In "Call of Duty" multiplayer, a confrontation between two players typically lasts anywhere from one to three seconds. It's a lightning-fast, twitchy game, where the player who fires the first shot usually wins.
It's all about reflexes, and in the good "Call of Duty" games, nothing else is like it. You develop an innate feel for the game, meaning you know when you've beaten another player in this rapid-fire quickdraw before it's even over.
Unfortunately, thanks to the fickle nature of the internet, things won't always go your way. In this year's game, "Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare," players are complaining about unfairness caused by the game's servers.
Here's an example:
In case you're not familiar with what's going on here, the player hits the enemy multiple times to no avail, while seemingly being killed by one shot. That's a situation like what I described above, where you as the player know you should have won, but didn't.
It came from this imgur album, which was posted on the game's official subreddit. Players have been complaining about this since the game's multiplayer beta in October.
Without getting too deep into technical jargon, this is basically a discrepancy between what you saw and what the game's online server saw. Oftentimes, the "killcam" (which shows the other player's point of view of the confrontation) looks completely different from what happened on your screen.
It's been present in the multiplayer for every "Call of Duty" game (and other multiplayer shooters), but players are claiming it's worse than usual in "Infinite Warfare." Of course, since it's Reddit, those who make the complaints have been told by some that they're imagining things or that they just need to get better at the game.
Anecdotally, I can say I've noticed the same problem in "Infinite Warfare." There are frequent situations where I feel like I should have gotten a kill, but I didn't because of the game's online infrastructure.
For full disclosure, I am also not very good at the game.
I'm also on the record as disliking the multiplayer mode as a whole, with the seemingly unfair lag being just part of the problem. Hopefully developer Infinity Ward will resolve the issue and find a way to make the game feel more fair.
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Credit: Infinity Ward / Activision