Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare on the Xbox One returns to the roots of the franchise with large-scale war and a focus on cinematic, immersive military storytelling. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare will take players on an unforgettable journey as they engage in battles from Earth to beyond our atmosphere against a relentless, enemy faction that threatens our very way of life. It’s grand scale war with memorable characters, stunning new environments and hallmark boots-on-the-ground Call of Duty action.
Call of Duty Infinite Warfare - War rages on.
Over the years, as Call of Duty has grown in popularity, it has also grown in scope. What was once a relatively simple package that had a short but highly enjoyable single player campaign and an extremely popular, fast paced mutliplayer mode, has continued to tack on more and more elements, making existing modes more complex, and adding new modes.
Realistically, Infinite Warfare is three entirely separate games that honestly seem like they've been built for three completely different people. You have the campaign, the multiplayer, and for the first time in a Call of Duty game not developed by Treyarch, you have zombies. Each of these elements appeal on different levels to different people, so I'm going to tackle each of them individually, one at a time.
By far the most popular mode in a modern Call of Duty is competitive multiplayer. Sadly, it is also Infinite Warfare's biggest weakness. Ever since the Call of Duty franchise has been split between different developers to allow for longer development cycles, the different studios have each had their own feel. Say what you will about any one individual game, but Ghosts felt completely different from Advanced Warfare, which feels completely different from Black Ops 3. Infinite Warfare, however, doesn't feel like its own thing. For that matter, it doesn't even feel like Ghosts. Instead, Infinity Ward has chosen to almost completely co-opt the style of Black Ops 3. Seriously, if you would have told me that this game was Black Ops 4, I wouldn't have blinked, especially if I just saw the moment-to-moment gameplay. The sluggish wall-running, the hover jumps, it's all still here, and it all feels ever so slightly worse, just a little bit more loose. Ultimately, I'm not sure who Infinite Warfare's multiplayer is for. If you liked Black Ops 3, chances are you going to hate the handful of changes they made, and if you didn't like Black Ops 3, it's far too similar to change your mind.
The Treyarch influence on Infinite Warfare doesn't end with the multiplayer though, because now Infinity Ward is also making a zombies mode of their very own, although, much like the multiplayer, it is extremely similar to what was in Black Ops 3. It isn't quite as hard as it has been in the past, which is actually a nice change, since the mode has gotten more and more difficult as the years have gone on. On a fundamental level though, it's still basically identical. You choose one of four heroes, you buy new guns, you find a series of increasingly obscure hidden secrets, and you shoot a whole bunch of zombies while doing so. It does have a different setting at least, dropping you in the 1980s, with all the archetypes and expected jokes that come along with that. Unlike the multiplayer, where I'm not sure exactly who it was made for, this new zombies mode was made for people who love zombies, although those who come to it for a challenge will likely be somewhat disappointed.
The final element of the Call of Duty formula, the campaign, has slowly become the least popular part of a Call of Duty game, and while I do still tend to enjoy them as the action movie schlock that they usually are, nothing has managed to surpass the first Modern Warfare. Infinite Warfare, however, comes the closest of any of them. Call of Duty has been edging its way into the future for a while now, but Infinite Warfare really takes that concept to its logical conclusion, with faster than light travel between planets in giant spaceships. Thankfully, the writing and characters manage to ground it in easy to grasp modern military terms that make it feel just similar enough. It certainly doesn't hurt that it plays really well too. The seamless transition between shooting enemies on the ground to flying around in your fighter is used constantly to great effect, and the sci-fi setting makes for some glorious set pieces. Infinite Warfare's campaign does what all of these campaigns should do - it manages to still feel like Call of Duty without feeling derivative.
This year's Call of Duty feels like they've taken everything they had and thrown it at the wall, especially when you consider the fact that they're packing in a remaster of the first Modern Warfare if you throw them another twenty bucks. It seems like Activision was too scared to let Infinity Ward do their own thing though. The choice to copy large parts of Black Ops 3 instead of creating their own unique feel is extremely disappointing. Out of the three distinct parts of this game, I can only really recommend the campaign, and as much as I enjoyed it, it's hard for that part alone to carry the entire price tag associated with it.