Gaming

Latest Call Of Duty not quite out of this world

Call Of Duty: Infinite Warfare is the first game in the series to be set in space and its zero-gravity space setting is a joy to play through.
Call Of Duty: Infinite Warfare is the first game in the series to be set in space and its zero-gravity space setting is a joy to play through.PHOTO: ACTIVISION

Call Of Duty: Infinite Warfare is the first game in the series to be set in space, and also the first by developer Infinity Ward under the new three-year development cycle for the franchise.

Infinite Warfare has a short, well-written campaign, on a par with what we have come to expect from a Call Of Duty title. However, the game's multiplayer modes felt tired and uninspired, and unfortunately do not make good use of the new zero-gravity combat mechanics that the campaign introduced.

I completed Infinite Warfare's story mode in about six dramatic, action-packed hours as Captain Nick Reyes of the United Nations Space Alliance.

The alliance was set up to protect Earth, which has been depleted of its natural resources. The primary threat here is the Settlement Defence Front, a faction of insurgents that seeks to control the whole solar system.

What made the campaign so engaging were the memorable, well-fleshed-out characters, such as my straight-shooting wingman Nora Salter, and wisecracking, dependable humanoid robot Ethan. After several missions, these characters really did begin to feel like family. The game's zero-gravity space setting was also a joy to play through. The gameplay made great use of space's strange mechanics, and I was always very aware of being in an alien environment.

For example, when a window was flung open, enemy combatants were sent flying out into the nothingness of space, and I began to suffocate when my helmet's screen cracked. Once, I was in a heated battle with an enemy ship when it "jumped" away, leaving me to shoot at an empty area.

  • 8/10

  • RATING

    PRICE: $79.90 (Xbox One), $79.90 (PlayStation 4, version tested) and $76.90 (PC)

    GENRE: First-person shooter

Infinite Warfare does a good job with space combat by making it intuitive to navigate and fight. In other games, it can be easy to lose one's bearings while airborne, but I found that it was easy to hold my position in Infinite Warfare as there were usually landmarks for me to orient myself.

All this makes for a very enjoyable campaign, which is more than what I can say for Infinite Warfare's multiplayer mode.

In the last Call Of Duty title, Black Ops III, we were introduced to new movement mechanics like wall running and sliding. Here, such innovation is sorely lacking.

 

Infinite Warfare has a short, well-written campaign, on a par with what we have come to expect from a Call Of Duty title. However, the game's multiplayer modes felt tired and uninspired, and unfortunately do not make good use of the new zero-gravity combat mechanics that the campaign introduced.

The zero-gravity combat mechanics does not extend to the multiplayer experience, which is quite a pity, given how well they worked in the campaign.

Instead, the multiplayer relies mostly on tried-and-tested modes, such as Hardpoint, where you capture and hold an objective; and Domination, where you have to hold all the points on the map.

Even new modes like Defender and Frontline just feel like the regular capture-the-flag and team deathmatch, with small twists.

Infinite Warfare came out around the same time as other top- notch multiplayer shooters like Battlefield 1 and Titanfall 2. Amid such fierce competition, Infinite Warfare's multiplayer definitely feels like it will struggle to stand out.

•Verdict: Infinite Warfare has a stellar campaign with interesting zero-gravity mechanics, but unfortunately this innovation does not carry over to the game's staid multiplayer mode.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 14, 2016, with the headline 'Latest Call Of Duty not quite out of this world'. Print Edition | Subscribe