Almost a decade after the release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, many of the players who buy this year’s Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare will have spent plenty of time with the franchise over the past ten years. As a result, the game is being packed with challenging content to test the abilities of even the most veteran fans.
This year’s installment features a 1980s-inspired twist on the Zombies side-game and a multiplayer mode inspired by Oddball from the Halo series. However, there’s also a new spin on the game’s single-player campaign that’s sure to offer up a challenge to even the most experienced players.
Beating the game once on any difficulty unlocks Specialist mode — which a post on the Activision Blog describes as “intensely realistic and not for the faint of heart.”
Specialist mode only allows players to heal by using Nano Shots, and forces them to use Helmets as a defence against headshots. Both of these pieces of equipment take up valuable loadout slots, so players have to think carefully about their offensive and defensive requirements.
On top of this, taking damage has more of an impact than a simple loss of health. Being shot in the legs affects movement, being shot in the arm makes it more difficult to use equipment or aim down sights, and the player’s weapon can be shot out of their hands.
This might sound like the ultimate challenge that Infinite Warfare has to offer, but it’s not. Completing the game with Specialist mode activated unlocks the game’s hardest difficulty: YOLO mode.
YOLO mode is a permadeath option where players have to start the campaign afresh if they die even once. To many, this might sound like an exercise in frustration, but there will certainly be players who are eager to try out this kind of challenge for themselves.
When Infinite Warfare was announced earlier this year, gamers lambasted its trailer while providing ample praise in the direction of Battlefield 1. YOLO mode certainly caters to hardcore fans, so it’s difficult not to see this addition as a method of currying favor with the hardcore Call of Duty fanbase.
Whatever the intention behind the mode, it’s an intriguing addition to Infinite Warfare. While Call of Duty campaigns is typically designed to be approachable for all players, higher difficulty levels have offered up some major challenges in the past — and YOLO mode seems poised to raise the stakes significantly.
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare is set to release on November 4, 2016, for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.