Much to my surprise, this year’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is shaping up to be a solid re-invigoration in the long-running series, with lots of good faith changes being announced in the lead up to its release this fall.
Earlier in the year, I wrote about how Call of Duty will need to have some drastic changes from the current formula in order to continually succeed in the gaming market. So when rumors about how the next game in the series would be a reboot of Modern Warfare, it was difficult not to feel less-than-optimistic about the idea of just remaking Modern Warfare again instead of trying something new. But 2019’s Modern Warfare, based on the most recent multiplayer reveal paired with the tidbits of news surrounding the game this week, it’s beginning to seem much more than just a rehash.
The first salvo of information came through the multiplayer premiere and livestream, where we got our first taste of the game in action. We’d also gotten some info earlier in the year, announcing the return of the single player campaign with a focus on gritty realism, but that was just a quick teaser.
Par for the course with a reboot/remaster, 2019’s Modern Warfare is aiming to the core of what the series used to be, and trying to recapture the immense success of the previous Modern Warfare series that sold like gangbusters. And in that vein, Infinity Ward has made several positive changes to the upcoming Modern Warfare that should give players hope for the latest entry:
Cross-play support at launch with all platforms, the support for mouse and keyboard play for consoles, the elimination of the season pass system entirely in favor of free post-launch content, Several new and returning game modes revamped and categorized into distinct playlists, the return of killstreaks instead of scorestreaks, along with a huge library of weapons and perks in a more conventional create-a-class system. All this paired with brand new visuals and updated movement and abilities, Modern Warfare seems to capture that same fast-paced gameplay its always been known for but looks and plays like a new game.
Multiplayer maps & game types are going to be further categorized by the size and style of mode they’ll be playing. Flash Maps will be designed for close-quarters combat (Like the newly announced Gunfight mode, a 2v2 TDM-style mode). Tactical Maps will be home to the standard Call of Duty modes you see in every entry’s multiplayer format. Battle maps will feature the newly re-formatted Ground War games, which are larger scale operations with the most amount of players.
The only noticeable absence is the lack of the “Blackout” battle royale mode that was introduced in Black Ops 4, a mode in which Infinity Ward stated is not returning for Modern Warfare.
“We really focused on Modern Warfare, authentic and gritty, realistic weapons, and it’s a different experience,” stated multiplayer design director Joe Cecot. “We’re excited for large player counts and things like that, but right now we’re really focused on core multiplayer.” Cecot later mentioned of the potential of adding 100-player variants to the Ground War game types later on.
Players will be able to get hands on with Modern Warfare relatively soon as well. Multiplayer betas (with cross-play!) are scheduled for the end of September, with PS4 early access beginning as early as September 12.
While it’s not exactly the re-imagining I discussed earlier this year, Infinity Ward seems to be making all the right decisions in returning Call of Duty to what made it so special in the first place. Not only that, but the effort being put into shaping the player’s experience into smooth and satisfying gun-play is noticeable in the gameplay shown so far.
It’s hard not to get excited about this game, especially from a series that strayed so far from what made it so successful. The simultaneous nostalgia of the Modern Warfare series as well as the newly reformed experience makes me optimistic for this new entry in this iconic franchise.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare will be releasing for all platforms (PS4, Xbox One, and PC) on October 25.