It has been a long time since a Call of Duty game brought a fresh perspective to the setting or an overhaul to the gameplay. Following the success of Black Ops II, fans were treated to one embarrassment and two mediocre follow ups. That slump has now been broken by taking the war to the cosmos.
Infinite Warfare is the first title since Black Ops II to truly alter the direction of the series while bringing a unique experience that is unforgettable. Disgruntled fans who have been asking for something new will be happy to know that this is that experience they have wanted. This is a Call of Duty game that offers a new experience that is inspired by both historical events and the many great works of military science fiction. At the same time it has returned to its roots of solid story telling and character development that is on par with the early titles.
The story is set in a distant future were Earth has been depleted of its resources and so humanity has established colonies across the universe that are governed by the United Nations Space Alliance (UNSA) and protected by the Solar Associated Treaty Organization (SATO). During this new space race, militant factions begin to emerge with the goal of seeking independence from earth. The most powerful of these organization is the Settlement Defense Front (SetDef) under the leadership of Admiral Salen Kotch.
For most of the conflict, SATO and SetDef forces have engaged in minor skirmishes while the UNSA works to protect the fragile peace. The conflict escalates into a full blown war when SetDef launches a surprise attack against the UNSA capital of Geneva while crippling the SATO fleet.With limited time and resources, Captain Nick Reyes and the crew of the Retribution must launch a counter offensive before the war is lost.
Infinite Warfare single-player experience is a story inspired by both past conflicts and Robert Heinlein acclaimed novel, Starship Troopers. The story begins in a solar system with a volatile political climate that is very similar to that of the Cold War and pre-World War I Europe. This fragile peace is shattered by a surprise attack inspired by both the Pearl Harbor Attack and the annihilation of Buenos Aires.
Settlement Defense Front itself is an unforgettable enemy that draws its influence form the Helghan military from the Killzone series if they were based on the Soviet Army circa-1960’s. Yet one should not be deceived as this enemy does share the same brutal tactics and politics as the Third Reich. This brutality can easily be witnessed during the Attack on Geneva as SetDef soldiers butcher innocent civilians.
Infinite Warfare multiplayer is interesting as it tries to incorporate itself into the single player story. Instead of being a simple battle between two teams, multiplayer story is about a mercenary army that offers its services to either side of the conflict. The gameplay mechanics itself has been fine tuned to allow players to have an experience based on the outer space setting. Fans of the zombie side-game will not be disappointed with Zombies in Spaceland as they will battle the undead in a 1980’s amusement park.
Despite all the changes that it brings to the series, the game could have been more but its current setup is holding it back. Infinite Warfare has the potential to be grow but its setup is stunting its ability to grow. What Infinity Ward needs to do is experiment with an open-world FPS setup similar to No Man’s Sky (only not boring). Gaming has evolved drastically since Modern Ware was released and so the series needs to break away from the standard shooter setup.
One must also acknowledge how underused Kit Harington was as Salen Kotch. At first glance he appears to wanna be one of the most vicious villains since Victor Makrove but ends up becoming a one dimension character who repeats the same lines. We have no real backstory or motive for why he would justify his actions. Also there is no clear explanation how is army is whiling to follow him blindly despite his lack of compassion for them.
While its style really could use an overhaul and the villain is bland, Infinite Warfare is still one title that gamers should not miss out on. It’s especially worth getting if one gets the Legacy Edition which includes Modern Warfare Remastered. Going back to when the series redefine the genre is unforgettable trip down memory lane but one should not overlook the battle for the cosmos.
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare brings the first real transformation to the series since Black Ops II. It’s an unforgettable experience set in a conflict inspired by historical events along with some the greatest works of science-fiction.
Final Score: 8/10
Disclaimer: The game used for this review was purchased at GameStop.