Single-player in Call of Duty Modern Warfare is absolutely fantastic and a massive boost to the whole package. Infinity Ward’s decision to focus on much smaller situations where the horrors of war are truly exposed helps this particular campaign stand out from the rest. By the end of the story, you’ll have witnessed several moments that will really surprise a player such as a moment where you’re placed in control of a small girl who is forced to murder not only with a gun but much more directly with a knife as well. You’ll also be placed in the shoes of a soldier put through torture. You interact during both of these sequences and it really makes you feel uncomfortable but totally engaged in the situation. These gameplay sequences feel incredibly important to the experience as they make the player feel as if he is genuinely engaged in the situations that soldiers and inhabitants of warzones live though.
The constant intimacy of situations means that the player is always on your toes. You will feel the genuine horror of war as you will be constantly aware of your surroundings to ensure that you do not kill innocent civilians. I will not call this a particularly fun campaign however I wouldn’t for a second say this is a negative at all. In fact, it almost feels like a more mature Call of Duty for a more mature audience that has grown alongside the series. It does lack the same over the top action most previous Call of Duty titles have been known for. This is probably the smallest scale Call of Duty campaign that we have ever seen lacking Black Ops massive set-piece moments, however, the characters here are much more interesting and memorable. Fan favourite Captain Price makes his return and identifying with characters allows the story told to resonate with players in a way that Call of Duty stories have not done since the original Modern Warfare and its’ sequels nearly a decade ago.
Multiplayer is yet again the key selling point of Call of Duty. Modern Warfare brings in a fantastic variety of multiple experiences thanks not only to the entrancing new modes but also the massive additions to Ground War. The new two vs two matches unfold in one very small map which means the action is continuous but also that teamwork is incredibly important. Even when there are no bullets flying these battles are brilliant fun especially if you’re playing with a close friend. You can tactically coordinate and enjoy a tactical experience that is capable of competing with current multiplayer juggernauts such as Rainbow 6 Siege.
The new larger team deathmatch battles are incredibly fun however the size of the map means that these battles can feel incredible bare sometimes. What does work is the ground war mode which enables 64 players on these massive maps and is a fantastic new way to experience Call of Duty. Thanks to the brilliant gunplay and the fantastic handling of each individual gun Call of Duty has an incredibly unique take on these large-scale modes. It never feels derivative of other titles, particularly classics such as Resistance 2 which originally brought this scale of battle to consoles. Instead, it feels like Infinity Ward has taken the Call of Duty experience and simply scaled it up.
Also involved in multiplayer are excellent little additions such as cross-play as well as some more unique modes like night vision mode. Traditional kill streaks make their return and this is really pleasant old school, nostalgic inclusions as they feel just as capable of changing a match as they used to. Unleashing as airstrike or even simply calling in a UAV will make you feel powerful. You’ll always feel like getting a kill streak will give you a genuine advantage. One of my favourite additions is the depth of the gun customization system. It means that you can find the gun that you really love and tweak it in ways that will make it feel unique to itself, even after dozens of hours of already using it. Early unlocks can still feel incredibly powerful throughout the game as you use them or unlock new upgrade options.
The one mode I can’t particularly recommend is special operations. Spec ops is a fun multiplayer especially if you have as many friends as possible however the problem comes with the difficulty. The mode continuously feels unfair and the base difficulty is on power with Modern Warfare 2’s final few missions. If anyone can remember these levels where we had to face off against multiple juggernaut enemies then you remember it became horrendously infuriating. It means that this mode is a nice distraction but never particularly anything more.
As usual, Infinity Ward has created a fantastic looking title. The game looks absolutely stunning with the lighting effects being a highlight. Explosions, fire, and reflections all look realistic and ensure that the game world around you feels genuinely alive. Animations are absolutely excellent and you’ll never feel like your engagement with the game will be broken by janky interactions or expressions. The sound design is equally fantastic, guns should powerful and listening properly can give you a genuine in-game advantage as you’ll feel like part of the game world. The acting is of a strong standard which will add to your immersion.