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Call of Duty Modern Warfare Review
| 2019-11-13

As I’m sure many of you know, Call of Duty is a franchise that I hold very close to my heart. It has given me many highly memorable experiences and it was pretty much solely responsible for getting me so far into gaming and for that, I am extremely grateful to Activision. Its because of this connection I have with the game that this review is so late as I have been playing a lot of Modern Warfare both online, and single player over the past few weeks. Why I didn’t have the review sooner, well that’s because I've been struggling to come to a conclusion. Ill go into further detail within this review, giving praise where its due and giving my honest thoughts on some of the issues within the game. So, do I love it, or hate it? Let’s find out. Continue scrolling to read my full thoughts and check out some of the embedded YouTube videos to see the game in action.

Call of Duty Modern Warfare – Activision/Infinity Ward – PS4, Xbox One and PC – Out Now

First things first then, the setting. Infinity Ward had very little choice with where they needed to go with their next game after Ghosts failed to keep people hooked and Infinite Warfare received a bad rep for pretty much no reason despite the fact that it was actually a decent game. Taking the series back to where it blew up was a risky move and everyone within the community, myself included expected to see MW4. Instead of this, IW (Infinity Ward) completely re-wrote the books and rebooted the series keeping some of the elements that we loved from the previous games and implementing new features as well. This was always going to be a risky move as COD4, MW2 and MW3 are held in extremely high regard and fans will refuse to have their MW memories tarnished by anything less than an amazing game. Do I think they were right to reboot? Probably, it allowed for a much darker campaign and to be honest, I don’t think naming it MW4 would have been fair on the first three games in the series.

Let me say this now before we get any further, Modern Warfare is by no means a bad game and I definitely don’t hate it, however I have failed to fall in love with it. Remember, I've been playing COD solidly for the last 7/8 years so I have a lot of experience within the series and its because of this that I am always overly critical of each new game in the series. So then, looking at the core gameplay and feel of the game, is it good? Well, yes in a way. Modern Warfare is built upon a brand new engine which is something that hasn’t been done since COD 4 (every previous title has been built upon a revision of the original IW4 engine). This change effects the game in a few ways: movement and flow feel very different, visuals are vastly improved over previous titles and the devs can now do much more within the game. I'm going to break these three points down into small subsections below to give more detail:

Movement and flow: If you have played any COD game before, youll know how important smooth gameplay and fast paced action are to the core experience. MW changes this by changing movement speeds and making you feel more sluggish overall. This, when combined with some rather clunky animations make the game feel very different to any previous COD title and somewhat take away from the feel at times. The addition of weapon mounting, removal of the traditional radar and dead silence also contribute to a very slow gameplay environment within Multiplayer. Feeling slow, not knowing where the enemies are and being rewarded for not moving all lead to unprecedented levels of camping (sitting in corners, staying in the same spot all game) within multiplayer, something that the previous, fast paced games did not suffer from in the slightest. This is one of the main reasons that I’m holding out with my MP grind as there is apparently a large overhaul coming to the game soon which should hopefully speed everything up.

Visuals: The new visual system within MW is amazing. The game looks head and shoulders above its predecessors and that is apparent in every area of the game. Characters look fantastic, maps look very real and some of the cutscenes within the campaign looks like something straight out of a movie. Having said all of this though, they still haven’t got the lighting right within multiplayer. Enemies are very hard to see at times, especially if you are inside a building and they aren’t. This is something that hasn’t been an issue in previous titles, and it can be extremely frustrating. Combine that with the more realistic colour pallet within the game and it doesn’t feel as arcade like as what it should be. Everything looks a bit dull and drab and in terms of maps (more on this later) it’s a really sorry state of affairs. Looking at visuals from a campaign standpoint though, they’re amazing, no doubt about it. The changes and advances made within the new engine made for one of the most memorable COD campaigns to date. Stunning scenes, brutal detail and some solid gameplay.

New features: Modern Warfare is packed with new features, so many so that I won’t go into too much detail for each element. The Gunsmith is a new system which allows you to fully customize weapons, making them feel unique and tailoring them to your own playstyle. This is an awesome feature and I hope that we see it stay within the franchise in the future.

Also new are the new modes and boy are there a lot of them. So we have 10v10, 32v32 and Night Vision modes (the latter I’m not even going to mention as mi not a fan at all). 10v10 as the name suggests puts ten players on each team on specially designed maps. It all sounds great right? Well no, these maps are way too big and feel like they should be 20v20 maps (which is a mode set to come to the game it some point). This means that gameplay in 10v10 is too slow for the big maps its played on which leaves you heading back to 6v6 right? Well again no, gameplay is once again very slow, and maps can be traversed in so many ways that it literally just feels like you’re playing on a big climbing frame (see Hackney yard). So 10v10 has terrible maps and is too slow, 6v6 is much the same so what about 32v32? Thankfully, this mode is pretty good as there is plenty of action and the maps are ok. Youll have plenty of opportunities to kill and there are loads of areas to explore within the maps however, as the maps are so large, they feature vehicles which are absolutely horrible and instantly put me in a bad mood if I die to one. Why should I be punished by low skilled player in a tank who stumbles across me and my squad, there’s literally nothing I can do to counter it before we all get annihilated by the turret on top. If you can avoid these vehicles however, then youll probably have a good time in ground war!

Looking at multiplayer as a whole then, its not awful but it does still have some glaring issues which really rattle me and have meant that I’m left waiting for the game to be changed before I hop in and really grind it. Speaking of that grind, this is a key element that gets me hooked into these games and its just far too hard this year. The camo challenges are extremely difficult and unrewarding, especially with prestiging is gone this year which takes away half of the point of playing. It has obviously been replaced with a new system but we are yet to really see how this works and personally, I have no idea at all why they removed prestiges, they are once again a core element of the game which just didn’t need to be altered. It frustrates me some of the changes they have made to the game because if you can somehow find a way through the extremely strict skill based match making, find the right lobby in the right mode, then youll have a great time but some of these issues are just too big to be fixed with a patch. I’m praying that we get some better maps, nerfs to claymores and overused weapons and I also have a glimmer of hope that we will get the old radar back which alongside prestiging, are literally the backbones of Call of Duty multiplayer.

Moving away from MP then, the games campaign is nothing short of phenomenal. It’s a dark, gritty experience which literally has no fears and goes to places you just didn’t think you would see in a video game. The theme is modern terrorism and it tackles this awful problem head on, depicting horrific scenes and putting you on the frontline trying to stop it. I'm not going to lie; it is pretty grim at times but some of the missions are unlike anything we have seen in the series before and make for a truly amazing experience. It’s honestly that good that I would recommend buying the game solely for the campaign if you’re not interested in multiplayer, it’s something that everyone should play.

Overall then, Modern Warfare is a tough one for me, it does so much right but the things it does wrong really do take away from the experience. If they can fix these issues and it looks like they will, then MW has the potential to be a very good shooter. I believe in Infinity Ward and I do think they will pull it out the bag and get these multiplayer changes done. In the meantime though, ill be replaying that stunning campaign.

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