GAMETECH: Call of Duty shoots into space as Infinte Warfare aims for the stars

IN SPACE, no one can hear you spawn. The Call of Duty series, which has always seen stratospheric sales, is finally taking to the stars. Not content with shooting at enemy troops, the series will soon be shooting into space, too.

Like an Irish bus, this has been a long time coming. Call of Duty has been edging its way further and further into science fiction territory in recent years, with evil robots and bionic powers playing large parts in the story. Still, it’s about time the series took a proper leap of faith — a relaunch if you will — and it appears Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare will do just that.

Infinite Warfare was officially revealed in a trailer this week and it shows a world far removed from the first Call of Duty, which was released in 2003 and focused on World War II. Infinite Warfare is set in a far-flung future, where Earth’s natural resources have become depleted and people live on off-world colonies to supply home.

The player takes on the role of Captain Reyes, a Tier 1 Special Operations pilot who helms the Retribution, one of Earth’s last remaining warships. The action takes place in locations that span the solar system and Reyes will fight resistance forces in a “grand scale war”. In summary, it’s Call of Duty in space.

Taking to the stars might seem like an obvious and cheap trick to inject life into a long-bland series, but it’s a trick that works.

This reviewer is excited to see how Call of Duty depicts proper science fiction, considering the huge budget these games are given to realise their jaw-dropping set pieces. Watching helicopters go down in Afghanistan or aircraft carriers sink to the bottom of the ocean gets boring — it’s time to see alien worlds in the crosshair of a Warfare squad.

Until now, Kevin ‘Spacey’ was the closest Call of Duty got to the stars — then again, wasn’t he hired to bring some gravity to the series?

DARK SOULS

And the gravest series of them all? Dark Souls, of course. Well, it certainly sends you to the grave most often. ‘You died’ is the simple message that millions of players have seen countless times while overcoming these games. In Dark Souls III, the series has finally met its own end — at least for now.

Dark Souls III is purportedly the last game in the series, as FromSoftware turn their attention to other opportunities and new IP. As eulogies go, it’s a fitting tribute.

Dark Souls III blends elements from the first two games (and even Bloodborne) into a truly beautiful journey through the series-to-date. Dark Souls has always told its stories through level design and the language of gaming, rather than through cinematics and reams of text.

Despite the disjointed, labyrinthine nature of the level design and the seemingly wanton placement of enemies and bosses, by the end of the game you come away knowing that the experience is a work of art that only gaming could muster.

While most modern games are struggling to depict ‘real-world’ experiences, Dark Souls goes back to what made gaming great in the first place — exploration of the unreal.

And never has the unreal been so beautiful as in Dark Souls III. If you thought Bloodbornewas stunning, with its Cthulhu callbacks and warped Victorian sensibilities, then the crumbling castles and corridors of Lothric will take your breath away.

It’s incredible how far the series has come since Demon’s Souls in 2009.

When Demon’s Souls was released, one of the most controversial elements was the interaction with other players through messages left on the ‘floor’ of the world. Not everyone appreciated the ‘single-player’ experience being changed in this fashion.

However, no one could have predicted the following Souls would garner online, or just how important the communal element of the series would become. In Dark Souls III, much of the magic comes from the sense that you are not alone in facing the game’s well-documented hardships.

With millions of players now facing ‘You Died’ endlessly, just like you, there’s a sense that Dark Souls III is a battle we are all fighting together.

In years to come, it will be seen as a landmark for gaming as abstract art. But by then, Dark Souls will have taken to space, and Call of Duty will be covering World War 4.


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