September marks the beginning of fall, the first day of the season having equal hours of day and night. Ostensibly, the birds start flying southward, the leaves start to change colors, the various television shows return with season premieres, and new video games are released. The timing of the video games, of course, is intended to get in on the earlier Christmas shopping season.
This much can be said about the latest game from Infinity Ward, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare (COD:IW). Like many of the other versions, this title offers a single-player campaign, a run and gunning multiplayer mode, and the seemingly obligatory zombie cooperative experience.
For a couple of days in October, Infinity Ward opened up a beta of the multiplayer mode. I jumped right in and felt right at home. There was a brief introduction to likely set the stage for the single-player campaign, and then on to multiplayer mode. The loadouts, guns, tacticals, and scorestreaks are familiar to anyone who has ever played any version of Call of Duty (COD), as were some of the newer additions in COD Advanced Warfare (AW) such as the supply drop and specialist abilities known as combat rigs in COD:IW.
The combat rigs offer various payloads with a selection of unique traits. My beta play offered three combat rigs, the Warfighter, FTL and Merc. Each one with different advantages based on different approaches to playing the game. The rigs played very much like the specialist abilities in AW. There are mission teams, which provide objectives to complete in-game. Completion of these team objectives help you level up and unlock unique and cosmetic items, and special gear.
The look of this game is on par with the others released this year, with the textures of the buildings, guns, and people just real enough to make you feel like you are in a movie. The maps presented in the beta are so full of corners that campers may get a cheap shot or three, but keep your head on a swivel, because the direction can change very quickly.
Player movement is smooth and swift, but I found that the weaponry could use some work as the aim seemed to be a hair off. Like many betas, the shotguns still seem to be able to kill you from 30 feet, but you may need an entire clip to take out an adversary less than half the distance. Also the hit markers felt soft to the point, I often could not figure out if I hit someone, although the game indicated a kill.
One other item included with the release is a remastered version of COD Modern Warfare 4 (MW4). I know some of you are going “oh no they didn’t,” while others are caught between cheering and being happy to let that one go. The re-release of MW4 seems like a marketing ploy to cover the fact that there is nothing really new with COD:IW to justify shelling out $60 or more, if you are so inclined for the season pass. With all the titles that have just dropped or will soon, for many gamers this may not be the one to spend your money on. However, if you are looking for a Christmas/Hanukah/Eid/Kwanzaa gift there’s nothing really new for your millennial, but for someone new to gaming who has never played MW4 this could be a good option. COD:IW is scheduled for release today, November 4.