After exploring the depths of space and futuristic sci-fi chaos, Call of Duty returns to a modern warfare setting, bringing back the boots-on-the-ground, contemporary theme that found the franchise its high-point back when the original Modern Warfare spin-off series launched in 2007. While last year’s Black Ops 4 delivered a great multiplayer experience, focusing on twitch reactions and tons of content, the new Modern Warfare shifts the focus back to the series’ trademark features: strong maps, solid gunplay, and a focus on strategy.
We got some hands-on time with Modern Warfare‘s beta, and it’s clear that the game has undergone a visual upgrade from the last CoD outing.The shift back to real-world locales (as opposed to the futuristic-themed environments) as done the game justice, with enhanced weapon designs and revamped character models adding an injection of revitalised realism into the game.
There’s a greater emphasis on the moment-to-moment ‘feel’ of the game. Chunkier shooting, more notable bullet impact on character models, and great feedback makes shooting each weapon unique and satisfying.
We got to test our mettle on 3 maps: Azhir Cave, Hackney Yard, and Grazna Raid – all of which provide close-quarter interior areas which will test your reaction time, along with some well contrasted large, open areas for some sniping and more precise gunplay.
A new addition to the set-up of the game is the ability to duplicate a loadout via the Killcam. If you’ve seen the bad side of an enemy’s bullet, you have the ability to replicate their loadout (if the weapons are available to you), which is a great way to give players who want to try out different guns an easy way to do so.
The longtime favourites, Team Deathmatch and Domination, are back and deliver the fun and kinetic energy that these modes have produced in previous iterations in the franchise, but a new mode, Cyber Attack, is a great addition which mixes up the usual formula. The mode sees two teams attempting to pick up and plant an EMP device in the opposing team’s data centre. The device can be defused, but if it goes off, the team that sets off their EMP device first wins. Players also only have one life per round but can be revived by a teammate after being knocked down to 0 health.
There’s no doubt that Modern Warfare is delivering the classic feel and speed of old Call of Duty titles, but with a greater emphasis on the small details – from gun feel to more meticulously detailed maps, and we can’t wait to give in further when it launches of 25 October on Xbox One, PS4, and PC.