When the recent Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare beta went live on PS4, being the keen online multiplayer fan I am, I jumped right in. I’d been looking forward to seeing what Infinity Ward had to offer this time round; especially since they’d taken the war further into the future. While it was loading up, the thought of a sci-fi themed shooter had me grinning.
To get started you have to select a class in the form of Combat Rigs. The three on offer are Warfighter, Synaptic and Merc. The main differences between the classes are the abilities they have. The Warfighter has a special weapon called The Claw for example. This weapon ability builds up over time and when the meter fills it can be activated and weapon is equipped and ready to be used. The Claw is opens up new ways to play, largely because it can hit targets around corners. The other differences between the Combat Rigs are the class specific perks you select. These perks are in addition to the default perks attached to your Combat Rig. Dubbed ‘Traits,’ they will further enhance the classes’ abilities.
The level of customisation in the multiplayer beta alone is insane. There are plenty of weapons and attachments, perks and lethal and non-lethal additions as well. I also managed to obtain some rare weapons during my playtime. Rare weapons are improved versions of the unlockable weapons on offer. They each have a bonus stat boost attached which further enhances your ability to get kills. I obtained my rare weapons from the loot boxes that are opened with the keys obtained through levelling up.
Game modes on offer in the beta include standard Team Deathmatch, Defender, Free for all, Domination, Kill Confirmed, Uplink, Grind, Dropzone, Infected and Gun Game. Of all the modes, Defender was my favourite to play will likely continue to be. In Defender, your team needs to obtain a drone that starts off in a central point. Once obtained the drone needs to be held, with the holder’s attack abilities restricted to melee. The longer the drone is held, the more points are awarded. If you have a supportive team and are smart enough to keep moving it’s not too difficult to keep hold of the drone. The problem I foresee is that Defender relies heavily on team work, which I love, but we are all frighteningly aware of how a lot of people play CoD. When players are selfish and try to play as lone wolves, Defender simply falls apart. It’s not a mode you want to play without a group of friends.
Overall, it took me a few matches to get a feel for wall running and thrust jumping. Once I got comfortable with it, everything flowed beautifully and the kill streaks started to rack up. I tinkered with all types of loadouts and weapon combinations, but this is where the beta started to get frustrating. Unfortunately a meta was cemented very quickly thanks to snipers being able kill a target with a single body shot. This means that almost everybody simply quick scopes their sniper rifle — even at close quarters – and the whole flow of the game is ruined. This is the most serious concern I have following my playtime with the beta, especially considering I wasn’t even playing on Hardcore. There’s just no real way to combat the tactic and it sucks all the fun out of playing.
As it is only a beta a few niggles are expected. One that almost drove me to insanity (but has since thankfully been fixed) happened whenever I left a lobby. Almost every time, it would boot me to main menu and force me to rewatch the intro. It was excruciating.
Infinity Ward definitely has a lot of work to do before release. The balance in multiplayer at the moment is woeful, but if the multiplayer is fine-tuned before release it should have a long life. The taste of multiplayer has me looking forward to what the campaign has to offer.
To see some highlights from my time with the beta, check out PowerUp! Plays: Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare beta.
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare’s multiplayer beta was played on PS4 using a promotion code as provided by the publisher.