Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare - Continuum (PlayStation 4) Review

By Gareth F 19.05.2017

Review for Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare - Continuum on PlayStation 4

Listen up, soldier. The superiors over at Activision HQ have been made aware that some of the longer serving troops in the Infinite Warfare campaign have been suffering from combat fatigue and are eager for a change of scenery. To this end, the newly-released Continuum programme sees four new engagement locales optimised for swift, precise sorties, while the unfortunate souls on undead duty will be consigned to 1970s era New York (don't ask how) on a project internally codenamed Shaolin Shuffle. Activision, in accordance with the Sony organisation, insists that this content remains exclusive to the PlayStation platform for a period of thirty days - no more, no less. Now, get to work, soldier. Stay frosty.

After surviving the Rave in the Redwoods, the four unfortunate wannabe actors/zombie magnets unwittingly caught up in this never-ending nightmare find themselves zapped into the funk-heavy neighbourhoods of 1970s New York, where the undead stalk the subways, rooftops, sewers and streets, not to mention the numerous clubs and bars that are scattered about the map. Pretty much every corner or doorway has the capacity to spew out a seemingly unending stream of restless corpses, and while it's a flow that can be stemmed to an extent by nailing shut a few flimsy barricades, it pretty much always boils down to fight or flight. Renegade auteur Willard Wyler's next B-movie disaster-piece, 'Shaolin Shuffle,' is a corny kung-fu flick that borrows heavily from the Blaxploitation era of cinema, further authenticated by the presence of Ms Foxy Brown herself, Pam Grier, who can be found in the martial arts dojo playing the Shaolin Sister.

Expect legions of putrid shufflers sporting afros, bellbottom strides, platform shoes and all manner of pimped out flowery garb, all underpinned by a rock solid punk/funk soundtrack featuring the likes of Blondie, Funkadelic, The Stooges and James Brown. There's a new zombie on the block in the form of the fast moving roller disco rotter that skates at high speed towards whoever happens to be nearest, and as the match proceeds there's a variation of this very mobile necrotic that explodes upon contact. Yikes.

Screenshot for Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare - Continuum on PlayStation 4

Like all previous COD Zombie episodes, it's the usual co-op task-driven fight for survival that's very much geared towards earning cash to access other areas/buy better weapons, while attempting to uncover the many Easter eggs, which is made all the more fun when played with mates. Shaolin Shuffle has its own unique feature in the form of four different unlockable fighting styles for each character; though, admittedly, this reviewer hasn't the foggiest idea how to go about it. Too busy in the Afterlife Arcade trying to earn Soul Tokens to get back into the main game.

Not a big fan of shooting at shambling corpses? Prefer to take aim at a wilier, more unpredictable target? Well, don't worry, as Continuum also has four new thematically diverse multiplayer maps to add to the kill rotation.

First up, Turista is a luxury off-planet retreat and spa that appears to have been constructed around the gargantuan skeleton of a long dead beast, with a view to die for... As many do during the course of a match. Hey, the warning signs were there when that booking for twelve arrived with not one suitcase amongst them, but a suspiciously high number of oversized violin cases and now they're all jumping, sliding and wall-running around the joint, while taking pot-shots at one another.


 
It's a fairly large arena, half of which is taken up by the hotel building itself (complete with robot bar staff) that provides a warren of tight angular corridors littered with plenty of nooks/cover, opening up into a number of sizable chambers that frequently get used in objective based modes. The external areas are a bit more spacious, with sections split between multiple levels that can make it slightly trickier to navigate quickly, but perfect for campers wanting to hunker down with a sniper rifle as the surrounding rocks can provide coverage of sorts.

From a design standpoint, it's hard to get away from the classic three-lane layout, but the aforementioned layered contours of the landscape do make it feel fairly unique in some ways. As is usual with the majority of COD maps, it's the central courtyard area that tends to be the focal point of most of the conflict during a round, making it ideal for those that prefer combat to be fast-paced and constantly mobile. Would hate to see the Yelp reviews for this place.

Screenshot for Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare - Continuum on PlayStation 4

Scrap is no doubt a stark environmental message (strongly enforced with firearms) outlining the potential future consequences of Earth going interstellar with its waste management and disposal practices in that many idiots will be drawn to these futuristic recycling facilities purely to shoot each other in the face. Taking place on an abandoned junkyard on the moon it does feel vaguely familiar from an aesthetic standpoint, largely due to using a similar colour palette as the stock Terminal map, but that's as far as the comparison goes. Imagine breaking into a scrapyard at night time with the intention of finding a replacement steering column for an Austen Allegro, but then somehow getting embroiled in a gunfight. That's pretty much the gist of it.

What..? More details required? Okay. There are huge mounds of scrap metal dividing up the site that are traversed via interconnecting tunnels made from discarded pipes or freight containers leading to other parts of the circular arena. Besides promoting a fairly rapid flow of play there is also the opportunity for a well organised team to artificially create choke points in a number of different sections, which can lead to some fairly intense shootouts. Plenty of depressing infrastructures to hide in/fight over, not to mention those gnarly looking grinders that make mincemeat of any mis-timed double jumps. There are also a pair of low hanging electro magnets that provide the fairly unique opportunity to do some long distance sniping whilst hanging upside down. Nice touch, but it's a shame they couldn't be manually operated to grab unwitting enemy troops with a view to dropping them into the hungry maw of the grinder. Missed an opportunity there, Infinity Ward.

Screenshot for Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare - Continuum on PlayStation 4

Next up is Archive, which sports a name that might suggest a library or research centre of some kind, but it is in fact a fairly minimalist art gallery where the exhibits get blood splattered and fire damaged on an almost second by second basis. It's quite a labyrinthine structure made up of rooms of varying size - a gift shop and a sizable canteen area with a path winding through the open adjoining archways that's normally trodden by a more genteel, refined patron more likely to lob a pithy critique in the direction of a piece of art they found objectionable rather than a Black Hole Projector (these do chew the carpet up something rotten). Modern art isn't for everybody, though, eh?

The sparse, concrete external area that runs all around the complex is overlooked by a few key elevated spots and it makes for some good spacious gunplay, though hanging around here too long runs the risk of falling victim to air-based score streaks. Three lanes, busy central room… It's getting increasingly tougher to write something original about a COD map when those two stock phrases pretty much sum up all of them succinctly, but that really doesn't matter here. Just know that this is another great arena that will bring hours of joy and anger in equal measure, much like every other COD map in existence.

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Nothing exceeds like Excess. The aptly-named fourth and final map in Continuum's quartet of pain is a gaudy gold-plated eyesore akin to running riot on the roof of Trump Towers (probably). In keeping with the tradition of remixing fan favourites from COD past, this time around it's the classic 'Rust' getting the full makeover treatment, a compact circular arena that was originally set in a desert oil refinery. Amazingly, it's actually the third map to make an appearance from Modern Warfare 2, which could be problematic if Infinity Ward has any intentions of bringing out a remastered version further on down the line, and while it retains the same tight, claustrophobic layout as its direct inspiration, it does at least feel like an entirely new map thanks in no small part to the change of location.

There are plenty of odd little structures and strangely-placed walls littering this arena (as well as gold vanity statues and even a golden armoured car in a glass case), which, at a ground level, gives it an almost maze-like quality, and running around corners blindly will often lead into unplanned confrontation with pockets of enemy troops. The spawn/die/respawn cycle on this map is relentless, but it does at least guarantee a high octane match every time. Snipers can climb up the central structure to get a good line of sight over the structures below, but it does leave them open to attack if they get too comfortable in one spot, and it doesn't hurt to get into the habit of lobbing a grenade in that general vicinity whenever the opportunity arises, as it pleasingly yields results more often than not.

Screenshot for Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare - Continuum on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

While Infinite Warfare probably has more than its fair share of detractors, it can't be denied that Infinity Ward has done a bang-up job with the DLC content to date, as well as fixing the majority of the issues that plagued it initially. Anybody still invested in the multiplayer component would be foolish to pass up on Continuum, as it provides an additional four maps to stalk, shoot and explode on, as well as yet another classic 'straight to VHS' Zombie extravaganza stacked with enough funk in its rotting trunk to keep the dead party bumping.

Developer

Infinity Ward

Publisher

Activision

Genre

First Person Shooter

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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