Video Games

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Review

On October 25th, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare was released worldwide on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. This article is a review. This is the final game in my hands. I’ve been playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare since the Open Alpha, and the Open Beta. I’ve given Call of Duty: Modern Warfare a lot of time to play through, and understand the game.

Full disclosure before we get started. The copy I picked up was for the PlayStation 4, and I was playing on the base PlayStation 4. Not the PlayStation 4 Pro. Xbox and PC players are getting the same game, minus Spec Ops, which is exclusive to PlayStation for a year. It’s actually a separate download apart from the full game. Finally, the patch update this review “goes up to” is 1.06. Onto the review, then…

In this review, we’re going to talk about how the game plays. I will only talk about campaign for a little bit, without spoiling too much for you. The campaign is short, but memorable if you just enjoy the game itself. Infinity Ward says that the game is not a prequel, sequel, remake, and it does not take place in the same universe as the original Modern Warfare trilogy. Though, I remiss if I don’t mention it – the game actually feels like a prequel, rather than a reimagining. Infinity Ward is calling this game a reimagining, but I feel like it’s a prequel. You’ll understand why if you finish the game’s campaign completely. You play as a few people in the storylines that converge to give a complete picture of what’s going on in the story.

Note: I will try to be quick, and vague about spoilers ahead, but skip ahead if you’ve not beaten the campaign or at least half way through the game. Skip it. Thank you.

The campaign has some unique points, but the story is a bit on the heavy side – not that I am bothered by it. It’s the reality in the other side of the world. Infinity Ward wanted this game to be as realistic as possible, not too realistic, but close enough. There are two missions that are receiving controversy for the wrong reasons. There’s a mission where you’d have to make a choice: Kill the mother, or kill the mother and the baby, or kill the baby. You can kill the mother before she reaches the baby, which is what I did in this instance. The key is to kill her before she reaches for the baby. The game gives you 5 seconds to decide. If you’re too slow, you’ll have to make a hard choice. And that’s the point of the mission. A lot of people are hellbent on making this a bad thing, but in reality, you often see this in the Middle East if you are a veteran of the military. What if a person is standing there with a wrapped up baby? She could be hiding a bomb, ya know. The other one is the Highway of Death. This one is eh. There are good reasons for the controversy, but campaign itself portrays the story in a different light than the controversy itself. By the end of the mission, which transitions itself into the child Farrah storyline, you learn that someone in your group gassed up that area. The heaviest part of the campaign isn’t either one of these. It’s when you get to the embassy. Car crashes in, and the insurgents come to ask (ahem; tells) you to open the door. Your first instinct is to open the door, but when you do, you get shot. You, sir need to go to the next door and let the kid die right in front of you. Captain Price is standing by, too. It was obvious on my third try or so that this is storyline. The rest of the campaign is eh… kinda forgettable, but I very much like everything about the campaign. It takes its time to tell you a story, it tries to give you something to remember it by.

The game is beautiful. The graphics are BEAUTIFUL. Even the Night Vision Goggles – I don’t know how they pulled everything off, but it’s so… beautiful. And the best part? That is available in Multiplayer.

The sound design is great, it adds oomph to each shot, each action or item. You can even hear your magazines drop. I’ll come back to the sound at a later moment, because there are some issues with this in multiplayer.

I said it in beta, and I’ll say it again. The controls feel right in your hands. When you merge the sounds, with how the controls feel, you feel immersed into Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. You can feel every shot, every action you, the player take, and it’ll nudge you in ways no other game has thus far.

This is where I’ll begin to talk about Multiplayer, and its glaring issues. Take heart: Whatever you played in Single Player Campaign carries over in Multiplayer, there are zero sacrifices. Only a few, but zero sacrifices. In the past, Single Player and Multiplayer are separate, they don’t share the same assets for the most part. For example, in COD4, the Single Player mode has weapons that the multiplayer doesn’t. This is for multiple reasons, not just one. One of them is because of the consoles – there had to be cutbacks. This is not true with Modern Warfare. In fact, from what I’ve seen, the game seems to be pushing the current consoles. Funny enough, we’re about one year away from the next generation consoles.

My biggest issue with Call of Duty for a very long time, has been the maps. They were always 3 lanes, and bland. In Black Ops 4’s example, there were 3 lanes, but the issue is a two pronged issue in my opinion: The maps were small and simplistic (way too simplistic). The spawns always trigger in one place. This makes it so easy for players to spawn trap. This means, as soon as you die, and respawn, you have no choice, but to die every time. This is not just a code problem, this is also a player problem. The Call of Duty community is very toxic on its own. There are some players that go to spawns because they think the engine is broken. Just because the engine is “broken,” does not mean you need to ruin the game for everyone else!

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare sort-of fixes this issue. Only by a little bit. The spawns are randomized, but for some people the issues have more to do with the HUD, and the maps in this example. Because some of the maps are semi-small, and semi-big for some maps in some modes. If you’re playing 20 Player Domination, on Hackney Yard, you will most likely be spawn trapped at least once in your playing time.

There is a lot of controversy surrounding the HUD. They removed the mini-map in beta, and they modified it a little bit during beta. In the full game, you have similar beta issues, but this is because of the playerbase. I’ve never used radar in my COD4 days, and in Modern Warfare Remastered. My brother even prefers realism mode. His friend has a similar sentiment, too. Infinity Ward wants to solve the mini-map exploit, where players are constantly using the mini-map to find other players to kill. Those red dots are too easy for anyone to find you and kill you.

They wanted to and tried to solve this issue by secluding the red dots to a killstreak or a perk, people got mad. It’s still the same in the full game, and Infinity Ward says there’ll be a overhaul to “fix” this issue.

Right now, camping is rampant in Modern Warfare because of these issues. The spawns are broken at the moment, even in big maps. You can be spawn trapped in Grazna Raid, very easily for the same reason: People go to the spawns. They think people will spawn over here, and over there, or over there. Grazna Raid happens to be my favorite map, but its ruined by people who spawn trap.

Don’t bother trying to change the game modes, because if you thought Domination is the only mode that has this issue, you’d be wrong. I tried Kill Confirmed in St. Petrograd – still easy to Spawn Trap. The realism mode is the only way players play fair.

I reiterate that the graphics are beautiful, but Call of Duty: Modern Warfare has draw distance and buffering issues, especially in Night Vision Goggles mode. 80% of the time, when you’re trying to see someone from a distance whether it’s daytime, or night time, you really can’t see people from a distance.

Progression in Modern Warfare is slow, but better. Bear with me for a moment, I’ll get to this in a moment, but first we have to talk about the base weapons before we get into gunsmith.

The weapon balance is good, but there are some inconsistent balancing in this area. Some weapons are a bit overpowered. Some shotguns are a one-shot kill anywhere in the body, some of the shotguns have a too wide spread, and the distance in which the shotguns travel is too easy to sit and shoot from one corner, and kill someone from a second floor window – lets put it that way. Hit detection is a crapshoot. It’s all over the place, sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. My brother and I experienced gun play where one side is able to shoot one time and execute the kill in seconds, while we had to empty our magazine to make the kill count. In general, the gunplay in Modern Warfare is fantastic. But I remiss if I don’t mention it, the hit detection needs work, a lot of it.

My favorite part of the Weapon Select menu is the gunsmith. The whole menu is basically your gunsmith, but there is one area of your loadout screen that’s called the “gunsmith.”

In here, you can select your primary weapons, and your secondary weapons. [Full list here.] You get new weapons by unlocking them while you level up your rank. The AK-47, for example is unlocked at Level 53.

To select “Gunsmith,” you need to level up a little bit, so you can obtain your first weapon attachment…

This menu is from the beta, but this is how it looks when you work with the Gunsmith menu for the first time. It looks bare at the moment, but I promise you, you will learn to like and/or love the Gunsmith. Because, unlike previous Call of Duty games, where you have Pick 10, or similar slots available for your entire loadout… In this case, you have a loadout, but you also have a gunsmith. The Gunsmith is its own loadout, think of it that way. So, you can upgrade your Weapon’s Gunsmith to improve attributes for your weapons.

The more you modify your weapon’s Gunsmith, you will end up with decked out weapon to destroy your opponents – like an RPG. Yes, like an RPG. You want to improve Aim Down Sight speed? Find an attachment that allows for it. You want better accuracy? Find an attachment that does it. You want a magazine that holds more bullets? Find an attachment that does it.

That, right there, is my decked out MP5. As you can see, I’ve improved a few things. I like my weapons silenced, so I can sneak into fights and get people when they’re not expecting me. That directs me into another issue I have with the game. I must reiterate that the sounds are brilliant, loud, and have more ooph to it, but the sound design is also inconsistent, too. Sometimes, the silencer doesn’t work for you from the other players’ perspective. Some people can hear just about anything, including silencers. Footsteps can be heard even from behind walls. You can even hear people using Dead Silence.

Conclusion: Call of Duty Modern Warfare is Awesome.

It does have some glaring issues, but overall, the game is awesome. Infinity Ward just needs to iron out some issues, which they’ve confirmed that they’re working on an overhaul.

Rating: 87/100.