Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Beta Impressions – Infinite Ops
While we already have impressions from Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare’s multiplayer from Call of Duty XP, I couldn’t resist offering my thoughts on the Infinite Warfare beta given how much I liked Black Ops 3 (I even reached Master Prestige in it).
During the two-weekend beta tests, I managed to reach level 16 with most of my game time spent on team deathmatch (TDM) and Domination — two of Call of Duty’s most popular game modes. Unfortunately, the matchmaking encountered issues during the beta, which I’m not really going to touch on since it’s, well, a beta, and this is exactly what’s expected..
Rigged to Dominate
New to Infinite Warfare are Combat Rigs; Infinity Ward’s version of Black Ops 3’s “Specialists,” which gave players an extra way to dominate. In Infinite Warfare, these has been hiked up a few notches, and each Combat Rig offered an active ability (usually a weapon or way to effectively kill enemies more than guns), and a passive skill that, depends on the Rig, can either be subtle, or give you a big benefit. I won’t talk about the different kinds of Combat Rigs (you can check in the video below), but rather, how it affects the gameplay.
Using mostly the Synaptic “Reaper” ability (the one where he becomes a robo dog and can one-hit kill enemies via melee), I was able to string together a bunch of kills most of time; to the point that it felt a little unfair given how you can move faster while in dog mode. Using the War Fighter’s “Bull Charge” ability where the character holds up a shield and barrels ahead killing everyone in its path, I was able to do the same thing, but to a lesser extent. While the abilities are supposed to be overpowered ways of disposing enemies, the fact that there’s no counter to a few of them (so far in the beta), is a bit of a cause for concern. That Bull Charge literally has the player just whip it out lickety-split, and use it to ram enemies dead. There’s no sound or animation indicating that he’s out to do it.
I haven’t tried the other Combat Rigs, but there’s six of them, and with each one having different Payloads (offensive abilities) and Traits (passive ability), players will bound to find one to their liking.
Stick and Move
Coming from Black Ops 3, movement was a bit of a mixed bag in the Infinite Warfare beta. On one hand, you can essentially do everything that you can do in Black Ops 3 (wallrunning, sliding, etc.), but at a slower and “stickier” pace. Thrusters don’t recharge as fast compared to Black Ops 3, jumping, wallruns and such feel a tad slower as well, which might be an improvement to those who thought BO3’s movement system was too fast.
My take on it as someone who’s played BO3’s religiously? The movement is a bit clunkier and slower; like your jumps aren’t as high, your slides not as long. Again, these are things that people might like, and there is the chance that Infinity Ward will tweak it at release.
Aside from that, controls remain relatively the same. Fast, responsive, and the buttons do the same thing they do for every iteration of the franchise. Payloads for the Combat Rigs are triggered by pressing L1 and R1 simultaneously much like BO3’s Specialist abilities.
Possibly the biggest sore sport, at least for me, in the Infinite Warfare beta were the maps. I wasn’t expecting the same three-lane design that Treyarch does for all of its multiplayer maps, but at the same time, I expected a design flow to it. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the case from the maps we’ve seen in the beta. The maps available were Frost, Frontier, Throwback and Precinct and Terminal (a remake from Modern Warfare 2). Out of the lot, Precinct might be the only one I felt had any sense of focus, and felt like I was playing on even ground given its long lanes had cover, there were perches, manageable chokepoints and so on.
Throwback had a (kind of) symmetrical design, but its long corridors favored snipers (which I’ll touch on in a bit) heavily, while Frost might be the one I liked the least given how everything felt so random in its structure.
Maybe it’s just me not learning the maps enough, but every one of them seemed to have too many entrances and lanes that getting shot in the back is a super common occurrence. Mind, this works both ways, as I’ve lost count how many times I’ve spawned and saw an enemy whose back I was facing. It’s cheap ridding an enemy this way, and it’s doubly annoying when you’re on the receiving end.
Of course, there is the chance that the rest of the maps at launch could be well designed, but based on what I’ve played, the initial lot we’ve seen aren’t that impressive.
You’re in My Scope!
Unfortunately, my time with the beta met one big snag that persisted, and that’s quickscoping. For those unfamiliar with the term, quickscoping is when someone uses a sniper rifle to scope in to see the target, fire, and scope out. It’s essentially making the sniper rife, which is usually a one-shot kill weapon, a long range shotgun.
While one can argue that quickscoping has been in every Call of Duty game, I surmise I’ve been quickscoped more times in the beta alone than I was in the entire time I played BO3. It was prevalent that I usually saw 1-2 players quickscoping per match during the last weekend, and even met a team of 30+ rank (max rank in the beta) that were ALL quickscoping. Not sure about you, but that’s not my bag. Sure, am I just someone that needs to “git gud” at it? Maybe. But checking responses online in forums, Reddit and even social media, it’s not just me. Don’t believe me? Even YouTube Call of Duty “influencer” Drift0r mentioned it in one of his videos.
Another thing that might or might not be a cause for concern are Infinite Warfare’s new crafting system and “Weapon Variants.” These weapons are classified as standard, rare, legendary and epic; with the legendary and epic variants having some crazy attributes (like having an extra shotgun attachment to your SMG, getting a portion of your life back after a kill, and so on).
Players will be able to earn them by — you guessed it — Supply Drops. Those who know how Supply Drops worked out in BO3, might feel a little iffy with the direction this is headed and I don’t blame you. There’s a strong whiff of those willing to spend having better weapons than you do (not really pay-to-win), which is something that most players will take umbrage to — and rightfully so.
Hopefully, it won’t be as bad as it initially seems.
Coming in Hot
While Infinite Warfare’s gunplay feels similar to past Call of Duty games, there is such a thing as being a bit too familiar. In this case, it’s to Black Ops 3. Of course having said that, bear in mind though, this is a beta and as such, some things will surely change come release. It’s just a matter of which stuff will change and how much.
Infinite Warfare might not be blazing new pathways just yet, and sure, there’s a few issues in the beta, but it is a beta, so there’s that. It does bring that familiar Call of Duty adrenaline rush of killing enemies, unlocking stuff, killing MORE enemies and then unlocking MORE stuff, which most people can’t resist.
Will Infinity Ward be able to flesh out some of the little niggles come launch? We’ll know for sure when Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare releases on the PS4, Xbox One and PC this November 4.