As leaks indicated last month, the next entry in Activision’s behemoth shooter franchise will be called Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, and it’s going to boldly go where the franchise has never gone before: outer space. It is set to launch on November 4, 2016 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.
The announcement trailer above shows off all the high-flying spectacle and dramatic set pieces we would expect from an AAA space shooter — Robots! Dropships! Zero-G! Space dogfighting! Pew pew pew! It all sounds par for the course.
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Following Titanfall (which was, incidentally, created by veterans of Infinite Warfare studio Infinity Ward), mainstream shooters embraced the idea that these are video games with boosted, vertical mobility and special powers. Given the need to still maintain a certain degree of gritty realism, that leaves science fiction over fantasy for the setting. The franchise already started to pursue this direction with 2014’s Advanced Warfare, and so moving further ahead into the future seems like a natural progression. From Activision and Infinity Ward’s official blurb:
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare puts storytelling front and center in a rich, immersive narrative. Infinity Ward breaks new ground by exploring the weight of leadership and its responsibilities. In a desperate time of overwhelming adversity, the player, as Captain of their own warship, must take command against a relentless enemy. Experienced soldiers are thrust into extraordinary circumstances that will test their training and reveal their true character as they learn to lead and to make the hard decisions necessary to achieve victory. The game also introduces stunning, never-before-seen environments, new weaponry and inventive player abilities to Call of Duty. The entire campaign — from boots-on-ground combat to piloting high speed space-fighters — occurs as a near seamless experience with few visible loading times, and delivers the hallmark, blockbuster franchise moments that fans love.
Having created the franchise in 2003, Infinity Ward’s last entry in the series was 2013’s Call of Duty: Ghosts, set in an alternate, contemporary timeline where the nations of Central and South America have united into a threatening superpower. Ghosts received a mixed reception, praised for its solid mechanical core and exciting set pieces, but criticized for its somewhat flimsy campaign narrative.
Related: Call of Duty: Ghosts review
Activision also announced a remastered version of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Infinity Ward’s hugely popular 2007 entry that has gone on to set the tone for the franchise ever since. It is being developed by Raven Software, who created Heretic and Hexen back in the 90s, but has spent the last few years providing development support for various CoD games. Modern Warfare Remastered will come included with several of the special editions of Infinite Warfare, but according to an FAQ from Activision, it will not be sold standalone.
Updated on 5-3-2016 by Will Fulton: Activision confirmed that Modern Warfare Remastered would not be sold standalone.