- Game: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019)
- Consoles: Xbox One (reviewed), PS4, PC
- Publisher: Activision
- Developer: Infinity Ward
A Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019) review code was provided by the publisher.
The annualized FPS franchise that manages to sell in the millions has seemingly made a change worth paying attention to. Instead of delivering yet another derivate installment of Call of Duty, Activision tapped Infinity Ward with rebooting arguably the greatest game in the series. 2019’s rendition of Modern Warfare does enough to stand out as a quality package that appeals to players of the solo, multiplayer and co-op kind. But only one of those components is truly flawless, while the other two pieces of Modern Warfare’s content suite is a bit disappointing in parts. While those issues keep this reboot from being a total victory, it still produces one of the best Call of Duty releases in recent memory.
Firstly, there’s the campaign. Simply put, it’s amazing and stands tall next to top-ranking Call of Duty campaigns such as Black Ops and the very first Modern Warfare. What makes this reboot’s single-player campaign such a breath of fresh air is the way in which it carefully tackles the horrors of war. Every mission throws you into a situation that’s reflective of the disturbing atrocities being committed across the globe, which gives more weight to your courageous efforts. The campaign’s well-told plot points are supported by a well-paced array of missions that offers up a nice bit of variety. One minute, you’re silently sweeping a house full of terrorists with your fellow soldiers backing you up. Then the next, you’re getting acclimated to a custom made sniper rifle and picking off nearby rebels on a long winding road. Each mission presents a surprising mechanic that keeps the action from getting stagnant.
Fan-favorite character Captain Price is welcomed back into the fold and his inclusion is a definite highlight. Thankfully, one of the game’s newly introduced characters is just as likable and worthy of making a comeback in a future release. That debuting heroine is Farah, a headstrong rebel leader that makes a lasting impact once you’re done with the mission at hand. The strong writing and heavy dosage of reality hit even harder thanks to the best visuals ever seen in a Call of Duty game. The facial animations look superb, the mayhem that erupts on the battlefield is as close to the source material as possible and the weapon audio is just as strong as their visual presentation. The ways in which this rendition of Modern Warfare gets so much graphical power out of current-gen hardware is impressive.
When it’s time to hop into the multiplayer suite, things take a bit of a downturn in some parts. The feel of the gunplay itself and the deep customization that comes with leveling up is still as engrossing as its ever been. And the legacy modes are still a blast to run through for hours on end. As for the brand new multiplayer modes, Gunfight and Ground War are superb additions to the franchise as a whole. However, the fun factor for all the multiplayer modes at your disposal takes a hit due to the lack of truly worthwhile maps.
Some maps are perfect for a few respective modes, such as the expansive battlefields that contain the mayhem of Ground War matches and smaller enclosures needed for intense Gunfight excursions. But those spacious maps turn other modes into frustrating affairs plagued by campers who pick you off as soon as you spawn. With a good amount of the maps being a bit too big, you’ll regularly find yourself running around constantly looking for some sort of action and end up taking a bullet from someone taking refuge in an unseen corner. There are good maps, no doubt. But a good majority of them bring out the worst aspects of the Call of Duty multiplayer player base.
Spec Ops’ separate set of co-op missions certainly has its moments. The story premise is simple for each encounter and attempting to complete each one with your online buddies is a blast. The difficulty spikes in the middle of each mission can be a hindrance to those who want to keep replaying them, however. And the lack of a varied set of baddies to confront makes every Spec Ops playthrough feel a bit repetitive and stale early on. There is still a good amount of fun to be had with your three allies as you take down literal tanks and eliminate hulking baddies like a well-oiled machine. It’s just that Spec Ops’ replay factor falls dead last when compared to the finest aspects of the multiplayer mode’s content suite.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019) Takeaways
2019’s Modern Warfare reboot is the rejuvenation the franchise truly needed. Its campaign is one of the best single-player experiences in the series and the year as a whole. The multiplayer portion gives rise to a high dosage of fun thanks to the chaos of Ground War, the tense skirmishes present within Gun Fight and the gimmicky yet still fun presence of Realism mode. Spec Ops certainly has its moments from time to time as well.
But this year’s selection of maps just isn’t up to par with past releases. Wide-open expanses give rise to spawn camping and bouts of endless running where you rarely run into rival soldiers. Spec Ops’s sudden difficulty spikes and lack of enemy archetypes hinder it greatly as well. The campaign is nearly perfect, while the multiplayer and co-op sections are good yet hampered by annoying issues. 2019’s Modern Warfare reboot has a lot going for it. But it also has a few problematic elements that keep it from attaining the highest of honors.
Our Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019) Review Score: 8.5 out of 10