Game stations at The Ultimate Fan Experience, Call Of Duty XP 2016 in Inglewood, California. Photo: AFP

Are you a Stryker or a Phantom? What’s new in upcoming Call of Duty online multiplayer

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare out in November features new weapons and special combat suits tailored to each player, to help them battle human opponents in a variety of competitive online matches


Activision Blizzard has already revealed details about the narrative of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, the military action game, out on November 4 for PlayStation 4. From Friday in Los Angeles, the publisher will let players explore the franchise’s most popular mode.

During the three-day Call of Duty XP event, players will get the first taste of new features for multiplayer mode, where players battle each other in a variety of competitive matches online.

Call of Duty is a first-person shooter, where players often work in teams to skirmish in different competitive matches, including Capture The Flag, Team Deathmatch (the team with the most in-game “kills” wins) and Domination (players capture key points on the map and protect them from the opponent).

New to Infinite Warfare is a match type called Defender.

“It’s like playing keep away when we were kids,” says Dave Stohl, the head of Infinity Ward, the studio developing Infinite Warfare. “It’s like having the ball and you’re trying to keep it away from the other team.”

Perhaps the most important change to multiplayer in Infinite Warfare is the introduction of “combat rigs”, special combat suits tailored towards how the player wants to approach combat. If you’re more a team player, you can opt for the tactical Stryker rig, or Phantom, a sniper-based rig if you prefer to work covertly. Each rig features one of three weapons to choose and one of three “traits” to give players a battlefield boost.

A scene from an online multiplayer match in Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare.

Stohl says the goal is to make equipment an important part of selecting a player’s load out – the collection of weapons and items players will use prior to entering combat.

“For years, we’ve had run-and-gunners, we’ve had assault rifle guys,” says Stohl. “We wanted to take a step towards giving the players a way to customise their equipment to their playing style, which I think is really exciting.”

Among some of the new weapons and gear are a claw capable of spread-firing ammunition across a wide area or ricocheting bullets around corners. There are also seeker grenades that will attach to enemies before they explode, or the black hole grenade that can suck opponents out from cover.

Stohl says the game is still about “soldier versus soldier”, but the studio wanted to give players interesting gear to equip their digital fighter the way they wanted.

“We’ve got all this cool new stuff, and people are going to want to try it, and that leads to discovery,” says Stohl. “And it’s that discovery in the load out that’s so cool.”

The game will also take advantage of its new frontier in space through multiplayer’s various maps. Along with locations based on earth, players will battle aboard a space station and even an asteroid.

“It’s very thematic,” says Stohl. “We wanted to go to these crazy locations and give people really new and amazing places to play in.”