( This review focuses only on the Campaign. Zombies isn’t included since I wrote about it in my first impressions of the game.)
After Call of Duty: Black Ops II released in 2012, depending on who you ask, Call of Duty has been on a steady but increasingly fast decline in both sales and quality. At this rate, Call of Duty will meet the same end as Assassin’s Creed or Tony Hawk because in due part, nobody seems to want to listen to the fans that cry for something fresh, for something on the level of Call of Duty 4 or Modern Warfare 2, and franchise fatigue has set in for many fans of the franchise who see through the bullshit and just go to other big FPS franchises like Battlefield, for example. That still holds true, but Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare brings a much renewed life into the series even though it isn’t the best Call of Duty game.
After the disastrous game that was Call of Duty: Ghosts way back in 2013, Infinity Ward came back this year with Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and it’s definitely one of the most intriguing and interesting Call of Duty’s in a while. The game takes place in the far future in outer space, the campaign is the most interesting thing within the game outside of Zombies. Call of Duty’s recent foray into the future isn’t nothing new by any stretch of the imagination, it’s more of the same as it has been in previous installments dating back to Black Ops II, but this game’s setting of Outer Space is pretty interesting and is a return to basics for the franchise, like I’ve mentioned in my First Impressions, the story is about the mission or the soldiers that accompany you, it’s a theme that is heavy but the story pulls it off with ease and control.
When you think of campaigns in Call of Duty, you think of Michael Bay inspired set pieces, cliched villains, predictable twists, and corny dialogue but in Infinite Warfare you still get some of that, but all of that is incredibly toned down in favor of a more personal, real weight that oozes through the campaign’s story. While the character’s are cut from archetypal cloth, you feel attached to these characters and you want them to succeed and not be killed in the line of duty and nothing is lost in the mix of things. The gameplay doesn’t suffer and the big action set pieces aren’t lost either: It’s a good balance of story, action set pieces, and gunplay.
I thought that Kit Harington was a misstep in the game’s cast, he comes off as super boring and an annoying villain that fails to cast tension or animosity, he isn’t Shepard from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 or he isn’t any of the antagonists from Call of Duty 4 or Black Ops II. He’s a flat and uninspiring character that just doesn’t have any gravitas to him and that makes the story a little bit weak. Other characters like Ethan and Nora are really good, they’re well-written and both end up stealing the scenes that they’re in, especially Ethan.
Beyond the narrative of Infinite Warfare, the game also succeeds on numerous fronts. The interstellar setting brings some new features out and environmental variety, although the movement is akin to Black Ops III and the boots on the ground movement hasn’t changed since the original Black Ops in 2010. Levels include going to the moon, and another level that is set on a rapidly spinning asteroid and it was all a mix of different variety which did wonders and another success was dogfighting. The dogfighting lacks the depth of what came before with TIE Fighter or Battlefront, the sequences with the dogfighting is very cool and awesome and it’s a great way to add some sort of freshness to the already true and tried format that is Call of Duty, certain missions have you fighting on a surface of a planet before jumping into a ship and flying to space to board a starship, these sequences have zero-G which is alot of fun: Unlike the vehicle sequences of past games, like MW2’s opening level, the sequences here feel truly at home in the game.
The campaign’s length is comparable to other installments in the franchise, I finished the campaign on Veteran with over 8 hours, usually it’s 7 but I kept looking for things and doing side missions: the side missions have you going undercover and dogfighting in space. All of the side quests within the game feel unique, even if Infinity Ward used alot of assets to create them.
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare as a complete package stands out from the pack and it’s really fun, especially the Zombies mode. Infinite Warfare has one of the most interesting campaigns since Black Ops II and the older titles, there’s no doubt in my mind that Infinity Ward was wise to ditch Ghosts entirely and start from scratch. Infinite Warfare doesn’t try or attempt to change the wheel again.