When Call of Duty comes to mind I like to think of the nostalgia of a series that was once gritty, realistic and aimed to emulate some aspects of war. That's all changed in recent years to the point that either a strong franchise fatigue or just the bizarre state of the game has turned me away.
I skipped Black Ops 3 and in grabbing Infinite Warfare just for Modern Warfare Remastered I found that giving the core game of that package a try is depressing. The games are not exactly real in the sense that it was always these stories of courage based against historic events or settings, but now that sense of being grounded has gone missing.
Sure, I could always just not play the game which is something I try to do though I come back to review the DLC packs at each release and can't even stand it in small doses. I find the whole general game to be a tad silly and even sometimes pause what I'm doing to think about the crazy things in a match. There are lasers, robots in a dog stance running around and weird machines blasting players everywhere.
In the multiplayer you're battling across some really interesting maps that have been altered in ugly ways to accommodate movement that doesn't work well. The boots on the ground design is true, but with odd little jumps to perches or awkward wall runs they don't add anything mechanics wise. When you compare it to something like Titanfall with large maps that need you to use boosts or wall running as movement mechanics, the Call of Duty equivalent is garbage basically.
The game also looks like a dystopian version of a series I always looked forward to. It didn't matter if it was the trenches of a World War or the embraces of crazy modern battlefields. Those warzones felt practical with campaigns that gave you adrenaline while also displaying the horrors of war.
I remember the feeling of despair during a crawl within a fountain of the dead or the intensity of delivering a flag to the top of a pole. In Infinite Warfare it's a weird fight against Jon Snow in space with some of those moments of dread, but it never feels right.
The multiplayer is truly the worst part of it all. There are robots that gallop around like dogs on the floor, odd lasers blasting down from the sky and just the strangest combination of weapons. It's as though they were given free rein to put whatever they wanted into it and that shows. The guns are wacky with a huge range of weapon skins, decorative items and other things that can be thrown onto them.
It'll actually be rather interesting to see how that's handled in Call of Duty: WWII considering the setting as they've also thrown these microtransactions into my poor Modern Warfare Remastered. I'm all for gun skins if it's decorative, but sometimes there are settings when it's not right. I don't really personally care if someone has a strange colored gun, I just remember the weapon skins you used to get blended into the environments a tad.
Coming back to Infinite Warfare for the DLC was quite something and honestly the selection of maps are not bad. If you like the multiplayer or zombies, you'll find that Absolution provides a solid additional selection. I just got completely lost in the bizarre state of how the series is. There were so many years of solid grounded Call of Duty that just slowly became crazier as time went by.
I even remember thinking how neat a really far future entry might have been after Modern Warfare 2 and at this point I probably shouldn't have. It might just be the lack of variety recently in the franchise with so many of the same sort of futuristic release happening for a few years and maybe the next game which takes us back will be a welcomed refresh. For now I have one pack left to fight through and it was hilarious to play the game recently as it looks so strange now.
Read our Call of Duty: WWII Multiplayer Preview
Our Call of Duty Hub