Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare's Throwback Reload Animations Are Great

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare didn’t impress me too much but there is one thing the game gets right: reloading. With guns that feel like they were lifted from Perfect Dark, one little touch brings a lot of charm.


I was raised on a steady diet of first person shooters. Doom was a highlight of my early gaming days. Blasting demons and gliding around at fast speed was an absolute treat. The real revelation was Goldeneye 007. The guns were punchy and had a wonderful, snappy reload. The motion wasn’t new. I’d seen it in Doom but this had a real cadence to it.

Down. Cha-CHICK! Up.

Slowly, this began to fade out of games. With the ability to deliver high quality animations reloading meant slapping magazines, pulling bolts, and sliding individual bullets into the cylinder. In some ways, it was an intimate thing. You got to see how your gun was put together and understand it as a tool. But it was often mechanical and professional. It was work.


Sometimes, it makes sense to be mechanical. Battlefield 1 wants to focus on how dirty and bloody war can be. Gun reloading animations show the tools of war in a spectacular way. They are heavy weapons that chug and shake. Don’t just reload. You feed them ammo and they spit it out into pure, hot death. But Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare is different. While the main story wants to focus on some heavy themes, the weapons communicate something else. Something sly and subversive and fun. Plenty of them have normal reload animations but a few head back to basics.

Down. Cha-CHICK! Up.

One of the more memorable guns in Infinite Warfare is the Type-2. It’s a great science fiction weapon. In one mode, it’s a sturdy assault rifle. Shifting to the other firing mode breaks the weapon into two rapid fire pistols. It really feels emblematic of Infinite Warfare’s design. The game keeps a majority of the series’ core gameplay but occasionally breaks free into something fast and wild.


Rushing about with guns akimbo isn’t new to the series. Modern Warfare 2 had the TMP, Glock18, and Desert Eagle. Black Ops 3 had a healthy arsenal as well. But there’s a big difference between reloading. In those titles, you pull away to watch the magazines slide out the bottom of the gun. In Infinite Warfare, you get something simple.


Down. Cha-CHICK! Up.

With a simple motion, Infinite Warfare ties itself back to a broader history of shooters Who knew that it would take a trip to the future to go back to our roots?

Former Senior Writer and Critic at Kotaku.

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The difference in animation quality from COD to BF1 is unbelievably apparent in those two gifs. One took time and care to make something that looks realistic, one didn’t.

Also, I love with all that recoil shown (COD now) the animation doesn’t crawl up or to the sides (again realism), it just goes straight back (which btw - in space would make shooting difficult).