Call of Duty had been in a weird spot these past few years with how astray the game had been lead. Gamers everywhere constantly reminisced about how CoD wasn’t the same anymore and multiple other complaints. Infinity Ward then promised us a redemption arc and now it’s finally here in the form of Call of Duty Modern Warfare. Does it fit the glove of being a redeeming game, however?
Modern Warfare is the latest endeavor from Activision Blizzard to revitalize the Call of Duty franchise by going back to its most popular work. This meant reviving a series that once ended with a trilogy. Yes, I’m referring of course, to the Modern Warfare trio.
This one is, therefore, a continuation and not some kind of reboot. It definitely felt that way as well because this was without a doubt, another Modern Warfare game. I say this in a way to mean that if you were a fan of the original trilogy, you’ll definitely love this game as well.
One thing to note with this Call of Duty title is that the game goes back to not pulling its punching in terms of controversy or sensitive media. If you’re wondering when Call of Duty ever took part in censorship, just remember that Nazi zombies are now just called Call of Duty zombies.
Modern Warfare takes Call of Duty back to its gritty and very grounded roots of realism. No more jump jets, wall running and flying exosuits of any kind. It’s all boots on the ground simulated warfare.
This return was made even better by the utilization of a new engine to develop the game. One that finally removed that old CoD stigma of every single game being the same.
This engine really gave Infinity Ward a good rep since Call of Duty has never felt this good in the past.
The smoothness of every movement, the amazing sound design, the cool atmosphere and most importantly the weight and feeling behind the shot fired from every gun. It’s just phenomenal.
Let’s talk about the campaign first since the last game, Black Ops 4, felt the need to exclude that. Modern Warfare returns us to that old nostalgic feel of following good old Captain Price into battle again.
It functions the same way as past campaigns have with a variety of different missions with scripted cutscenes and occasional kick in the nuts moments that deviate from the usual gameplay.
You know what kind of moments I’m talking about right? The ones like No Russian from Modern Warfare 2. Back when video games were really ballsy and the age rating actually meant something when acting as a barrier. Does Modern Warfare have a moment like that?
Yes, but I won’t describe any other crucial part of the game. Even this one is something you can skip reading if you want to go into the game blind.
Essentially there comes a moment in one of the campaign missions where you actually play from the perspective of a child civilian. One who’s just seen the life flash out of her mother’s eyes. Now you have to play as her and find the soldiers who your control then proceeds to switch over to.
These are the kind of moments that you really miss from the old Call of Duty games ever since the new wave of more sensitive media took over the gaming industry.
Other than that, a lot of Modern Warfare takes place in urban cityscape environments and sometimes even rural locales. There are plenty of house breaches, something you’re used to if you’ve played Rainbow Six for example.
A lot of the suspense in Modern Warfare’s campaign is actually within finding the enemy rather than the actual shootout. That build-up where any face you see could pull a gun on you was absolutely nerve-wracking at times.
As I mentioned earlier but would like to elaborate on, the ballistics in this game are insane. One thing Battlefield formerly had over Call of Duty was better ballistics since COD guns felt like peashooters but this game really nailed the feel of gunplay.
The realism in bullet drop and distance damage drop off was also managed better this time around.
The animations for when you’re running, ducking, hiding or diving is also done really well and looks good from both first-person as well as watching other player models. The acting for characters like Price was also done well enough for every cutscene in the game to sell off as a war movie on its own.
The controversy in the game (besides the obvious violence) mostly lies in the political views of the game I guess. No real names or faction titles are used but it’s so obvious how parodied they are and who’s being referenced.
It’s nothing that bothers me personally and shouldn’t bother anybody who wants a gritty gaming experience. It’s hard to be realistic without involving some actual issues and since the game is American, obviously the bias will be on their side in the game. However, the campaign did include a scene that made the players feel like they truly were dancing on the grayline of morality.
The multiplayer of the game can best be described as going back to what Call of Duty was before the wave of futurism. We got kill streaks back, sprinting around map corners with shotguns, campers, quickscopers and every Modern Warfare cliche that you can think of, back in this game.
The new 2v2 game mode is a welcome surprise due to its fast-paced duel like vibe that it’s got going on. The game is a blast to play with friends.
Camping has always been a sort of lost meme in time. One that predates the decade past 2010 since it was actually a major part of Modern Warfare (the original). In fact, it’s made such a prominent return in the new Modern Warfare that long-time gamers have been experiencing PTSD while new blood is going through a horror they only heard in myths. The maze-like layout of each map really sets the campers up for easy kills with people sprinting and turning corners.
Of course, players have anti-camper equipment. In fact, I enjoy how much players can actually customize their own experience with different perks and gadget kits such as a recon drone or heartbeat sensor. There’s also an ability reminiscent of Caveira from Siege which involves brief sprints of complete silence to sneak around corners.
There are two types of camping, by the way, the other that I haven’t yet mentioned being the spawn campers. This practice refers to when enemies setup just far away enough from player spawns to shoot them down the very second that they morph into existence.
This makes for a very annoying map design in several areas where one team can be rendered completely helpless by another’s spawn camping.
Guns in multiplayer are also customizable in nearly every component. The sights, stock, barrels, magazines and many more. Along with a character system that allows for multiple different cosmetic skins you can utilize for a personalized touch.
Other than all that, the pacing is good, The game modes so far are diverse enough and the TTK is on point as well. Especially in the realism mode.
I feel like my only major gripe with Modern Warfare is in its inability to play without an online connection. Something I’m hoping Infinity Ward decides to patch or change at some point down the line. Other than that, I support the cross-platform play they’ve got going on between people pn different consoles and devices.
If you’re a Modern Warfare fan who doesn’t mind a little leakage of real-world politics into their video games, this is the game for you.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is available now on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC on Activision Blizzard’s own client, Battle.net.