Revogi - Tech for Smarter Homes

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I think it’s safe to assume that most of our home appliances will be controllable with our smart phones and tablets in the near future. I can already manage most of my audio and video equipment via iPhone and Android apps, so it’s only natural to expect the less conventional devices to follow the same path. Revogi, a newly launched tech startup, is aiming to bring us closer to that future. With Revogi’s line of Smart Light products, you’re given full control over the lights in your home from the convenience of a single app. 

Revogi sent us a few sample products to test, and we’re excited to share our experience with this unique, new technology. Our sample package includes the following items: Revogi Delite 2 Smart LED Lightbulb, Revogi Smart Color Lighstrip combo bundle, Revogi Smart Candle Light and the Revogi Smart Meter. I spent the last two weeks playing around with the different products, and I’m happy to report that the practicality of Revogi’s products is immediately apparent. 

Revogi Delite 2 Smart LED Lightbulb: The Smart Lightbulb is probably the most surprising product, mainly because I didn't see the appeal until I actually started using the light on a daily basis. I never thought I’d benefit so much from being able to manipulate my light source via a mobile app, but Revogi has turned a simple household item into something truly special. 


Before I get into its versatile features, it’s important to highlight the bulb’s impressive specs: A lifetime of 25000 hours (or 15 years at 4.5 h/day), 2700K-6500K or RGB Colors, Bluetooth 4.0 compatibility, a 15m range and a maximum wattage of 6.5 Watts. At 165g, the Revogi Smart light bulb is notably heavier than conventional light bulbs, but this is largely due to its extra hardware and Bluetooth capabilities. 

Installing the Revogi Delite 2 is as easy as screwing a conventional bulb into its source. Once installed, the Revogi app immediately picks up any of its active products via a quick scan, and you’re ready to start adjusting and tweaking settings to your liking. The Revogi app boasts a sleek and easy to use UI, and it takes seconds to master all the different functions. You can choose any color from its vast color wheel, you can adjust light brightness with a simple brightness slider, there are seven dynamic effects that can be enabled (like the music equalizer, kaleidoscope or candle flicker) and you can even set up a scene that combines the different modes into a singular stream. 

I found myself adjusting the light setting regularly to complement the current mood or whatever I was doing. I’d switch to a cool turquoise color setting when gaming (I found the specific color soothing), then I’d use a warmer color for movie watching, and I found myself leaning towards a dim purplish color whenever it rained outside—it created a very soothing work atmosphere in my office. Essentially, the Delite 2 ended up being way more than just a gimmick. It’s practical and far more useful than what one might expect!

Revogi Smart Meter: This is an essential product for people with home-offices and anyone who likes to keep an eye on their power consumption. The Smart Meter serves as a power outlet HUB for analyzing power consumption and usage costs of any plug-in appliance. Like all Revogi products, the Smart Meter is controlled via the same mobile app, and it provides the added benefit of letting users turn off appliances when they leave their home. The Smart Meter is non-intrusive and small. It weighs a mere 76.3 g and it works as a median between the power outlet and the device in use. I’m typically very energy conscious, but being able to see exactly which devices consume the most power has allowed me to save around $25-$30 a month, which can add up to quite a bit over the year. A word of caution though: If you’re using the Smart Meter with your computer, make sure the timers aren’t set to turn off when you walk away. It’s easy to leave the setting on and forget about it when switching devices. I accidentally had my PC turn off the first time I used the meter as I forgot to set it up properly—but to be fair, that was purely user error. 


Overall, the Revogi Smart Meter is an invaluable little tool that can benefit any household. It’s easy to use, and it can save you a good chunk of money once you isolate the most power hungry devices in your home or office. 

Revogi Smart Color Lightstrips: This is the perfect solution for those looking into bias lighting for their HDTVs and monitors. There are two different versions available: A small, two meter long strip that’s perfect for singular use, and a larger container with a three meter strip for multi-purpose use. The Revogi Smart Color Lightstrip works like most standard bias lights, but with the added benefit of letting users manipulate the light source thanks to Bluetooth 4.0. 


Just like the Revogi Delite 2 Smart LED Lightbulb, the Revogi app gives users full control over the colors and effects, which is practical if you prefer rotating different light setups while using the bias lighting. Using the Lightstrips in combination with the Delite 2 works especially well since you can coordinate all the light sources to work insync when activated. It’s a great way to give your entertainment setup that extra cinematic flair.

Revogi Smart Candle Light: The Smart Candle is, personally speaking, the least impressive out of all the products we received. While it offers the same kind of flexibility and control as all the other Revogi devices, I can’t see much use for it when compared to a traditional candle. Sure, the Smart Candle is capable of staying lit indefinitely, but the extra features aren’t as handy or useful. If I can already get candle-flicker and light effects from the Delite 2 light bulb, I see little reason for the candle. I suppose it’s useful for special occasions or for people who normally like to surround themselves with candle light (since this is MUCH safer), but other than that, it feels a bit too gimmicky when compared to the other excellent devices. 


The Revogi products are really impressive and they deliver on their promise of streamlining household items for greater accessibility and control. Considering that Revogi already offers home security systems with the same easy-to-use ecosystem, I’d highly recommend looking into their lineup for a more power-efficient and modernized home and office.  

Kasda AC 1900M Smart WiFi Gigabit Router Review

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My home office has more devices connected to the internet than I’d like to admit. I feel that every piece of tech I own taps into my internet usage, and it’s hard to know whether I’m getting the most out of my service on a daily basis. Thanks to Kasda’s new AC 1900M Smart WiFi Gigabit Router, users can expect faster and more reliable speeds, especially those who do a lot of online gaming.

Until recently, I’ve been using the ASUS RT-N66U Dual-Band Wireless-N900 Gigabit Router as my primary device, and it has served me extremely well for both my professional and hobbyist needs. For an $88 router, the ASUS RT-N66U has delivered excellent performance, so can Kasda’s cheaper, albeit more powerful, option provide a more economically viable alternative?

Most people may not be familiar with Kasda, but these folks have been developing networking products since 2001. The Transformer KA1900 is the company’s latest router aimed at customers seeking a Broadcom chipset without the Netgear pricing. Accompanying the attractive price tag is a generous 2-Year Warranty and a plethora of impressive specs: a wi-fi speed of 1300Mbps for 5GHz and 600Mbps for 2.4GHz, wireless rate up to 1900Mbps, USB3.0 and USB2.0 port for printer and storage sharing, 6 internal antennas to deliver the best wireless signal, wireless WPA/WPA2 encryption to keep your network safely connected, 1 Gigabit Ethernet port for Internet access & 4 Gigabit Ethernet port for wired LAN connection (ideal for gaming and video streaming), Dual-Band that delivers faster speed with less interference for maximum throughput and, of course, Web filtering Parental Controls for all your connected devices.

"Accompanying the attractive price tag is a generous 2-Year Warranty and a plethora of impressive specs!"

The overall KA1900 design is simple and sleek. It’s aesthetically featureless and blends in elegantly with other tech equipment around the home or office. The back houses four ethernet ports and an internet connection with the two USB ports stealthily tucked away on the side. The entire front face is covered with a high-gloss material that may look good when new, but attracts dust and fingerprints almost instantaneously. The router won’t win any awards for stylistic creativity, but at least it doesn’t call for too much attention.

The KA1900 installation is effortless. After making all the necessary cable connections, it’s just a matter of setting up the proper WAN Connection Type and following the included step-by-step guide. Once installed, the KA1900 delivers impressive performance. Speeds weren’t exactly six times faster (as advertised), but the connection remained notably more stable during prolonged usage.


"Online gaming is practically flawless, and I can finally watch streaming shows without the heavy artifacting."

Normally, my connection starts dropping when I have more than three devices simultaneously downloading or streaming content, but the KA1900 allows me to continue using several devices without worrying about signal drops. I’m able to play online competitively, download a movie and stream Netflix in 4K all at the same time without a hitch—for the most part. My Asus router also had a hard time with speeds at night. I would get frequent 2-3 hour service drops, which have no longer been an issue since I started using the KA1900. On the downside, the KA1900 suffers from its own share of service drops, most of which seem firmware related. The service drops aren’t as frequent, I maybe had 2-3 drops in a two-week period, but they still happen occasionally.

Since installing the Kasda AC 1900M in my home office two weeks ago, I’ve had a much smoother internet experience on a daily basis. Online gaming is practically flawless, and I can finally watch streaming shows without the heavy artifacting. Since I do both gaming and work from my home office, I’ve been able to test the connection extensively, and, aside from a few minor hiccups, it’s been the superior product.

B+

HyperX Cloud Stinger Review

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After releasing the superb HyperX CLOUD Revolver and the CloudX Pro, HyperX is shifting gears and focusing on something a little simpler: the budget-priced HyperX Cloud Stinger—an affordable headset that delivers substantial performance, even if the build design and quality suffer. The Cloud Stinger may not win any awards for looks, but considering the low asking price of only $35, The Stinger isn’t too shabby of a performer. The audio delivers a solid punch, and the overall performance is surprisingly balanced regardless of how stubborn the signal gets.

The HyperX Cloud Stinger doesn’t make a good first impression. The headset looks and feels cheap. The design and build quality resemble something you’d find in the bargain bin section of Toys R Us. Even though it appears like a flimsy children’s toy, it feels comfortable once put into action. At only 275g, the headset is extremely light and doesn’t cause any issues after long-term use. I really wish HyperX had refrained from using such cheap plastic for the body. The headset damages easily, and it’s bulky shape only accentuates the cheapness of the materials.


"The HyperX Cloud Stinger doesn’t make a good first impression. The headset looks and feels cheap. The design and build quality resemble something you’d find in the bargain bin section of Toys R Us."

Fortunately, much is forgiven once the audio drivers get to flex their muscles. The Cloud Stinger handles the toughest material with confidence. Whether you’re surrounding yourself with the hyper-realism of Battlefield 1, or you’re zigzagging through the colorful tunes of Overwatch, The Stinger provides strong overall performance. As always, setting realistic expectations for your purchases is imperative when trying to decide on the right product.

For a budget headset, the specs are pretty impressive: 50mm dynamic drivers with neodymium magnets, a frequency response time of 18Hz-23,000Hz, a 30 Ω impedance, a sound pressure level of 102 ± 3dBSPL/mW at 1kHz and an input power rating of 30mW, Maximum 500mW. There aren’t any EQ tweaking options or any type of extra settings, so don’t expect much flexibility when it comes to the default equalizer tuning.


"But if you can look past its bulbous exterior, there’s a pretty lean set of drivers that knows how to jump into action when needed."

I’ve tested around eight titles from different genres, and the Cloud Stinger never exhibited any hiccups. When it comes to reliability, HyperX certainly knows how to handle their QA department. Even after blasting the volume at maximum level for several hours, there were no signs of noise or crackling. The HyperX Cloud Stinger is certainly a trustworthy performer.

Overall, the HyperX Cloud Stinger is a decent, albeit unimpressive, budget headset. I feel most gamers are better off spending an extra ten bucks for something substantially better, but if you’re really strapped for cash, the Stinger is a solid piece of tech with a proper punch. The ugly design doesn’t help the Stinger much either, but if you can look past its bulbous exterior, there’s a pretty lean set of drivers that knows how to jump into action when needed.  

C+

All You Need To Know About E-Sports

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This past year might be remembered as the year Great Britain voted to leave Europe, or the year a reality television star and businessman was elected the most powerful man on the planet – but 2016 was also the year that eSports finally made it mainstream.

You would be wrong if you thought eSports were a 21st century inception. The first video game was released in the late 1940’s and gamers have been competing against each other in tournament style events ever since. Even the earliest arcade-style games, like Tennis For Two and Pong were the focus of competitive competitions.

By the 1980s, gaming had gathered quite a following. Arcade enthusiasts all over the United States were challenged to go down to their nearest gaming centre and post the highest score they could on the first ever creation from the Donkey Kong franchise. 80s gaming giants Atari hosted a Space Invaders tournament, attracting over 10,000 of the quickest fingers in the western world.


Nintendo took the gaming market by storm during the 1990s, but it was still arcade games that reigned supreme when it came to early eSports competitions - with newly released games like Street Fighter and Mortal Combat proving the perfect battle ground for gaming combatants. It was during the late 90s that PC gaming started to rise in popularity, as PCs became more widely available to common gamers all over the world. Early first-person shooter games, such as Goldeneye and Quake made their mark on the tournament gaming circuit – creating a solid foundation of popularity for future games like Call of Duty, Battlefield and Overwatch to build from. PC was also the platform that launched Role Playing Games (RPGs) like Starcraft and Warcraft into the gaming market for the first time, forever altering the eSports stratosphere.

The Millennium coincided with a surge in eSports tournament activity. The inaugural Electronic Sports World Cup and World Cyber Games competitions were hosted in the year 2000. The Major League Gaming (MLG) was launched just two years later and today, they are the most powerful eSports organisers in the business.

Improvement in internet connection saw the majority of households around the world switch from dial-up to broadband. This brought about a new age in gaming, where home gamers could compete against players from all corners of the globe. Gamers would use message board forums to share high scores and eventually, gaming enthusiasts would begin to stream their video game experiences and opinions on YouTube – with some of these early video blogging pioneers making a profitable career from something that was once considered a mere past time.


USA Network covered a Halo 2 tournament back in 2006, but it took almost a decade for eSports to break down the television barrier and become a permanent fixture on free-to-view TV. The majority of eSports tournaments can be streamed online, but there are now television channels dedicated to providing 24 hour eSports coverage – with Ginx eSportsTV being the market leading channel on both sides of the Atlantic.

Whilst there are tournaments for games popular with casual gamers, Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) games soon became the major platform for the biggest and best professional gamers to wage war on. Warcraft III: Defense of the Ancients was the first real-time strategy game to find the perfect middle ground between complexity, approachability and spectatorship. Many games since have followed that blue print, including League of Legends (LoL): the most played MOBA game on the planet. 

LoL tournaments have also spawned a huge online betting market. Bookmakers BWIN released an investigatory article into European betting trends surrounding eSports events. They reported that there had been a 312% increase in wagers being placed on eSports tournaments over the last year alone, with League of Legends accounting for 69% of the market turnover.


Betting on these markets was shown to be popular all over Europe, but the German market were by far the most active, with 41% of all bets placed on eSports tournaments coming from Germany. As the interest around eSports betting continues to grow and more markets become available, it won’t be long before this European success is replicated in other areas of the world.

LoL may be the most played MOBA game, but it’s Death of the Ancients 2 (DOTA 2) that provides the perfect platform for the pros to do battle. DOTA 2 players are amongst the richest in the world of eSports and the current prize pots involved with DOTA 2 tournaments are staggering. The 2016 renewal of The International DOTA 2 tournament offered a prize pot worth more than $18m, a world record amount for any eSports event and a whole lot more than many traditional sporting championships.

ESports have come a long way since those early days of Space Invader tournaments and Donkey Kong contests. Today, eSports are a major player on the world sporting landscape and being a professional gamer has become a realistic and lucrative career for gamers who have the passion, determination and talent to compete with the best. It’s been a long and difficult journey to get to where it is now, but for eSports, this just seems like the start of the adventure.

HyperX Alloy FPS Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review

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This is it. This is the keyboard I’ve been waiting for my whole life. The HyperX Alloy FPS combines everything I’ve always wanted in a mechanical gaming keyboard into a singular unit: high-end performance and portability. As someone who games and works on their computer, I’ve always struggled to find a keyboard that meets all of my needs. High-end gaming keyboards that offer the best features are traditionally extremely bulky and heavy.

On the contrary, small and sleek keyboards that are practical in size don’t normally achieve the same responsiveness and accuracy as the larger, gaming-oriented models. Fortunately, HyperX has paid close attention to what’s missing on the market, and they’ve given us the HyperX Alloy FPS Mechanical Gaming Keyboard —my new, personal favorite keyboard for both gaming and work!


"This is one of the most comfortable and most practical keyboards for FPS gaming on the market."

Switching from my aging Gamdias Hermes to the HyperX Alloy FPS was equivalent to transitioning from an old, bulky CRT monitor to a brand new, flat-screen display. The HyperX Alloy FPS is notably smaller and lighter than just about every gaming keyboard I’ve tested over the last few years, and it doesn’t skip a beat when it comes to competitive gaming. This is one of the most comfortable and most practical keyboards for FPS gaming on the market. Measuring at only 441.65mm in width, 129.38mm in depth, only 35.59mm in height and weighing as little as 1049g, the HyperX Alloy FPS clears up a lot of desk room, and looks that much neater as a result.

The overall design is elegant and simple. I’m usually not a big fan of the over-the-top approach to most gaming keyboard designs, so seeing such a classy approach is truly refreshing. This isn’t the type of keyboard that screams for attention on your desk. It neatly blends in with the rest of the setup, and looks that much better because of it. The HyperX Alloy FPS also comes with a very handy carrying case and a detachable cord for portability. For gamers who like to keep their work and gaming space immaculate, the HyperX Alloy FPS is a godsend.


"I’ve spent the last two weeks playing more than two dozen FPS titles using the HyperX Alloy FPS, and I’m absolutely blown away at how well this keyboard performs."

The HyperX Alloy FPS isn’t just a looker either. It delivers remarkable performance thanks to its impressive specs: a 1000Hz polling rate, 100% anti-ghosting, 6-key / N-key modes, USB 2.0 (2 USB connectors) with one of the USBs serving as a phone charger, 6 LED modes and 5 brightness levels and, most importantly, Cherry MX switches for improved feedback.

The HyperX Alloy FPS is fast, responsive and remarkably comfortable to use. The keys provide superb feedback and response time giving users unprecedented precision for both gaming and typing. HyperX has also included red, textured interchangeable keys for WASD and the 1-4 numerical keys, which serve as a useful, visual aid when gaming.

I’ve spent the last two weeks playing more than two dozen FPS titles using the HyperX Alloy FPS, and I’m absolutely blown away at how well this keyboard performs. My k/d ratio in both Battlefield 1 and the New Call of Duty has improved tremendously, and it’s thanks to the keyboards superb comfort and responsiveness. The added texture on the WASD keys is surprisingly useful as it gives gamers a better feel for key distribution. As a result, functions like reloading and crouching are easier to perform.


"Like their newly released HyperX Cloud Revolver and the HyperX Cloud Pro, the Allow FPS has exceeded my expectations in just about every way."

While mostly advertised as a gaming keyboard, the HyperX Alloy FPS shouldn’t be overlooked by casual users either, as it provides excellent performance even from a work-only perspective. I’m currently using the Alloy FPS to type this review, and it’s the most comfortable keyboard I’ve ever had the pleasure typing on.

Conclusion: HyperX has yet again blown me away with another remarkable gaming peripheral. Like their newly released HyperX Cloud Revolver and the HyperX Cloud Pro, the Allow FPS has exceeded my expectations in just about every way. From its sturdy and compact built quality to its flawless performance, the HyperX Alloy FPS Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is a must-buy for anyone seeking excellence without draining their wallet.

A+

Batman: Return to Arkham Review

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I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that the Arkham series has had more impact on the third-person brawler genre than any series before it. It revolutionized hand-to-hand combat and set a new standard of gameplay the same way Gears of War expanded on the third-person shooter genre. As someone who’s played each entry religiously, I was ecstatic when Warner Brothers announced a remaster of the most popular two entries—despite excluding the criminally underrated Origins.

Now that the remaster has been out for a while and I had an opportunity to replay through both updated entries, my feelings about the whole package are somewhat mixed. On one hand, Batman: Return to Arkham is the perfect bundle for newcomers who never had a chance to play the series last generation, and who don’t have access to a powerful enough gaming PC. On the other hand, the overall remaster treatment is inconsistent, with some moments making my jaw drop, while others made my eyes squint. 

Unlike the previous entries, Return to Arkham was handled by developer Virtous (largely known for their Final Fantasy X and X-2 HD remasters). Virtous has put a lot of emphasis on boosting texture resolution and refining fine, environmental details, but it seems they missed out on re-capturing the dark atmosphere that made the original entries so cinematic. Rich, shadowy values have been replaced by strong lights which do great justice highlighting the superb texturing work, but they coincidentally overshadow...well, the shadows of the original.


"Despite a “lighter” overall treatment, Batman: Return to Arkham looks absolutely stunning on modern consoles. Arkham City in particular looks incredible. I spent a good deal of time just walking the streets and admiring the stupendous amount of detail brimming from the surroundings."

Despite a “lighter” overall treatment, Batman: Return to Arkham looks absolutely stunning on modern consoles. Arkham City in particular looks incredible. I spent a good deal of time just walking the streets and admiring the stupendous amount of detail brimming from the surroundings. Every street corner looks lived-in, and despite the whole sandbox lacking citizens and active vehicles, Arkham City feels like a real place. 

It’s also worth mentioning that the environmental overhaul is more impressive than what’s been done with the characters. Batman no longer has that grungy look to him, instead he looks like a  shiny action figure that just stepped off the assembly line. I’ve encountered several bugs where his cape would look torn in one scene, but would then revert to looking spankin’ new in another. These type of issue become even more apparent during close-ups (especially Joker), where the lack of shadows created an odd flatness to their expressions.


"Virtous has put a lot of emphasis on boosting texture resolution and refining fine, environmental details, but it seems they missed out on re-capturing the dark atmosphere that made the original entries so cinematic."

Fortunately, these issues are only apparent when you view the old and new versions side-by-side, and most newcomers aren’t going to be bothered by the artistic shift in direction. The biggest issue, however, is the inconsistent framerate that severy impacts the gameplay. The Arkham series is known for its fluid combos and buttery smooth animations, but Batman: Return to Arkham can barely keep up with the action. What’s even more confusing is that Arkham Asylum, a game that’s far more linear and smaller in its environments, runs significantly worse than the open-world Arkham City.

In City, I can easily get 60 fps during most interior levels, while the outside remains relatively stable at 30fps with the occasional dip. In Asylum, the framerate drops are frequent and random. The fps can drop to single digits when just walking down an empty corridor, while other times it’ll stay smooth despite the screen being filled with enemies and plenty of effects. There’s definitely a bug, or rather a lack of polish in the code, and there’s still hope that Virtous will patch up the issues, especially with the PS4 Pro just around the corner.


"Despite my laundry-list of complaints, I still had a blast playing through Batman: Return to Arkham."

Visual improvements aside, both titles and their DLCs have remained unchanged. This isn’t a bad thing since everything else about these games has been near flawless, but I do wish some of the clunky animation transitions had been smoothed out to better complement the cleaner visuals.

Despite my laundry-list of complaints, I still had a blast playing through Batman: Return to Arkham. As a remaster alone, it’s definitely on the sloppy side, but since this is the only way to experience this superb series on next gen hardware, it’s still worth the asking price (that is unless you have a hefty gaming rig of course). Batman: Return to Arkham misses out on being the definitive Batman package, especially when compared to the recently released Bioshock collection, but it remains a piece of gaming history that every gamer needs in their collection.  

7.5

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Legacy Edition Review

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Review Note: We were provided with a retail copy of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Legacy Edition for review by Activision. This review specifically covers the Legacy edition, which includes a downloadable remaster of the original Modern Warfare. 

I never thought I’d be saying this about a COD title, but Infinite Warfare’s most exciting element is its well-paced, albeit horribly narrated, campaign. While the cringe-worthy writing continues to devolve with each iteration, the overall mission structure and variety are standouts next to the lukewarm and, dare I say, humdrum Multiplayer and Zombies modes. 

The shift to outer space delivers a welcoming change in scenery, and the newly introduced space combat offers some of the most memorable moments during the seven-hour campaign. Gamers who’ve traditionally bought COD for the campaign are going to get most out of this release, but sadly, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare fails where it usually succeeded the most: Multiplayer. 

Considering that 2016 has been one of the best years for the FPS genre in recent memory, Infinite Warfare stands as a relic when set side by side with the recently released Titanfall 2. From unimaginative map designs to a complete lack of gameplay innovation, Infinite Warfare’s Multiplayer mode feels old-fashioned and sluggish. I imagine even veteran COD fans are scratching their heads this year, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Titanfall absorb the fanbase in no time.


"Fortunately, I’ve learned to completely disregard writing in COD games because, let’s face it, COD writers are to storytelling what Rob Liefield is to comic book illustration: a tragedy."

The campaign follows generic male #678, or as Infinity Ward calls him Captain Reyes, who sets out to defeat evil, outer-space John Snow. Kit Harrington, for whom I have great admiration for as an actor, is yet another wasted celebrity figure that serves no purpose but to give us a familiar face. His motivations for blowing shit up are never explained, and he may very well be the least memorable villain in the entire Call of Duty franchise. Fortunately, I’ve learned to completely disregard writing in COD games because, let’s face it, COD writers are to storytelling what Rob Liefield is to comic book illustration: a tragedy. 

Once you can mentally separate yourself from the callow writing, you’ll find that Infinite Warfare’s campaign is structurally more liberal than its predecessors. After a few introductory missions, you’re greeted to a Mass Effect-style HUB on your spaceship where you can choose from a handful of side-missions, most of which revolve around exuberant space combat scenarios that Infinite Warfare mysteriously excluded from the Multiplayer. 

Infinite Warfare still pales in comparison to most other modern FPS campaigns, but at least I didn't feel like the game was playing itself—although you’re still following brainless NPCs who are telling you what to do nearly every step of the way. In a way, Infinity Ward reminds me of Polyphony Digital. Once responsible for revolutionizing a genre, they’ve since remained stuck in the past and completely out of touch with reality. Nevertheless, if there’s one thing Infinity Ward is good at, it’s making Michael Bay seem like a little boy who plays with matchsticks. Infinite Warfare’s space combat is filled with flash and pizzaz. It’s over the top in typical COD fashion, but it works much better with a heavy sci-fi backdrop. It’s all superficial stuff for the most part, but at least you can walk away from a COD campaign feeling somewhat satisfied.


"Aside from the more modern weapons and perks, you still feel like a headless chicken zigzagging through a minefield—only now, issues I haven’t noticed before are starting to become more problematic."

The same can’t be said for the Zombies and Multiplayer modes. I should also confess that I’ve never been a fan of the repetitive Zombies mode, and I still don’t understand the appeal. You’re still presented with simplistic levels with a few window openings where you get to shoot predictable, slow-moving zombies...and well, little else. Aside from a different setting, and a rather impressive animation intro, this is the exact same Zombies mode we’ve all seen before. 

It’s the Multilayer, however, where all of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare falls apart. It’s been nine years since Modern Warfare catapulted COD to global acclaim, and honestly, little has changed since then. Aside from the more modern weapons and perks, you still feel like a headless chicken zigzagging through a minefield—only now, issues I haven’t noticed before are starting to become more problematic. For one, there’s too much shit on the screen. You can barely make out the generic characters as they blend in with the backgrounds, and all the matches revolve around the same set of strategies. 

Secondly, all the futuristic additions to COD are actually making the already simplistic gameplay even more imbalanced. The wall running is a joke, and rarely serves a purpose considering that none of the map levels are properly designed to benefit from the added skill. Aside from a few choke points where the extra traversal flexibility offers a brief escape, it’s a terribly implemented element that’s even more useless than before.


"Every level, every match and every single aspect of the COD franchise now feels like an oversized basket of busted eggs, and Infinity Warfare is the result of all the yolk turning into a giant scrambled egg omelet with high calories and cholesterol, but little nutritional value."

Even with the introduction of different combat rigs that are supposed to offer individually unique experiences based on play-style, there’s literally no substantial difference between these rigs aside from minor mobility and attack/defense tweaks. It also doesn’t help that the COD online community is at its most toxic, and I can honestly say that I haven’t walked away satisfied from a single online match, even when ranking on the top. Most of the issues are due to the developer's’ inability to design proper maps. Every map is full of annoying hiding spots that encourage camping and cheating. As a result, every player on the map moves around like a seizure victim to avoid the inevitable death that can come from any angle. I never thought of COD as especially archaic, but this year, there’s simply no more place for this franchise. The alternatives are unquestionably superior in just about every way.

This bring us to the Modern Warfare Remaster, which is only available if you purchase the more expensive Legacy Edition. As if things weren’t bad enough, the inclusion of Modern Warfare is somewhat ironic. It only serves to highlight how little the series has grown. Every level, every match and every single aspect of the COD franchise now feels like an oversized basket of busted eggs, and Infinity Warfare is the result of all the yolk turning into a giant scrambled egg omelet with high calories and cholesterol, but little nutritional value. The added visual touches to Modern Warfare are nice, and the game does look lightyears better than the original, but the question is: what is the point? The campaign, while still solid, feels archaic compared to basically every other modern shooter, and the Multiplayer currently only offers a handful of maps. I don’t even see the point in covering the Remaster separately as it provides the same damn experience we’ve had for nearly a decade...but I guess it’s what gamers wanted? Right? Right? RIGHT??

In the end, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Legacy Edition disappoints despite offering a pretty solid campaign. While rich in content, Activision’s quantity-over-quality approach is no longer working. With Battlefield 1, Overwatch, Doom and now Titanfall 2, there’s simply no room left for COD. I shouldn’t feel exhausted from playing a game, but that’s exactly how I feel every time I step away from an Infinite Warfare match. I feel exhausted from doing the exact same thing a decade later. I think Activision can learn a thing or two from Ubisoft and embark on a long-term sabbatical before beating us over the head with the same product.

6.5