With rival first-person-shooter Battlefield screwing up the entry rules this year for the annual Whose Christmas War Offering is the Most Festively Bloody awards, CoD was up against it to deliver something more than pootling after mentally unhinged Eastern European/Arabian (delete where appropriate) extremists.

So Infinite Warfare throws its dinner into space where man has been fighting... well, other men who reckon the generations they've spent in the stars endows them with more ownership than their employers on Earth. Curiously, they speak with a lightly mangled Eastern European accent.

And there's also Kit Harrington - you know, John 'Illegitimate But Not Really Stark Broody Half Dragon Guy Who Knows Nothing' Snow. He plays a reasonably miffed enemy admiral (and also features his own mush, albeit improved in the way that only villains can be - with a whacking great scar).

As usual, CoD throws us an impressive set piece to set up the next few hours of your life. Earth gets caught with its military undies around its ankles and our rather generically stern-of-jaw hero Nick Reyes has had enough of such barbarism. He's a soldier and a nifty space pilot, which means you'll spend your time mostly split between these two environments scattered throughout the solar system defending and attacking various planetary outposts.

You've also got a robot buddy for company: ETH.3n (Ethan, you see) who provides wise-cracking light relief while suitably annoying the grotesque cliche of a Marine who frequents your company. Sadly, I found the main cast about as emotionally engaging as cardboard haggis. Reyes is utterly dull, and Salter - a woman who, despite initially being the same rank as Reyes, is cruelly ignored for fatality-enforced promotion - plays the stern-female-who-had-to-work-twice-as-hard-to-get-here role with equally yawnsome results.

Thankfully there's the usual slew of multiplayer options to keep matters interesting, although there's nothing over and above the usual FPS modes. Zombies pop up again, this time with a 'shonky '80s movie' lilt, complete with amusingly cliched cast.

I know the whole space thing is new but Infinite Warfare doesn't feel like the refreshing blast in the face that Battlefield 1 is. Look, it's a fine, serviceable FPS but I expect more from a CoD than that.