The Call of Duty series needs no introduction and even if you haven’t picked up the controller since the start of this year, Modern Warfare is a good reason to clean the dust off your console.
It’s safe to say this 2019 shooter learns a lot from its previous mistakes, all the while taking a massive leap in the storytelling department. The campaign missions are shot, directed and scripted like you would expect from a 2019 blockbuster title, and at the same time it manages to capture so many different emotions (which is rare) in this frequented genre.
It’s got its fair share of controversies as well, which we’ll tell you in a bit, but all of it will only make you want the latest banger from Activision at the earliest. This is Call of Duty at its best and here’s why it should go inside your Christmas stockings.
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The campaign is grippy and tries to recreate a sense of realism which is otherwise lost to the series. Where previous CoD titles focused on sending the enemy to the respawn zone as quickly as possible, the campaign is a stark opposite of what its multiplayer has established over the years.
Time and again you’ll be placed under the captaincy of Captain Price leading the missions across the fictional country of Urzikstan. For the most part, you’ll be gunning down the Russian army and that’s why this game is banned in Russia. On the surface, the plot is simple – Russians are bad and the US (CIA) and British (SAS) troops are there to put an end to the mischief.
But then MW starts to venture into gray areas, making you question about which side is right and wrong. Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2019 doesn’t shy away from capturing the complications of war. Many of the events in the game are borrowed by real-world events like the London attack, the Syrian Civil War and Operation Neptune Spear.
During the Hunting Party mission, one of the characters instructs the group to check fire and says: ‘Good guys look like bad guys around here’. The scene is followed by a battle-torn street with bombarded houses along the sides and gunfire echoes in the distance. This depicts what happens in countries that break into a civil war, and at times, the game takes the gun away from you and shows you the ugly side of a war. Don’t worry, though, it doesn’t overstay its welcome and Modern Warfare isn’t afraid to experiment. In fact, it even puts you in the shoes of a little girl whose city has been invaded by war criminals and the way it manages to capture the casualties of war is unlike any other video game of this scale. A job well done by the developers and an important message sent across.
‘Going dark’ is an ongoing meme on CoD missions after the sun’s down, which also happens to be the best depiction of night time missions. The game pushes you into narrow spaces inside buildings and houses during these missions and they feel like the real deal. You’re not a gun-wielding one-man army; you’re cautious, nervous and on your toes. This is a feeling that has been absent from a story-driven game that involves a gun and spreadsheet-worth of army call signs.
The attention to detail extends to gun play as well. Albeit, the shooting remains joyfully true to Call of Duty but the execution is a lot more interesting this time.
Enemies don’t pop up on a mini map like most shooters or get easily highlighted. It’s all guess work till you figure out where the bullets are coming from. And if you plan to go full ballistic, then pay special attention to the sound of the dropping bullet shells. It’s as real as it can get.
Modern Warfare slows down the pace from time to time as well but never lingers on one thing for too long. It’s a short campaign so we would recommend playing on hard difficulty as it makes the missions more satisfying.
As much as we loved the campaign, the multiplayer is obviously where you’ll spend most of your time, and that falls short of excitement which would’ve otherwise made this the perfect package.
The maps are uninteresting and very, very convoluted. There are plenty of modes to pick and choose, with Ground War being our favourite. It’s similar to Battlefield’s multiplayer and has 64 players creating chaos across the map. That said, your time usually goes in getting rid of campers. The maps are infested with them and this gets frustrating and unfair. So if you want to play the winning game, in the immortal words of Harvey Dent, ‘You either die a noob, or live long enough to see yourself become a camper’.
Since it’s multiplayer, we’re hoping for additional content adding in and tweaks flowing down to fix existing maps and maybe drop a few new ones as well. The game already received its first free update and a new map, so fingers crossed for an improved multiplayer experience.
Processor: AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2920X; Liquid cooled by Corsair H115i RGB Platinum
GPU: Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti
Motherboard: Asus PRIME X399-A
RAM: 32GB of Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB
CPU Case: Corsair Obsidian 500D RGB
Keyboard: Kingston HyperX Alloy Elite RGB
Power Supply: Corsair AX850
Call of Duty Modern Warfare is probably one of the best games we’ve played in 2019 and that’s mostly thanks to its beautifully told campaign story and mind-bending visuals.
The graphics are so realistic that it’s easy to fool baby boomers and enough to convince us that this is an interactive movie when the story mission sets in.
A visual stunner coupled with great script, fleshed out characters and fantastic audio only mean one thing, Modern Warfare is a must play. But if you’re looking strictly at multiplayer, then be prepared to get demolished by campers and start cursing the boring (and confusing) map design.