Last year, Activision and Treyarch released Call of Duty: Black Ops 3. The game was a fine advancement of everything Advanced Warfare was. Combat Rigs were introduced into the game’s multiplayer experience and its campaign brought co-op gameplay for the first time.
But it is a new year and a new Call of Duty. Infinity Ward is the studio that’s on the assignment for this year’s game. They’ve been working on Infinite Warfare for the past three years and are now a matter of days away from releasing it. To learn more about what you can expect from Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, We Write Things had the chance to speak with Infinity Ward’s Director of Communications Eric Monacelli.
We Write Things: Were there any foundational elements from Black Ops 3’s zombies experience that Infinity Ward wanted to implement into Infinite Warfare?
Eric Monacelli: Treyarch is the originator and built the foundation on which all Call of Duty Zombies games will be made. We took a lot of lessons learned— the great benefits of Candy Perks, the awesomeness of the Pack-a-Punch, etc. – under consideration and implemented a fair amount of what made past Zombies modes fun. But we have our own special flavor and own brand of Zombies we’re bringing to the mix this year.
How large of a map is Spaceland in relation to Shadows of Evil?
They are two very different worlds players get to occupy. Spaceland is filled with rides, traps, items, and cool amusement park locations that make every nook and cranny harbor great depth and many kinds of secrets. Add the Afterlife Arcade to the mix and the experience feels more immersive than it has ever been.
What stamp does Infinity Ward want to put on this zombies experience?
Our development team for Zombies is mix of Zombies vets, former Neversoft people who worked on such landmark franchises as Guitar Hero and Tony Hawk, and fresh talent. So that reverence, and sometimes irreverence, for capturing a specific pop culture moment is stamped all over Zombies in Spaceland. It’s oozing with personality, character, and a totally rad 1980s flair. Plus, it’s got a killer good ‘80s soundtrack.
What does it mean to be able to provide the type of value that the Infinite Warfare/Modern Warfare Remastered bundle is delivering? (i.e. $80 price tag for MWR’s single-player, multiplayer, maps, and the entire Infinite Warfare package).
As a fan of the franchise and thinking as a consumer, it’s a phenomenal value and likely the greatest deal in gaming you’ll find this year. Just consider the sheer number of hours you’re going to spend playing both campaigns then both multiplayer games…and you’ll still have Zombies in Spaceland to enjoy. 400 hours? 500 hours? More? It’s incredible quality and value. It’s like getting five games for a price that’s less than what you’d pay to buy two games.
As a developer working on the games, I couldn’t think of a better, more immersive collector’s package for our fans. I’m really excited to play [Modern Warfare Remastered] again and can’t wait to blast off into Infinite Warfare with our community.
What is a point or two about Infinite Warfare’s multiplayer experience that you wish to get across to gamers?
Experiment with the different Combat Rigs to find the one or two that best suits your play style. The Rigs are designed to suit distinct play styles. The sheer variety of options in payloads, traits, scorestreaks, equipment, lethals, tacticals, and weapons we have in the multiplayer will further complement your play but you need to figure out what combination works best for you. Also, Mission Teams enhance the already joyful experience of community you’ll get when playing multiplayer. Join a mission team unit that suits your gameplay style!
Will the support system be back for scorestreaks in Infinite Warfare?
No, players won’t see the return of support system for scorestreaks in Infinite Warfare. But the Warfighter Combat Rig has a trait called Persistence that will grant players abilities similar to the support system. With Persistence equipped, scorestreaks no longer reset when you die, but they take higher point values to attain. However, players can only earn each of their Scorestreaks once per match.
Any scorestreaks from Modern Warfare Remastered that won’t make it into Infinite Warfare and vice versa?
Of course, the UAV will be in both games. It’s most important that scorestreaks which fit the fiction of each game are represented. For instance, in Infinite Warfare multiplayer you can call in Scorchers, a new scorestreak where players can call in three prototype Scorcher jets for a laser strafing run.
How will Infinite Warfare’s multiplayer stand apart when compared to Ghosts’ multiplayer?
There have been many technical advancements and we’ve learned a lot since we shipped Ghosts. Our multiplayer this year was our first built with a three-year development cycle and this has allowed us to refine and hone in on what’s best for individual play styles. That’s the biggest thing people will recognize as they play Infinite Warfare multiplayer – just how customizable the Combat Rigs are and all the ways the game can be tailored to suit your distinct play style.
Have there been any changes to how players earn points in Domination?
If you’re familiar with how Domination is played in Black Ops 3 presently, you won’t notice any major changes. Unlimited time where round 1 ends at 100 points and the match ends until the score set is reached. However, flags now have capture decay. This means if you capture a flag to 99% and die then the flag capture bar will decay at the same rate it captures at – the capture bar will slowly go down instead of resetting instantly after 1 second. If an enemy player steps on the flag, it will remove all progress, so enemies still have an option to instantly reset your progress. We wanted to really promote objective play as a team and feel these minor tweaks help with that.
Also, we’re constantly thinking of new ways to tweak in-game action and rule sets to fit the gameplay so we’ll see what evolves. For instance, at COD XP, we tweaked the ruleset slightly to create faster match times.
How prominently are lasers featured in Infinite Warfare?
We have directed energy weapons in the game but the concept of lasers in the traditional, pew-pew, sci-fi sense is absent from our game. We wanted to ensure all our weapons feel and sound grounded in the familiar vein of modern ballistic weapons. That doesn’t mean we don’t have some amazingly cool, semi-fictional future tech used in our weaponry to make weapons that are truly unique. All the weaponry is grounded in research and various design schematics that make up current or future weapons of war.
What will make Call of Duty standout more compared to other shooters out there this fall?
We have created a gripping and emotional campaign that raises the bar and should set new high watermarks for our studio, and hopefully, the franchise. Our Multiplayer and Zombies offerings are fresh, unique, and tailored to maximize fun and player choice. That theme of player choice, or player agency, is the one of the key overarching motifs in Infinite Warfare. Nowhere is this more obvious than in our setting.
Our solar system is a largely uncharted, wild, dangerous yet uplifting, hopeful, and positive place. Taking the war into the vast reaches of our black sky afforded us a setting where the grounded, gritty, hallmark Call of Duty military action could stand out in new ways – Jackal dogfighting, zero-g combat, future tech, to name a few. The setting, the player agency, the narrative fiction plus the silky smooth Call of Duty gameplay makes for an outstanding, best-in- class shooter.
Stick around here at We Write Things for more coverage regarding Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and Modern Warfare Remastered in the coming days.