Winding up to launch Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare [official site] tonight, publishers Activision have detailed unlock timings and blasted a few surprising details such as: it'll have an unlockable permadeath mode. They call it 'YOLO Mode' but let's pretend they don't. I'm also into talk of the mega-tough Specialist difficulty mode, which includes such fun as needing to wear helmets to survive headshots and getting your weapon shot out of your hand. Splendid!
Infinite Warfare, to briefly recap, sees Call of Duty creators Infinity Ward take the reins for this year's installment. It's set in the near-future with spaceships and robots and everything. The campaign looks every bit the explosive spectacle I want from CoD.
Specialist Mode is unlocked after beating Infinite Warfare's campaign on any difficulty, Activision's blogman explains. Along with generally amping up difficulty, it brings fun like disabling health regeneration so you can only heal with Nano Shots and needing to wear a helmet to survive a headshot. Both Shots and hats take up equipment slots, making for tough decisions, and helmets can be damaged and need to be replaced. Then you have locational damage making legshots "impact your movement", armshots that "impact your ability to use equipment or aim down sights", and gunshots knocking your weapon out your hand. That's a cracking trick, that last one. Infinite Warfare does at least have leaning from cover so you're not ducking and popping all the time.
If you beat Specialist Mode, you can play YOLO Mode. As the name suggests, you only live once - die and you'll need to restart the entire campaign. According to the very serious Roguelike formula, this makes Infinite Warfare a Roguelikelikelikelike (or a roguelikelikelike, if you prefer that format).
'YOLO' is so... 2012? Games made on long development cycles will always be way behind the times by the time they launch but YOLO has been played out for so long that I can only assume this usage is wrapped in seventeen layers of 'irony'. I suppose you can shout "YOLO!" and take selfies while you play if you want to get into character.
Anyway! When will you get to play Infinite Warfare? Today, in some parts of the world. For others, it's after midnight. Activision's FAQ details these timings for the launch of Infinite Warfare and the Call of Duty 4 revamp included with its Legacy Edition (for an extra £20):
Japan, Asia, Australia, New Zealand: 12:01 AM JST on November 4th
UK, Europe, Russia, CIS, Middle East, Africa: 12:01 AM CET on November 4th
North America, South America: 12:01 AM ET on November 4th
That's 11:01pm tonight for us in Rock Paperland.
Please, please don't let EA's foolish decision to pit Titanfall 2 against Infinite Warfare scupper our dreams of future robotstomps.