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  • Anticlimax Boss:
    • While some of those Settlement Defense Front officers in the Most Wanted list do put up quite a fight (such as the ones who are Ace Pilots), many of them are no tougher than regular enemies. Players probably don't notice Lieutenant Andrew Hawryluk and Captain Radoslav Barkov among the Mooks killed, despite the latter having a speaking role in a side mission. However, the worst example goes to Vice-Admiral Caleb Thies, who turns into a Red Shirt.
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    • Similarly, players never actually fight Admiral Salen Kotch himself, not even as a cinematic Quick Time Event. Players must hack a bot to bash his head into a console a few times, and Kotch will die of his injuries a few minutes later if the player doesn't stab him in the throat.
  • Author's Saving Throw: After Infinity Ward's last installment, Call of Duty: Ghosts, received many accusations of Unfortunate Implications thanks to portraying every Latin American as Always Chaotic Evil and having the main cast consist of burly Caucasians (sans a single Token Minority who falls victim to The Black Dude Dies First), the cast of Infinite Warfare is far more diverse and inclusive.
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  • Awesome Music: Sarah Schachner's score for the game. All of it.
  • Broken Base: The game's outer space setting - some fans were excited about the focus on space combat and the potential new game-play modes while others have grown burnt-out with the science-fiction aesthetic of the past several entries in the series and would rather see the franchise return to its original World War II setting (which hasn't been visited in nearly seven years, excluding the Bastogne virtual sequence from Call of Duty: Black Ops III) and something they would eventually do, similar conflicts like Battlefield 1 or, to a far lesser extent, being set in the modern era. Of course with the new game being released, this has been quelled a slight bit.
  • Complete Monster: Admiral Salen Kotch is the ruthless and single-minded leader of the SDF, and is devoted to the conquest of the Solar System, and the eradication of Earth-born bloodlines, which he sees as inferior and unworthy. Kotch introduces himself confronting wounded UNSA soldiers, briefly feigning sympathy before ordering their brutal execution. In that same scene, he casually shoots one of his own soldiers to demonstrate that by not caring, he has what it takes to win the war. He would go on to orchestrate a terror attack on Geneva, causing wanton destruction and thousands of deliberate civilian casualties, before going on to destroy the Tigris and killing all its personnel. Throughout the campaign, Kotch sends out broadcasts to the UNSA that their cause will fail and that they should accept surrender and execution. He also sent a spy on a suicide mission to activate a beacon to signal a full SDF invasion of Earth. When the invasion begins, Kotch has his flagship, the Olympus Mons, destroy the UNSA headquarters, killing Admiral Raines. When Reyes and his team board the Olympus Mons, Kotch orders its self-destruction to wipe them out and to destroy the city beneath them in the process. Unscrupulous and fanatical to the bitter end, Kotch is willing to sacrifice civilians, his own men and ultimately his own life to the cause of Earth's devastation and further the power of SDF.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
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    • Robot Buddy squadmate "ETH.3n" has gained quite a few fans; similar to Riley from Call of Duty: Ghosts.
    • Kotch, largely due to his portrayal by Kit Harington.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Thanks to being played by a mo-capped Kit Harington, Kotch is undeniably this to some.
  • Game-Breaker:
    • The "NV4" assault rifle: Its Epic variant does full damage at all ranges, and is among the most commonly used weapons - especially in Hardcore, where it's a one-shot kill. The base variant is no slouch either, boasting a fast reload, excellent accuracy and damage.
    • The "Volk" assault rifle: while it doesn't have the fastest rate of fire, it deals a lot of damage and, like all energy weapons, has an unwritten side effect of shots bouncing off of walls. With the right attachments, it becomes the best assault rifle in the game; additionally, the Volk can be acquired at the start of the first firefight of the second level of the campaign, doubling as a Disc-One Nuke.
    • The "R.A.W." light machine gun, with the right attachments, is a devastating weapon: thanks to the "Man At Arms" trait, which grants maximum ammunition and allows for fast movement, it becomes very powerful for campaign and multiplayer.
    • The "Ghost" perk returns with almost the same functionality as it did in Call of Duty: Black Ops: players utilizing Ghost do not appear on the enemy mini-map when enemy UAVs are active or radar pings are used, provided they are sprinting, using a Scorestreak or defusing/planting a bomb. However, Ghost becomes invaluable in multiplayer when its effects are stronger than the other perks in its "Blue" category, particularly the "Recon" perknote , because a Ghost-equipped player calling in a friendly UAV remains invisible to Recon-equipped enemy players.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Infinite Warfare sold surprisingly well in Japan, having reached #1 in its first week of launch.
    • Gains an extra bit of humor when you realize that David Hasselhoff is actually in the game.
  • Goddamned Bats: Skelters. They're small, lightly armed, and easy to shoot down if you can catch up to them. They tend to appear in swarms, have AI ranging from good to good enough to be bad (in the case of Aces, who likely for this reason only appear one at a time), and are as fast as or faster than you. Individually they're harmless. If there are even two or three, though, they can draw attention away from a Destroyer the size of a city block.
  • Good Bad Bugs: The "Flying Dog" glitch during the multiplayer beta allowed players using the "Reaper" ability on the Synaptic combat rig to stay airborne by triggering the transformation ability and cancelling it repeatedly. Developer Infinity Ward patched it out upon the full game's release.
  • Ho Yay: Smartly dodging a romantic angle to Reyes and Salter in favor of a very tight platonic bond along with everything else being subdued professional relationships makes the strikingly dramatic devotion and love between Reyes and Ethan shine all the more.
  • Just Here for Godzilla:
    • Quite a few fans expressed getting Infinite Warfare simply for Modern Warfare Remastered, which accompanies the special editions; even publisher Activision banked on this trope by not releasing Remastered as a standalone. Naturally, just as many fans were unhappy about this.
    • There's a group of players who were only interested in seeing Infinity Ward's version of "Zombie" mode in comparison to fellow Call of Duty developers Treyarch's and Sledgehammer's versions.
    • In a departure from the norm for this series, many players feel that the campaign is the star of the show this time around, with its departure from the usual Call of Duty formula and surprisingly good setting, storyline, and cast of characters.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks!: Beginning with the beta and into its release, multiplayer is contested due for its hybrid-recycling of game mechanics and systems from prior installments - killstreak/strike package rewards, map designs, spawning locations and time-to-kill from Ghosts, supply drops and weapon variants of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and Black Ops III with its hit detection, movement, payloads/specialist abilities and weapons and specialist loadouts (combat rigs being an off-shoot of them). Furthermore, aside from the constant military, science-fiction theme reused from previous entries since Call of Duty: Black Ops II, multiplayer for Infinite Warfare is decried as bland and generic; Infinity Ward's last Call of Duty game Ghosts was similarly criticized.
  • Memetic Mutation: The Quartermaster's lines in general, especially after the launch of the first Quartermaster Update Trailer. In the opening minutes of the trailer, he gives us this gem:
    "Good day, fleshy mammals!"
  • Narm: The SDF are just so... cartoonishly evil, with every line of dialogue from Kotch and his people being all the horrible, monstrous things they plan on doing to the earth. Whatever reasons they have for wanting this are glossed over at best, and there's not a single hint of anyone in the vastness of the SDF being even mildly sympathetic. Even their very name sounds ridiculous, especially in full.
  • Polished Port: In terms of performance, Infinite Warfare is far more stable than Advanced Warfare and Black Ops III at launch, the latter of which was criticized for poor PC optimization, even after several patches.
  • Porting Disaster: The PC version - not only is it prone to the storage space problems (see above), it uses peer-to-peer connections — a major security risk to users — as the primary servers for multiplayer. Following the game's launch, it was discovered that, for some bizarre reason, the server's populace was segregated into separate servers for the Steam version and the physical/Windows Store versions (the former version's numbers were severely lower compared to earlier Call of Duty installments). To top it off, the arrow keys are borderline unusable due to some weird input lag bug that has yet to be patched even several months post-launch, a problem which has plagued left-handed players.
  • So Okay, It's Average: Many critics and fans agree the campaign largely redeems Infinite Warfare from its otherwise derivative, lackluster multiplayer to make it an average Call of Duty game. It's certainly not terrible, but it's nowhere near the quality of prior iterations in the franchise such as Modern Warfare and Black Ops.
  • Tear Jerker: The messages to family members from the major crew members of the UNSA Retribution that can be heard during the credits - they were recorded in the event of that character's deaths. Given that nearly all of them are Killed Off for Real, listening to their last words to each of their loved ones is very much intended to be a Player Punch.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Some felt Vice-Admiral Caleb Thies, who was featured in the teaser for Infinite Warfare and voiced by Peter Weller, should have been given more screen time (as well as Weller fans who wanted to see more of his acting in the game) than just as a Red Shirt target to assassinate in an early side-mission.
    • Some feel like Admiral Kotch himself is an example too. Despite initially seeming very promising, his screen time is very limited (8 minutes, compared to the 30-40 minutes for Jonathan Irons), largely restricted to videos where he gives speeches, and doesn't interact much with the players directly that much. His Anticlimax Boss status only makes the situation worse.
    • The unnamed female crew member who occupies the shooting range every time Reyes is going to the bridge, made to sound like an authority on the in-game weapons.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: While the story is generally considered better than some of the previous Call of Duty games, some feel that the Central Theme of compassion could have been far more interesting if it was actually explored instead of just saying "COMPASSION IS WEAKNESS" over and over again.
  • Win Back the Crowd:
    • Judging by the like/dislike ratio, the "Ship Assault" trailer, showcasing the first footage of space combat (on-foot and piloting a Cool Plane).
    • The "Long Live the Captain" cinematic has been lauded for its crisp, film-like visuals by a lot of people; likewise, those who originally detested the game had a second opinion of Infinite Warfare when the "Story Trailer" was released.

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