Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare — a video game review

What can I say about Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare?

Like all of the Call of Duty games of recent vintage, the one-player campaign was too short. I realize that more gamers are interested in the multiplayer aspects of these games, but I am not one of that number. I like the story mode of all of the games I play, because I know that if I play the multiplayer, some twelve-year-old will be lying in wait to shoot me in the head every time my player-character spawns. Or, if that’s not my chosen death scenario, then someone will capitalize on a programming flaw that allows an infinite production of hand grenades or somesuch blarney, removing what minute level of realism might remain in the game. End result: I keep dying and respawning so that a twelve-year-old can shoot me in the head.

If this sounds bitter to you, it’s just me being genuine. I’m not a fan of multiplayer gameplay. And, to answer the unasked question: Yes, Virginia, I am an older player.

All right. We got that bit of unpleasantness out of the way, didn’t we?

In spite of its brevity, this is an awesome game. I wasn’t going to write a review originally but changed my mind. I skip the reviews for the games I don’t like at all (why would I waste more time on something I didn’t enjoy?), but I rather enjoyed this one, in spite of its brevity, which I already mentioned.

In some ways the flying battle sequences reminded me of Star Wars: Battlefront II. It also made me think about the Mass Effect series. In fact, while playing this game, I even said, out loud (to myself, which is kinda weird), it had many qualities that I wish had been present in Mass Effect: Andromeda.

Because I am who I am, it also reminded me of Battlestar Galactica and The Expanse television show and book series (I’m reading Cibola Burn at the moment, and lovin’ it). It’s that space opera thing that appeals to me. In spite of what I said about the Star Wars video game comparison, this game doesn’t really remind me of the Star Wars movies, which are more space fantasy than space opera, in my opinion.

In the campaign, you are Captain Nick Reyes, who is voice-acted by Brian Bloom, an incredibly busy working actor who has many screen and voiceover credits, including the Mass Effect series. While he is a generic hero archetype, he does some good work here. He was also one of the game’s co-writers. The cast also includes David Harewood, who you may know from the series Homeland, which I haven’t watched, but will always be J’onn J’onzz, the Martian Manhunter, from Supergirl to me. He gets to use his real Brummie accent in this one, making me wonder why he hasn’t been on Peaky Blinders. Another recognizable voice and face belongs to actor Omid Abtahi, who has been in a lot of productions, but who I know primarily from his role as Salim on American Gods.

Oh, I forgot to mention that Kit Harington—Jon Snow himself—gets to play the Big Bad of the video game, Martian Admiral Salen Kotch. I wanted someone to say, “You know nothing, Salen Kotch.” It doesn’t happen.

We’ve come to expect exceptional voice acting in the Call of Duty series, and this installment is no exception. There were other voices I recognized while playing the game, but when I looked up the cast none of the other names really jumped out at me. There is a zombie mode I haven’t played yet that includes recognizable names such as Jay Pharoah, Paul Reubens and even David Hasselhoff. I’m sure it’s a lot of fun, but I can’t give a first-hand review of it yet.

I found the gameplay to be exhilirating, feeling fresh and familiar at the same time. The fighting mechanics aren’t radically different from what you’re accustomed to in these games, although you get a few, neat futuristic weapons. The space battles seem suitably huge and sometimes more like spaceship melees than anything resembling a coordinated attack. You also get a chance to fight man-to-man in zero-gravity environments. That was fun and different. Inside the various ships, it was the cover, aim, shoot and reload that you expect, with a few interesting futuristic twists. The wall running and big robot wrangling sections reminded me of Titanfall 2, which came out the same year as this game. For what it’s worth, I preferred the gameplay in Infinite Warfare.

No surprises here. I liked this game. It gave me a video game space opera fix while allowing me the opportunity to try to kill Lord Snow at the same time. You can’t ask for much more than that.

It is, however, too short a game. Buy it cheap.

Firewater’s Care-Clouds-Judgment-That-is-Why-You-Cannot-Win Report Card: A-

Did I mention it was too damn short?

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