Call of Duty XP Event Impressions on Three Multiplayer Demos

This weekend, fans will partake in everything Call of Duty for three days at the sold-out Call of Duty XP event here in Los Angeles. The main draw for ticket holders will be the chance to watch this year’s “Call of Duty World League Championship” right here at The Forum stadium. Take it from yours truly, though; if you are attending do not pass up up the real (not virtual) zipline! Fun times!

Along with sumo wrestling, paintball, and laser tag, the parking lot of the Forum has huge tents erected for hands-on multiplayer sessions for the upcoming Infinite Warfare, the remaster of Modern Warfare, and an all-new zombies mode. All three are, in fact, part of the Infinite Warfare Legacy, Legacy Pro, and Digital Deluxe editions, which comes out November 4th.

I sampled them so here are my impressions from the press day Activision held before the doors opened to the public. All demos were multiplayer only, which in theory makes sense since MP is, above all, the main reason gamers purchase this best-selling shooter series. Each demo was only 15 minutes long, but that said, here are my quick thoughts.

Infinite Warfare Multiplayer

I’m not usually a multiplayer-driven player, so solo or team deathmatch isn't my cup of tea. But Activision (clearly concerned about my thoughts on this, or not) have sought to add a little variety to their latest mode with Combat Rigs. Infinite Warfare‘s lead multiplayer designer Joe Cecot was on deck to give an in-depth rundown. Developer Infinity Ward concentrated on two aspects: the player and the playspace. As such Combat Rigs has six play styles and each have different payload and traits options.

For example, the Merc is focused on defense and heavy suppressive fire weapons with a trait (up to three) like shockwave. If you were thinking this sorta sounds like Titanfall in size with swappable gear like Overwatch​, you’d be right. These six Combat Rigs also sport the all-purpose Warfighter, which can cloak and deals in long-range combat, and the FTL that has experimental tech and more.

Playing the demo, I was an FTL using wicked powerslides and the ability to phase-shift. Very Overwatch. The gameplay still feels like Call of Duty with the added verticality that was added in last year’s Black Ops III. This is not at all bad thing, as it makes moving in the playspace I traversed, an industrial space complex à la Halo, quite zippy. I died a lot, but certainly not from a lack of movement.

It was also said at the press briefing that players can now craft and build prototype weapons that will range in rarity like common, rare, legendary, and epic. Still, Infinite Warfare should be applauded for attempting to make this year’s CoD multiplayer a little less repetitive.

Modern Warfare Remastered

After getting used to the fact that I could no longer powerslide as I can in BOIII or IW, it didn’t take long to get back into the groove of classic Modern Warfare gameplay. The match was a standard capture/protect-the-flag scenario, with& which I had a blast. Less hectic as Infinite Warfare, Modern Warfare is still my favorite non-WWII entry in the series. Even now nearly a decade later, I found myself getting lost sheer joy of re-playing this tightly controlled shooter.

If you’ve never played Modern Warfare, you’re in for a treat. If you have missed this kind of CoD like I have, you’ll be as pleased as I am. Getting a higher frame rate, a richer color palette, and all sixteen original multiplayer maps will be the big draw for those wanting revisit one of the best entries in the series. Note: Only ten of the sixteen multiplayer maps will be ready at launch, though. The rest will be available for free in December.

Zombies in Spaceland

Is there any better track to get players pumped to go crazy in an '80s style theme park filled with zombies than the Violent Femmes’ “Add It Up”? If there is, I don’t want to hear it. Just like the previous zombie modes, players begin in a smaller area, this time the entrance to the park. They can fortify walls and get more powerful weapons while the onslaught of zombies begins.

The added value this time is the '80s vibe with not only a fun soundtrack but wonderful, era-appropriate neon-colors to boot. Getting infinite grenades (for a short time) to blow up enormous clowns or using a crocodile mouth to chomp down on the undead is pretty satisfying. Of course, bombs and said crocodile mouth can also kill the player so the level of chaos is always deadly, as it should be.

Also, like the Shadows of Evil mode in BOIII, you’ll play one of four characters each with their own personality. Seth Green and Jay Pharoah has said to be two of them, although I couldn’t tell. David Hasseloff plays a DJ too.