I will admit that I am a Call of Duty fan. In the gaming world it’s “cool” to hate Call of Duty due to its massive popularity, but I don’t care. Every year I get excited for the new game, and every holiday I find myself engulfed in the yearly release during my vacation time. The upcoming Infinite Warfare has found a way to impress me with a sci-fi expansion. That all being said, this year’s Infinite Warfare needs to see a substantial face lift from the current beta, or people will either return to Modern Warfare, or another game in the series.
Let me get a few things out of the way. I don’t mind the futuristic tone, I actually find that the most appealing part of the new game. Black Ops 2 originally jumped this gun and everybody loved it, so did I, but then the entire franchise started going in that direction. Personally who cares, it’s better than the same “modern” shooter all the time.
Second I don’t mind the jumping mechanics Advanced Warfare brought us. Advanced Warfare was a bit fast at times, but it was fun. The gameplay was fluent. I personally prefer what Black Ops 3 did because the jumping around wasn’t as flamboyant. Black Ops 3 actually corrected a lot of things for me with proper level design, and polished features. People might disagree because this is Call of Duty so we always need to complain, right?
Well that’s why I addressed my previous thoughts on games because I’m not your typical “automatically hate everything COD!!!” person. That’s not me. I tend to love them. And yet I’m not loving the Infinite Warfare beta. At all.
The game shoots way into the future, yet mechanically is backwards.
If you didn’t like Advanced Warfare, you probably enjoyed Black Ops 3 more. Why? Because Black Ops 3 toned down the Advanced Warfare mechanics quite a bit and gave you more of a “hover” instead of straight up darting through the air everywhere. You were set to jump on walls, run against walls, or quick jump out of harms way. Advanced Warfare was more of a “rooftop” game, with people jumping and darting all over the place. Both are fun in their own way, right?
Well Infinite Warfare is supposed to be even further technologically advanced, and yet it isn’t. The game seems to take mechanics from Black Ops 3 and weigh you down even further. The game feels clunky because of it. The maps are very enclosed for the most part, which means the game is focusing heavily on keeping you grounded. My opinion, why not just outright keep people grounded?
Then there are areas where you are free, the sky is the limit, and you have people darting all over the place like Advanced Warfare. The only problem is that they have the momentum and are damn near impossible to shoot, unless you happen to have a perfect connection for that specific match. It’s a lot like the old glitch where people would fall prone and become untouchable for that second animation. I don’t know if it’s the mechanics, or increased lag compensation, but it makes the game feel unfair and a lot of people are noticing it. This is a beta after all so an issue like this will likely be addressed, I’m just curious which area is the problem. The connections, or the gameplay?
Still the mechanics feel very “off” when I go from Black Ops 3 to Infinite Warfare. Personally I’ve been straight up jumping into walls simply trying to wall run. In Black Ops 3 I have no issues, I even did it on accident a lot. In Infinite Warfare I’ve yelled at my character to simply grab a ledge, which just so happens to be 10 feet too high. I’ve smashed the crouch button trying to slide out of danger. It just doesn’t flow right at all.
Speaking of Maps
Speaking of the maps, they are designed to try and force feed these mechanics on you. The ledges, as I stated, are all pushed up extra high just because you have the ability to jump higher. Which is fine, but it kind of ruins the running and peeking corners mechanic. Why do we need to leap up a 10-foot wall while INSIDE a building that basically prevents you from doing it everywhere else?
The game limits you yet gives you the idea of freedom. In Advanced Warfare you could basically go anywhere you could reach. In Black Ops 3 you could leap to a roof, but be physically banned from being up there. In Infinite Warfare you are constantly blocked from everything, then in small areas you are told “yeah go ahead and jump up there, but don’t go too far” because the barrier is there again.
The maps overall simply discourage using the abilities, which again makes me ask why offer them? There is an ability to create a futuristic shooter, but remain grounded, and that’s what IW does best. Yet it seems like the BO3 mechanics were absolutely necessary, and because of it the level design severely suffered.
Outside of the mechanics it is nice that the game has returned to a “3 level” design, but there are too many tight areas, with people camping them already. You also need to learn spawn points fast otherwise you will get shot in the back, a lot. This could just be the learning curve COD typically has, who knows. I’ll give it a go again this weekend to see how things change.
Now again this is a beta so we are simply testing things and by no means am I judging the final game, but clearly there are some areas to be worked on. I love Call of Duty and will most likely be playing this, so I hope if anything gets addressed it is the lag compensation combined with the lack of hit recognition while jumping around. I think other areas such as the weighty Black Ops 3 mechanics will slowly adjust over time. In fact we could potentially see some major changes in mechanics this upcoming weekend when the beta re opens.
On the positive side the game looks great, and groundwise it plays great too. I’m loving the weapon balance and the perk balance all throughout the game. Nothing specific feels too underwhelming, or overpowered. There is a tactical advantage to using different classes in the different maps they provided, and each map seems to offer a different experience.
This is the nice thing about the maps. In one instance you have a somewhat “classic” COD experience with BO3 mechanics, while another map will feel more like Advanced Warfare with wide open spaces and speed. Then you also need to react with your loadout accordingly, or you might fall behind real fast. I think if the game had a better connection for me, with less lag, I’d be really enjoying it. So I am looking forward to the upcoming beta weekend and seeing the tweaks they provide.