Ever since the original Call of Duty debuted on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC way back in October of 2003, players everywhere have been fully immersed in intense multiplayer battles set across various fictional and historically accurate time periods. While combat has evolved from a traditional World War II setting to a more futuristic, tech-inspired battlefield, the core objectives and aesthetics have and will always remain the same.
During COD XP 2016, Infinity Ward finally lifted the veil off of their upcoming multiplayer mode for Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. The presentation consisted of a detailed overview of the entire multiplayer experience and hands-on time with the shooter. Below is more information on what’s changed this year along with my thoughts on why this very well may be one of the best multiplayer offerings of 2016.
The core vision behind Infinite Warfare‘s multiplayer starts with a renewed focus on the player. Lead Multiplayer Designer Joe Cecot emphasized that their goal was to redefine the gameplay experience by giving players unique playstyles through the use of 6 combat rigs. Combat Rigs are referred to as combat systems/suits with traits and 3 payloads consisting of 1 weapon and 2 abilities. Here is a quick list of all of the combat rigs currently in the game.
Merc – Defensive specialist who uses heavy covering fire in combat.
FTL – Guerrilla Warfare expert who uses experimental technology.
Stryker – Squad support generalist for the team.
Warfighter – Mobile mid-range specialist and your traditional COD fighter.
Phantom – Long-range sniper who can use concealment to avoid detection.
Synaptic – CQC expert who uses speed and agility to dispose of enemies quickly.
In addition to the combat rigs, players will also be able to craft weapons and use new lethal equipment against their adversaries. A new currency system called Salvage will allow players to craft prototype weapons over time. Ballistic and energy directed weapons will have multifunctional capabilities and teach players the value of conserving ammo. Lastly, the addition of lethal and tactical equipment like exploding drones will give players more ways to annihilate enemies on-the-fly without having to switch weapons.
The secondary aspect to making multiplayer meaningful lies within the evolution of the atmosphere where battles take place. For this reason, maps have been designed to accommodate for fast combat time, head-to-head engagement and varied layout designs for high replayability. Newer maps set within the campaign’s Solar System add a fresh dose of excitement to the typical COD multiplayer formula and will certainly change the way some perceive the game. Fans can also expect classic multiplayer modes to return along with new modes like Defender which is briefly highlighted in the multiplayer overview video embedded above.
After spending roughly 45 minutes of hands-on time with this title, I can confirm that the combat rigs are better than advertised. While many will make valid points in saying that too much was borrowed from Black Ops III multiplayer to influence this game, the fact of the matter is that both the payloads and traits from each rig type are insanely deep and fun to explore. When you take a dynamic like this and implement customization into the mix, you’ve successfully given the player more freedom to do things than ever before. I can definitely see Destiny 2 and other future first-person shooters incorporating this aggressive customization practice into their own projects to increase replay value for the long haul.
Another aspect that I walked away pleasantly surprised from was the effectiveness of the energy weapons. These modernized and highly experimental weapons may appear to be overpowered on the surface, but they actually require skill and finesse to use correctly. As I mentioned earlier, conserving ammunition and energy is extremely vital for combat and the developers have promised to showcase creative ways to reload and re-energize weapons. This firm commitment to detail certainly shows just how important multiplayer is to the team and will greatly benefit each and every player later.
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare multiplayer is really shaping up to be something truly special this year. With a strong emphasize on redefining both the player and playspace, Infinity Ward may be well on their way to making a standout entry in the series. You can try multiplayer out for yourself when the beta debuts on PS4 first starting on October 14th.
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare launches worldwide on November 4th for PS4, Xbox One and PC. Are any of you looking forward to trying out the game? Please feel free to let us know in the comments section below.