After watching E3 in Los Angeles during one of Call of Duty's most intense missions: Modern Warfare, I left the hall with a strong impression. It may be another year of shooting, running and little time to kill for many, but for me, this smooth reboot of the most innovative game in the series means a new spring for the name of Call of Duty.
A strong story
Not necessarily the characters I like in Call of Duty: Modern
War campaign. Yes, it's great to meet Captain Price, and the voice actor offers a very juicy British character who has been through this. But most people are not particularly profound – at least not the way they are portrayed in the game. Probably because the campaign is as compact as it is, the way it drags from mission to mission, from major street battles and buildings to apartment and cave systems. They have motivations, such as Briton Kyle's desire to take revenge on the terrorists who attacked his city, or Alex who values his Middle East allies, but no deeper narrative or personality than we have ever seen before. There is a lot of "oraah" in these characters, though I never screamed, which I appreciate so much they don't like.
Then comes Farah, the Uzbek freedom defender who rebels against the Russian occupying power that remains in her country for as long as she can remember. By the way, Urzikstan is a fictional country with a fictional geographical location, but I personally choose to think that the developers thought of Kurdistan and its soldiers when they created Farah. I would like the campaign to be better at focusing on their characters, and especially on Farah, because they have the potential to tell a strong and extremely relevant story today. You feel about her and her struggle, and during the game we find that not everything is as black and white as it may seem at first glance.
One thing that sets Call of Duty: Modern Warfare's campaign apart from many of the other games in the series is the concept of showing the ugly sides of war. War is not just bombing and shooting, but human suffering and war crimes. Call of Duty: World at War has had similar scenes, but Modern Warfare is getting close to new heights. Here we are part of a strike team that occupies an apartment where there are terrorists between women and defenseless children, and we have an idea of what war crimes look like in the eyes of a child.
There is a particular scene that bothered me a lot and forced me to pause. Modern Warfare offers several trigger-worthy sequences, mainly because they have to do with moments of reality that are really happening. I talked to a former refugee after the play and several sequels – be it the design of areas, flora and fauna, children's paintings and scary scenes, are like dragging out the reality of countless people. I'm not surprised that you are "warned" that there are sensitive sequences in the game before starting the campaign, and if I had personally experienced something of what the game shows, it would probably have been even more affected. I think Modern Warfare conducts these episodes in a good and powerful way, but that's not for everyone – perhaps for the simple reason that it is too bad to "experiment" again.
Modern Warfare struggles to show deeper sides of many of their personalities because the campaign is so compact – and because it often prioritizes large footage over dialogue and character building through gameplay itself – but gains a lot by showing that war It's not just two sides that shoot each other. I would go so far as to say that Modern Warfare's approach to filming should be the new standard, as this is a campaign that I believe respects its source material on a completely different level than previous releases.
But what about pang-pang then?
Call of Duty is quite filmed, and I'm glad the show has returned to its modern roots. I haven't felt the same way about a Call of Duty since the original Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, where positioning and knowing a board on and off was the most important thing to get out of a shootout. Crazy weapons and skills now count as much as before, but there's something realistic about Modern Warfare that neither Boots nor Call of Duty: World War II could offer.
Everything from movement to aim and shooting seems simple good, better than in a long time, and the so important TTK period (time to kill) is, in my opinion, almost perfect. It's fast, like most Call of Duty games, but for some reason seems less brutal than in World War II. The game is not without frustrating moments when you could have sworn you shot first, but for some reason I have a much greater understanding that The the shooter hit me before I hit them.
Is so good
This may be because the game as a whole looks extremely polished. The graphics are crisp and comfortable, to name the obvious, but the weapons, skills, and tricks you can unlock, upgrade, and use all have their own utility that makes them fun to test. For example, I replaced my flash grenade with a "bomb" that ignites all enemies near the blast for a second, which can be extremely useful in demanding situations.
Firing a well-placed sniper shot from tens of meters away is as good as blowing a shotgun into an opponent's face at close range, and that's because of the wonderful sound and the stamina and feedback you get on screen and on control. By the way, unlockable kill-streak features seem more balanced than in a long time, with everything from the classic UAV to stationary mitral attacks and controllable attack aircraft on the menu.
Something I also noticed at the beginning is the importance of listening to the game. Following your opponents' footsteps and sound is clearer than ever, and if you have good earphones or loud enough sound in the system, you can easily hear the enemy coming in races, even if you don't have radar coverage. The same goes for you, of course, so it's important to think about how fast you move. Of course, Modern Warfare also has an answer to that, because an "advantage" you can use will put effective silencers on the steps you take.
For multiplayer to work, it is important that the cards are good too. As in many other aspects of the game, Modern Warfare returns once again to the roots of design philosophy. Paths are no longer created with three distinct "paths" to move forward or backward, but they are more "realistic" because the possibilities are many, both horizontally and vertically. Intense fighting in a bombed-out apartment can occur as teammates move in all directions, and perhaps a camping enthusiast hides behind a wooden house while a hopeful green-skinned secret agent plays on the track, avoiding the obvious roads. In other words, variation in the pictures is central to the Modern War, which means that knowledge of the areas becomes even more important.
When the campaign finally ended – after maybe five hours of play – I was really relieved. I've had enough of Call of Duty's classic sequences on a smaller or larger battlefield and was happy to finish the story. That said, Modern Warfare arguably offers the most innovative campaign the series has launched since this year 2010, offering noisy, quiet, relatively open and shortened missions. It's an intense campaign that forced me to take breaks and should encourage the developer to focus more on the human moments in their games.
If everything you played in Call of Duty was Modern Warfare 2007, you probably would have done very well if you suddenly got into the new version. Not only do the games look similar, but Modern Warfare looks like a straightforward sequence from the original and in many ways functions as a spiritual successor. The controls are accurate and fast, the guns dig and plenty, and the fun unlock updates. I could barely give up control because the plates are so cool and the experience is so good that I don't understand why it took so long for the series to return to the tried and true formula.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare may be correctly described as a breath of the past, but it looks as modern and new as the title suggests. It may not be a revolutionary game we're dealing with, but damn if it's not well polished and hit where it's important. If you miss a moment when Call of Duty was at the top or are looking for an excuse to finally get a shooting game, Modern Warfare is highly recommended.