Call of Duty makes a comeback this year with a rather amazing reboot of the popular Modern Warfare series, a fan favorite of the franchise. While this might seem like an easy thing to do, it can be difficult to live up to such standards. Over the past few years, I’ve played and reviewed all installments of Call of Duty. I’ve seen the series go through both bad and good days. After ditching the campaign and shifting focus to multiplayer with last year’s Black Ops 4, it ended up disappointing its core audience. This time, Infinity Ward is going back to its roots, giving fans tons of reasons to be over the moon.
For some good news, the awful microtransactions and loot boxes are gone for good. This destroys the gap between paying and non-paying players and makes in-game progression much more rewarding and satisfying. Sure, the Activision will still find other ways of monetizing the game further with cosmetic items. Even so, as long as it doesn’t interfere with the core of the game, mark me satisfied.
The single-player mode is back, and the campaign is an intensive, movie-like, adventure that takes place in different parts of the world. Players will travel from crowded London streets to the hot desert during the story. You take part in a war where casualties are not a rare occurrence, and decisions aren’t always easy to make. You’ll often witness cruel war crimes that can have quite an impact on those that are faint of heart. On top of that, you’ll have to make some difficult life or death decisions of your own.
The mission types vary, keeping things interesting across the modest five to seven hour campaign. Stealth is almost always an option. That is except for some forced cutscenes and for those missions that require players to wreak havoc between enemy lines. Whether you are sneaking in a forest trying to pass unnoticed by enemies, or you are using a high caliber sniper or a destructive drone, you will certainly have an amazing time playing the game.
Infinity Ward completely reimagines the story, having nothing to do with the original Modern Warfare game. That being said, some of the series’ most beloved characters, such as Captain Price, make their return. This gives the game both a fresh and nostalgic feel, perfectly balancing the two worlds. It’s easy to lose yourself in the story thanks to the stunning visuals. The lighting perfectly sets in the mood and the character models look incredibly realistic. Destroyed cities, dark forests, underground camps, you name it… Modern Warfare has it all, combining them in the perfect mix, as all of the games’ missions offer a new and different experience.
But wait, there’s more! Of course, I didn’t forget the multiplayer, as Call of Duty wouldn’t be here without it. I’m really not a fan of the futuristic scenery the game was losing itself into with previous games. I feel like the original Modern Warfare is the true COD experience. It’s pleasing to see this reboot follows the classic formula with a few additions to make it even more enjoyable. You’ll be getting new abilities, such as super sprint, mounting weapons on walls for more stability, and reloading weapons while aiming (with a time cost). It doesn’t sound like much in the beginning, but it’s the right amount of change I feel comfortable with. Anymore would have put the whole experience at risk.
The multiplayer features various classic game modes such as Team Deathmatch and Free for All. It also features new ones, including Gunfight, Cyber Attack, and Ground War. Gunfight is an intensive mode, presenting two teams of two players as they face off in multiple rounds. The maps are designed to make you fight for territory, keeping players together and not wandering off without each other. Ground War is the place to go nuts, a 64-player showdown where all bets are off. This mode can be a lot of fun at times, but can also be quite chaotic in smaller areas of the map, where hell is loose. You never know what could happen to you. You could either be killed by a grenade, or run over by a speeding vehicle while a rocket is going full force towards your location.
Zombie mode has been replaced by a four-player co-op mode called Spec Ops. It’s very similar to the Horde mode we are all accustomed to in games such as Gears 5. You’ll get a random team and an objective, and from there, it’s all up to how good your team cooperates. This will require lots of communication, planning, and coordination from your team. Without it, you’ll have a rather hard time finishing it, as almost all missions are difficult. This is especially the case when endless enemies are spawning from practically everywhere.
I wouldn’t say Spec Ops is one of the game’s selling points. Even so, it could be quite enjoyable with after forming a good with your friends. You’ll get to use various vehicles and weaponry across huge maps, fighting against smart enemies that will react to your actions accordingly and trying to screw over all your plans. Locate your intel, neutralize your targets, and don’t forget to survive!
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare was a more than enjoyable experience, and with the promise of free content for the upcoming year, the game is just starting. I would certainly advise hardcore fans of the series to pick this game up, as the overall experience feels more polished than ever. Even if you are not a COD fan, this might be the perfect time to jump in the universe, meet Captain Price, and crush your enemies. The only point that didn’t convince me yet is the Spec Ops mode, but maybe I’ve yet to find the perfect team. For those who are picking Modern Warfare up, see you on the battlefield!