If you’re like me, you will have played the Call of Duty campaign to get you back into the swing of things before you charge into the Multiplayer. I did so once I had completed the campaign and I am 8 hours in, which isn’t much but it’s enough to get a feel for the game modes. Has it managed to capture the magic from Modern Warfare 2’s heyday?
Judging Modern Warfare against those rose-tinted standards is difficult. I probably spent just as much time being murdered on the old games, I just remember the highlights. Calling in a Nuke on Highrise and finishing the game with 31 kills and no deaths in a Team Deathmatch was a moment probably up there with my best in multiplayer achievements. Second only to my legendary exploits on FIFA Pro Clubs.
Over the years Call of Duty’s multiplayer had become a frantic wall running triple jumping horror show for me. Every time I would play, I would be slaughtered in most matches by people at angles I wouldn’t even think to check. That changes with this year’s CoD. Everything is stripped back, it’s you, a gun, 3 perks and some grenades. That simplicity means it relies more on your skills and reactions, and although I am far from being the Rambo I once was, I am thoroughly enjoying it again.
CoD has always had the best FPS gun play in the world; I don’t think that has ever changed. aiming and shooting feels so good on Modern Warfare that just letting that shine leads to some great multiplayer fights. I will shout “Oh fuck off” nearly every time I am killed, but in reality, the kill-cam doesn’t lie, I got hit, and I died.
This year the Killstreaks are more restrained, but still very useful. The UAV is a vital tool and although most players after level 24 will equip cold blooded to be hidden from this, just forcing an opponent to select that over something like the hardline perk is a tactical advantage in its own way. The air strikes are different, with you forced to be able to see the area and mark it with a laser before the bombs drop meaning a little more risk if you want to get it right. You can’t bomb the ever living fuck out of the other side of the map just to try and spawn kill people anymore, unless you run over there and risk being killed by the spawning team.
I mentioned the Nuke earlier, but as far as I can tell that is not in play here. The top killstreak is the Juggernaut armour, which whilst fun, is probably one I will never see equipped by anyone. The Chopper Gunner is pretty much the top dog in the killstreaks. CoD’s killstreaks have not changed much in general because they’re one of the most satisfying gameplay mechanics in any multiplayer. You’re constantly rewarded for getting multiple kills and that determination to get the next notch on the list keeps you playing.
In terms of modes I haven’t seen before, the new Cyber Attack is a welcome addition. It’s essentially a faster Search & Destroy, but with games that last just as long. Each team must grab a device and plant it at the opponent’s base, but you only get one life. You can be revived though, which adds an interesting slant to the gameplay. If you’re the last person against 2 or 3 enemies, you suddenly feel the need to be sneaky and get to your teammates and revive them and even up the game. It means that the game can be evened up during the fight and I have already seen games go from 1v1 to 6v6 again. It’s a cool mode and one I will probably get deeper into once I have honed my skills a little more in the bread and butter for me which is Team Deathmatch.
CoD classic modes are still present, Search and Destroy, Headquarters, Domination all present and active. The one mode I am yet to play much of is Ground War, which is CoD’s take on Battlefield’s larger more all-out war approach. I will be giving it go but I like my Call of Duty to be close maps and fast action.
I was a little sceptical going into this new Modern Warfare. The love I have for Modern Warfare 2 is deep, and it’s a game that really made me realise how great this franchise can be. Since then, the yearly titles have never reached the same heights for me, but this game is threatening to do exactly that. I don’t have the same number of hours to commit to this game that I used to, but I am very happy that I finally have a Call of Duty game to enter the rotation of regular games I play.
In a marketplace flooded with Battle Royale’s and hero shooters, Modern Warfare is a throwback to the games that started the multiplayer shooter genre off. It’s a return to form for the franchise and a game I will be playing long after release for the first time in years. CoD is Back.
9/10 – CoD’s multiplayer is back to its best.