Whether you’re a PC or console player, there’s a high chance you spend each Fall/Winter season waiting for the release of the latest Call of Duty game. It’s like an honored tradition for FPS (first person shooter) gamers to pre-order and download Call of Duty, with hopes to play it the moment the game goes live. And, like clockwork, the lobbies start filling up at midnight on release day, without fail.
This year, we managed to get access a few hours early, and thought we’d share our thoughts on the brand new Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare vs. Black Ops 4
The first thing we should clarify is that Modern Warfare and Black Ops are two entirely different game series, with separate storylines, characters, and game modes. If you purchased Black Ops 4 last year and think you need to buy Modern Warfare as a “sequel,” that is not the case. However, like most of the Call of Duty games, you can pick up and play any of them with minimal knowledge about the game itself, other than how to run, shoot, and survive.
While Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 featured the battle royale, Blackout, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare does not have a battle royale. Instead, Modern Warfare features a new campaign mode, which was lacking from Black Ops 4.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Campaign Mode
This year’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare was created as a re-envisioning of the popular original title, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (2007). As the sixteenth installment of the Call of Duty series, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is essentially a reboot of the Modern Warfare sub-series, which means we may see more sequels in the coming years.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare features new and old characters, providing a sense of nostalgia for original Modern Warfare fans. In the new campaign mode, we see the return of Captain Price from Modern Warfare 2, as well as an introduction to new villains like the rogue Russian general. When playing in campaign mode, the game will occasionally prompt cinematic cutscenes that guide you on your journey through a modern-day, war-filled world, where you must interact with NPCs, complete tasks, and fight enemy units.
While we haven’t finished the campaign mode yet, we can say that the new Call of Duty: Modern Warfare has certainly stepped up their game in terms of graphics, game mechanics, and overall pizzaz.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Cross-Platform Crossplay
Perhaps one of the biggest advantages to the new Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is the addition of cross-platform gaming, otherwise known as crossplay. Crossplay is a term used to describe the function of playing games online with players from other console types. In the past, most games were limited to only connecting gamers who owned the game on the same console. For example, PlayStation players could only play with other PlayStation players, and PC gamers could only play with other PC gamers. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is the first Call of Duty game to offer crossplay, which means you won’t have to worry about missing out on your squad party if you don’t have a gaming PC.
However, the most common misconception about cross-platform gaming is how it actually works. As a console player, you will only access or experience crossplay when teamed up with a party member using a different console. Crossplay is only activated if your particular party is cross-platform – otherwise, you’ll typically only be paired up with, or against, players of the same console type. This is most likely due to the type of server needed to host cross-platform gameplay, and the amount of effort, space, and resources used to accommodate the feature. This is also the same method Fortnite uses for their crossplay option.
Crossplay has some advantages and disadvantages. Traditionally, PC gamers are expected to have higher accuracy, due to the use of a mouse and keyboard combo. Console gamers may be highly-skilled, but when matched up against PC gamers, the reflex time and accuracy of their controllers just can’t compete. Therefore, while some people would prefer Call of Duty: Modern Warfare as a fully cross-platform game, there’s a disadvantage to being paired against different levels of technology and capabilities. However, the option to party with friends from other platforms is a huge advantage, and one that we are more than happy to use.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Game Mechanics and Slower Speed
One of the major differences we noticed with the new Call of Duty: Modern Warfare was the change in actual game mechanics. While game mechanics and character movements are often tweaked during development, you don’t typically see drastic changes from one game to the next. That’s why we were quite surprised when we began our first Team Deathmatch and felt like we were running our character through a sea of mud. The new Call of Duty: Modern Warfare features a slower movement speed, meaning you can’t just sprint like a mad-man from one corner of the map to the next. While this gives the game a much more realistic feel, there was a huge adjustment period where we felt like our character was constantly being stunned and slowed down.
In addition to the slower sprint speed, we also noticed this change spread to other movements like jumping and sliding. A fan favorite move is to sprint and slide around corners at top speed, guns blazing. Alas, that glory is no longer. Jumping in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare reaches less than half the distance or height of that in Black Ops 4, while sliding feels like dragging your body through wet cement. Again, these are much more realistic mechanics and we appreciate the elimination of players sprinting across the map to knife you in the back, but the drastic change in pace has us yelling at our screens a little more than we’d like to admit.
Despite the change in mechanics and pace, we still found that the standard routine of “run, shoot, die” maintained its course, only a little slower. Perhaps this will be a benefit to some and a hindrance to others, but we believe it’s mostly down to personal preference.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Maps and 10v10 Squad Sizes
Other issues players are having with the game are due to the increased map sizes, lane changes, and Team Deathmatch squad sizes.
The new Call of Duty: Modern Warfare features much larger maps than previous Call of Duty games. Although that may seem like a plus to some, it’s actually quite a hinderance. With larger map sizes, games become longer and lanes begin to blur. A standard FPS map has three main lanes through the map. With a larger map and change in lane structure, the map becomes harder to learn and navigate. Again, this change might be a welcome one to some, but most gamers are not pleased. Especially due to the slower sprint speeds, crossing the map is quite the endeavor.
Possibly the worst change we’ve noticed in the new Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is the change in squad sizes during multiplayer games. In previous games, you were able to select what type of match you’d like to be in – six versus six, or ten versus ten. Having 20 players on one map can cause confusion and chaos, which some gamers enjoy, while smaller squad sizes allowed for more strategic gaming. Choosing between the two options would change a player’s experience entirely. At the moment, the new Call of Duty: Modern Warfare squad sizes are chosen at random, meaning you aren’t able to select what type of match you want to play.
In our opinion, this was a terrible move on the developers’ part, and we would vote to have the option back before faster sprinting.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Graphics and Overall Quality
There’s no question that the new Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is a high-quality game with immense production value. Even within the first moments of gameplay, you’ll notice just how stunning the visual graphics are, from the details in the scenery to the way smoke floats through the air – if your settings are maxed, of course. Gone are the days of two-dimensional and grainy details. What we love most about the increased graphic quality is that it gives the game a cinematic feel, pulling you in with every scene. The depth of the colors combined with the improved motion makes the experience far better than that of any Call of Duty game before it.
Overall, we find the new Call of Duty: Modern Warfare to be a great improvement on the previous games within the series, and believe it’s a strong representation of how graphics and production in general have increased over the years. The addition of a new campaign mode makes this game more appealing to those who prefer single player, while crossplay opens the possibilities for multiplayer gamers. It’s a win-win for both parties!
If you’ve noticed any more changes with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, let us know in the comments. Until then, we’ll be nursing our terrible KD Ratio.