Coming Back to Call of Duty

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I haven’t touched a Call of Duty game since 2010. After the flying success of Modern Warfare 2, I went into Black Ops with a big sense of optimism. While that title wasn’t a huge disaster, I started to turn elsewhere for my fix of first-person shooter action.

I think the series gets an unfair amount of flack among the gaming community, but also has played it safe with the past few entries and retread some of the same ground over and over. Nothing has really enticed me to get back into Call of Duty in the past several years, but Infinite Warfare is shaping up to break that trend.

The initial reveal of the game already had me more interested in any installment of the franchise had since Black Ops. After flirting with futuristic technology, weapons, and soldiers with games like Ghosts and Advanced Warfare, I enjoyed the fact that this new game would be going full on science-fiction. Fully fledged space armadas, artificial intelligence, and a politically intriguing plot all sold me on the possibility of getting back into Call of Duty.

Information about the game has been pouring out slowly since the initial reveal, including detailed looks at new weapons and characters. Multiplayer seems to be radically different in this version of the franchise, with weapons that can control gravity and manipulate the environment, moving away from the straight forward run-and-gun familiarity of previous games. There will also be space combat, and any chance to pilot a fighter in the depths of space will automatically perk my ears.

It wasn’t until the most recent story trailer, featuring Jon Snow himself as the game’s villain, did I realize how actually excited I was to try Infinite Warfare. This footage gave us our best look yet at the game’s world and the overarching plot. While watching, I noticed elements from some of my favorite sci-fi stories in recent years.

With worries of earth’s destabilizing condition to support life, most major nations traveled out into space. But infighting among the military leaders led to a large-scale rebellion that spawned a galactic civil war. The futuristic cities and settlements off-world remind of the most iconic Mass Effect locations, and our reluctant captain of a protagonist feels a lot like the most recent on-screen portrayal of Captain Kirk.

Infinite Warfare has a unique sci-fi flavor, and being tied into one of the biggest gaming franchises of all time opens up the door for massive set-pieces and visual presentation. Without the Call of Duty name attached to the trailer I would have been over the moon. The series still gives me some reservation, as I was burnt out a while ago. But I do think Infinite Warfare is taking a big step forward and the distinct setting, tone, and storytelling just might have what it takes to bring me back in to Call of Duty.