Also available on Xbox One and Windows
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare is a game that I looked cautiously forward to. The past two Call of Duty titles - Advanced Warfare and Black Ops III - impressed me a lot with their campaigns (the only game mode I really care much about). Due to that budding streak of well written, well executed single players, I was optimistic about Infinite Warfare (despite the stupid name). I was, however, hesitant about the space setting. Don't get me wrong - I LOVE sci-fi FPS campaigns. My concern was whether or not Call of Duty would do it well.
I am, however, pleased to report that while not a flawless execution, Infinite Warfare is a fantastic game, and Call of Duty is definitely on a winning streak. It also looks absolutely AMAZING in 2160p with HDR on the PlayStation 4 Pro. I've played through the entire campaign, a couple games of zombies, and a handful of online matches on both regular and hardcore, so I'm going to address all three game modes starting with multiplayer. Multiplayer is definitely the weak link in this game. It doesn't do much wrong, per se, but it's just...me. If you've played Titanfall 2, imagine the Pilots Only game mode but not good. That's it feels like. On regular, the guns feel like pea shooters; on hardcore, the guns feel like every other Call of Duty's regular mode guns. The whole thing just feels rather watered down. None of the guns really "feel" good to me, and the reduced damage output just gives the game an awkward, foreign feel.
Zombies more than makes up for the lackluster multiplayer. As far as I'm concerned, this is the best zombies mode yet in a Call of Duty game. The whole thing has an over-the-top 80's theme, and it REALLY works. The gunplay feels solid in this game mode, and the 80's clichés give it just enough humor to break the tension. The character selection is nice as well, with each having his or her own personality. It really doesn't do anything to change the fundamental foundation of CoD zombies, but the stylistic changes and subtle adjustments are very nice. It has a card system that gives you some temporary power-ups, but I kept forgetting about them, so I can't really speak much about that specific feature.
The real star of the show with this game is the campaign story mode. The method of storytelling isn't as brilliantly executed as the first Black Ops, and the story itself isn't as well written as Black Ops III or Advanced Warfare, but the structure of the campaign is stellar and a VERY welcome departure from the traditional strictly linear campaign progression. Infinite Warfare's campaign introduces a map system similar to that seen in the Mass Effect series (though not nearly as detailed) where you can pick either the main mission or a series of side missions, each of which unlocks different perks and bonuses that help you in later missions and carry over into subsequent playthroughs.
The other feature that really keeps the game from feeling stale is that it's probably 30% or 40% space combat sim. While most of the game is your standard FPS, most main missions have some component that takes place in a Jackal, a small space fighter. There isn't a massive amount of customization you can do on the jackal, but you can choose from 15 or 20 nose paint jobs as well as three primary weapons, three secondary weapons, and three enhancements (either weapons, hull, or thrusters). In addition to the main missions, roughly half of the optional side missions are exclusively space combat. Add to that the free downloadable PlayStation VR Jackal combat game (it's only one mission), and it's clear that a lot of effort went into the single player experience for this entry.
I'm still holding Call of Duty 2 and Call of Duty: Black Ops III as the best and second best games in the Call of Duty series, respectively, but Infinite Warfare definitely takes the #3 spot, and those three games are all VERY close in my book. Even if you never touch the online multiplayer, fans of sci-fi games and single player FPS games absolutely should not miss Infinite Warfare. The name is dumb, and the multiplayer is disappointing, but the zombies mode is great, and the campaign is absolutely phenomenal. Doom is definitely the best single player shooter of 2016, but Infinite Warfare may well be my pick for #2.
My Rating - 4 Neps
I'm Mr. Deck
And I like to play video games. I like to collect video games. I like to talk about video games, and I like to write about video games. During the day, I teach history at a high school in central North Carolina; during the night, I spend my spare time gaming. Then I write about it.