Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Early Impressions — Solid And Snappy Multiplayer
In just a few short weeks, the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Open Beta period will begin.
Ahead of that, though, I stopped by the Call of Duty World League Championships that took place on the UCLA campus a couple of weeks ago to check out a demo ahead of time before trying out the public Alpha test shortly after that.
It's been a long time since I've attended an MLG event for a shooter, and the hype was in the air just as strongly as ever. The venue was really impressive, and the play from all of the contestants was on another level, much like the multiplayer elements of the upcoming soft-reboot I was able to try out.
Fighting With Guns
Both of the demos I played specifically focused on the 2v2 Gunfight mode. In this game mode, you and a partner are pitted against two other players without respawns in a series of showdowns.
Each time a new match begins, everyone is issued new weapons. In this way, it's a bit like Gun Game since weapons switch, but in Gunfight, everyone always uses the same weapons. Consequently, it's a true test of skill and map knowledge.
Since there are no respawns in this mode, the stakes are extremely high and communication is key. Every time I played, I played with a stranger, and if that stranger wasn't active on the mic, we usually lost. It's extremely hard to coordinate in a game mode like this without being able to speak to one another.
In a way, it's a stark contrast to the K/D/A ratio-focused experience of most other Call of Duty modes.
The variety of guns the mode forces you to use is refreshing as well. Some maps have long, corridor-style kill lanes that can make rounds extremely short if a headshot is pulled off near the start, but then, if you get shuffled to a shotgun, the dynamics suddenly become very different as you have to try and close ground more quickly.
Hopefully, Activision and Infinity Ward can keep this mode fresh and actually release updates with new maps and new content semi-frequently given that balance considerations are far less complex in a world where all players will be using the same gear each round.
While I'm still eager to try out the full multiplayer experience, including the large-scale 100-player matches in the newly revamped Ground War mode, Gunfight nicely scratched my Call of Duty itch.
Analyzing Game Flow
If you've followed the game's marketing and previews at all, then you know the developers are taking a much more grounded approach with this entry, focusing heavily on gritty realism — especially for the single player campaign.
Admittedly, that's the part I'm most excited to experience, but multiplayer is obviously the biggest draw for the franchise as a whole.
While I wasn't able to get a good feel for how the overall multiplayer meta will be affected with the current changes, in terms of moment-to-moment feel, this is the snappiest and best feeling Call of Duty game I've played in years.
I enjoyed Call of Duty: WWII for a while, but bounced off of Black Ops 4 fairly quickly. I never got into Ghosts, Advanced Warfare, or Infinite Warfare at all, and the last time I really actively played the series was around the Modern Warfare 1-3 and Black Ops 1-2 era.
Since then, it just hasn't felt the same to me.
But from what I've seen, Modern Warfare looks to return the series to its fundamentals (in a way) while also modernizing and retooling things under the hood. It seems odd to have another game with the exact same title in "Modern Warfare," but the developers have expressed that to call it anything else would be inaccurate.
The Call of Duty: Modern Warfare reboot is set to release on October 25 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC and will feature cross-platform multiplayer for the first time in the franchise's history.
However, you can jump into the game as early as September 12 for the Multiplayer Beta if you pre-order. All date variations can be found here.
For more on the reboot, head over here for everything we know on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, from release date to every single trailer and more.