Barely anything happens in Infinite's story though.
There are only a handful of characters, everything interesting happens before the game starts or is going to happen after it ends, the overall setting makes little sense (Chief doesn't think to ask a single UNSC guy where Lasky is?), and half the story is just Chief and Weapon-chan talking to each other in samey looking camera angles and areas.
I really don't understand how someone could think it's better than the story in Bungie's games.
1 - Chief discovers that, for whatever reason, the AI that was supposed to capture Cortana, lock her down for retrieval and then deletion aboard infinity didn't undergo her automatic deletion routine. What happened to Cortana is a mystery, what happened to the AI and whether you can fully trust her is also a mystery. 6 months of time has passed since what took place aboard infinity. That's the setup for the story, and of course you have a pilot who found you.
2 - Chief discovers that the banished have not only gone down to Zeta Halo, but they have also released something, someone, very dangerous. Chief's top priority at this stage is to do what he can do to stop them. In the process of this he DOES come across potential signals that can lead him to allies. But in each case he's too late. And from those allies he gets hints as to what the banished are after, and what they're trying to do next. Like when he learns about the Excavation site. Chief understands all too well how dangerous a Halo ring is. His top priority is to stop the enemy from getting control of and activating it. As to why that hasn't happened, significant parts of the ring are damaged, making it impossible. To fire it, they also need an activation index, which Cortana herself had. The weapon also had parts of that Activation index. Chief is also very committed to learn what stopped the weapon's deletion as it could turn out to be really damn important. He was right!
3 - I could go through the rest of the story, but a crap ton does occur and take place in this game. You discover a mysterious new enemy, the harbinger. She's speaking in riddles regarding the forerunners (clearly speaking of them as her enemies), and at point suggesting that Chief and her are not actually enemies at all. She's up to something, basically kills the monitor of the installation, Despondent Pyre, for a specific purpose, and triggers the activation of something on the ring. She spoke of forerunners lying, that chief wasn't the future, that the endless will be found, and they will ascend. Prior to that monitor's death, it spoke of mysterious things that no one should know about, and the importance of stopping it from happening. All throughout the story, the Chief is stressing that the current ring he's on feels very different from any other, and he's 100% correct. Cortana reveals in a digital remnant of memory when communicating with despondent pyre, that there are much worse things on the ring than the flood. Cortana, for whatever reason, wanted access to it. She wanted to break the seal.
4 - You come to meet a backup monitor and eventually learn that the ring is somehow repairing itself. To what ultimate end is unknown, but you assume it has to be bad. The banished leader, Escharum, you come to learn is working with this Harbinger, but clearly does not fully trust her. They both appear to have entirely different objectives. You also discover they're after something called the auditorium.
I could go on, but if you think nothing happens in the story you really didn't pay attention. Maybe nothing happened as to revealing the absolute fate of Infinity and Lasky (although the game indicated that things ended up very badly), but Chief was always someone who pushed forward with what he determined then and there was the mission. He had no time to go trying to regroup with Lasky when he had immediate threats to deal with and payback to get for the killed spartans he found. A whole ton happened that's vitally important to the future of the Halo universe and the threats faced. You discover that Cortana pretty much murdered an entire group of Spartan 4s who refused to bend to her will at a training facility. She killed them with a guardian. You learn that, for whatever reason, Cortana and Atriox were in communication/negotiation for 'something.' You learn Cortana, attempting to get Atriox and the Banished to bend to her will also, made Atriox watch as she used a squad of guardians by having them completely surround Atriox and Escharum's home planet on all sides and then completely destroy it, splitting the planet in half. The game also hints with a projection of planet earth with I believe an apology of sorts playing from Cortana, indicating that because of her actions, what she did to Atriox and the banished, she may have placed the biggest ever target yet on Earth, and no enemy has ever possessed a weapon more capable of destroying Earth and all humanity than what was unleashed during this game. Cortana, through her interaction with Atriox, observing the outcome of her actions taken and what it has all led to, found her resolve again, her belief in the chief again, and accepted that the ones who could right all the wrongs would be Master Chief and his new Cortana, and took steps to help them. She was the one who delayed all the banished's plans. She was the one who had damaged Zeta Halo to such an extent.
They finally fully addressed, in a masterful way might I add, Master Chief's feelings of failure and guilt about not being able to save Cortana, about his belief that everything that's been unleashed is because he failed to succeed at his most important mission and promise, which was to protect Cortana. They addressed Master Chief's loss of Keyes and what he meant. They showed an amazing side to the Chief, the soldier, who even though Escharum was an enemy, the Chief still showed him respect in his death, still had some empathy for him fighting for his own beliefs. And why wouldn't he? Chief saw just how much Escharum had lost, and that it came at the hands of something created by humanity, Cortana. Cortana and Master Chief, and Weapon, finally had a chance to say their final goodbyes. It was the real Cortana who even responded to weapon in real-time. There is also a great story thread involving the pilot and the bond he forms with Chief and the Weapons as well throughout this game that can't be ignored. Chief saving him and not letting him down was basically a form of redemption for being unable to save Cortana. The pilot was even telling Chief to abandon him, to not worry about him. Chief was having none of it. Chief saw throughout the game how many spartans had died, even one briefly alive before dying in his hands. He wasn't going to let the same happen to Fernando Esparza (the pilot). I especially love the focus on never forgetting what makes you human. Very important elements from Halo 4's story, from something he had heard from Lasky as well as Cortana.
Throughout the game you also learn that there is something else on Zeta Halo watching them, even aiding them at points during the game, another presence beyond just the harbinger. The harbinger was also very curious about Weapon, trying to learn about her.
You learn that Escharum throughout the game was clearly not well and slowly dying from poor health, you learn that he wanted to make Zeta Halo the home of the banished. You also know that he was excited to put himself to the test against an enemy as legendary as Master Chief, and it was everything to him. You learn Atriox was somewhere else on Zeta Halo the entire time secretly working with the Harbinger to break the seal on the endless. You learn that the Forerunners greatly feared the endless (first they're immune to Halo Ring's destructive force). The endless didn't see forerunners as enemies. They saw them as friends and trusted them, but the forerunners feared them, tricked them by imprisoning them at Zeta Halo. They used the silent auditorium to do so. That was destroyed. Is there anything left with the capability to ever imprison or keep the endless at bay again?
I mean, I can stop there. A whole lot does, in fact, take place, and it changes Halo forever going forward. An entirely new threat has been unleashed. You can tell that with Halo 5 they didn't fully agree with all of where they took that story, and wanted to find a way to bring it all to conclusion so that they could push forward.
You weren't a fan of it, but I got a crap ton from Halo Infinite's story and I just know where it's headed next is going to be some of the best moments in Halo game history.