Preview

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare

The Jackal Assault VR Demo Is Equal Parts Intriguing and Confusing
by Suriel Vazquez on Sep 03, 2016 at 09:49 AM
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Infinity Ward
Release:
Rating: Mature
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Along with demos for Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered's multiplayer (as well as the new "Zombies in Spaceland" mode), Activision had a demo of Infinite's Warfare's PlayStation VR demo at this year's Call of Duty XP event. Titled Jackal Assault, the demo was brief, and while it offers some interesting glimpses into what we can expect when traditional gameplay mixes with VR, it doesn't quite sell the technology it's centered around.

The demo straps you into the titular Jackal spacecraft, explaining the controls as you get ready for take off. The left analog stick acts exclusively as your thrust, while the right stick orients your view. After takeoff, you follow an allied ship around a cluster of ships as a way to get a feel for movement. Eventually, you come across some debris, which you can clear away with your ship's machine guns using the R2 button.

Then, in the most telegraphed twist possible, enemy ships warp in, seemingly out of nowhere. At this point, a second reticle appears on-screen and the first indication this is a VR game appears; you can aim your ship's missiles independently of your gunfire by looking around the cockpit, firing them off with the triangle button after locking on.

As I flew around to dodge enemy fire, I felt a little disoriented, but never truly threatened. I had to look in one direction to get my missiles to lock on while also using the right stick to orient my ship. But there's no reason not to hold the R2 button at all times, and because colliding with other ships or objects never hurt you, I had no reason to watch where I was headed. After a few minutes of virtual dogfighting, the demo ends abruptly and tallies your fighter kills.

I don't think this is a good way to show off the capabilities of the PlayStation VR. Having to keep an eye on something other than where you're headed seems like too confusing a concept to implement in a full game where there might be real consequences for colliding headfirst into an enemy spaceship, so the demo partially felt like a bit misleading about what PlayStation VR games might be like.

The Jackal Assault demo will be free for everyone who purchases Infinite Warfare on PlayStation 4. For more on Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare’s single-player campaign, check out our cover hub. The game will launch on November 4 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.