It's no secret that the Call of Duty franchise has become something of an icon in the video game industry.
In a lot of ways, it represents both the best and worst aspects of the business: Call of Duty is a series that not only helped gaming break into the cultural mainstream, it's proven that video games can compete with any other form of entertainment when it comes to revenue. That being said, many also associate Call of Duty with the idea of quantity over quality, and Activision doesn't always seem to hold its fans in the highest regards.
The latest game in the series, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, isn't bucking that trend. Activision is sticking to its guns, despite the fact that fans around the world are pushing back — series veterans clearly wanted something new from Infinite Warfare, and in their minds, that's not happening.
Even so, that's not about to stop Activision from showing the game off: the publisher just released yet another extended gameplay demo, and it's longer than almost every other Call of Duty campaign demo ever released. At 12 minutes long, the "Black Sky" demo is easily the best look that fans have gotten at the game — but it's probably not going to do much to sway anyone's opinion.
Anyone who's ever seen a Call of Duty gameplay demo should know what to expect: plenty of infantry-on-infantry combat, big explosions and top-tier visuals.
From a purely mechanical standpoint, Infinite Warfare looks just as solid as any other entry in the franchise ... that being said, the game also looks decidedly more grounded than other recent titles. Advanced Warfare focused on the Exo-suits, Black Ops III went fully bionic — but save for the grappling mechanics shown at E3 2016, Infinite Warfare's ground game doesn't seem to have that same sort of all-encompassing gameplay hook.
Once the demo shifts into space combat, things start to get a bit more interesting. Many were worried that the dogfight shown in the E3 2016 demo would be highly scripted — and while the gameplay in the video above is still scripted, it feels less like a roller coaster ride and more like an actual fight. From a gameplay perspective, not much has changed in the weeks since E3, though space flight still looks like the strongest part of Infinite Warfare.
All in all, the "Black Sky" demo was basically the same as every other Call of Duty campaign demo. That's not an inherently bad thing, it's just that the first five or so minutes of the demo are something that everyone has seen before. Again, once things head out of the atmosphere, the demo picks up — but Infinity Ward needs to make sure the moments in between the dogfights are just as exhilarating.
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare is due out on Nov. 4.