“Call of Duty: Modern Warfare” is the first “Call of Duty” game to support console cross-play. (Photo courtesy of Activision)
Story and general game review
The original “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare” trilogy has long been heralded as one of the greatest storylines in all of gaming. With a visually stunning trailer that blasted Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” in the background, this new iteration of “Modern Warfare” promised to be every bit as good as the old. “Modern Warfare” is a soft reboot, meaning that the events of the original trilogy never happened.
Developer Infinity Ward promised a gritty tale, and they delivered. The campaign brings back some familiar faces and introduces some new ones in a winding story that bounces the player between two main characters. The player will find themselves constantly questioning their own morality with scenes that bring to mind the “No Russian” mission from “Modern Warfare 2.” While the player may walk away at the end of the day feeling like a hero, the path to get there is full of moral gray areas.
The campaign drives the player through a variety of mission settings, from British flats to a sniping post along a highway in the Middle East. The variety has been a constant in the Call of Duty franchise, yet these missions have a striking amount of character development and backstory.
The gunplay is tight, which is to be expected. One new mechanic that was introduced was the ability to “mount” a gun when looking around corners, to decrease how much of a target is presented to enemies. This mechanic was popularized in the “Rainbow Six” game series.
The campaign took about approximately 12 hours to complete and was enjoyable throughout. The ending also sets Infinity Ward up nicely for a sequel.
Final Grade (campaign and visuals): A+
Andrew J Sciascia
Despite appearing frightfully similar to the tried and true – and incredibly stale – multiplayer formula followed beat-for-beat in previous next-generation “Call of Duty” titles, “Modern Warfare” provides a flashy, unique multiplayer experience at its core.
Complete with the traditional leveling system, custom loadouts menu and long-time favorite game modes like six-on-six Team Deathmatch, Domination and Headquarters. But two of three brand-new modes are likely to keep lifelong fans and new players coming back for more: Gunfight and Ground War.
A fast-paced take on Team Deathmatch with little to no margin for error, Gunfight pits teams of two against one another in miniature maps with short periods of time to dispatch their enemies. Meanwhile, Ground War provides the same pulse-pounding, large-scale conflicts native to titles like “Battlefield” with large maps meant for 64 players, and even vehicles. The two new modes are a much-needed shakeup, providing greater depth and diversity to the experience.
Further diversity is provided in map selection, which includes every environment imaginable from busy-looking metropolitan areas under dark, rainy skies to desert mountain villages with intricate cave networks and cramped alleyways with multiple levels of advantage. And with free map packages promised by Infinity Ward for the remainder of the game’s lifespan, the already diverse selection is bound to increase dramatically.
Adding a bit of challenging that may be deemed a drawback to some, the latest entry to the storied franchise also includes cross-play for the PC, Xbox One and PS4 platforms, and the time-to-kill is almost instantaneous in multiplayer – creating a nearly insurmountable competitive advantage for your opponent should they get the drop on you.
This, however, may come as a major upside for those fans excited by Infinity Ward’s constant talk of a realistic and challenging modern combat experience. Coupled with updated progression and leveling systems, accurate weapon handling and the return of cooperative Special Operations missions, “Modern Warfare’s” multiplayer is sure to keep players busy for a few hundred extra hours.
Final Grade (Multiplayer): A-