Status: Campaign complete
Most Intriguing Idea: Evil people are right
Best Design Decision: Lock-on follow in the dogfighting segments
Worst Design Decision: Stealth missions
Infinite Warfare is a dark, nihilistic game in which a hungry Earth that aims to exert authority over every world in the system and extract all their resources is “good” and the evil militaristic colonies are actually right about warfare. Nothing that happens in the game stands up to much scrutiny, least of all the story of its protagonist. Nick Reyes is somehow absurdly proficient at flying space jets and carrying out secret missions on space ships and fighting space wars with space guns, and also is the captain of a capital ship where he never spends any combat time on the bridge. Incredibly, nobody points out that this man, who kills literally thousands of enemy soldiers in a single day (the whole game takes place in one day!), is clearly Earth’s most valuable weapon and the most important mission objective at all times is to ensure his survival at any cost.
Reyes’ ridiculous talents allow the game to put together a few missions where he goes from his space fighter jet thing into ground combat or vice versa, but the advantages pale against how incredibly silly this plot point makes everything feel. The fact that the SDF or whoever the bad space colonists are continually get their asses handed to them in spectacular fashion by this one guy really makes them seem incompetent and silly as a threat. The former multiple-protagonists motif of previous Call of Duty games would have worked wonders in solving both the absurdity of Nick Reyes and the neutering of the enemy.
As far as the gameplay goes, it was kind of a yawn. I genuinely enjoyed the space dogfights for the most part, although those segments ground to a painful halt every time Nick had to take down a full-size ship. The space gunfights, alas, were not all that interesting or unique and the effort to implement an extra tactical layer with two distinct kinds of damage was a dud. None of the cool things that could and arguably should be going on in cool space fights ever really seemed to; guns didn’t impart momentum, gravity didn’t seem to fluctuate all that much based on location, in dogfights you couldn’t flip around backward to fire at the guy on your 6 without losing momentum. The stealth, thankfully rarely employed, was pretty much trash. I wouldn’t mind if Activision pushed out a game built around a more developed version of the dogfighting. As for the rest, Call of Duty would be better off returning to the 20th century.
Verdict: Not recommended