Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare is the next game to commit to class-based multiplayer


Sorry, 'Rig-based'

Overwatch was far from the first game to use the "class-based" setup, but it sure is popularizing it. With the advent of franchises like Quake and Gears of War adopting it, it doesn't seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.

As it turns out, Activision announced at the Call of Duty XP event this weekend that the upcoming Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare would be the next title to follow suit.

As "meh" as that sounds, I got the chance to play Infinite Warfare's multiplayer for the first time ever, and I have to say, it's good thing. You see Black Ops III already had classes to a degree and they worked fine, but Infinite is going all out on them in a new way.

Now you have "Rigs," which basically amount to suits that each character can wear to augment their abilities. Playable Rigs include: the Phantom (sniper, pins enemies to wall with Ballista EM3, armored shield on back), the Synaptic (run and gun, can squat into all fours and melee like Crying Wolf from Metal Gear Solid IV), the Warfighter (mid-range standard archetype, sports a ricochet shot, persistent score streaks), the Stryker (area denial, micro turret, drone that takes a grenade), the FTL (experimental, hit and run, edges of HUD show enemies), and the Merc (defense-oriented, infusion health restoration trait). You can get a better look at several of them in the gallery below.

Whereas the classes from Black Ops III mostly centered around their supers, the Infinite ones have multiple "Payloads" (read: abilities) they can take, which either retread on previous supers from the last game (like limited-use weapons), provide something new entirely (like the Synaptic), or completely change your playstyle in general, providing general statistical enhancements. There are also four "Mission Teams" this time around that the player can choose from to get new themed challenges with their own unique cosmetic rewards. In short, it's a way for hardcore people to get more mileage than just Prestige-ing over and over.

In my games I gravitated towards the Warfighter, the "standard" baseline character who has a gun that can shoot around corners with ricochet shots, and a perk that lets you keep scorestreaks beyond death. That's on top of the "pick 10" system, which has returned, and allows players to customize their main weapon, sidearm, attachments, perks, and equipment as usual. Since you can swap Rigs mid-fight, you're going to see a lot of different styles being played at any given time. This is where Infinite Warfare feels the most familiar, but the team did manage to mix things up quite a bit with the equipment.

Because they're able to commit to the far future setting more than ever before, some of the weapons are wacky. There's an assault rifle that you can rip in two (almost instantly) by holding the switch weapon button that morphs into two akimbo rifles for close-range combat. There's a giant focused laser blast gun that serves as an alternative to the rocket launcher. In fact the energy-based weapons are a whole new subclass in Infinite, with a battery system that recharges over time as opposed to a traditional "clip" ammo mechanic.

The maps are a tad sillier too (which is good), and Activision showcased some of the more unique ones like a zero-gravity space station, maps that take place on a planet's moon, and even a "traditional" feeling map called "Throwback" that recreates old Earth buildings on a giant rotating ring, Halo style. I have a feeling that the DLC is going to be even weirder, and I'm looking forward to it.

There is a dark side though, in the "Salvage" system. Described carefully in a way that doesn't explicitly scream "microtransactions" but hints at them, salvage is a new mechanic that allows players to craft their own weapons. While innocent in theory, topics were touched upon like a gun that has a built-in 25-kill tactical nuke ability (read: something that instantly wins a match, but is tough to do -- this one got a big reaction from the keynote presentation crowd), or a gun that has a blade that instantly kills folks with its melee attack. These are referred to as legendaries, and it looks like Activision is trying to add in an element of Destiny to keep people engaged. I didn't get a chance to see this system up close so I can't comment on it, but I'm definitely going to be keeping an eye on it near launch.

Other than the whole idea of Salvage, I'm pretty pleasantly surprised by Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. I don't think it breaks the mold quite as much as some past games, but the Rig concept is better than anything Infinity Ward did with Ghosts. Everything is better than Ghosts so far, actually, and a lot of that is owed to the fact that Infinite borrows so much from Black Ops III, from its class system to its wall-running and jetpacks (which were in turn borrowed from Advanced Warfighter).

You can get a look at a full match I played in the above video if you want to see more.

[Disclaimer: Travel was provided to the event by Activision.]

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Chris Carter
Chris CarterReviews Director, Co-EIC   gamer profile

Chris has been enjoying Destructoid avidly since 2008. He finally decided to take the next step, make an account, and start blogging in January of 2009. Now, he's staff! ------------------- T... more + disclosures



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