Wed. Dec 7th, 2022
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare review: Ace campaign, but skip the multiplayer

Since the release of Modern Warfare in 2007, the Duty series flirts more and more with futuristic combat – each new iteration has brought us a little closer to full sci-fi, adding advanced weapons, introducing jetpacks, and making wall-running a method of traversing through the many war-torn environments.

Of Infinite Warfare That baseboard flirting goes all the way out the window. This is a game full of spaceships, warp drives and laser weapons, which are more in line with Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica then Duty. Instead of fighting through the cities of the earth, Infinite Warfare sends you to the far reaches of the solar system to battle above planets; instead of ultra-nationalist radicals, you fend off an uprising from Mars, determined to take your homeworld for its own.

It makes for a much fresher game, at least in single player. This is a campaign that doesn’t so much shrug its shoulders as violently shrugs off the lackluster Ghosts moniker – Infinity Ward’s previous entry in the franchise – which many people (myself included) interpreted as a sign that the developer was out of ideas. Although it is clear that his ideas still exist relatively thin on the ground, Infinite Warfare is by far the best campaign the series has seen in years. It’s just a shame that the multiplayer, while robust, is substantially lacking where rivals like it Battlefield 1 have excelled.

go alone

This major shift in focus is the most surprising thing about Infinite Warfare. Multiplayer has been the main draw in . for years Duty, but it’s different here, with the seven-hour campaign taking center stage. It’s the writing that really seals the deal; despite its huge leap into the intergalactic future, Infinite Warfare retains a recognizable sense of humanity that grounds its hyper-intensive action. You may be fighting mechanized infantry and skating across the frozen surface of Europe, but developer Infinity Ward delivers the most intelligently scripted Duty game since Modern Warfareone that avoids absurd ideas, such as Ghosts‘ obsession with VR and stripping things back. It focuses on a single group of soldiers, the pressures of leadership, and whether the success of a mission is more important than the lives of the men carrying it out.

A well-prepared soldier always packs sunscreen.
enlarge / A well-prepared soldier always packs sunscreen.
Despite the sci-fi setting, the shooting is classic <em>call of Duty</em>.” src=”https://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2016/11/3c1c84b9-2b38-4157-85ac-c673f2df45fd_COD_Infinite_Warfare_MP_Frost_3_1478164760-300×169.jpg” width=”300″ height= “169” srcset=”https://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2016/11/3c1c84b9-2b38-4157-85ac-c673f2df45fd_COD_Infinite_Warfare_MP_Frost_3_1478164760-640×360.jpg 2x”/><figcaption class=
enlarge / Despite the sci-fi setting, shooting is classic Duty.

Those missions are vital to the survival of Earth’s population. As humanity moved beyond the present time, Infinite WarfareThe story goes that it ventured into the solar system to compensate for Earth’s dwindling resources. This colonization of other planets and moons then leads to the rise of rebellions beyond Earth’s borders.

The group you fight through Infinite WarfareThe campaign of the Settlement Defense Front, Martian rebels led by Kit Harrington’s Admiral Kotch, is a ruthless ideologue and ultimate villain bent on destroying Earth. He makes this clear in the opening hours of the game, when the Earth undergoes a devastating attack. It reminded me of halo 2preliminary attack by the Covenant, but despite Kotch’s overwhelming brutality, his character feels underworked, and instead of giving him any real motivation, Infinity Ward leaves Kotch as a bad guy who does bad things for… reasons.

The rest of the cast, however, fares much better. You play as Nick Reyes, a Tom Cruise-esque who has been pushed into the unenviable position of inheriting a capital ship, the Retribution, and its hundreds of crew members. Your mission is to buy time on Earth to rebuild its fleet before going head-to-head with Kotch and his SDF goons. It’s a simple, no-nonsense story, but it’s told with such zeal that Infinite Warfare is far above its recent predecessors.

Nick is likeable, loyal and honorable, and his crew and close teammates are just as personable. David Harewood’s Sergeant Omar is an absolute badass Englishman, while Reyes’ close partner, Nora Salter (or Salt for those who know her best) is just as strong-minded and sympathetic as he is, delivering the perfect blend of admiration and criticism. to his decisions as a leader. Then there’s Ethan, the pinnacle of the game’s cast, an AI robot whose wits are only as good as its capabilities in battle and who is a light-hearted relief from what’s otherwise a pretty hard tale of survival and impossible odds.

<em>Infinite Warfare</em> even offers dogfights in small yachts, but these missions quickly become exhausting.  ” src=”https://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2016/11/9d878b66-278f-4ed2-b851-b739b36886f3_COD_Infinite_Warfare_SP_Black_Sky_Take_to_the_Sky_1478164765-980x=”551.jpg” width=”551.jpg” 551″/><figcaption class=
enlarge / Infinite Warfare even includes dogfights in small fighter ships, but these missions get tiresome quickly.

These varied personalities give Infinite Warfare a surprising amount of heart, which you wouldn’t expect from a game where you have to travel through asteroid fields and fight above the rings of Saturn. It is here, in its litany of missions, that… Infinite Warfare delivers the slick action that the Duty franchise is so famous for. The ground combat remains almost identical to previous games, but it’s exciting to find and experiment with the many new weapons. For example, there are anti-gravity grenades, which lift groups of enemies into a vulnerable stasis that you can pick up one at a time, and seeker grenades that shoot across the ground like terrifyingly effective metal spiders, attaching themselves to hapless victims and exploding on their faces.

It’s much bloodier than usual Duty games, too – an experimental laser weapon disintegrates enemies into a bloody mist, while there’s great satisfaction (and probably a hint of guilt) in melee enemies into space, ripping off their helmets so they suffocate in front of you. Then there are the dogfights, where you spin a small fighter ship and lock onto enemy targets to chase them through debris fields and over the bows of huge capital ships. For starters, these are surprisingly exciting distractions that capture the frenetic nature of dodging enemy lock-ons and firing flares to avoid being hit by incoming missiles. But eventually they lose their luster and feel more like repetitive filler that, while visually spectacular, just isn’t varied enough to justify how often they show up.

Fortunately, many of these missions can also be performed at your leisure. Infinite Warfare retains its linear storytelling, so don’t expect branching narrative paths, but certain missions are completely optional and can be completed in any order. While this allows you to decide what you want to do at most points in the story, it’s a strange design decision that interrupts the action and leads to some dull slogs through the bridge area of ​​the Retribution to pick your next target. Obviously what was meant to be – a period of downtime with your crew to interrupt the relentless drama – but it doesn’t work.

Still, the best moments of the campaign are fantastic. A breakneck excursion to the moon is a particular highlight of the campaign (I won’t give details), and there’s also a brilliant mission on an asteroid orbiting Mercury at ridiculous speeds, giving it a day/night cycle of 30 seconds where the intense heat of the sun roasts you alive if you are caught outside for more than a second.

Infinite Warfare looks stunning too, runs at an almost flawless 60 FPS on PlayStation 4 (there are resolution improvements for PS4 Pro players) and dazzles with just the right amount of lens flare to make it feel like science fiction, while grounding everything with a pragmatic foundation function-not-form aesthetics for vehicles and spacecraft. Don’t be fooled by the jump into hyperspace – this is still a very military shooter.

By akfire1

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