I have something to admit: I’m not the most hardcore “Call of Duty” player around. Sure, I’ve thoroughly played and enjoyed several games in the series over the years (the original “Modern Warfare” is an all-time great), but these days I skip out on them unless they look super great.
You definitely won’t find me complaining about hit detection and fire rate on Reddit anytime soon.
Still, when an opportunity arose to try out the multiplayer beta for “Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare” over the weekend, I gladly accepted it. Unfortunately, based on my limited time with the game, I’m not so sure this new title will be one of the best in the series.
Movement options feel more limited than in the recent past.
I think I’m in a bit of a minority here among “Call of Duty” fans, but 2014’s “Advanced Warfare” was some of the most fun I’ve ever had in the series. In that game, you could use jet boosters to double jump and boost dash in any direction.
After unlocking a perk that allowed me to sprint while aiming my gun, I would swiftly zip around each of the game’s maps and dispatch fools using close-range, rapid-fire submachine guns. It ruled.
Last year’s “Black Ops III” offered jetpack hovering and wall-running instead, which I didn’t like very much! Sadly, “Infinite Warfare” basically does the same thing, but this time it feels a bit slower and heavier.
I guess it’s fine if the developers want more of an emphasis on boots-on-the-ground gameplay, but since this game takes place further in the future than it ever has before, I want it to feel more outlandish. At the very least, it should feel markedly different from last year’s game, but I don’t think it does.
The few maps available in the beta aren’t especially well-designed.
I would be able to deal with the less-fun movement abilities if the maps took advantage those abilities. Based on what I’ve seen in the beta, though, they don’t do a great job of that.
One of the problems I had in my short time with last year’s “Black Ops III” was that I would routinely use my jetpack to ascend to the roof of a building, only to find an invisible wall blocking me from standing on the roof. The same thing happened to me on multiple occasions in the “Infinite Warfare” beta.
Why give me vertical movement capabilities if places that I can easily access using those abilities aren’t actually accessible? These maps don’t need to be enormous and sprawling, but with the way they’re designed, there’s a fundamental disconnect between what I feel like I should be able to do versus what I’m actually able to do.
This could be fixed with natural barriers, barbed wire or any other visual indicator that these roofs and ledges aren’t accessible.
There are some pretty obvious wall-running points, but in the handful of matches I played, I didn’t see much of a reason to use them. I won’t knock the game for that outright until I’ve played more, but right now, the implementation of wall-running doesn’t seem great, either.
Due to the game’s online setup, it can often feel unfair.
- YouTube/Call of Duty
“Call of Duty” has always used something called “lag compensation” to make its online multiplayer work. Without getting too technical, that basically means what you see on your screen is often not exactly the same as what happens according to the game’s server.
This is a necessary part of online multiplayer in games, but it has its disadvantages, too. In “Call of Duty,” firefights between two players usually last no longer than about three seconds, so if there’s a disconnect between what you saw and what the server saw, it can be noticeable.
“Infinite Warfare” seemingly suffers from this more than I’ve ever noticed from one of these games before. More often than not, I felt like I needed four or five shots to kill someone, while I would die after one or two.
I’ve always noticed this in “Call of Duty” games, but it feels especially egregious in “Infinite Warfare.” A quick glance at the game’s official subreddit confirms that other players are noticing this, too.
Put simply, it just isn’t fun to feel like other players are more powerful than you, even though that’s not actually what is happening. When the replay of your death looks completely different from what you saw in the moment, it doesn’t feel like you have a fair chance.