duty, not Tol­stoy.

Clichéd sto­ry­line aside, right now Call of Duty: In­fi­nite War­fare's big­gest prob­lem is its up­hill bat­tle against swarms of haters on­line. And I can un­der­stand why; pack­ag­ing in the re­mas­tered ver­sion of Call of Duty 4: Mod­ern War­fare as an ex­clu­sive ex­tra is a bit of a dick move and, in some ways, shows a lack of faith in the next CoD on the block.

And, look, I’ll say it: Call of Duty cam­paigns have fluc­tu­ated be­tween av­er­age and aw­ful for a while now. In­fi­nite War­fare’s plot prob­a­bly isn’t go­ing to be the se­ries’ best. But ev­ery­thing I’ve seen of the ac­tual game makes me be­lieve it’s worth the ben­e­fit of the doubt.

For one thing, In­fi­nite War­fare doesn’t just fea­ture a lin­ear cam­paign any­more. In­stead, there are now op­tional side-quests called Ship As­saults where play­ers can try and take down SDF ships to un­lock weapons and equip­ment.

“You, as the cap­tain of the Ret­ri­bu­tion, are able to make a choice of where you’re go­ing to point your ship,” says Stu­dio Art Di­rec­tor Brian Hor­ton. “Set a course, pick one of the SDF ships, go there and go from the Jackal, which is your small fighter jet, to zero-g com­bat, to get­ting inside the SDF ship and then ex­fil­trate.”

The Jackal space­ship sec­tions aren’t on-rails shoot­ing gal­leries, ei­ther; this is real from ground to space flight that takes to you into proper ship-to-ship com­bat. There’s been flight modes in Call of Duty be­fore, but never with this de­gree of free­dom.

Twist­ing the Call of Duty for­mula even more are the tools you have to deal with the zero-grav­ity bat­tles you’ll be fight­ing as you in­vade one of the hulking SDF ships. For one thing, you have grenades that can lock-on and home-in on en­e­mies, plus a speedy grap­pling hook that can pull you to­wards ob­jects or drag an en­emy to­wards you, al­low­ing you to crack open their space hel­met.

“We spent three years devel­op­ing this game,” says Brian, “and we wanted to in­no­vate; we wanted to push the boundaries. And we wanted to find a theatre that’s dif­fer­ent than any­thing else we’ve done be­fore.”

Call of Duty: In­fi­nite War­fare prob­a­bly won’t rev­o­lu­tionise gam­ing the way the game it’s packed in with did, but it’s clear In­fin­ity Ward is giv­ing the Call of Duty se­ries the kick up the arse it des­per­ately needs if it’s go­ing to com­pete in the in­creas­ingly di­verse shooter genre.

Yes, this ac­tu­ally re­ally is a screen­shot from the next Call of Duty game

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