Releasing like clockwork in early November, hopes are high for the newest version of Call of Duty, this time with the subtitle Infinite Warfare. Longtime fans of the series are hoping that developer Infinity Ward and publisher Activision will shake up the Call of Duty universe and revive what many believe has become a bit of a stale franchise. With the first Call of Duty released back in 2003, this series has become a little long in the tooth and predictable – even with the well-received Modern Warfare and Black Ops games that have come under the Call of Duty moniker. And signs look promising that Infinite Warfare will be the boost needed. It was already named “Best Shooter” game at E3 this year by Game Informer, and here are 10 ways, we think, that Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare can revive the franchise:
10. Keep Game Play Realistic
The pre-release criticism of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare has been that the game is too futuristic looking. It’s been labeled a “Halo knock-off” by more than a few people. Many feel that this series has gotten away from the boots on the ground, in the trenches, realistic warfare that made the first entries so much fun to play. However, there is reason for hope. Speaking at E3, Infinity Ward’s Jacob Minkhoff said that the single player campaign mode of Infinite Warfare draws inspiration from classic war movies like Saving Private Ryan, rather than sci-fi movies such as Starship Troopers. Here’s hoping that the gameplay remains fun and grounded even though the game is set in the stars.
9. New Vehicles
When it comes to Call of Duty games and the vehicles involved, it is often a case of more of the same. Many gamers are screaming for some new vehicles – ones that are fun to operate and can mix-up the game play and literally take people in new directions, rather than a simple “on rails” vehicle mission or two. Here again, Infinite Warfare may deliver. That’s because, for the first time ever in a Call of Duty game, players can fly a spaceship in intergalactic dogfights. The space craft is called a Jackal, and it can transform between atmospheric flight mode and zero-G flight mode for when players want an aerial battle in the vacuum of space. The spaceship can also be upgraded and customized to each player’s liking. According to designers, players can be boots on ground, fighting through the streets of a city on earth, call down the Jackal ship, get into it, fly up through the atmosphere, engage in a dogfight over the orbit of earth, land on the deck of a carrier ship, get into the carrier, go up to the bridge, and order the ship to go to the next mission — all seamlessly with no loading screens. Potentially very cool.
8. Better Maps
In recent years, Call of Duty games have seemed to focus on quantity over quality when it comes to maps and the environments where people play. Many maps have seemed like they were reskinned from previous games, which meant players found them boring and easy to learn. The developers behind Infinite Warfare seem to have heard these complaints and are now opting for fewer maps – only six have been announced, plus the return of “Terminal” from CoD 4 – but with some entirely different environments to explore and enjoy. These include a futuristic Japanese cityscape, another that features close-quarter combat down the corridors of a space station, a distant asteroid, and the inner caves of one on Saturn’s moons. These sound potentially awesome, and quite different from the combat environments of the past, which is what’s needed to help revive this franchise.
7. More Customization
The best part of a Call of Duty game, or any combat game really, is customization. The ability to customize your soldier – whether it’s the combat suit, tactical gear, or weapon — is critical to the game being fun, engaging, and having replay value. We’ve already heard that there will be customizable spaceships in the game, but it sounds like Infinite Warfare will also enable gamers to do some neat customizations with combat suits as well. From what we’ve read, Infinite Warfare will provide its own twist on the Black Ops Specialists format with “Combat Rig Suits.” These are basically loadouts that support specific play styles, meaning one type of rig, or suit, could give players the best tools to compete in close range combat, while another favors tactical support. Each suit is equipped with a Payload and a Trait for different tactical options. Payloads are weapons earned in the match and can be activated to bring a boost to the rig or suit. There are six Combat Rigs in total, including a “Phantom Rig” that favors sniper play.
6. Stronger Campaign Mode
The developers of the Call of Duty series have stumbled in recent years in their efforts to make the game’s campaign mode enjoyable enough to replay multiple times. This has included co-op campaign modes that have been heavily criticized and lackluster levels that made replaying the game a chore. Infinite Warfare aims to change all that by doing away with co-op campaign mode and instead focusing on side missions for the campaign mode. Infinity Ward and Activision are betting that a decent series of side missions will satisfy picky gamers and ensure they get maximum enjoyment out of the game as they play it multiple times. Just how enjoyable the side missions will be remains to be seen, but it could be a step in the right direction.
5. A Better Story
Just as the environments in recent Call of Duty games have gotten stale, so too have the storylines. Engaging gamers requires giving them something new and different. Infinite Warfare promises to do just that with a storyline that seems to be the most original in the series. First of all, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare is not a continuation of the Ghosts series – which is good. It’s set in a future where Earth has been stripped of most of its natural resources, forcing the planet’s nations to form a coalition to mine energy and materials from distant asteroids and outer planets. Trouble comes in the form of the “Settlement Defence Force,” a group of militant extremists that are vying for control of various intergalactic outposts. War breaks out, and it’s the gamer’s job to take down the enemy as a military captain named Nick Reyes. This story sounds different enough that it may strike hardcore fans of the series as fresh and interesting.
4. Cool Voice Actors
Remember when former NFL running back Marshawn Lynch showed up in Call of Duty? Cool moments like this have helped cement the series reputation. Going forward, the series needs to continue using cool and reliable voice actors to help bring the games to life and make it exciting for fans and gamers. Infinite Warfare might have the ticket. The villain in the new game is voiced by British actor Kit Harrington – Jon Snow himself. And Formula One race car champion Lewis Hamilton has also apparently joined the voice cast for Infinite Warfare, as has UFC champion Conor McGregor. This gives us hope that Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare will indeed live up to the hype.
3. Enhanced Multiplayer
Let’s face it, most gamers burn through the Call of Duty campaign modes in about 8-to-10 hours and then spend the rest of their time on the multiplayer mode. Some don’t even bother with the campaign mode at all and go right to the multiplayer. This is where the most fun is often had. But only when the multiplayer mode is engaging, addictive, and offers cool features – i.e. not the same as in previous games. The more enhanced the multiplayer mode, the better for most fans of this series. Makers of Infinite Warfare have tried to appease fans by mixing it up with the multiplayer mode. While familiar features such as score streaks are being retained, there are new features such as the Defender mode, which is similar to Halo’s Oddball multiplayer game that requires players to hold onto an object (in this case a drone) for as long as possible. The team that is able to hold onto the drone for the longest period of time before the match ends wins. Plus, the combat rig suits are also featured in the multiplayer mode.
2. Sick Weapons
In the end, any combat or military game lives and dies by the weapons involved. The more badass the weapons, the better the game. Given the many awesome weapons featured in past Call of Duty games, Infinite Warfare has a lot to live up to. And of course, players love to upgrade and customize their guns with attachments and camo. From what we know about Infinite Warfare so far, the new installment will see players unlock basic weapons by climbing the military ranks, and then be able to improve the weapon or make it more powerful by crafting it. Weapons are also classified as common, rare, legendary, and epic. One legendary gun, for example, will improve to add a powerful de-atomizer strike after a player has achieved 25 kills with the weapon. Basically, the more you use a particular gun, the more powerful a weapon it will become in your arsenal. We will have to wait and see how gamers take to this approach, compared to previous CoD titles.
What game isn’t improved by the presence zombies? Throw the undead into literally any environment and you get a better game. And the light appears to have gone off for the makers of Infinite Warfare. For the first time ever, game developer Infinity Ward is building a zombie game mode for a Call of Duty title (zombies were previously a Treyarch specialty). The developer has created a mode that’s in a separate universe from Infinite Warfare and the other zombie modes of the past. Players of this new Call of Duty game will not only be engaging in galactic dogfights against a fascist regime in the main campaign mode, but they will also fight zombies in an entirely separate game play mode. Coolest of all, many of those zombies have been inspired by the 1980s Michael Jackson video for the song “Thriller.” Some even wear retro leg warmers. Say what you want, but this definitely sounds like it has potential to shake-up Call of Duty and reinvigorate this franchise.