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Hands-On with Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare’s Multiplayer Beta

"Things aren't looking so hot for Infinity Ward's return to Call of Duty"

Another year, another Call of Duty beta enters players’ lives reminding us the holiday season is just around the corner. The upcoming entry Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare has stirred up major controversy on the internet for sticking to its futuristic setting. With this beta, Infinite Warfare has the chance to show players its most important mode: competitive multiplayer. After diving deep into the mode, I left unimpressed with what Infinite Warfare has to offer.

As expected, the beta focuses on the game’s multiplayer. After a day of server issues, the beta opened up and allowed players to try out the available game modes. Team Deathmatch and Domination make a return and allow players to test one of three new maps. Along with the familiar, players can also check out the newest mode, Defender, in which players defend a drone from the enemy team. Defender blends in well with the game mode roster, but isn’t as exciting as the classics.

A glimpse at what lobbies looked like during the first day.
A glimpse at what lobbies looked like during the first day.

Players also have access to the full customization and loadouts that come with multiplayer. Each player gets to choose one of the three available Combat Rigs to use during a match. Think of Combat Rigs as the different classes, each with their own special skills and abilities. The Warfighter rig focuses on mid-ranged combat. The Merc rig focuses on heavy weapons and defense. Lastly, the Synaptic rig focuses on close-quarters-combat with a heavy emphasis on speed.

Each rig has their own special Payloads. Payloads are abilities that are activated after a set amount of time (Like supers in Destiny). For instance, the Warfighter has Claw, which gives the player a weapon that fires rounds that ricochet off of walls. The Merc has Steel Dragon, a weapon that fires a stream that can hurt multiple targets. Synaptics have Rewind, which rewinds their position and health (Like Tracer from Overwatch). Along with Payloads, each rig also has a trait that acts as a passive ability. For instance, Mercs have Infusion, which lets them regen health faster, while Synaptics have Combat Burst that gives them a speed boost after each kill. Each rig has several Payloads and Traits for players to choose from, allowing for different options in combat.


Two Mission Teams, JTF Wolverines and Orion Initiative, were showcased enlisting players into special missions. These Mission Teams act as factions, offering added missions during matches. Completing these missions will rank up Mission Teams and earn players special rewards and cosmetics items. Infinite Warfare also features a loot system. Using keys earned from matches, players can purchase loot crates for a chance to unlock special weapons or call signs.

After spending the last few days with Infinite Warfare’s beta, I left the experience with a sour taste in my mouth. Everything “new” can be found in games already out. It’s disappointing because it feels like there was no effort into shaking up the formula. Advanced Warfare added exosuits to speed up gameplay making the series feel fresh. Infinite Warfare does nothing as drastic and uses its old assets expecting players to just sit and accept it. I played a good amount of Advanced Warfare until I put it down, but Infinite Warfare just didn’t provide that same effect. I played and played and played and it felt just like playing Advanced Warfare or Black Ops III. Nothing drastically new that players haven’t already seen in a Call of Duty game before.


After a few matches, I sighed, wishing the match would lose connection so I wouldn’t have to play anymore. If this is what’s to expect in the final product, then Infinite Warfare doesn’t have a bright future ahead of it.

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