Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Multiplayer hand-on impressions

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Call of Duty Infinite Warfare_SetDef soldier 2

Hey did you feel that? That was the sound of the Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare embargo dropping and sites all over the world going live with all their info and videos. Yeah I know people leaked offscreen video and info yesterday, I can’t say I’m surprised as there are a lot of people here at COD XP and most of them are not media but rather friends, cameramen and YouTubers. So it was going to happen.

Anyway to the news.

I’m a fan of Call of Duty, I put in a lot of hours into Black Ops 3 and only really stopped the grind after I reached Prestige 10 and moved onto other games so I was definitely looking forward to re-entering the world of Call of Duty and with this year beings Infinity Ward’s shot at the crown I was even more excited as I’ve always been more partial to the Infinity Ward version.

Weapons

The weapons have all been given an overhaul with the ideology being that all weapons need to be relatable to what we have now –  but set further in the future. They are still broken down into Assault, Submachine, LMG, Shotgun and Snipers with the obvious melee and launcher options for you.

However now you can also choose between ballistic and energy weapons. The ballistic weapons are exactly what we have today with the weapons firing a physical projectile of sorts so they are instantly familiar. They still look more modern but the idea of throwing a piece of lead at the enemy at high speed is still the same.

Energy weapons work on batteries and fire energy projectiles instead, however most still feel like your standard ballistic weapons with the only difference being that your ammunition can recharge itself if you hide for a bit instead of reloading. They also offer you unique abilities like automatic tracking, and some beam weapons can lock on to multiple targets at once.

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Character Classes

Specialist classes are still here in Infinite Warfare but they have slightly changed the way they work now. There are 6 different specialists who all have unique abilities and are supposed to be played in different ways. From the hulking man mountain whose primary job is to hold down a position and lay covering fire to the robot who is super fast and is meant to get right up in the enemy’s face with blistering speed. One of the mountain’s special abilities is to hold up a riot shield and literally charge through players in the way, while the robot has this weird ability where it gets down on to all fours and races across the screen looking a bit like a robotic attack dog. They are both pretty terrifying in battle in their own ways.

Then obviously you have the sniper class , the warrior class and the support class each with their own abilities; and finally the experimental class which uses experimental technology to his advantage.

His?

I’m just going to take a side bar here as I suspect people will be asking about the characters in Infinite Warfare. Well the portion we have played isn’t complete yet but right now there is no choice to change the gender of your character at all. They are all male.

However I highly doubt it’ll stay like this as at the moment you can’t even change the look of your character in any way and there is no way that Activision are going to miss out on a loot box-style system this year so I strongly suspect gender changes and camo changes to be added in the game closer to release

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Back to the game

So after picking the standard warrior class and a ballistic submachine gun I jumped right in to our first game of Deathmatch, set on a space station called Frontier.

At this point I had already seen the new Multiplayer Trailer that I’m sure you’ve seen by now – if not it’ll be getting added below as soon as we get a link. So I knew the game still had wall running and jetpack from Black Ops 3 and from what I saw it didn’t look fundamentally different.

And that is the first thing I noticed.

Infinite Warfare Multiplayer is fundamentally the same game as Black Ops 3 multiplayer. Now I know people say this every year in regards to Call of Duty however each year I’ve always felt it has been quite unique. While this year it’s changed regarding weapons and specialists the base gameplay felt simply like a refined Black Ops 3.

Now that’s not a bad thing at all, as I said in my opening I’m a big fan of the gameplay in Black Ops 3 and I put a ridiculous amount of hours into it, however I do suspect a portion of the internet is going to be complaining about this.

I’m uploading some of my gameplay now from my first two games – but the internet here is surprisingly awful. I’m pretty terrible but I’m blaming that on my recent addiction to Overwatch and using this weird standard controller that they have here.

So Same Same but Different?

Pretty much yes, for me the one major change in this years version is the gear you can hold and deploy. We still have the tried and trusted frag grenades, stun grenades and smoke grenades.

However now we also have spider grenades that will run at you when you get close, drone grenades which slowly float towards the enemy and you can explode them at any time, and my personal favourite the black hole of doom grenade, a vortex grenade which creates a black hole that sucks all enemies into it in a small circle. This one is amazing at pulling people out of cover.

The built-in abilities of the specialists are also entirely changed from Black Ops 3 with my personal favourite being the ability to deploy a mini turret mid game to create custom choke points.

All your standard perks are still there with some new ones added and the kill streaks are still here with a small change being that everyone of them has to be able to be called in during a space battle. So Helicopter supports are now drones and bomber runs are more ballistic missiles etc.

There are obviously new ones but I’ve only had around an hour with the game so I haven’t seen them all yet. The one they did highlight was the ability to call down an autonomous robot with 3 arms. Two arms hold shields while the third is a rocket launcher. You can leave it to run around and cause mayhem or you can take control and lay waste.

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Game Modes

All the standard game modes are available and they are adding some new ones. The only one with I got to experience was defender which they called their version of “keep away”… which made no sense to me as I had never heard of a game called keep away. However the game mode is extremely simplistic. You start the game and a ball is dropped in the centre of the map and your job is to grab the ball and “keep it away” from the enemy. The longer you hold the ball the more points you accumulate and after a set period of time it automatically resets to the centre of the map and you go again.

While holding the ball you can only melee and you instantly show up on the opposing team’s map so you really do become the centre of the action. It sounds dumb, but it really isn’t. I thoroughly enjoyed this mode and if your team communication is solid I can see this becoming a fan favourite. I am definitely interested in seeing the pros try their hand at the game.

My Feelings

I’m definitely a bit dissapointed that the multiplayer hasn’t changed that much, but I see the logic in the decision here. Activision has put a lot of money (and I mean a lot) into trying to enter the eSports scene.

I’m here at COD XP right now where the winning team will take home $800 000 in cash as part of the $2m prize pool. They have also already given out $3.5m in prize money in regional competitions this year, and added to that the huge cost of running the leagues and maintaining the level and you start to see why they wouldn’t want to change the entire formula.

I compare it to traditional sports where the rules and basic gameplay don’t change much every year, it’s a gradual improvement and that is where Call of Duty has gotten to now.

Will it come back to bite them in the ass? Who knows, some may see this as a chance to take the crown from Call of Duty. However I for one don’t see anyone out there right now who can compete with Call of Duty in this section of the market; the fast paced, run and gun shooter where you are never more than a few seconds away from the action.

Let me know if you have any questions and I’ll do my best to answer them below.

Disclaimer: Activision provided travel and accomodation as well as access to COD XP.

Last Updated: September 2, 2016

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