Call of Duty‘s revival of the Modern Warfare name is a welcome return for the long-running series, delivering a fantastic combo including a stellar single-player campaign and addictive multiplayer.
Regarding the single-player, Modern Warfare brings its usual fare of crazy, globe-spanning antics, throwing you into the boots of a number of different characters in different conflicts which all tie together in some way. There’s an underlying tone of remorse and emotional weight attached to all these missions, taking an introspective look at the toll war plays on the heroes and villains of the story. It’s all action movie-type stuff, but it’s great to have some context behind the characters motives in between all the chaos.
Visually, the game is superb, bringing the best graphics and facial animations that the franchise has seen. Characters look and feel real, and the motion-capture performances are top-notch, making it an enjoyable experience as it seamlessly cuts from cut-scenes to gameplay.
The multiplayer component of Modern Warfare feels like a bit of a homecoming for the series. The focus shifts back to the franchise’s trademark features: strong maps, solid gunplay, and a focus on strategy, with less bells and whistles and more practical gameplay improvements that’ll please longtime fans the most.
The maps are once again the highlight, and are far more dynamic than in recent entries. Players can exploit tons of new routes and openings to hold a position or advance on the enemy team’s, while also putting a greater emphasis on what weapon you’re using and your loadout.
The standard fare of modes are there, but the new addition, Cyber Attack, is a fun spin on the attack-defend pattern, requiring one team to plant an EMP device in the opposing team’s data centre. The device can be defused, but if it goes off, the planting team wins.
Returning this year is a third portion to the game, which blends the campaign and multiplayer into one enjoyable distraction. Specs Ops mode sees up to four players teaming up to take on a number of re-playable missions, varying from extraction objective to infiltration challenges. You can even carry your multiplayer loadout and experience over, which is a nice tough and adds a lot of longevity to the game.
Call of Duty has overcome its identity crisis with Modern Warfare, and found its groove again with a brilliant single-player campaign, addictive multiplayer, and all the bells and whistles that made fans fall in love with the series in the first place. A must-buy for longtime fans.
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