Upon its release in November 2007, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare was everything that recent iterations of Call of Duty have not been – simple, enjoyable and different. Fast forward to the present day and Activision has floundered in going head to head with EA, as the former revealed the latest instalment in the Call of Duty franchise, whilst the latter unveiled Battlefield 1. Infinite Warfare’s reveal trailer is the second most disliked video of all time on YouTube, with over 2 million dislikes. Contrastingly, Battlefield 1 sits with over 50 times as many likes as dislikes. Putting aside the fact that the trailer itself is poorly made, there are several reasons for the uproar that has entrenched Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare.
Firstly, gamers got wind of a potential Modern Warfare remastered edition days prior to the release of the trailer and this got fans very excited. It has since been revealed however, that the only way to acquire the game is to pay for an overpriced edition of Infinite Warfare, which costs upwards of £70. I have no intention of buying Infinite Warfare out of principle, and I can congratulate Activision for a good marketing strategy, but Call of Duty 4 should not come at such a high cost. The trailer is ironic in that it ends by announcing the remastered edition of Call of Duty 4, which is everything that gamers want, whilst Infinite Warfare is everything that they have grown tired of.
Why was Modern Warfare so successful? It came after three iterations of the WW2 set Call of Duty games and it was something to behold. It proved to be an enjoyable experience, that utilized simple gameplay, chaotic gunfights and a storyline that fans of the franchise had never seen before. Conversely, Infinite Warfare is the third game in the future setting of the series, with the last two being completely unremarkable and rarely innovative. Players have already lost interest in the future setting, with its repackaging of similar weapons, perks, kill streaks and gadgets that have overcomplicated the simple game that Modern Warfare perfected.
In the best Call of Duty titles, the single player campaigns, though normally serving as just a starter for the Multiplayer, were very iconic. Modern Warfare and Modern Warfare 2 featured Soap MacTavish and Captain Price, both beloved characters, whilst Call of Duty: World at War had a stunning storyline that managed to give me goosebumps in its final act. These campaigns have not come close to being matched by Advanced Warfare or Call of Duty: Ghosts and with the introduction of space battles in Infinite Warfare, the campaign could become memorable for all the wrong reasons.
In a year where a new Assassin’s Creed will not be appearing, so that Ubisoft can focus on some much needed innovating, there was a clear opportunity for Call of Duty to go back to its roots and similarly develop. Though it is still early days, and Infinite Warfare will probably outsell any other game in 2016, the main reason the legacy edition will succeed will be because of the commonplace desire for Call of Duty 4. If Activision doesn’t innovate soon, and if EA can put out better competition in Battlefield, then the company could continue to see the drop in sales that has plagued recent titles in the franchise.
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare will be available November 4th 2016, on Xbox One, PS4 and PC.