After spending what little free time I’ve had this weekend playing the Call of Duty Infinite Warfare beta, it’s got me wondering where the popular first person shooter will go in the future. With 3 different development teams churning out games with a futuristic setting, I wonder if a journey back in time is on the cards.First let me give you my view on Call of Duty Infinite Warfare’s multiplayer beta. Ever since that disastrous reveal trailer, I thought that Infinity Ward had done quite well at turning things around and making it look interesting. We’ll have to wait and see how the story pans out but we have a good idea what the multiplayer has in store for us.
Things start off well with a nice fresh looking menu and catchy music in the background and I like the intro we get from the scary looking man of authority. The load out screen is familiar and easy to use and finding a game is nice and quick.
I really enjoyed my first few hours with the game and liked how my victims bodies on one map would float away but as I started to spend more time with it I got that sinking feeling.
In short, it’s not very good. The gunplay doesn’t feel good at all and I’m not entirely convinced they’re well balanced. Sniping is so easy it’s ridiculous. You’ll soon get annoyed with quickscoping (which is quite easy) and the map design is poor. The problem is that with the double jumping and wall running they try to create maps to cater for those features and they just don’t work. Terminal plays awful compared to how it did originally.
I have a feeling there will be few people playing Infinite Warfare when they have Call of Duty 4 instead. Of course it is just a beta and things may well be much improved come release and I fear it will be my task to find out so watch this space (see what I did there).
In contrast, Battlefield 1 has broken from its modern warfare setting and has headed back to The Great War. People are complimenting this decision and and Dice have done a great job in portraying World War 1. People are calling for Call of Duty to learn from this and go back to either modern day warfare or perhaps even to a conflict in history.
With each Call of Duty developer having a 3 year cycle, it’s unclear whether this would be possible in time for next year’s release unless they planned to do it anyway but it’s clear to me that future warfare in Call of Duty has no future. The wall running and ridiculous jumping spoils any gunplay that made the old Call of Duty’s so fun. I want the guns to be the star of the show not some mech or robot dog. Give me a generic character and give me some guns with personality.
Call of Duty 2, the Modern Warfare series and World at War all had great guns that felt rewarding and different. The AK47 in Call of Duty 4 for example wasn’t the best by any means but boy was it fun to use and rewarding to do well with.
The simple perks in the earlier games especially felt like they gave you more than enough options and the kill streaks weren’t too deciding (although the nuke was just a stupid idea, thank God they’d never dream of reintroducing that again *sarcasm)
Sales of the futuristic Call of Duty’s have been healthy but they have been declining. With the remaster of Modern Warfare, I hope that people see how good the game can be when your feet are planted firmly on the ground and more than anything I hope the future buggers off into the past.
With 3 developers working on the series there’s more than enough resources to cover past and present settings and if they can finally get the game engine updated then maybe we will see Call of Duty being taken seriously again by the fans they’ve lost along the way.
So is there a future for a futuristic Call of Duty? Not in its current form. You can portray a futuristic setting without messing with your core gunplay and without resorting to ridiculous jet packs and what not. If they stop each development team from working in the same era then the series will feel fresher each year. I hope Call of Duty can find its form again one day but for now at least I think Activision will need remasters of the veteran games to keep people interested.