Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare is a first-person shooter video game developed by Infinity Ward and published by Activision. It is the thirteenth primary installment in the Call of Duty series and was released worldwide for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on November 4, 2016.
|Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare|
Revised cover art used for all territories
|Series||Call of Duty|
|Release||WW: November 4, 2016|
Development of Infinite Warfare began during 2014. It is the first title by Infinity Ward under the new three-year development cycle for the Call of Duty series. The game's campaign is centered around a battle for the Solar System, which the Settlement Defense Front (SDF), a hostile force who are the main antagonists, are attempting to take over. The player takes control of Captain Nick Reyes of the Special Combat Air Recon (SCAR). They have their own transforming fighter, named "Jackal", that they can customize as well as a central hub world named Retribution.
Special editions of Infinite Warfare were released with a remastered version of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, entitled Modern Warfare Remastered. Infinite Warfare's announcement trailer was met with a mixed reception from game critics and journalists and a negative reception from the Call of Duty community. The announcement trailer was the second-most disliked video on YouTube at the time, in part due to a campaign by fans of rival game Battlefield 1 and disgruntled Call of Duty fans expressing frustration at the direction the series had taken. Nevertheless, the game received generally positive reviews upon release; critics praised the single-player campaign, which was seen as a considerable improvement over the game's predecessor, Black Ops III, the Zombie mode, and the visuals, while the multiplayer mode was criticized for its lack of innovation.
Similar to the previous games in the series, Infinite Warfare is a first-person shooter. As the game introduces a new setting, outer space, new gameplay mechanics, such as zero-gravity environments, are included. Players are equipped with a boost pack, and a grappling hook, which allow players to move in these zero-gravity environments easily. As the game is set in space, players can visit different planets, satellites and asteroids in the solar system.
Assuming control of Captain Nick Reyes, a Tier 1 Special Operations pilot, players engage in aerial combat with enemies using his transforming fighter, the Jackal. Aerial combat is not on-rail, as players can freely control the Jackal without much limitations. According to Infinity Ward, both space combat, and the franchise's signature "boot-on-the-ground" gameplay are the game's key focuses, Transition between space combat and boots-on-the-ground combat is seamless with no loading screen.
Players gain access to Retribution, a central hub world. In Retribution, players can view their progression, and start main campaign missions, and secondary quests called "Ship Assaults" which gives them cosmetic and customization items, upgrades to the Jackal, as well as new story details. Reyes also has a wrist computer, which allows him to hack into enemies' gadgets and machines such as robots. It can also be used to call in reinforcements at some campaign scenarios. The game also features two new difficulty modes, Specialist and #YOLO, unlockable after initial completion of the campaign. In the former mode, health regeneration does not occur without Nano Shots, and weapons can be shot out from players' hands. Reyes' movement would be hindered if his legs are shot by enemies. In the latter mode, which also implements the same features from Specialist, when players die, they need to restart the game rather than restarting from checkpoints.
Infinite Warfare introduces a major overhaul to the class system called the "Combat Rigs". Similar to the Specialist system in Black Ops III, there are six rigs in total, including Warfighter, Merc, FTL, Stryker, Phantom and Synaptic. All of which have different payloads, weapons, abilities and playstyles. For example, the Synaptic rig is designed for players who prefer to run and gun, while the Phantom rig is suited for players who want to play stealthily. Players can also gain access to several persistent perks, known as "Traits", which give players advantages in combat situations. Additionally, the game retains the chain-based momentum movement system of Black Ops III, allowing players to perform thrust jumps, sliding, and wallrunning.
The game features hundreds of both primary and secondary weapons. Players can gain access to several types of weapons, including traditional ballistic weapons and melee weapons, futuristic energy weapons, and different kinds of grenades, such as the Seeker Grenade and the Black Hole Grenade. Players can add attachments on them to enhance their efficiency. The game also introduces a new weapon crafting system. In a multiplayer match, players earn "Salvage" points, which can be consumed to purchase Prototype Weapons, variants of existing in-game weapons. For each gun, there are four types of prototypes, classified into four groups, namely Common, Rare, Legendary and Epic. All of which grant players gameplay advantages known as the "Gun Perks". Scorestreaks return in Infinite Warfare for players who have earned sufficient points in a match. Scoresteaks offer players perks such as the ability to deploy UAV and counter-UAV, and the ability to summon a R-C8 robot, an armored robot designed to defend the player and kill other opponents.
The game also features a cooperative multiplayer Zombies mode, which has its own gameplay mechanics and story, separate from the campaign. The mode is designed to be more accessible to new players, with new features such as sharing points and teambuy doors, as well as keeping the core gameplay of the mode intact, such as perks and power-ups. A new feature, Fate and Fortune Cards, is introduced similarly to the Gobblegums in Call of Duty: Black Ops III; the cards offer temporary boosts in-game to the players, but unlike Gobblegums they are activated through point earning, and players can select any of the five cards they have equipped at any time. After initial use of five cards, players can refill their card deck for a price up to two times in a match. Unlike the campaign and multiplayer modes, Zombies is not themed in space combat, and retains the normal movement system.
Characters and settings
Infinite Warfare is set in the distant future, after Earth has been stripped of its natural resources as a result of population growth and industrial expansion, prompting the nations of the world to unite together and form the United Nations Space Alliance (UNSA), a political organization that handles matters related to trade, travel, land claims and all efforts relating to human space colonization. The residents of Earth rely on colonies established elsewhere in the Solar System in order to mine planets and asteroids for resources. The value of these outposts, however, attracts militant radicals who seek to control them; an action which could place the countries of Earth in a very unfavorable position. In response, the UNSA is defended by the Solar Associated Treaty Organization (SATO), a coordinated military structure that defends Earth and the UNSA's holdings. However, prior to the events of the game, a new hostile faction emerges, known as the Settlement Defense Front (SDF), which consists of insurgents that broke away from the United Nations Space Alliance during a war of secession. Following years of a troubled stalemate with the Front, relations have deteriorated to a point where the entire Solar System is poised on the brink of war. By the events of the game, the Settlement Defense Front declares war on the UNSA and launches a surprise attack on Geneva, severely weakening SATO's forces on Earth.
As the newly appointed captain of the UNSA Warship Retribution, Commander Nick Reyes (Brian Bloom), a Tier 1 Special Operations pilot of the Special Combat Air Recon (SCAR), is tasked to lead a crew to defeat the Settlement Defense Front on Earth, as well as journey to outer space and across other planets in the system using space-based fighter craft, referred to as Jackals, to stop the Front from taking over the entire Solar System. Assisting Reyes in the fight against the SDF are his mentor Admiral Fredrick Raines (John Marshall Jones), Reyes' wingman Lieutenant Nora Salter (Jamie Gray Hyder), his robot sidekick E3N "Ethan" (Jeffrey Nordling), and the SATO Marines including Staff Sergeant Usef Omar (David Harewood), Corporal Sean Brooks (Jason Barry) and Private Todd Kashima (Eric Ladin). Other notable allies include Retribution Navigator Victor "Gator" Diallo (Omid Abtahi), Tigris warship captain Maureen Ferran (Claudia Christian), and Retribution Chief Engineer Audrey "Mac" MaCallum (Claudia Black). Facing Reyes and his allies in battle is the commander of the starship Olympus Mons, and leader of the SDF, Rear Admiral Salen Kotch (Kit Harington), and his senior commander Akeel Min Riah (Jim Pirri). UFC fighter Conor McGregor makes a cameo appearance as SDF Captain Bradley Fillion, while Formula One racer Lewis Hamilton appears as Retribution Electro-technical Officer Carl Hamilton.
A UNSA special forces team is sent to a secret UNSA weapons research facility on Europa to investigate a SDF attack and recover a prototype weapon before initiating the facility's self-destruct. The team is able to destroy the facility, but fails to recover the weapon and are captured by the SDF, where they are subsequently executed by one of the SDF's main commanders, Admiral Kotch.
On Earth, Reyes warns Admiral Raines that the SDF attack is tantamount to a declaration of war and that the UNSA should be preparing a counterattack. However, Admiral Raines explains that the UNSA's leaders do not want to escalate the situation, especially during the Fleet Week celebrations where the entire UNSA fleet gathers at Geneva. During the celebrations, he links up with his wingman Salter as well as his new robotic subordinate E3N "Ethan". Suddenly, the UNSA's AATIS defense cannons begin to open fire on the UNSA fleet, decimating many ships as an SDF assault force invades Geneva. Reyes manages to fight his way to the AATIS control tower, where he manages to shut down the AATIS cannons and apprehend Riah, the SDF spy responsible for sabotaging them. Reyes then accompanies the surviving UNSA ships into orbit where they destroy the attacking SDF fleet. The SDF's flagship, the Olympus Mons, suddenly arrives and destroys more UNSA ships before it is forced to retreat, leaving only two operational UNSA ships: the carrier Retribution and the destroyer Tigris.
Upon landing on the Retribution, Reyes learns that both the ship's captain and the executive officer were killed in battle, leaving him as the highest-ranking officer of the ship and its de facto captain. Admiral Raines promotes Reyes to commander and then tasks him retaking the cargo port on the Moon from the SDF. After successfully liberating the Moon, Reyes is given the mission to delay the SDF for as long as possible until the UNSA can rebuild its fleet. At this point, Reyes can embark on a number of optional missions to attack key SDF targets. Eventually, Reyes manages to destroy a strategic refueling tower on Titan, crippling the SDF's fuel supply. He is then sent to investigate a disturbance at an asteroid mining station near Mercury, only to find it was a diversion while the SDF destroys the Tigris, leaving the Retribution as the sole remaining UNSA ship. Learning that Riah is carrying a beacon meant to signal the main SDF fleet to invade Earth, Reyes devises a plan to use the beacon to lure the SDF fleet right into the still operational AATIS guns. Unfortunately, the plan goes awry when Riah escapes, destroys the AATIS guns, and kills himself to trigger the beacon. The main SDF arrives and the Olympus Mons destroys UNSA headquarters, killing Admiral Raines.
With no other options, Reyes decides to use the opportunity to board and commandeer the Olympus Mons. He manages to battle his way to the bridge and kill Admiral Kotch. He then has the Olympus Mons travel back to Mars, where he intends to use the ship to destroy the SDF's orbital shipyard and cripple their fleet in return. While the Olympus Mons and Retribution manage to destroy many SDF ships, the Olympus Mons suffers too much damage to use its weapons so Reyes orders it to ram the shipyard. Unfortunately, the Retribution also suffers damage and drifts into Olympus Mons flight path, forcing Reyes to order the ship to divert. Both warships crash onto the surface of Mars with the shipyard still intact.
Realizing that there's no way for them to get back to Earth alive, Reyes rallies the survivors of the Retribution crew and leads them on one final, desperate assault on the shipyard. Most of the surviving crew are killed in the fighting, but Salter manages to commandeer an SDF destroyer. However, its weapons are disabled and the mooring clamps are locked. Ethan sacrifices himself to destroy the moorings while Reyes activates the destroyer's weapons and orders Salter to destroy the station, despite him being on it. Salter reluctantly opens fire, ejecting Reyes into space. His last sight is seeing the SDF shipyard explode before he is killed by flying shrapnel.
Some time later, the UNSA honors Reyes and the Retribution crew's heroic sacrifice, stating that their destruction of the SDF shipyard was a decisive victory. Salter, who is one of the four survivors from the Retribution, salutes a war memorial in Geneva listing the names of all of the UNSA soldiers who died in the conflict, including Reyes.
During the credits, the posthumous recorded messages of some of the deceased Retribution crew may be heard.
Characters and settings
Infinite Warfare Zombies stars Ike Barinholtz, Jay Pharoah, Seth Green and Sasheer Zamata as the main protagonists of the story: A.J., Andre, Poindexter and Sally. They initially appear as aspiring actors, who are trapped inside a horror film by renowned director Willard Wyler (Paul Reubens), where they play out the role of the film's archetype characters.
Zombies in Spaceland, the first map in the game, is set in an '80s movie style theme park, featuring four 80's archetype characters: the Jock, the Rapper, the Nerd and the Valley Girl. Additionally, the four actors encounter an enigmatic DJ in the theme park (David Hasselhoff), who offers to assist them in escaping the movie and ruining Wyler's plan.
Rave in the Redwoods, the first downloadable content map, takes place in a '90s campsite area in the Redwood National and State Parks, where the four actors once again play the role of the era's archetypes: the Hip-Hop Wannabe, the Grunge Rocker, the Kandi Raver and the Westside Gangster. The crew go up against the threat of hundreds of raver kids turned zombies, alongside sasquatches and a chainsaw-wielding Slasher. The map also features the appearance of Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes.
Shaolin Shuffle, the second downloadable content map, takes place in a '70s New York City urban area, featuring disco and punk-themed clubs, a martial arts dojo, as well as sewers and subway stations. The four archetypes are identified as: the Sleazebag, the Street Poet, the Punk Rocker, and the Disco Chick. The map features the appearance of actress Pam Grier as the Sensei who operates the dojo.
Attack of the Radioactive Thing, the third downloadable content map, takes place in a '50s fictional Californian beach area after exposure to a radioactive experiment, and features Cassandra Peterson reprising her role as Elvira, Mistress of the Dark. The four characters take on the archetypes of: the Rebel, the Soldier, the Scientist, and the School Girl.
After decades of elusive retirement, renowned horror director Willard Wyler prepares for his comeback into the movie business. He invites four aspiring actors: A.J., Andre, Poindexter and Sally, to his theater for an audition, but unbeknownst to them, he intends to trap the four inside one of his own movies, "Zombies in Spaceland", using a dark magic ritual. The four actors find themselves in an 80's theme park, dressed as the archetypes of the era. As the four try to survive the oncoming zombie horde, they find unexpected help from famous actor David Hasselhoff, who has also been trapped in this movie for an unknown amount of time as his Knight Rider character Michael Knight. With Hasselhoff's aid, the four actors manage to fend off the undead, much to Wyler's chagrin, and discover a piece of an artifact known as the Soul Key.
As the actors attempt to escape, they instead find themselves in another one of Wyler's films, "Rave in the Redwoods", set in a 90's campsite in the Redwoods parks, where they go up against hordes of undead raver teenagers and sasquatches. As the actors traverse across the campsite, they encounter director Kevin Smith, who has also been trapped here for an amount of time with his friend Jason Mewes, who died prior to the actors' arrival in the film at the hands of a figure called the Slasher. The actors help Kevin recover his memory, and convince him to help them escape the film. However, the group soon uncovers through the memories that Jason, along with various other victims associated with Wyler, was killed by Kevin who was the Slasher all along. Kevin, as he recovers his memories fully, then battles the actors as a giant mutated Slasher, but is defeated.
The actors then retrieve the second piece of the Soul Key, and are immediately warped into Wyler's third film, "Shaolin Shuffle", set in the backdrop of a '70s New York City. The group, now dressed in 70s' apparel, find help from actress Pam Grier, who assists them in fighting Wyler's zombie horde, as well as gives them special martial arts skills and training. The group encounter Arthur McIntosh, a failed businessman who after consuming a mysterious chemical became the Rat King, capable of controlling sewer rats at his will. The actors and Grier battle McIntosh and manage to kill him, while also retrieving the third piece of the Soul Key. The four actors are then teleported into Wyler's fourth film, "Attack of the Radioactive Thing", set in a 1950's beach area affected by a radioactive experiment. The actors encounter horror film hostess Elvira, who is also trapped inside this film, and proceed to assist her in her plan to foil Wyler's scheme. Together, they battle against a combined force of zombies as well as mutant crab-frog fusions and a giant radioactive beast dubbed "Crogzilla". The crew assemble a nuclear bomb and detonate it inside the Crogzilla's belly, blowing it to bits. They then retrieve the fourth piece of the Soul Key inside the Crogzilla's antenna.
The four actors are then teleported into another film, set in outer space.
Development and release
In 2014, Activision announced a three-year development cycle for the Call of Duty series, in which Infinity Ward, Sledgehammer Games and Treyarch would take turns in releasing a Call of Duty video game every year so as to extend each game's development time. Infinite Warfare is the third and the last game in the first cycle, and it is the first video game developed by Infinity Ward since 2013's Call of Duty: Ghosts. Development for the game dates as far back as 2014. According to Infinity Ward, the development team added lots of new ideas to the game, and put emphasis on the game's storytelling. The team chose space as the game's setting as they believed that it can introduce new environments to players. To make the game more realistic, Infinity Ward had consulted several military experts. The team also wants to start an Infinite Warfare sub-series.
In February 2016, Activision announced that Infinity Ward would be the lead developer of 2016's Call of Duty game. Infinite Warfare was officially confirmed by Activision when they announced that the company would not have a booth at E3 2016, and that their products would be shown through their partner, Sony Interactive Entertainment. Activision teased the game with a video, titled "Know Your Enemy", and a new ending for Black Ops III's "Nuk3town" map, which shows a giant airship on top of the map. The game was leaked via PlayStation Store on April 26, and the first trailer was revealed unofficially via Hulu prior to the game's official announcement.
In May 2016, Activision released the official announcement trailer for the game, a week after they trademarked the name of the game. The trailer of the game was officially revealed through a live-stream on Twitch. As part of the reveal, Activision ran a social media game using a Facebook chat bot, which tasks the player to decode a message. A remastered version of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, entitled Modern Warfare Remastered, was released on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC alongside Infinite Warfare, only available with the purchase of either the Legacy, Digital Deluxe or Legacy Pro edition of Infinite Warfare. The first public piece of gameplay for the Infinite Warfare campaign was revealed as a trailer during the Sony press conference at E3 2016. A gameplay video of the "Black Sky" campaign mission was revealed at San Diego Comic-Con on July 21, 2016. Also revealed was the "Terminal" map pre-order bonus for customers who pre-ordered Infinite Warfare.
In August 2016, Activision sent mysterious metal packages to YouTubers in the Call of Duty community. Each came with a combination lock and a countdown timer. A code was sent to all recipients to open the boxes once the timer reached 1 minute. Each box contained a variety of 80's-themed apparel, plus a cassette player and a VHS tape, which contained the reveal trailer for Zombies in Spaceland. An HD version of the trailer was released hours after, along with a reveal of the game's new mechanics, as well as the "Zombies in Spaceland" bonus preorder pack, which contains a weapon camouflage, an animated player card, as well as a "Fate and Fortune Card Pack" for use in the Zombies mode. The official reveal of Infinite Warfare's multiplayer mode took place during the Call of Duty XP 2016 convention, which was held in early September 2016.
A multiplayer beta for people who pre-ordered the PlayStation 4 version of the game began on October 14. An Xbox One beta began on October 21, and the PC version did not have a beta. The beta concluded on October 24.
Players who purchased the season pass, whether it be separately or with certain special editions of the game, were to receive all four DLC packs for Infinite Warfare, released in four different waves during 2017, for a slightly discounted price (compared to that of all DLC packs purchased separately). Season pass holders were to also receive 1,000 Salvage credits, the game's in-game currency, and 10 rare quality supply drops at the game's launch. The first DLC pack, named Sabotage, was available to PS4 players on January 31, 2017, and to Xbox One and PC players on March 2, 2017. The pack includes the new Zombies map Rave in the Redwoods, as well as four new multiplayer maps: Noir, Renaissance, Neon, and Dominion (remade from the MW2 map Afghan).In addition to map packs, Infinite Warfare also feature announcer voice packs, replacing the regular voice over in multiplayer with other voices. A voice pack called "UK Special Forces" was released for free to all players, featuring the voice of actor Craig Fairbrass (also known for his role as Gaz in Modern Warfare, Ghost in Modern Warfare 2, Wallcroft in Modern Warfare 3, and Tee in Infinite Warfare). Other voice packs feature various celebrities, including rapper Method Man, YouTuber Ozzy Man Reviews, and comedian Ken Jeong.
Upon release of the initial trailer, the game was heavily criticized by the community for being too futuristic. The consensus held was that this had stemmed from frustration with the current direction of the franchise, as consecutive installments released in the past few years had been set in future settings and narratives. In response to the criticism, Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg stated that he knew "that there are people in our community who are nostalgic for the boots-on-the-ground-style gameplay... [but]... we also have millions of people in our community who want to have new innovative experiences in the game each year and Infinite Warfare is going to deliver that." He also claimed that Call of Duty: Black Ops II, whose trailer also received multiple dislikes, would go on to become the best-selling Call of Duty game at the time. As of November 25, 2016[ref], the trailer has received more than 3.5 million dislikes and is the second most disliked video on YouTube. However, it is currently the second most liked Call of Duty trailer to date, behind Call of Duty: WWII.
Despite its pre-release criticism, Infinite Warfare was named Best Shooter at E3 by Game Informer. At the 2016 Game Critics Awards for the best of E3, the game was nominated for Best Action Game, but lost to rival game Battlefield 1.
|This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (November 2016)|
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare received "generally favorable" reviews for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, while the PC version received "mixed or average" reviews, according to review aggregator Metacritic. Critics praised the story, Zombie mode, visuals, and content, whilst criticizing its multiplayer for a lack of innovation.
Infinite Warfare sold 1.8 million copies in its first week and became the top selling title on the UK sales charts. However, overall sales were down 50% compared to 2015's Call of Duty: Black Ops III. Activision was reported to be expecting sales to be down due to the fact that Infinite Warfare was going to be a "new sub-series" and that the Black Ops name carried brand weight with it. Activision reported in February 2017 that the game missed their sales expectations with one of the reasons cited being that the game "didn't resonate with fans".
|2016||Game Critics Awards 2016||Best Action Game||Nominated|||
|2017||15th Annual Visual Effects Society Awards||Outstanding Visual Effects in a Real-Time Project||Nominated|||
|Outstanding Animated Performance in an Episode or Real-Time Project|
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