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December 07, 2016

Call of Duty Infinite Warfare Review


Reviewed By: KVR

Developed By: Infinity Ward

Published By: Activision

Platforms: PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4

Genre: First-Person Shooter    


Violence: (7)

--Multiple soldiers are gunned down, stabbed, thrown and bludgeoned. Sprays of blood are shown, with the game going into slow-motion in order to depict bullets flying through bodies, leaving ribbons of blood and with realistic sound effects.

Laser weapons, rocket launchers and high-powered weapons are wielded against soldiers, causing them to explode into a large splash of blood and gore, leaving nothing but a large pool of blood. Players can also use a "Seeker" grenade, a small robot programmed to latch onto foes and destroy them with a large explosion. We briefly see the victim struggling against the robot's grasp, before being sliced into pieces by the ensuing explosion.

Players stab, slice and skewer enemies with knives. The action is depicted in close-up, with blood spilling from the enemy's throat and gurgling is heard. In more sci-fi sequences, the player can detach an enemy's helmet in the middle of space, causing them to choke to death. We briefly see them struggle and go limp.

Non-personal combat is also featured, with players climbing in vehicles and destroying other vehicles with missiles and machine guns, with explosions, debris and wreckage depicted. (7)

--Humanoid robots form a large part of combat. Explosions and surges of electricity are shown upon firing at them, with their limbs being torn off in combat. (5)

Storyline Violence:

--A robot crushes a wounded man's skull, with another doing the same on another wounded soldier. We see their heads exploding and blood splattering on the ground. This happens quickly. (8)

--A man stabs himself in the abdomen, with crunching sound effects heard and blood seeping out. The screen fades to black and we see him holding a device which he pulled out from his body. Blood pools out beneath the device. (8)

--In the very first scene of the game, the player drops down on an enemy soldier from a height, slamming him into the ground, and then stabbing him in the neck. Blood pools out from the wound onto the ice beneath him. (7)

--A robot grabs a man, slams his head into a desk, blood splattering over his face, and tries to choke him. The man kicks the robot away just before it self-destructs, knocking him back and leaving him with a bloody wound in his abdomen. (7)

--A man assists a wounded man with an injury in his abdomen. Blood covers both of their clothing and pools out beneath the wounded man. They have an extended conversation, and the man dies. (6)

Language: (6)

--Frequent Uses of F**k, S**t, B**ch, B**t**d and P**s.

God's name is used in vain.

Morality: Very Good

It's tempting just to rush this one off again and act like Infinite Warfare is only a shooter game, but for once it delivered on the morality front in unexpected ways. What struck me during the game was the amount of self-sacrifice, from multiple different characters. Characters who died to protect those around them, to fulfil a mission, or because the story called for someone to die. (As per Call of Duty tradition.)

Conclusion:

I was struggling to come up with a suitable conclusion to this review. Good heck, I was struggling to even finish this review. On the way home from work, however, I realised there was something about Infinite Warfare which struck me. It wasn't that certain scenes went too far, the language was too salty or the formula was still the same.

It was that the game used violence in such a complacent way, as if it were mere routine and nothing more. The violence in strong, bloody, but not exactly, how shall I say, "gruesome"? It felt too mild to make an impact, even if the violence was technically graphic.

The language was moderately strong, with a few F-bombs here and there. Spiritual content = Nothing. Sexual content = Nothing.

As I mentioned above, the morality was surprisingly good. Self-sacrifice was a recurring theme, and it did promote standing up for your fellow soldiers and human beings. Otherwise, it also had the lightest tone of any Call of Duty game to date, save maybe the original World War 2 series, which was refreshing.

Look, when it comes to Call of Duty, we already know what to expect. But even expecting the worst, you may be pleasantly surprised with this outing. There's plenty of positive themes to be found in order to make this title worthwhile.

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare is rated Caution Advised for Graphic Violence and Strong Language.
For Graphic Violence and Strong Language.

Review of Game:

So we're switching things up again and having the conclusion before the review. Yay. Disorganisation. Anyway, let's get to it:

Gameplay: Not making a host of changes, Infinite Warfare finds ways to make the formula surprisingly fresh, even if it features the same tried and true mechanics of past titles.

Audiovisual: This where the game really shines. Fantastically detailed environments, a wide variety of level designs, superb audio quality. Only place where it's really lacking was the voice acting, which was decent, but didn't really stand out for me as much as previous titles.

Story: Actually pretty entertaining, even though it ends on a bit of a sour note. The story did try to be emotional without resorting to violence this time around, and it almost worked. The more emotional moments in the story fell flat due to their bland execution, and obvious attempts to be just that: Emotional. It tears one out of the experience due to lacking proper implementation.

Score: 7.0

Not the greatest of Call of Duty games, but still a passable title on its own. With a serviceable story, great graphics and multiplayer for those who into that (not me), Infinite Warfare does a decent job of living up to the title. I would say give it a try...but wait for the price to drop a little. 

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