In 2007, the now-classic Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare took the First-Person shooter genre by storm during the prime era of the Halo franchise. Now 12 years later, the franchise’s publisher Activision is releasing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, a “soft reboot” of the groundbreaking game.
As such, Activision brought HYPEBEAST out to Optimist Studios in Los Angeles to preview a Call of Duty-inspired installation and get a firsthand look at the game’s Multiplayer Mode. There, the video game publisher also gave a keynote speech about the new Multiplayer Mode, which will be going into beta during September before Call of Duty: Modern Warfare’s official release on October 25.
Developers from Infinity Ward — the video game developers behind the Call of Duty franchise — also took part in the keynote where they discussed their efforts to improve the upcoming game’s realism. That effort was immediately apparent during our gameplay experience. Guns recoil, soldiers can mount those guns to walls while firing, and shots echo in the direction they were fired.
These changes in gameplay from older versions can be felt as soon as you start a match. The recoil and authenticity of the weapons fired immediately adds a new layer of experience absent from former CoD titles. Mounting weapons when hiding behind cover is an updated stray maneuver from the original Modern Warfare; whereas the maneuver was previously minor and hardly essential to gameplay, the new stability mounting a weapon brings players while firing is a game changer that must be utilized in almost every match. However, none of these changes were a distraction for those of us who got to preview the game. Rather, they only enhanced the reboot’s dedication to realism, a core factor that made the original game stand out amongst reigning sci-fi titles like Halo in 2007.
The developers also emphasized the boots-on-the-ground field research that went into making gunplay as realistic as possible, and it shows. Each gun featured in the game has deep customization options that allows players to swap out a multitude of parts, from simple alterations that fans are accustomed to, such as magazine sizes, to more complex parts, like muzzles, barrels and scopes. The best part though is that each piece of equipment has an in-depth list of its benefits and disadvantages, alongside the usual bar chart the franchise uses to showcase gun stats. Those extra stats will likely leave players tweaking weapons to precision for hours.
However, it remains to be seen if each individual piece of a given equipment’s pros and cons are immediately felt when changed between matches. Although many pieces of equipment can be changed on any given gun, they only offer incremental differences throughout each section. Sure, the overall feel of a gun may be felt when each piece on a gun differs from the last, but maybe not so much if only one or two pieces have been changed.
Equipment appears to slightly slow down gameplay when compared to previous titles within the franchise, like 2018’s Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. However, a slight slow-down in the new title doesn’t change the bread-and-butter of traditional Call of Duty mechanics, but instead enhances the game’s commitment to realism.
Overall, Modern Warfare is shaping up to be a great product in terms of gameplay. The so-called soft reboot maintains the core DNA of a Call of Duty title. In fact the updated mechanics, new engine and emphasis on realism, help to set it apart stylistically from Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 .
However, with Modern Warfare being a soft reboot of the game-changing Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, we were hoping to feel more nostalgia put into the title. Instead, this only seems to be an incremental update to the previously released CoD game. That said, we only got hands-on with Multiplayer, and that nostalgia factor may play a bigger role in the title’s Campaign Mode. Which would be fair, given that Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare story played a major role in its success. Scenarios and characters like Captain Price whose been confirmed to appear in the reboot helped cement the title as a force in the FPS market. We’re still holding out for a new Mile High Club mission.