Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare is finally here, and for the most part, fans of Activision's blockbuster first-person shooter series should be pretty happy. According to reviews, the game's solo campaign is being labeled as a thrilling space adventure at best, and just another Call of Duty at worst. The series' staple zombies and multiplayer modes are also looking good, though the latter seems pretty unchanged from last year's Black Ops 3. If you're on the fence about Infinite Warfare, here's what the critics are saying.
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Scorecard
Miguel Concepcion at Gamespot had high praise for Infinite Warfare, calling the game's story one of the series' most well-written in years and giving major props to its engrossing space combat. As with many reviewers, however, he noted that multiplayer isn't a big step up from previous games.
The campaign only lasts five to seven hours, but Infinite Warfare's writers manage to craft meaningful characters with depth that rivals any from the Modern Warfare series.
"Call of Duty games have always had vehicles, but it's hard to recall one as involving and unforgettable as Infinite Warfare's."
"Given the campaign's accomplishments in space combat, it's puzzling that no effort was made to replicate its zero-G sensations in Infinite Warfare's multiplayer."
Polygon's Russ Frushtick called Infinite Warfare's campaign a pleasant surprise, calling out the memorable characters (aside from evil Jon Snow, at least) and solid writing. Frushtick echoed the general sentiment that the multiplayer and zombies modes are fun, but play things pretty safe.
"A measure of narrative strength and success is whether you can remember a character’s name, or whether you care if they die. And I cared. A lot."
"Planetary variety did wonders to make me feel like I wasn’t repeatedly assaulting the same old arctic military base."
"If you played Black Ops 3, the multiplayer in Infinite Warfare is damn near identical."
"Unlocking some of the epic-tier guns without spending any money (beyond the $60 or more you already shelled out) could take weeks or even months."
While some reviewers loved the Infinite Warfare campaign, Time's Matt Peckham called it a predictable action-film experience. Peckham calls the dogfighting portions responsive but cluttered, and notes that the multiplayer modes are enjoyable despite being more of the same.
"There are bits of design elegance in the game... such as he first time you slip from the cockpit of your Jackal into zero gravity, maneuvering between asteroids with micro-thrusters as enemy spotlights stalk from above."
"It’s a tale of one-dimensional interplanetary insurgents reduced to no-dimensional quarry — blockades of human or robotic militants jammed into moon base corridors or crowding orbital arenas"
"Forget the plot — the game doesn’t seem to mind — and you’re left with a shooter that plays like a service update to last year’s hub-driven military adventure, scaled up to encompass the entire solar system."
Chris Carter of Destructoid was similarly critical of Infinite Warfare's campaign, calling it a decent but mediocre experience. Carter deems zombies mode the absolute highlight of the game, giving big praise to its cheesy 80s theme, fun characters and strong co-op gameplay.
"[Zombies mode] goes full crazy right away, with psychic powers, killer clowns, rollercoaster minigames, and David Hasselhoff playing himself."
"There's several cool instant foot-to-space-combat transitions and at least one low-key recreation of the No Russian mission that no one really cares about anymore, but those are fleeting, as the ground sequences comprise the typical Call of Duty feel of past games."
"If you were expecting anything totally new, including the non-inventive space campaign, look elsewhere."
IGN (7.7/10 - tentative)
Joab Gilroy was mostly positive on Infinite Warfare in his IGN review, scoring it a tentative 7.7. Gilroy notes that the game's short, inconsistent campaign only truly picks up at the end. While some reviewers came down on Infinite Warfare's multiplayer for being derivative, Gilroy praises developer Infinity Ward for sticking with the modes and mechanics that worked so well in last year's Black Ops 3.
"Infinite Warfare carries over the Pick 10 system, with 10 points to pick your weapons, attachments, equipment and perks. This is a fantastic system, because it's simple to understand while still allowing you to make your soldier your own."
"If you've been skipping the Zombies (and Zombie-like) modes in prior games in favour of the multiplayer, or if you’re new to Call of Duty, Infinite Warfare is the best place to start."
"It acts like it wants to be a serious sci-fi story without giving up the dream of also being Star Wars. This is at its worst when you're shooting early on, because the ballistic weapons you start out with do too little damage to people in space."
"There's a wealth of weaponry and gadgetry available, but it's drip-fed to you at an unsatisfying pace throughout the campaign."