Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare has been making the rounds through the market for the Xbox One, PS4 and PC. The new game from Infinity Ward and Activision focuses on a group of soldiers on the space naval fleet, the Retribution. I’m sure some players are curious about the story and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare’s ending, and there’s a brief explanation for it all.
The game starts by explaining that the Settlement Defense Force became its own rogue interplanetary force and began fighting with Earth and the United Nations Space Alliance. The UNSA is led to believe that the SDF might launch a major offensive against Earth’s forces, and sends in a small recon team to find out what’s going on at the Europa moon base. They find out that Admiral Kotch, played by Kit Harington, has acquired a dangerous weapon but they manage to destroy it by sucking it out into space. The team is killed by Admiral Kotch and his forces.
The UNSA learns about their deaths but decides to do nothing for fear of starting a war. Lt. Nick Reyes and Lt. Nora “Salt” Salter feel as if they should be striking back at the SDF instead of celebrating fleet week. Things are cut short when the space fleet are shot down out of the sky by their own AA guns due to a rogue UNSA operative revealing himself to be an SDF sleeper cell. The SDF launches a massive attack on Earth to cripple all but two of their major vessels, the Retribution and the Tigress. Reyes and Salt manage to help stave off some of the attackers both on the ground and by taking to the air and dogfighting in space.
The Retribution manages to damage several of the enemy ships throughout the attack, but during a collision with another capital ship, Captain Alder of the Retribution dies. Reyes is promoted to Captain and is tasked with leading Retribution and Tigress toward the moon base to wipe out SDF forces and allow Earth to get its shipping bases back up and operating so they can restore their space fleet.
After successfully recovering the moon base with the joint help of the Marines, led by Staff Sergeant Omar, the Retribution and Tigress proceed through the solar system to dwindle the SDF space fleet. Through the process, however, they lose some key personnel, such as Staff Sergeant Omar.
Eventually, Admiral Kotch manages to lay a trap for the Tigress and blow it to smithereens with his capital ship Olympus. The Retribution and Olympus have a few brief encounters, but due to the SDF’s overwhelming forces they’re unable to bring the capital ship down.
It’s later revealed that the SDF sleeper cell that betrayed the UNSA, has a transponder in his leg, and when it’s destroyed the SDF will converge on that position since the destruction of the transponder would signal for them the all clear and that the AA guns around the Geneva bases have all been disabled.
The UNSA attempt to use the sleeper cell to lure in and trap the Olympus and its forces by staging a fake “all clear” signal and then use the AA guns to blow all the SDF forces out of the sky. Things, however, don’t go as planned and the SDF has ground forces intercept and free the sleeper cell. When Reyes reaches the man who betrayed the UNSA, he’s beat up and knocked down, with the traitor committing seppuku and then crushing the transponder after he uses a satellite hack to blow up the AA guns, rendering the Geneva bases defenseless.
Admiral Kotch quickly descends upon the UNSA base and uses the Olympus cannons to blow up the UNSA Admiral and their entire central headquarters in Geneva.
Reyes, Salt, a fireteam and their robot sidekick Eth.3n, better known as Ethan, storm aboard the Olympus by using the Retribution to drop into the atmosphere, which creates an EMP blast that briefly knocks the Olympus offline.
Reyes and the group make their way through the Olympus towards the bridge of the ship, and Reyes uses a droid hack to take control of one of Admiral Kotch’s machines, which manages to crush Kotch’s head and chest and then self-denotate, leaving Kotch a bloody mess and barely alive.
They take Kotch away and plan one final offensive against the SDF on the far side of Mars. They use the Olympus to head to their shipyard in a suicide mission to destroy their fleet the same way the SDF destroyed the UNSA’s fleet.
The Olympus manages to use it MAG cannons to take out a number of SDF destroyer ships but is unable to take out the actual ship yard command station. During the kerfuffle the Retribution and an out-of-control Olympus practically collide, damaging both ships and sending them spiraling toward the planet where the majority of the crews of both ships die in the process.
The remaining forces from the UNSA Retribution launch one final attack against the space station, with the majority of them dying in an attempt to take control of the station. Reyes, Salt, Ethan and a few others manage to get to the top but have no way to destroy the station. They devise a plan to take one of the docked destroyers and use it to shoot or ram the station and blow it up for good. However, one person has to manually unlock the destroyer from the shuttle bay from the command room, and Reyes volunteers himself to do it. Ethan decides to stay behind to help Reyes, while Salt and the handful of remaining crew head to the destroyer to complete the mission.
Reyes is guided up to the command center with the help of Ethan, and manages to activate the weapons system on the destroyer, but he’s unable to uncouple the ship. Ethan has Reyes take control of his body using the drone hack, and directs Reyes to use his body to blow up the command center’s CPU. Due to the electromagnetic interference leading up to the processing room, Ethan is unable to perform the task himself. Reyes helps Ethan get to the CPU where Ethan self-destructs, blowing up the core, which uncouples the destroyer ship, allowing Salt to begin blasting the space station apart.
Reyes tells Salt to aim directly at the command center and fire, and reluctantly Salt does so, resulting in the station blowing up and Reyes being sucked into space and dying of asphyxiation after his suit is destroyed from shrapnel and debris.
The game ends with Reyes walking through a memorial where the names of the Retribution are engraved into the wall, and the credits roll after zooming in to show the names of the fallen, including Captain Nick Reyes and Staff Sergeant Omar, amongst many others.
TL;DR: The Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare ending plays heavily upon the themes of fulfilling one’s duty versus protecting lives. Reyes struggles throughout the game to make difficult decisions that involves leaving men behind or risking their lives in a gamble in order to complete the mission. Former Captain Audrey MaCallum, who works as a chief engineer on the Retribution after willingly forfeiting her Captain’s rank, frequently reminds Reyes throughout the game that if he isn’t willing to make the hard choices, the way she was unable to, then he shouldn’t be Captain. Reyes, until the bitter end, never made a choice to sacrifice his own men, and in a way fulfilled MaCallum’s advice by giving up his own life (and no longer being Captain in the process) in order to save the few remaining crew members that were left.