Activision hosted a small presentation prior to the E3 festivities during which company representatives revealed some never-before-seen gameplay from Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. Half of the presentation was taken up a demonstration of Ship Assault mission, but the other demo exhibited a different, more grounded side of the game.
In the world of Infinite Warfare, countries have expanded their influences into space in the race to obtain resources. As with any global competition, conflict follows not far behind. The Settlement Defense Front is the antagonistic force of the game, a hostile paramilitary organization with the intentions of using force to move in on countries’ supply of resources. Responding to the aggression, the UNSA—similar to the today’s United Nations—holds a military convention in Geneva to demonstrate to the people of the world that everything is under control. This does not go according to plan, as protagonist Lieutenant Reyes and his squad of fellow soldiers are caught amidst an all-out attack.
As Reyes pushes through the city, we are given an idea of how combat plays out when zero gravity isn’t involved. Fans will find the core gunplay very reminiscent of older titles where fast-paced run and gunning is often the most viable option. While it wasn’t demonstrated, it has been confirmed that the game will include a booster-assisted traversal system, similar to that in Call of Duty: Black Ops III. This will supplement the player’s ability to get around for much of the campaign, though maneuvers like sliding and peeking around corners are reportedly consistently available. According to developers, the ability to double-jump and wall-run were absent in the demo due to the soldiers being ill-equipped for a surprise attack. Other mechanics were on display over the course of the mission, however, including a new breaching system that allows players to “pie” a room for a more deliberate clear or just bust in guns blazing. Another new feature is the ability to call for support. This can manifest as a number of different tactical advantages, but the demo featured the summoning of a Jackal fighter ship to unload on a cluster of enemies.
Weaponry was flashy in design but was functionally very similar to the firearms and explosives players are currently accustomed to. There was some intrigue to be found in equipment, like the new Seeker drone that scuttles across the ground like a spider before blowing up its target or a new shotgun that locks each individual buckshot pellet to a weak point on the enemy when looking down the sights, but weapon variety doesn’t seem like a selling point so far. More interesting was the ability to hack enemy mechs that was used later on in the demo. The player only used the ability to self-destruct the mech and blow up the ship it was riding in, but if it also translates to full combative control over certain enemies, it could pose some major advantages.
It seems the Ship Assault mission demo allowed developer Infinity Ward ultimately best make its point. Features such as a grappling hook and zero-gravity combat seem to bring something new to the formula while the Geneva mission didn’t quite support the same impact. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare is launching November 4th on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.