What is Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare?
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare is an explosive, fast paced, high octane sci-fi first person shooter set in the distant future. Flung into the midst of a war between two factions - the UNSA (the goodies), and the Settlement Defence Force, or SDF (the baddies), you play as a plucky solider named Nick Reyes. Caught up in the midst of a ferocious conflict, when the SDF lead a daring attack on Earth, and almost wipe out the entire UNSA fleet in the process, it's up to you to take control of the only remaining carrier, the Retribution, and take the fight to the SDF, wherever you may find them.
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How do you play Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare?
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare is a game split into three parts, each of which plays out very differently.
The first is the campaign, or story mode, which follows the plot mentioned above. Playing as Reyes, you'll fight your way through a wide variety of spectacular levels, with more explosions than your average Hollywood blockbuster. Funnelling you from one explosive set piece to the next, the story mode is more about running and gunning than ducking for cover, as you work together with your team to clear out the enemy, or lead daring assault missions on enemy capital ships. While the vast majority of missions take place on foot, Infinite Warfare also intersperses its levels with flying sections, putting you in the cockpit of a high tech space fighter called a Jackal. However, rather than playing like a flight sim, these airborne sections actually play out in much the same way as the rest of the game, as you move around with the left stick to hover around, and aim with the right to take your foes down.
Zombies in Spaceland, meanwhile, is the game's revamped survival mode. Set in a cheesy 80s theme park, with all the neon lights, rides and leg warmers you'd imagine, this mode pits you against wave after wave of zombies, all decked out in the "latest" 80s fashions, from punk mohicans to day-glo spandex. With support for two player split-screen on consoles, and up to four players online, all you have to do here is survive for as long as you can, racking up points, and completing challenges as you go, to a soundtrack of 80s pop...
And finally, there's the multiplayer mode. Arguably what the Call of Duty series has become best known for, Infinite Warfare comes packing a whopping 14 different modes (and the ability to customise each to your liking), with a wide range of character classes, perks (effectively bonus abilities), and weapons available to unlock as you play, each of which lets you tailor your character's abilities to your liking.
Brilliantly, not only does the multiplayer mode have support for two player split-screen online play (on consoles), letting you and a friend in the same room take on foes from around the world, it also has support for computer controlled bots. Letting you play either on your own, in offline split-screen (on consoles), or online (in split-screen or otherwise) against a team of computer controlled opponents, this is perfect feature for those who need a bit of a warm up before taking on real players, or those without a Playstation Plus/Xbox Live subscription on consoles.
How easy is Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare to pick up and play?
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare is arguably one of the most challenging Call of Duty games so far. Aimed at experienced shooter players, and with a blistering pace, you'll need to have lightning fast reactions, and great situational awareness if you want to survive here. With little in the way of tutorials, the game expects you to know how to move, shoot and aim already, although it does talk you through any unique features.
While the game does feature automatically replenishing health (all you need to do is get into cover, and your wounds will magically heal), and regular checkpoints, meaning even if you do die, you won't loose too much progress, Infinite Warfare will still provide a solid challenge for players, even on Normal difficulty. What perhaps makes the game most challenging is the recoil effect that happens when you get shot. Usually, if you get shot on a shooter, you'll be able to see where the bullet came from, and just about spot a baddie ducking behind cover - but should you get shot in Infinite Warfare, the game will blur the screen, and make your view shoot either up or down as you get hit - as it would in real life. What this does is make it much harder to see where fire's coming from - and harder to get into cover, too, as you'll need to rely on your memory to find it. With nothing in the way of a radar, it can be tricky to figure out exactly where the enemy fire is coming from - and as there are often no markers showing where you need to go next for mission objectives, this is a Call of Duty game that tends towards realism, and provides a solid challenge for shooter fans.
As an added note, the game is also pretty heavy on military lingo, which you'll sometimes need to decode in order to figure out what to do next - lines like "Copy, we're Oscar Mike, RV in five" can take a while to get your head around if you aren't familiar with stuff like this from previous games.
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare does feature micro-transactions in the form of Call of Duty points - a "premium" currency which you can buy using real money. These can then be spent on the game's "supply drops" - special packages that contain a random selection of unlockable extras. Perhaps the most significant of these unlockable items are a number of high power weapons for the game's multiplayer and zombies modes, with some of the most effective weapons in the game only being available through supply drops.
However, it's important to note you don't have to pay real money to access supply drops - you can choose to either buy them using in-game currency that you gradually amass through simply playing the game's multiplayer modes, or through purchasing purchase Call of Duty points using real money.
While it's not as gory as the previous game, Black Ops 3, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare does still contain graphic violence, strong language, and mild sexual content.
Violence and gore
Weapons fire will cause enemies to give off spurts of blood, which stains the floor. Silent, stealth takedowns see you either snapping someone's neck by twisting it, slitting their throat, or stabbing them in the chest, with comparatively minor blood effects. However, some of the game's more powerful weaponry will simply vaporise your enemies, causing them to explode in a shower of flesh and a red mist - while the blood will stay around, the chunks of flesh soon disappear. Zombies mode ups the ante even further, introducing decapitations and dismemberment.
While not as frequent as it could be, bad language is still a regular occurrence, with "p*ss", "son of a b*tch", "holy sh*t", "bast*rd" and "ars*hole" all making an appearance.
Limited to the game's online modes, the only real sexual content in the game is found in the game's "calling cards" - little icons the pop up at the side of the screen when you've been killed by someone. Some of these feature scantily clad women, but none feature nudity.
Much like the nudity, some calling cards also feature marijuana/weed leaves, while there are also some drug related accessories that can be unlocked (a pill bottle with a ganja leaf on it). These are, however, both only an issue in the multiplayer mode, rather than the campaign.
As Call of Duty games are perhaps best known for their online multiplayer modes, we should note that any descriptions here only relate to content in the game itself. When playing with other people online, voice chat is often used, and as such inappropriate subjects may be discussed, and coarse language may be used. On console, voice chat can be disabled via parental controls
Format Reviewed: Playstation 4