Editor’s Note: Activision provided us with a review copy of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare’s Legacy Edition on PlayStation 4 system.
I started playing Call of Duty with Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. For me, Modern Warfare is my favorite Call of Duty series to date. I do not know what exactly it is about it that kept me hooked during those times, but it did.
It was clear from the start of this year that this year would be different. From the initial leak of a space setting to the reveal, fans seemed tired of the futuristic setting. Infinite Warfare had a very rough reveal with the reveal trailer now ranked as the #2 most disliked video on YouTube (although, yes, there was a dislike bots hit on it too). There has been a lot more hate thrown around this year, more so than I have seen in the last 6 years of doing this. We get the idea of the Call of Duty hate bandwagon that exists; it is there and will probably always be there.
This year is different again because of the setting of the game. In 2014, Advanced Warfare took us to the future; Last year, Black Ops 3 kept that trend up and took us again to the future.
And now, Infinite Warfare takes us there again.
Infinity Ward has taken us to space. It was teased, somewhat, when you look back at it. Infinity Ward explored the space idea in Call of Duty: Ghosts’ campaign but kept that game true to ‘modern times.’ You could tell that single mission was their exploration phase into what space combat with zero gravity would look like. In fact, in a recent interview, Taylor Kurosaki confirmed that the Infinite Warfare zero-g combat was started from taking the zero-g combat in Ghosts.
However, as an overall entertainment package, Infinite Warfare delivers a solid Call of Duty game. And with Modern Warfare Remastered attached on collector’s editions, there’s a ton for fans to enjoy this year.
We do not want to dive too deep into the campaign, as its best if everyone experiences it for themselves, but just a few notes on it:
The entire thing, from start to finish, puts a lot of focus on developing the characters from start to finish, instead of trying to put focus on a single character. You actually feel connected to each of the characters on your team. I think its one of the first titles I actually got emotional at certain points; many cut scenes and action sequences are incredibly designed. The emotional run in this campaign is just phenomenal.
For the first time in Call of Duty, players are tasked as the leader of their command. Lt. Reyes gets promoted to Captain as the game progress, and players take control of the Retribution. The Retribution is your main home base and is very lively. As the campaign develops, so does the ship. And, your attachment to crew on ship develops. Throughout the story, players get a chance to fight back and take back what the SDF took from us following the attack on Geneva.
One of the biggest downsides to the campaign, however, is the lack of development of the Kit Harrington’s character, Admiral Salen Koch, the leader of the SDF. You only get to see little portions of him, with majority of interactions via a video feed. It’s not like Advanced Warfare, where Kevin Spacey’s character was throughly developed and expanded. We barely get to know Koch’s past or his path to leader of SDF. And how his character arc developed was not exciting. There could have been a lot more here.
But overall, the campaign delivers. In fact, Infinity Ward has delivered one of the best Call of Duty campaigns to date.
There’s one central thought that comes to find when I think of Infinite Warfare MP: lack of innovation.
The MP experience is one that does not live up to the campaign’s. While the campaign fully embraces the zero-g, space combat, Infinity Ward was not willing to take it on in the MP portion. If you played Black Ops 3, this game is almost identical to it. Infinity Ward basically tried to take what was “good” of previous Call of Duty games and blend it into one.
But, it comes back to the point of innovation. When you pick up Infinite Warfare MP, you will not necessarily find something dramatically new. Many systems, features, and more feel identical to Black Ops 3.
There is something about Infinite Warfare MP experience that works: at many points, it is fun. While the experience does not feel new and lacks innovation, it is almost like a refined experience of what we have been playing for last several years. And if you did enjoy the last few Call of Duty games, then you might enjoy this too.
And it’s a dramatic improvement over Ghosts’ lack of polish. Here we can see the 3 year cycle providing some good polish and overall direction to the title.
There also appears to be in multiplayer an issue that some players are experiencing: lag compensation. This is something Infinity Ward is aware about and has been since the beta. At many points, it feels as if you “shoot first” but die instead of getting that select kill. This is something that other Call of Duty titles have experienced before, but it is noticeable for many in this game.
Sledgehammer Games first introduced ‘advanced’ movement in Call of Duty with the Exo Suites in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. These exos provided boost jumps, boost dashes, and more. Treyarch toned it down to a ‘chain based movement system’ in Black Ops 3, which still allowed double jumps and more, but it was more controlled and tight to maps than Advanced Warfare.
Infinite Warfare’s movement system, at Call of Duty XP, was identical to Call of Duty: Black Ops 3. However, at launch, it appears Infinity Ward has slightly toned down the movement system overall, making it more controlled. Another big difference in Infinite Warfare’s movement system compared to Black Ops 3 is how limited wall running is, which is a plus. Some maps are not designed for the wall running, and the movement system at some points is not required.
We really want to see Call of Duty return to boots on the ground. We’re not there yet, but hopefully Activision brings us back to the ground in future releases.
Infinity Ward introduces a Combat Rig system in Infinite Warfare, which is basically Infinity Ward’s take on the Specialists in Black Ops 3.
The difference between Infinite Warfare Rigs and Black Ops 3 Specialists is that Specialists actually had personalities, felt different when playing with different ones, and provided a balance to the game. Combat Rigs have no personalities, really. They feel stale, and you do not really know that you changed rig until the meter lights up in the bottom with a new payload.
Another huge different between Specialists and Combat Rigs is that you do not have to risk throwing away an ability for a payload. In Black Ops 3, you picked between a weapon and an ability and could only use one in-game. In Infinite Warfare, players can use a Payload (which can be weapons or different abilities) AND equip a trait which stays active throughout the entire game. It is basically an extra perk all players get. You do not sacrifice anything to equip a trait.
It seems like Infinity Ward was able to find a balance with this system in game, but these rig characters do not really expand the gameplay experience any more than Black Ops 3’s specialists did. And, we think its time to go back to the original system without these abilities. Some of the abilities just feel unnecessary in Call of Duty.
What made the older Call of Duty titles great was the simplicity in gameplay.
Ah, yes. The infamous Supply Drops are back. We are stuck with them, at this point probably. In a recent investor call, Activision said in-game sales “doubled” in Call of Duty in 2016. In fact, Activision Blizzard (the entire company, across all games) made $1 billion in 2016 just from in-game content sales.
But if we have to have Supply Drops, Infinity Ward’s implementation is probably an okay version of it. It’s a combination of Advanced Warfare’s and Black Ops 3’s system with twists.
Supply Drops in Infinite Warfare can award players with the following:
- Multiplayer Loot (calling card, customization gear, weapon camos, and more)
- Weapon Variants
- Salvage (the in-game crafting currency)
Weapon Variants are back. Instead of Advanced Warfare where weapons had straight up statical advantages, Infinite Warfare weapon variants gain extra weapon perks that bring advantages or additional stability to each weapon.
In Advanced Warfare, weapons variants could only be acquired through Supply Drops. Either earning drops as you play (which was a very slow rate…) or buying Advanced Supply Drops. In Infinite Warfare, weapon variants can be acquired in two ways: through supply drops or through crafting the variant you want. You can actually directly get the variants of the guns you want without the randomness of supply drops using the in-game crafting currency of Salvage, which is different than ‘Keys.’ However, it has come to light at launch that select weapon variants are locked to Supply Drops. Infinity Ward, however, has mentioned to some press that these weapons will eventually become craft-able as new weapons are added.
In Infinite Warfare, players earn Keys as they play. The more you play, the more keys you earn. You use these Keys in the Quartermaster to get Supply Drops. There are two Supply Drops; Common (10 Keys) and Rare (30 Keys). Salvage, the crafting currency, can be earned through those Supply Drops, through mission teams, and through login bonus. You, actually, do not earn Salvage through regular play time. This whole system weighs on how often you earn Keys and how much Salvage you get. It will probably take a lot of play time to get the best variants of weapons.
When Supply Drops can be bought directly (it is only a matter of time till they go up on sale for real currency), it might create unfair advantage since Supply Drops provide Salvage, which then can be used to craft weapons. Especially Rare Drops, which give Salvage more often.
It all depends on how Infinity Ward handles the drop rates and bonuses that players get.
Infinite Warfare is an overall great entertainment package from Infinity Ward. The campaign delivers; multiplayer, while it lacks innovation, offers rich customization and gameplay options; and of course, the game features the fun Zombies in Spaceland mode.
It feels like a repetition of what happened during Ghosts, really. The campaign is well thought out and explores incredible new ideas; a new take on a co-op mode that extends the gameplay further. But the multiplayer is not innovative. It always seems like Infinity Ward is scared and holds back on innovating in multiplayer. Ghosts did this too: they removed a lot of risky innovations from Black Ops 2 and tried to just hold on what they thought worked. They never take risks with multiplayer, and that causes it to feel stale if you already played previous Call of Duty games.
A really single way to sum up Infinite Warfare MP: If you liked Black Ops 3 MP, this game might be for you. It’s very similar to the core idea that Treyarch bought last year, and Infinity Ward has made an attempt to refine that, although some may prefer Treyarch’s approach. They are very similar in almost all aspects, but Infinity Ward embraces a new environments in maps and more by taking the game to space.
And if Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare is not for you, the Legacy, Digital Deluxe, and Legacy Pro come with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered. Modern Warfare is one of my personal favorite games ever, and I am more excited than ever to be able to play this again. Activision has not announced the possibility of releasing Modern Warfare Remastered separately, if you’re someone holding off just for that.
If you’re looking for the best value this year for Call of Duty, the Digital Deluxe Edition delivers that: Infinite Warfare ($60), Modern Warfare Remastered (~$20), and Infinite Warfare Season Pass ($50 + $20 additional bonus), a total value of $150+, for only $100.
This is the first time in Call of Duty’s history we are getting two games at once. Play whichever you enjoy more. We plan on giving both a fair shot.
Is Black Ops 2 being remastered? Rumors & leaks
Fans have been wondering for sometime if CoD: Black Ops 2 is going to be remastered, and we’ll answer that today.
Several Call of Duty games have received the remaster treatment in recent years, and it’s left fans wondering if the mega-popular Black Ops 2 will get one. Here are all the latest rumors and leaks regarding a Black Ops 2 remaster.
The popularity of Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 simply cannot be understated with the game being considered the greatest of all time by many. But fast-forward to 2021, and players want to know if this beloved entry in the CoD franchise will be remastered.
The premise of Call of Duty remasters was kickstarted by the 2016 Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Remastered title. Since then, we’ve also had the Modern Warfare 2 campaign be remastered, and there are rumors of Modern Warfare 3 being remastered, despite Activision saying it isn’t.
Is Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 being remastered?
From what we understand, no, not at this time. There is absolutely nothing to suggest that any form of Black Ops remaster is in the works.
Naturally, people would think that Treyarch’s Black Ops may receive the same love that the Modern Warfare franchise has gotten, but alas it doesn’t seem to be the case.
Why isn’t Black Ops 2 being remastered?
We believe there could be two strong reasons for Black Ops 2 not being remastered, one being that it would oversaturate the CoD market, and also that we’ve already seen a few of its maps recently.
One of the problems 2016’s Infinite Warfare suffered from is that it released with the full Call of Duty 4 remaster, and consequently, the player base was divided between the two games.
Furthermore, Black Ops Cold War featured no less than seven Black Ops 2 map remasters throughout its multiple seasons, and they feel too fresh in the memory to warrant a remaster of the multiplayer.
We could see a remaster of the Black Ops campaigns, following the successful rerelease of the Modern Warfare 2 campaign.
Activision may have some surprises and remasters up their sleeves, but for the time being, we can only speculate and ask you to keep checking in to see if anything becomes official.
Also, check out everything we know about Call of Duty: Vanguard.
Image Credit: Activision / Treyarch
Infinity Ward announces new Austin office as studio gears up for CoD 2022
The original Call of Duty developer, Infinity Ward, is expanding its operations via a new office in Austin, Texas for CoD 2022.
One of the three developers behind the Call of Duty franchise is getting a new office. Infinity Ward is expanding its operations via a new office in Austin, Texas, in preparation for CoD 2022.
Infinity Ward is the developer behind the original Call of Duty game. Activision founded Infinity Ward in 2002, with the first Call of Duty title being released in 2003. This birthed one of the most iconic video game franchises to date.
Infinity Ward would go on to develop Call of Duty 2 in 2005 before alternating developers. Now, Infinity Ward is known for developing the Modern Warfare titles, which are released roughly every three years.
With Infinity Ward releasing the last Modern Warfare title in 2019, the developer is gearing up for another release in 2022. We don’t know what CoD 2022 will be just yet, but we do know that Infinity Ward is expanding its operations with a new office.
Infinity Ward Austin Texas office
Today, Infinity Ward announced via Twitter that it would be opening a new office in Austin, Texas. This would be the fourth development hub for the company, with the other three being located in Los Angeles, Poland, and Mexico.
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This also means that Infinity Ward is hiring. According to Infinity Ward, the Austin office is currently hiring for all positions, and you can find all of the available jobs posted on the Infinity Ward website.
Call of Duty: Vanguard releases in less than a month. It’s taking players back to WWII, where Infinity Ward is expected to bring the franchise back to modern times, with CoD 2022 speculated to be a sequel to Modern Warfare 2019.
That being said, we have no official idea what to expect from Infinity Ward going into 2022, but with the significant success of Modern Warfare 2019, it will no doubt be a Call of Duty game plenty of players will love.
Regardless, Infinity Ward is planning something big, and the new office proves just that. So, if Vanguard isn’t your cup of tea, CoD 2022 is just a year away.
Image Credits: Infinity Ward / Activision
Biggest AAA video games coming in 2022: PS5, Xbox Series X, Switch, PC, Stadia & Steam
2022 could be a huge year for video games and here’s all the biggest titles coming to PlayStation, Xbox, Switch, and more – with dates.
2022 is shaping up to be a massive year for video games. Between franchises such as God of War, Gran Turismo, Horizon, Pokemon, and Harry Potter, the PS5, Xbox Series X, Switch, PC, and Stadia have some mammoth titles to host. Here’s an extensive look into the biggest games and potential release dates too.
The beginning of 2022 will signal over a year since the PS5, and Xbox Series X took video games to the ninth generation of consoles. Developers have had plenty of time to chew the fat and harness the power of the consoles to create immense AAA experiences.
There’s also plenty of mileage left for the Nintendo Switch, and of course, PC, Stadia, and Steam are always on the march.
PS5, Xbox, Switch, PC, Steam & Stadia video games in 2022
Some genuinely iconic franchises and household names are expected to launch video games in 2022, so here’s a look at the top AAA video games coming in 2022.
God of War: Ragnarok release date: 2022
Players got a juicy look at the next epic adventure in Santa Monica’s God of War franchise during the 2021 PlayStation Experience. Kratos and Atreus are set to battle with Freya, possibly Thor, and their own demons.
God of War Ragnarok looks like it’s expanded upon the reboot to incorporate more NPCs, more spectacular gameplay, and a gripping narrative that will test the bond between father and son.
Horizon Forbidden West release date: February 18, 2022
Aloy is one of the standout protagonists in gaming during modern times, and her post-apocalyptic adventures are set to continue in Horizon Forbidden West.
She seeks to uncover even more truth and learn about the state of the world she resides in, all the while battling even more dangerous robotic creatures and nature itself.
Elden Ring release date: January 21, 2022
One of the first games to arrive in 2022, Elden Ring is the next sinister and challenging game to come from the sadistic bunch at FromSoftware.
Their track record at producing brutal yet satisfying RPGs will be tested in the form of Elden Ring, their newest ‘Souls’ game. Unlike previous FromSoftware games, there seems to be a much deeper emphasis on the story with Game of Thrones creator George R. R. Martin on board to help with the narrative.
Pokemon Legends: Arceus release date: January 28, 2022
Unlike the typical dual-releases that Pokemon specializes in, Pokemon Legends: Arceus is a standalone game that continues the growth shown in recent, mainline Pokemon titles.
Embracing the open-world nature of 2020’s Pokemon Sword and Shield, Arceus is a brand new adventure that will involve all the familiar, beloved elements of Pokemon games: obtaining them, training them, leveling them, and catching them all!
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Extraction release date: January 2022
Another spin-off, this time from the team at Ubisoft as they take a drastic turn away from the realism of simulated combat.
Instead, Rainbow Six Extraction delves into the world of the unknown, and non-human, as teams of three pull together to take down alien creatures called Archaeans. It will feature lots of the same gameplay mechanics and Operators from Siege, but with a darker, deadly twist.
Dying Light 2 release date: February 4, 2022
The long-awaited sequel to the hit 2015 survival-adventure game, Dying Light 2 promises to bring more parkour-zombie-survival action that made the first such a breakout success.
Offering more open-world exploration, the player must scavenge, forge friendships (and weapons), and deal with both friendly and hostile forces.
As with the first Dying Light, players need to make the most of the precious daylight before night strikes, as the undead gets a bit more fidgety and murderous.
Gran Turismo 7 release date: March 4, 2022
Polyphony Digital is infamous for taking their time between each Gran Turismo release to ensure every one is as polished as can be, and the PS5 looks set to make Gran Turismo 7 one of the best-looking games ever.
Like with God of War Ragnarok, the 2021 PlayStation Experience gave fans a glimpse into the high-speed action they can expect with Gran Turismo 7.
It’s learned from its predecessor’s mistakes and will launch with a complete career mode, and could be a bonafide system-seller for Sony and the PlayStation brand.
Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 release date: 2022
It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 could easily be one of the most anticipated games of all time.
Breath of the Wild took the world by storm in 2017 with its rich, expressive world that deviated from the conventions of traditional Zelda games. Many millions of copies sold later, and fans everywhere are desperate for the next chapter for Link in this gorgeous, sprawling version of Hyrule.
Call of Duty 2022 release date: 2022
It wouldn’t be a year of video games without a major Call of Duty release, and we expect 2022 to be no different.
Given that there’s already a buzz about Call of Duty 2023, we would say it’s safe to assume that another Call of Duty game will release in 2022.
With Vanguard being set in World War 2, rumors are rife that the 2022 Call of Duty will be a Modern Warfare sequel.
Gotham Knights release date: 2022
A Gotham City without the caped crusader is a strange thought, but that’s the threat that faces it as Bruce Wayne is dead.
In Batman’s place, his former proteges need to step up and protect Gotham, batting away any threats of crime perpetrated by some of its most evil supervillains. Featuring co-operative mode, players can take control of these plucky heroes and hopefully do Batman proud.
Hogwarts Legacy release date: 2022
There have been many Harry Potter movie tie-in games, but there still hasn’t been an authentic RPG experience that lets you become your own wizard – until now.
Hogwarts Legacy will let fans worldwide finally live out their dream of attending Hogwarts, and the game allows players to select their House, the classes they do, and customize their character, all the while fighting monsters and completing quests.
That completes our guide to the biggest and most anticipated video games that are due to arrive in 2022.
For all the latest news and guides on these games and more, stay with us at Charlie INTEL!
Image Credit: Avalanche Software, WB Games Montreal, Nintendo, Polyphony Digital, Techland, Game Freak, FromSoftware, Guerrilla Games, Santa Monica Studios, Ubisoft
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