WARNING: Spoilers Ahead. Proceed at your own risk.
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare's Story Campaign is one of the best in recent Call of Duty history. By far. It had characters that I remembered after I was finished, which is a true rarity in the CoD series. There's Reyes, Salter, Gator, Macmullan, and Gibson. That's a grand total of four more names I remember than normal.
So the characters are memorable, but is the story any good? Well...no. No, it isn't, but that's okay. Video games in general don't have good stories, but they shine bright with characters. Games like Mass Effect don't have a strong overarching story, but still receive acclaim for their characters.
Infinite Warfare isn't quite at the Mass Effect level, but it's definitely a step up. Of special note is E3N, or Ethan. He is, by far, the best character in the game. It's cheating to have a robot who's also funny and emotes like a human, because that's the best of both worlds. He's both reliable in a fight, and your best friend. He's self depreciating enough to take robot jokes in good humor, and also regularly messes with everybody around him. One particular scene in the middle of the game, which is the strongest scene in the game, is where you're floating in space and your suit is leaking. Ethan tries to help you, and gives a very human line: "Captain, I can't stop it. What do I do?"
The credits scene is incredibly effective for this reason. You have a chance
This proves that CoD is still capable of having real emotional moments. The weakest part of the game is its villain, though. Jon Snow does his best villain impression, but some of the lines are so hilariously evil that it feels like he's a cartoon villain more than a real threat. "Surrender for immediate execution" is the funniest, most over the top line I've heard in the past decade.
In fact, the enemy faction in this game is hilariously over the top. The game feels the need to really drive home that yes, they are in fact, evil. The death screens will tell you every little evil thing about them, like how all citizens are required to possess weapons, and how freedom has no place under the light of the sun.
On the gameplay side, it was surprisingly varied for a CoD game. Aside from all the space segments and the disappointingly rare zero-gee shooting sections, the on-the-ground segments are all memorable in and of themselves. No more are they all simply just shooting through hordes of enemies. There are stealth sections where you aren't getting your hand held by an AI ally, horror-esque sections with horde zombie bots, levels where you can shoot the window out and depressurize the area, and sections where you have to quietly eliminate enemies to save hostages.
Adding onto that, there are two more intriguing new difficulty modes. Specialist and (sigh) YOLO mode. In these modes, you don't have a crosshair, your health doesn't regenerate, your limbs can take damage, and you can die from an instant headshot. If your arms are damaged, it will affect your ability to reload and aim. If your legs are damage, you will be thrown to the ground and be unable to move as quickly. If your chest is damage, your aim is affected. Your weapon can also be occasionally shot out of your hands, forcing you to either grab it or lose it. Adding onto that, helmets and nano-shots, the game's health kits, take up a slot in your gadgets, limiting your offensive capabilities.
Oh, and in YOLO mode, if you die you have to restart the campaign. As outdated as the internet phenomenon is, it certainly is appropriate here.
Are any of these original? No, of course not. It's not like any of these weren't done before. However, precious little in the AAA industry is original nowadays. I'm just glad that Infinite Warfare proves that there's still a heart in there.
In closing, is Infinite Warfare's Story Campaign good? Certainly. It's a bit on the short side, but there's plenty to keep you in the game without spending money on a season pass.