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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Review


In the everlasting cycle of Call of Duty games, this year brings us another attempt from one of three developers; Infinity Ward, the developers of the Modern Warfare series. Call of Duty has seen it all when it comes to themes for their games, so naturally, we have ended up where much of the popularity began. Within a reboot of the renowned Modern Warfare series.


Each year, Call of Duty is essentially split into three separate modes, and in the same way, I’ll split this review. Multiplayer will always be the premiere mode for the franchise, and it’s where most players will spend their time.

Multiplayer is more realistic and visceral than we’ve ever really seen in these games. Weapons have more basis in ballistics, recoil is far more noticeable, and the time to kill is lethal. Each gun has its own starting animations, reload animations, and satisfying sound designs. It changes the way the game is perceived when compared to past games, but that doesn’t mean the game is a realistic shooter now; It’s still Call of Duty.

Gameplay is fast and twitch based. A new tactical sprint allows for quick bursts of vulnerable sprinting, while slide and climb shooting make a return. The mix of more realistic weaponry with the traditional quick movement, makes for a new spin on Call of Duty that does well to refresh what had become stale.

As always, there is no premiere game mode in multiplayer, and many of the past modes we’ve seen have made returns. Options such as Team Deathmatch, Search and Destroy, and Domination are present. However, there are some new additions. 2v2 is a gamemode in which both sides get identical loadouts that swap every two rounds, and the first team to win 6 rounds is the victor. This mode has its own unique maps tailored for the mode and has been some of the most competitive fun for me. The other notable gamemode is Ground war. This mode is Infinity Ward’s attempt at a Battlefield competition. Two large teams fight for control of five points on large scale maps. Vehicles are in abundance, and the maps are more expansive than we’ve seen in a Call of Duty game. It’s another welcome addition to freshen up the formula.

My favorite addition to Modern Warfare has to be the change in loadouts and the leveling system. Every weapon contains 5 attachment slots, and each one adds pros and cons to the weapon. On top of that, there are around 50 attachments for most guns, and likely more. To unlock them, weapons are leveled to anywhere from 50-70+. There is a ton of incentive to master a given weapon, while also testing what attachments work best for a play style. Along with the plethora of weapon camos, stickers, and charms, leveling weapons has never been better.

There are still certainly some problems that I found in the multiplayer, and they aren’t small. The most glaring problem is the maps. The standard multiplayer map rotation is likely one of the weakest we have seen in a while, and it probably has to do with the design philosophy of the levels. Instead of the typical 3 lane maps we usually see, Infinity Ward developers worked on maps that were slightly larger, had far more open angles, and allowed for more casual lines of sight. When mixed with the very lethal guns in Modern Warfare, the maps create opportunities for any players to get kills, which is something they have discussed. Due to the open nature of the maps, players will find themselves getting killed from plenty of angles.

That effect has caused a meta where camping is beneficial; more than in past Call of Duty games. Claymores and assault rifles mounted in every angle are likely to be a player’s downfall in almost every match. I found that Search and Destroy was one of the only standard game modes that wasn’t hurt as much by the camping meta, due to the nature of it.

The second problem is balancing, and namely with shotguns. One double barrel shotgun in particular is clearly superior to most guns in the game, especially with the range on it. When perks like overkill, in which players can carry two primary weapons, are easy to get, they become necessary for many players’ loadouts. Getting one shot by a weapon with large spread from a rooftop or in your face becomes the norm.

With additional maps and quick balance changes though, the multiplayer will become a must play.

Spec Ops

There really isn’t much to be said about the Spec Ops mode in Modern Warfare. It is the third mode that every Call of Duty has to have in some form. It could be zombies, battle royale, or Spec Ops, but a third filler mode will always appear. In some iterations, they can become hits, while others fall flat. Spec Ops this year falls flat, and isn’t something I’ll be spending more time with.

It isn’t without merits. There standard missions, a survival mode, and 4 main missions that follow the narrative after the campaign. Spec Ops is a co-op mode that is played with up to 4 other players. Classes are chosen along with custom loadouts. Then players work together against PvE content.

I had some fun with the operations that I played in, but for the most part, they dragged on and added nothing new to the Call of Duty experience. They are essentially wave based objectives that challenge you and take you through a unique co-op campaign mission.

Players who typically enjoy co-op PvE shooters might find some enjoyments with the Spec Ops mode.

Single Player Campaign

The campaign is the usual story mode that almost every Call of Duty contains. Players go through around 14 missions, playing as 2 different soldiers in different parts of the same conflict. Expensive cutscenes are apparent, action explosions are aplenty, and there is plenty of shooting.

That all sounds the same as before, but Modern Warfare faced plenty of controversy for how graphic or realistic the events are. There is a warning before players enter the campaign, and for good reason. There are terrorist attacks, chemical attacks in the middle east, and split second moral decisions forced on the player.

A tough direction for Modern Warfare’s campaign make it one of the best that the series has to offer. Lead by a rebooted Captain Price, we are taken into proxy war conflicts that are relevant to today. In a night raid on a terrorist home in England for example, players will get their first delve into those split second decisions. Your squad moves slow and quiet up claustrophobic staircases with night vision goggles to reveal the area. Each floor must be cleared, and on higher difficulties, one wrong move is death. Enemies are hiding in closets and under beds. Perhaps the hardest part was dealing with civilians or women in the houses. There are times when a woman will pretend to be a hostage and go for a gun. Then there are times where a woman might be running to cover her baby. Trigger discipline is your friend in these levels.

I can see how some people might not like the level of graphic content in the game, especially with one level in particular that takes players to the past as a little girl. However, this is what can really happen. A terrorist organization and its fighters don’t wave flags for soldiers to distinguish who is a friend or an enemy.

The campaign encompasses the idea of Modern Warfare with well thought out levels that take us to exciting and adrenaline fueled locations. There are also plenty of call backs to the old Modern Warfare games, and they were a treat every time.

Where Does Modern Warfare Stand?

Is the game worth buying? That’s generally the first and most important question I ask myself when finishing a review. Quite simply, the game is worth the money. Campaign alone is probably worth a $30 dollar game, and the multiplayer will take up exponentially more time. There is Spec Ops but I wont add it to the equation. More importantly though, this is likely the best Call of Duty that has been released in a while. On top of that, there is more than enough change to warrant plenty of old players returning. There is a reason Modern Warfare has always been a renowned franchise, and the reboot is showing signs of a promising future.

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    Patrick MahoneyNov 13, 2019 at 12:07 pm

    Killed this review Dan!