Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Single-Player Review – A galactic battle leaving characters on the roadside
If there was ever a game that touched base on past and present so frequently, it would easily be that of the Call of Duty series. While they’ve jumped into the future before, it was only by years, or a handful of decades while still remaining in the realm of feasibility as you fought the wars of earth. With the newest title, Infinite Warfare, we have something else entirely new and different.
No longer are we in 1944 Nazi Germany or in the current middle East in an ongoing war of oil. Instead, we find ourselves in the blackness of space. Fighting in the atmosphere of Venus, infiltrating enemy space battlecruisers straight out of sci-fi, and taking back lost land on the moon. We are fighting Mars, a detached colony of humanity under a new banner. Raised in war and military doctrine, the SDF will stop at nothing. Death is their only solution and you are the only barrier that can push them back.
You are Commander Reyes, the newly appointed CO of the retribution, a space shuttle similar to that of modern day aircraft carriers. It is here that the player relaxes in their quarters, speaks to their shipmates, and chooses the next available mission. The vessel is impressive and it shows that the developers did an appreciative amount of research and work to bring it to life. One of the most impressive additions in the ability to actively choose missions from the main decks hub.
While the side missions aren’t a requirement, it was an extremely refreshing approach to a title that has always been notoriously linear. The amount of variety given in these levels is impressive and opens the door to what the Call of Duty franchise could become. Half of the side missions involve infiltrating military vessels for multiple reasons. The other half revolve around dog fights in your space jet. While the dog fights usually follow along the same set of objectives, the vessel infiltrations are what tend to shine the most. My favorite mission required me to sneakily enter a vessel and masquerade as the enemy while I approached a meeting with senior members. I then sealed them into a room, removed the oxygen, and snuck back out before anyone ever knew what happened.
The main missions themselves are beautiful in design as well. A majority of them take place across varying planets and moons, and I found myself usually pausing in awe to look at the myriad of color and terrain before wanting to really move on. Even the space stations themselves are created in beautiful detail, and offer multiple approaches for the player. Hanging in the back of the fight and shooting out the glass near enemies will suck them out into zero gravity, or you could wallrun across a few surfaces before coming full frontal with the enemy. While I really did enjoy the campaign, I did notice it was painfully short if you were to remove the side missions from the game entirely.
Rather than unlocking weapons through experience, you gained them by picking them up on the battlefield. Once retrieved, a complete scan of the component would complete, giving a basic rundown of the weapon type before adding it to the players arsenal for use in a later mission. While I had a few favorites in the beginning, one of the coolest moments I experienced was by changing to a weapon’s alternate fire. In doing so, Reyes split the assault rifle in half, thus creating the option to dual wield automatic weapons. It’s such a small thing, but it really stood out to me as something that someone spent a lot of time and appreciation on. Unfortunately, there were also a few weapons that just didn’t seem to work for me either. Apart from standard ammo, some weapons have the ability to shoot laser rounds. While they did a fair amount of damage and excelled against robotic foes, something about them just didn’t really click for me.
While the gameplay of Infinite Warfare excelled past most recent titles, it also somehow found a way to create some of the most forgettable characters. Between Reyes and Salter, his second in command, they were pretty one sided. There were moments where an attempt to develop was created, but it felt shallow and rushed. The most disappointing was Kit Harington’s character. Not only was he scarcely present, they also had the opportunity to make him into something that was truly terrifying and ambitious as the main villain. By the time the dust was settled, he eventually wasn’t any different than another enemy pawn on the battlefield. I found more life in some of the secondary characters, and would have gladly spent the majority of my time next to Ethan for the entirety of the journey. He felt human, had a good sense of humor, and somehow felt relatable. Especially, once you consider the fact that he is a robot.
Overall though, I really did enjoy my time with Infinite Warfare. The locations were absolutely gorgeous and it was great to see the developers over at Infinity get the chance to step out the bubble of realism and create something entertaining and full of fresh ideas. It’s just disappointing that a few characters weren’t able to keep up with the rest of the world.