The panel was primarily focused on the game’s narrative. Co-writer Brian Bloom also portrays the game’s protagonist, Captain Nick Reyes. Connecting the writer with the lead was a smart choice as it means the story isn’t just background noise for the eventual multiplayer. In fact, the entire cast at the panel gave off a real air of camaraderie. Jamie Gray Hyder who plays Salter actually had a box of snacks that she shared with her panelists. This was particularly amusing because she apparently did the same thing during her recording sessions. They even integrated that little quirk into her game character!
What about the game itself? We got to see an extended sequence where Reyes pilots a ship out of the Earth’s atmosphere and into a dogfight in space. It was thrilling, to say the least. Narrative director Taylor Kurosaki made a point to tell the audience that the game features no loading screens, allowing the story to flow naturally without any interruptions.
We also got a video sneak peek of Kit Harington as the game’s villain, Admiral Salen Kotch. Harington appears genuinely enthused about the role, proclaiming his love of space and science-fiction in particular. You could also tell that he loved the opportunity to play a villain, something he’s not yet done in his career. We didn’t see much of his performance but it was enough to get the crowd worked up into a frenzy.
The facial capture on the lead actors looks astounding, especially David Harewood as Sgt. Omar. Harewood professed that he’s played every Call of Duty game ever made, and getting cast in this newest entry was a dream come true for him. The panel also made clear that you are going to be responsible for your teammates and the tactical decisions in the battlefield. You’re not a “noob” as Brian Bloom put it; you are in command of events in a way that feels fresh for the Call of Duty franchise.
It’s been tough out there for Call of Duty. The franchise has started to feel stagnant as the series continued well past its Modern Warfare days. Meanwhile, the series has embraced the science fiction future of warfare, putting it in stark contrast compared to something like Battlefield 1. Have fans grown tired of the futuristic aesthetic? Or can Infinite Warfare bring something new and exciting to the market? If the story campaign is any indication, the answer is a resounding “yes.”