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Parents' Guide to Call of Duty Infinite Warfare (PEGI 18)

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In collaboration with the Games Rating Authority, here’s our parent’s guide to Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare.

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1. PEGI Rating

In the UK and Europe, PEGI rates Call of Duty Infinite Warfare as PEGI 18, suitable for adults only, for extreme violence, multiple motiveless killing and strong language.

The Games Rating Authority expands on its PEGI details by saying that ‘Infinite Warfare is set in the distant future, after Earth has been stripped of its natural resources as a result of population growth and industrial expansion, prompting the nations of the world to unite together and form the United Nations Space Alliance (UNSA)’ which faces a new enemy ‘known as the Settlement Defense Front (SDF), which consists of insurgents that broke away from the United Nations Space Alliance during a war of secession’. The GRA states that ‘strong bloody violence is a continuing theme throughout the game.’ In the main campaign mode enemies can be blown to bits with various weapons, but ‘there are no identifiable body parts left on the ground’, although ‘dismemberment and decapitation [...] are more prevalent in the “Zombies in Spaceland” mode during which ‘melee encounters with Zombie characters’ explosions and the use of large calibre weapons will result in legs, arms and heads being left on the ground’. ‘The motiveless killing of innocent characters is another feature of the game, but this is restricted to moderate levels of violence.’ The ‘sexual expletive[s]’ ‘fuck’ and motherfucker’ can be heard in the game.

2. Genre

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare is a military shooting game with a science fiction theme.

The game is played from a first person perspective, and gameplay mainly revolves around shooting human enemies on foot either on the ground or in zero gravity, and occasionally in the cockpit of a space vehicle.

Both multiplayer and zombies mode allow local split-screen for two players to play offline or on with a single console. Split-screen is not available on PC.

3. Similar Games

Call of Duty’s main rival in the military shooting genre is the Battlefield series, the latest of which is Battlefield 1, but the far future setting of Infinite Warfare also drops it into the SF shooting territory of games like Halo and Killzone.

4. Story

In the far future mankind has spread across the stars, with a resource-strapped Earth dependent on outer colony worlds for supplies. The player takes the role of Commander Nick Reyes aboard the United Nations Space Alliance vessel Resolution, as the USNA faces a threat from insurgent secessionists the Settlement Defence Force.

5. Developer

Infinity Ward are one of three rotating studios developing Call of Duty games, and were previously responsible for the Modern Warfare trilogy as well as Call of Duty: Ghosts.

6. Format

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare is available for PS4, XBox One and PC for around £40 or $60 for the basic game, with a separate season pass costing around £40 or $50 offering new multiplayer maps and zombie expansions over the year following release.

7. Duration and Difficulty

Call of Duty Infinite Warfare’s campaign takes around six to eight hours to complete, depending on ability, but the ever popular multiplayer and zombie modes will add considerably more hours of play, with extra maps and options being added through the season pass.

8. Themes

Infinite Warfare might send the Call of Duty franchise to the final frontier, but it’s very rooted in the 21st century in terms of its political concerns and conservative military ethos. While zero gravity, distant planets and futuristic weaponry are brought in to liven up the gameplay, this is still a story about brave men and women of the military authorities banding together to protect the status quo against rebels and insurgents who may have a point, but who always let that point down by sadistically gunning down innocents or blowing up civilians.

The theme of resource wars projected into the future is a timely one, but Infinite Warfare sticks closely to its gung-ho parent series rather than explore the implications in any detail.

9. Why people play

Call of Duty is an annual big budget entertainment event which brings people together, like Christmas TV specials or music festivals, and Infinite Warfare aims to provide bombastic familiarity alongside a twist of something new to keep things interesting.

If the underlying gameplay of cover-based shooting and the package of campaign, level-based multiplayer and wave-based zombie mode is familiar, then that’s not necessarily a bad thing for the friends and families who will be coming together and maybe taking time off work or college to celebrate this modern seasonal tradition.

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Andrew Robertson
Andy Robertson is the editor of AskAboutGames and has written for national press and broadcast about video games and families for over 15 years. He has just published the Taming Gaming book with its Family Video Game Database.