8 Things I Learned About Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
By Matthew Arcilla
At this year’s Electronic Sports and Gaming Summit (ESGS), I received an invitation to attend Sony’s press event, where they would be talking to us about two of the biggest titles that will be coming to PlayStation before the end of this year. One of those titles happened to be Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare.
The thirteenth in the main sequence of Call of Duty releases, it takes players to the future of armed conflict: space. While reactions towards Infinite Warfare have been mixed, going to space is the logical next step in a game that has featured combat exoskeletons and drone warfare. Here are some of the most interesting things we learned about the game.
8. The score is composed by Sarah Schachner
Designers, artists and writers behind games aren’t always recognized by name or face. But the nerdier of us may recognize Schachner’s music from Assassin’s Creed: Unity. Schachner got her start in games doing compositions and arrangements with the famed Brian Tyler. Together they created the moody score of Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag and the haunting rhythms of Far Cry 3. Her score for Infinite Warfare teases similar emotions but with an added touch of melancholy and alienation.
7. There are side quests. No really.
The price of freedom is eternal vigilance. A futuristic space carrier like the UNSA Retribution isn’t just a fancy place to have cut scenes. It can travel the solar system and allow you to go on side quests. This incorporates an element of progression, ordinarily reserved for the multiplayer, into the campaign. Side missions not only expand the setting of Infinite Warfare, but will feed players with a hunger for unlocks.
6. Sometimes you’re in a space dogfight.
Sometimes you’ll be launching into a galaxy of rebels from inside a cockpit. That’s right, some operations see you piloting a Jackal, an interstellar jet, as you dogfight into action. Combat remains a “boots on the ground” experience, but sometimes that means blasting your way through enemies before touching down on the surface of an enemy battleship. That’s some elite level danger there.
5. Influences come from surprising places.
When asked about the games they have the opportunity to play and learn from, Monacelli cited the importance of lessons from “the Battlefields and Titanfalls of the world.” He also mentioned Wing Commander, the narrative-heavy space combat simulator from the early 90s, being a key influence on the design of Infinite Warfare. “We try and play as many games as possible and get a good sense of what’s going on out there and what other people are doing,”
4. It’s about leadership and taking command.
While the player controlled protagonist has always had a pivotal role in the narrative of any Call of Duty game, Monacelli emphasized that more than past entries, leadership would be a central theme to Infinite Warfare. This doesn’t mean you’ll be playing a Mass Effect style squad shooter, but players will experience the responsibilities and burdens of command.
3. Lead actor Brian Bloom also worked on the script
With an extensive resume of voice credits to his name, you might remember Brian Bloom’s voice from XCOM 2, Dragon Age: Inquisition, StarCraft II and Wolfenstein: The New Order. So it’s no surprise they called upon Bloom’s raspy yet authoritative voice to play the lead role of Lieutenant Nick Reyes. But the truth is that Bloom first came on board Infinite Warfare as a writer. It’s not his first stint as a writer though: Bloom also penned the screenplay for 2010’s The A-Team.
2. The Retribution is a human place filled with diversity.
The Retribution serves as your base of operations during the campaign. I asked Monacelli what distinguishes the massive carrier from other hubs like The Paladin from Splinter Cell: Blacklist and The Normandy from Mass Effect. “We really leaned into our Navy meets NASA aesthetic,” said Monacelli. “Assumptions get shattered when you see the real thing, like a nineteen year old woman piloting the warship instead of some big dude. That kind of diversity reflects the reality of armed service.”
1. To Infinity and beyond…
There have been four games in the Black Ops storyline, and three Modern Warfare games. I asked Monacelli about a possible sub series future for Infinite Warfare. “We created this great world, but it’ll be three years before we’re up again,” Monacelli said, referring to the cycle that sees Infinity Ward taking turns on the franchise with Treyarch and Sledgehammer Games. “When that happens, we very much want to continue it.”
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