Shooting your way to glory, but in spaaaace!
Activision's Call of Duty XP event in Los Angeles featured a number of exciting games to check out. We competed in Infinite Warfare multiplayer, teamed up in Zombies in Spaceland, and test drove Modern Warfare Remastered. But the most amazing thing might've been the Infinite Warfare VR experience for PlayStation VR.
Call of Duty XP's VR setup
The first Call of Duty XP took place five years ago. This year's event is the second iteration of the festival, so there was a big break in between them. In the last year, Activision launched both the Call of Duty World League and a major eSports initiative, so it was time for a second XP.
Call of Duty XP is the culmination of a yearlong season of competitions in which teams of the best Call of Duty players from all over the world competed for prizes. The event caters to more than just eSports competition, though. In addition to Call of Duty-themed activities, attendees got to play a number of upcoming Call of Duty games, including the Infinite Warfare virtual reality experience.
The VR experience was set up within a massive shipping container featuring multiple compartments. Before we could play the game, we entered an instruction chamber. Inside, a faux marine barked orders while an in-universe tutorial video instructed us on the intricacies of piloting a Jackal. The Jackal is a jet/ship capable of flight both in atmosphere and space. In Infinite Warfare's futuristic setting, it's the primary fighter of the SATO (Solar Associated Treaty Organization).
Inside the main compartment, Activision set up a number of PlayStation VR stations. Each station had a primary monitor on which observers could watch the player's game session, as well as a number of decorative side monitors. The chairs had device underneath the that provided rumble and motion sensations that made for an incredible VR experience. I want one!
Call of Duty VR
The Infinite Warfare VR experience takes place within the cockpit of a Jackal. Looking around, you can witness the cockpit controls, your pilot's arms on a pair of flight sticks, and his legs in the seat. You play this VR demo with a DualShock 4 controller, using the analog sticks to pilot the ship. As you move a thumbstick, the pilot's arms move accordingly in VR. Quite cool to see/
Initially, our Jackal is loaded into the launch bay of the Retribution, a UNSA (United Nations Space Alliance) carrier used to transport dozens of Jackals and thousands of troops across space. Finally we take off into the vastness of space, where numerous additional carriers and ships surround the Retribution.
Our first task is to fly around the carrier, inspecting a malfunctioning radar dish. A collision with space debris has damaged the dish, whose repairs automatically initiate when we enter its vicinity. But several pieces of detritus continue to float around the ship, and it's our job to eliminate them.
The Jackal comes equipped with rapid-fire blasters and lock-on missiles. We use them to make short work of the debris. A voice on the radio then orders us to inspect an anomaly in the vicinity. As we approach, an SDF carrier suddenly emerges from nowhere. The Settlement Defense Front are the antagonists of Infinite Warfare, an insurgent faction attempting to take over the solar system.
The SDF carrier launches dozens of fighters that quickly begin attacking our carriers. We chase as many as we can down, hammering them with missiles and occasional blaster fire. We can fire a total of three missiles before reloading, either focusing on individual targets or locking onto a trio at once. The SDF ships don't stand a chance.
After taking down enough enemy fighters, we learn that the SDF carrier is preparing to blast the Retribution. We head towards it in a last-ditch defense attempt, but not before it lets out a blast that fills our view field with intense white light. The carrier's attack signals the end of the demo.
The Call of Duty VR experience will come free with the PlayStation 4 version of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. The game (sans VR level) is coming to Xbox One and PC as well on November 4. PlayStation VR owners won't want to miss it!