Perhaps it’s time to acknowledge that this whole near-future and not-so-near-future experiment has been something of a misstep for Call of Duty.

Last year’s Black Ops III was a decent enough shooter, reworking the existential angst of the Cold War for an era of AI soldiers and virtual battlefields. But it’s the exception, the lone slightly-brighter spot in an increasingly tedious trajectory arcing through Ghosts, Advanced Warfare, and now Infinite Warfare.

We used to talk about “Call of Duty killers.” Little did we know Call of Duty would kill itself.

To infinity and beyond

It starts out well enough. Like many people, I actually watched Infinite Warfare’s E3 trailer with some amount of intrigue. “What is this game? It looks gorgeous,” I wondered, ships zipping around through the inky vacuum of space. And the campaign opens with some of that magic as your team plummets through Europa’s thin atmosphere to the icy surface.

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