The newest installment in the popular “Call of Duty” first-person shooter franchise, “Modern Warfare,” was released on Oct. 26, 2019.
Developed by long-time “Call of Duty” developer Infinity Ward, “Modern Warfare” is the first game in the popular Modern Warfare sub-series since 2011’s “Modern Warfare 3” and is a reboot of the sub-series. Featuring a roughly six-hour campaign as well as a full multiplayer mode, Modern Warfare is a satisfying return to form for the series after the long wait, though it still has its flaws.
The campaign is a series best, successful in its attempt of acknowledging the modern-day threat of terrorism in a gripping yet respectful manner. One mission in particular, in which the player controls a British SAS officer caught in the middle of a brutal terrorist attack in London, is particularly terrifying.
The campaign follows SAS operatives John Price and Kyle Garrick, Middle Eastern resistance leader Farah Karim and a CIA operative known as “Alex” as they attempt to seize Russian chemical weapons from a terrorist cell and stop the production of said gas by cruel general Roman Barkov.
With varied and unique missions, the campaign of “Modern Warfare” is a worthy follow-up to the stellar campaigns of the earlier games in the Call of Duty series.
“Modern Warfare’s” multiplayer mode, though enjoyable, is where the game begins to run into some issues. The mode, which has historically been the selling point of previous “Call of Duty” video games, is generally solid.
The guns and new killstreaks feel balanced and satisfying to use, and the promise of free maps from the developers is reassuring.
Where the multiplayer shines most is the weapon customization; with dozens of attachments for each firearm, it is easy to create a weapon that fits a player’s specific playstyle.
However, where “Modern Warfare’s” expansive multiplayer mode fails the most is in its awful map design. The maps this year, compared to series classics like “Nuketown” or “Rust,” are frankly terrible; they’re filled with nooks, crannies, and hiding spaces which encourage sitting in one spot and waiting to ambush enemies instead of moving around. The worst offender of this is “Piccadilly.” With multiple hiding places, it’s difficult to walk around without getting killed.
Another area in which “Modern Warfare’s” multiplayer disappoints is the lack of consistently balanced weapon choices. Two weapons in particular, the M4 rifle and the 725 shotgun, are clearly superior to the other options for each weapon class, having longer range and faster time-to-kill than other similar weapons.
Though other weapons are certainly usable, it’s hard to recommend any other weapon choices for truly competitive play. This lack of balance leads to less variety, as hardcore players will feel they have to use the aforementioned weapons to keep up and players who like to experiment will find themselves at a disadvantage.
Though I was occassionally annoyed with the game, I enjoyed playing “Modern Warfare”; the fast-paced gameplay is almost addictive. With an enthralling campaign mode and a fun, yet flawed multiplayer mode, “Modern Warfare” is a generally satisfying treat for first-person shooter fans.
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