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Editor's Note - This game was reviewed on the PlayStation 4 with review copy being provided by the publisher Activision Blizzard. Gaming Instincts is also an Amazon affiliate and does get financial benefits.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is the reboot to the original title, which came out in 2007, with a brand new engine and a lot of new customization options.
In the 2019, the terrorist group, Al Qatala has been making its mark as Russia invades Afghanistan. Since America is allied with the nation, Captain Price is ordered to find the leader of AQ, The Wolf, and find out what he wants to do with Russian chemicals. Meanwhile, the rebellion group led by Farah Karim along with a CIA agent, Alex, are trying to defend the territory from Al Qatala while dealing with Russian chemicals. It's a reboot, so fans will see some familiar faces like captain Price, and Nikolai, the pilot from the Modern Warfare series.
The story is split between Sergeant Kyle Garrick who goes along with Captain Price and Alex trying to help Farah Karim get information on a local terrorist threat while protecting them from Russian Forces.
The story takes a more confrontational route, with the many horrors of war, such as dealing with the death of allies, not knowing right from wrong, and struggling with choices that would otherwise be difficult for a normal person. It's gritty and dark, but lacks a meaningful conflict near the end that feels more like a small victory rather than achieving anything noteworthy. Fortunately, the game's 14 missions offer a lot of gameplay variety.
While playing through the story, gamers will be facing hundreds of enemies that both look and feel challenging. With Call of Duty's new engine, players can experience far more detail with the enemy's and their own movements. Enemies have multiple death animations and are as crafty as ever, as they will make use of cover, mount their weapons onto objects for eerily perfect accuracy, and are an all-around nuisance. When there aren't a lot of enemies, the gameplay is normal, but when a mission introduces a lot of opponents or gets played on higher difficulties, gamers can see the flaws clearly. Sometimes foes will be able to shoot players if they just look at them at the right moment or will outright surround users even though they were sure there was nobody there. Additionally, the campaign's checkpoint system can get annoying if players happened to be in the wrong place when a checkpoint is placed. Not only can this be challenging, but it makes the higher difficulties feel cheaper than fair.
As for the story itself, it's short and falls flat near the end. Fortunately, the missions are intriguing despite all these mishaps
With the new engine, Modern Warfare looks gorgeous. Everything from the gritty environment to the faces of the characters, to the fabric on their clothing looks well-crafted up close. Since the original Modern Warfare, the engine mostly stayed the same, even up to around when Black Ops 4 released. Now, almost everything about the game looks revamped and upgraded. The animations, the faces, the guns. It all looks amazing, even the attention to detail. Every piece of every gun is animated, the barrel heats up and steam comes out after shooting for a while. Also, the ruffling of the fabric on players' uniform is a nice touch. Unfortunately, there seems to be quite a few texture pop-ins in both the campaign and multiplayer. It's minor but noticeable, especially after having a heartfelt conversation with an ally.
What Call of Duty is best known for is its multiplayer. Not only is it one of the best ways to show off one's gaming skills, it's also one of the more rewarding experiences. Gamers level up through a variety of game modes, such as team deathmatch, two-versus-two gunfights, and 64-player Ground Wars. Players will be participating in these matches using a loadout unique to their tastes. Fans can pick your guns, perks, grenades, and killstreaks. Additionally, one can choose their current playstyle by choosing a field upgrade, which provides a special ability with a cooldown, such as silenced footsteps.
Of course, the main star of this Call of Duty for multiplayer is the amount of gun customization.. With every gun earned, players will be able to take them to the gunsmith to customize every important piece of the weapon. This includes sights, magazines, stocks, and underbarrel attachments. There are several different customization options with every level players gain for their gun, which is earned by gaining kills. These attachments can drastically change the way a gun works and feels. If there is too much recoil, there are enough attachments to eventually fix the problem. Not only that, rewards like skins, camo, stickers, and red dot sights can be customized to give a unique flavor.
The maps, on the other hand, are a different story. The maps huge and offer a whole lot to incorporate some interesting strategies, such as peeking around corners, which usually results in half of the match camping to punish those that roam around the map. Additionally, some of the maps are just poorly designed with obvious disadvantages. The Euphrates Bridge, for example, has several flaws, including going through an underpass that will usually be a deathtrap, a bridge where everybody can snipe on, and two drastically different spawn locations for teams, one of which works way too well for camping. Moreover, the respawns can make life worse, as they refuse to put players in an area that has no enemies.
Lastly, Ground War has only two maps and that is a big disappointment, as this could've been the time when Call of Duty's fast-paced gunplay would mesh well with battlefield-styled maps. More maps will surely be added for free in the future, but it seems like the current one have several flaws to say the least.
Spec Ops is Modern Warfare's cooperative game mode in which a team of four players is put into an open map and must complete the objectives to stop a new threat within the Verdansk area. Spec Ops supposedly takes place after the main story, as Captain Price and his crew are sending special operators, the multiplayer characters, to areas of Verdansk to liberate the area.
Much like multiplayer, gamers can edit their entire loadout. This includes weapons, attachments, extra munitions, and character roles/classes which offer special abilities on cooldown. Of course, if fans unlocked plenty of weapons through multiplayer, then it carries over here.
Rather than playing as a main protagonist and being about the the brutal realities of war, Spec Ops is about completing extremely hard objectives. What they ask teams to do in Spec Ops is unreasonably difficult. For instance, the first mission players do in Operation Headhunter is go from building to building and kill the lieutenants to gather information on Al Qatala's slumlord. All is normal and enemies are placed in reasonable areas. Immediately after, they want the team to run around the local stadium, disable five scramblers and destroy five tanks, all while massive waves of unlimited enemies charge. It also doesn't help that the enemies have pinpoint aim and can literally spawn within players' vision. Wipes are almost a guarantee.
Needing a challenge is understandable, but it feels like Spec Ops is way tougher to beat than the average player can handle.
As Call of Duty has definitely improved over the years, it looks like these new changes are welcome. However, with new changes comes new problems, which Modern Warfare faces, but there is always improvement for the future as the game promises new maps, weapons, and possibly new modes. It's probably not the best a Call of Duty it could be at the moment, but since the room for improvement is big, Modern Warfare should have a great future.
Players can purchase the game on Amazon.