Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
Call of Duty, you are go for launch - Infinite Warfare is official, and it's taking the shooter series into space.
Activision revealed all with a live stream and first trailer, giving gamers a taste of what's to come in November.
Outer space might (literally) sound like a world away from what made older Call of Duty games great, but there's good news for long-time fans. Infinite Warfare is just half the package: it's coming bundled with a remastered version of the original Modern Warfare.
With the release just a couple months away now, we've been briefed on all corners of the Infinite Warfare experience, from the campaign to the multiplayer experience (and beta!) to the weird Zombies in Spaceland mode. And you'll find all of that below.
We'll be keeping this article updated with the latest news, so make sure to check back for new info as it drops - that's an order, soldier!
Update 22/07/16: CoD fans have finally been treated to 12 minutes of uninterrupted gameplay footage - the very same footage, in fact, that we saw at E3 and mention below.
It has everything - bullets, explosions, robots, zero gravity, space ships, more bullets, and a couple more explosions thrown in for good measure.
Infinity Ward has also revealed that Terminal - one of our favourite maps from Modern Warfare 2 has been remastered and revamped, and is now a space shuttle station on the moon. Neat.
It's a pre-order bonus though, so you'll have to commit to the game before its 4 November release date, if you haven't done so already.
Lock and Load
Call of Duty might be headed out beyond the stratosphere, but the series is in good hands: original creators Infinity Ward are at the helm.
The teaser trailer only gives a glimpse at what's on the horizon, but according to the developer, you're going to have your work cut out if you want to make it back to Earth in one piece.
With Earth stripped of its natural resources and reliant on off-world colonies for survival, it's going to be a bad day in the office when the big bad Settlement Defense Front decides it isn't going to keep up with the care packages.
You'll be in control of Tier One Special Operations pilot Captain Reyes, with combat shifting from ground to space with "few visible loading times". It sounds like you'll be spending a lot of time on your warship, the Retribution, which could mean downtime between missions where you talk to your crewmates.
Expect some good old fashioned run-and-gun as well as space combat. There's no Star Wars-style laser death in the trailer, so it looks like Infinity Ward is staying restrained with the sci-fi - although there are plenty of robots, space ships and other futuristic gadgetry on show. Plus grappling hooks!
The Infinite Warfare gameplay demo which I saw at E3 centres around a mission which sees you and your squad advancing through the streets of Geneva, battling a seemingly endless army of enemy robots on your march to a key control point.
There's a real sense of impressive scale and chaos from the get-go, with enemies crashing from the skies all around you, with relentless explosions and bullets enveloping your every move.
The claustrophobic environments littered with rubble and abandoned cars make for some intense firefights, but it looks like you've got an arsenal of handy gizmos to make your life a little easier.
Take the adorable little spider-like robot, for example, which cheerfully scurries towards enemies before ending its short-lived life in a deadly explosion, or the deployable mobile shield which lets you get out of tight spots. I also quite enjoyed the fun anti-gravity grenade which freezes enemies in mid air, letting you pic them off with ease.
The guns themselves look and feel futuristic enough to be believable, and they all sound great, with a real hefty quality to their reload animations and muzzle fire sounds.
UPDATE (5/9): Activision just dropped the first Infinite Warfare multiplayer trailer at Call of Duty XP this weekend, and as you'll see in the footage above, the competitive action certainly isn't ignoring the outer space leap of the campaign mode.
In addition to space stations and planetary surfaces, you'll see almost Destiny-like suits, not to mention the introduction of six different Combat Rigs (akin to Black Ops 3's Specialists). You can also create your own class, of course, and there are plenty of new weapons and perks to dig into.
And if you're concerned about the futuristic twist, at least you'll have a chance to demo Infinite Warfare's multiplayer before the release. A multiplayer beta test is coming to all platforms, although PlayStation 4 will get it first starting on 14 October. Expect Xbox One and PC players to gain access in the days thereafter.
ORIGINAL STORY: Naturally, Call of Duty's staple competitive multiplayer mode will be making a return too.
Expect the futuristic setting to heavily come into play - after all, Call of Duty has to compete with Bungie's space loot shooter Destiny and upcoming mech stomp-a-thon Titanfall 2, which do a whole lot more than "boots on the ground" gunplay.
Activision isn't ready to talk details yet, but did drop one big surprise during the reveal stream: Infinite Warfare is getting a Zombies mode too.
The co-op game type has been a fan favourite ever since it arrived with COD: World at War, but it's never appeared in an Infinity Ward-produced entry until now. It's not carrying on the story from last year's Black Ops III, though; Infinity Ward is promising something brand new, but with nods to Treyarch's lore-filled levels.
Game of Thrones fans will be extatic to learn Jon Snow himself, Kit Harrington, will be taking on the villain role, too. He's not got a name yet, his motivations are unclear, but expect to pump a few bullets in him before the campaign wraps up.
After traversing through the streets of Geneva and leaving a pile of mangled robot bodies in your wake, a Jackal ship lands. You hop in, and before you know it, you’re hurtling towards the heavens in a vertical squadron of death-dealing fighter jet/spaceship hybrids.
As soon as you hit the empty blackness of space, the rumbles of your fuel tanks are cut short, and there’s a brief period of calm as you spot the blue Earth beneath you.
And then the battle starts.
The dogfights looks like something straight out of Star Wars, and zipping in and out of floating hulks of debris while shooting enemy ships looks like heaps of fun.
The space action isn’t limited just to flying around though. In the E3 demo, the player leaves his ship for some hand-to-hand space combat, using grappling hooks to attach to objects and zip along, fighting enemies on top of giant spaceships.
Grappling an enemy towards you and ripping off their mask looks like a very satisfying ability, and if there are any space-themed multiplayer maps, it could very well replace the classic teabag as the ultimate multiplayer insult.
Zombies at the disco
Neon leg-warmers. Frankie Goes to Hollywood. David Hasselhoff as a theme park DJ. None are things we ever expected to see in a Call of Duty game; all are there in the Zombies in Spaceland trailer.
Yes: Infinite Warfare is taking the Zombies concept to space - or, rather, Spaceland, an 80s disco stuck somewhere in space, being ravaged by tutu-toting undead intent on killing to killer beats.
Cue disco balls, dance floors and more multicolour gunslinging than you can shake a sharp, pointy stick at. As you might imagine, cliché is the order of the day - but, then, Zombies was hardly ever subtle.
If fans weren't keen on the initial game trailer, this could prove to be even more divisive, what with letterman-jacketed crawlers dropping sweet moves on the deadly dance floor, as college kids spray all sorts of weapons in their general direction.
Say what you like, though: it does look mighty fun - even if it's a far fetch from COD's World War II origins.
Back to Baghdad
UPDATE (5/9): At the Call of Duty XP event this weekend, Activision announced that the six other multiplayer maps that shipped with the original Modern Warfare will be added to the game in December, free of charge.
You'll still get 10 maps in the initial release in November, while the others will come via an update before the end of the year. No word yet on whether the four other maps that came in the Variety Map Pack back in 2008 will be rebuilt and released for Modern Warfare Remastered as DLC.
ORIGINAL STORY: Taking the action out of the atmosphere might be exactly what Call of Duty needs to get us excited again, but we're crazy happy that Modern Warfare is getting remastered as part of the package.
At least, it is if you splash out on the Legacy or Digital Deluxe versions of the game.
A basic box copy of Infinite Warfare won't include the older game, and it isn't being sold standalone. That might change eventually, but it's a Martydom grenade to the face for anyone that just wants a bit of COD4 nostalgia. It'll also come 30 days sooner if you're on PS4 - Xbox One and PC gamers will have to wait before they'll be able to play.
The extra cash should be well spent though. Remaster will include the full Modern Warfare campaign and the classic multiplayer mode, complete with 10 of the 20 maps released for the original.
There's no word on which 10 maps will make the cut, or whether the remaining 10 will turn up as DLC later down the line.
Developer Raven Software is taking charge of the remaster, rebuilding levels from scratch with graphics worthy of a 2016 game. There's a lot to do: don't forget, Modern Warfare launched in 2007, running on a (really heavily tweaked) version of the same engine that powered 1999's Quake 3.
Expect updated lighting and weather effects, high resolution textures, HDR and improved sound, along with other tweaks.
Activision also showed off a glimpse of a remastered CoD 4 Modern Warfare mission - the one with the sinking cargo ship, if your memory stretches back that far - and I'm happy to report that all of those extra pixels and polish has make an incredible difference.
Everything from the textures to the water animation looks gloriously smooth, and fans of the original will definitely appreciate the shiny new look, which is practically indistinguishable from a modern title.
On 14 July, Activision released the above trailer, which shows the majority of the classic "Crew Expendable" level (in which the player, as SAS man Soap, takes part in a raid on a container ship) in its new remastered glory. And, while you can decide for yourself, we think Raven has done a fantastic job of bringing the old level up to today's graphical standards - just check out the lighting effects, for example.
PS3 RIP, Xbox is Ex-box
PS3 RIP, Xbox is Ex-box
Military creed might dictate that "no man gets left behind" but that's not the case for Infinite Warfare. Last-gen consoles are MIA this time around.
Last year's Black Ops III barely squeezed onto the Xbox 360 and PS3, cutting features, dropping the graphic settings and scrapping the entire single-player campaign to give gamers one more year of multiplayer mayhem.
There's no room on the space shuttle for the older generation this year, though.
Infinite Warfare is strictly next-gen only, meaning anyone still gaming on a PS3 or Xbox 360 will have to think about upgrading before November - or wait for the inevitable console bundle and buy game and system together.
It's coming to the PC as well as PS4 and Xbox One, so anyone that breaks into a cold sweat at the thought of using a console controller can rest easy.
Blast Off November 4
Infinite Warfare is shaping up to boldy go where no Call of Duty has gone before. It touches down worldwide on 4 November.
Sure, you're going to have to shell out on the more expensive bundle to get your remastered Modern Warfare fix, but we can't wait to blast Barrett .50 calibre rifles through Backlot and create mayhem on Crash with a helicoptor killstreak.
And with the multiplayer beta starting in mid-October, we'll be able to see whether Infinite Warfare's big shift ahead in time is a smart move for the future of Call of Duty.