If you were watching the Microsoft press conference at E3 earlier this week, you’ll most likely have seen the demo that the company showed dealing with Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare space battles, merely one of the game’s new types of set-pieces.
But, unlike many other moments of space-flight in games, these moments won’t have you on rails.
In the demo, the ship that player character Nick Reyes commands, the Retribution, initiates Operation Thermopylae in the orbit of Earth’s moon in order to destroy a warship of the game’s villainous faction, the Settlement Defense Front. Deploying from the vessel by being shot out of a launch catapult inside a tube (a la Battlestar Galactica), this takes players into one of the big Infinite Warfare space battles that will likely be a big part of the game.
The player and his team, piloting Jackal space fighters, then thread their way through a hailstorm of enemy fire to reach the ship that’s their target. However, unlike many other games, you’ll actually be free to wind your way around the space battle, shooting down enemy ships and being able to go your own way to the objective.
No rail-shooting here, it seems, despite audience fears when the first Call of Duty trailer showed them.
But epic set-pieces like these won’t even be part of Infinite Warfare’s main story. Destroying Settlement Defense Front ships like what we saw in the trailer just give you nice bonuses, allowing you to learn things you normally wouldn’t learn until later in the story or providing background on the SDF.
What we saw in the Infinite Warfare space battles in the trailers are just one part of giving players a freedom of choice that no Infinity Ward game has done before. These will allow players to take missions on at their own speed, or just get a few more moments of that sweet space combat before they go back to the ground-pounding of regular Call of Duty games.