The Trailers For The Modern Warfare Reboot Seem Like A Return To Everything That Made CoD Great
Call of Duty is the poster boy of gaming franchises that largely lost their way. Each year, the franchise figures out a way to take the semi-realistic first-person shooter in a new direction, and whether they go back in time or make the jump into fictional space-age combat, they seem to figure out new ways of simultaneously breaking new ground and disappointing at the same time.
Whatever the direction though, whether it be an attempt at emulating World War II combat or launching a new spin on the Battle Royale sub-genre with Black Ops IV, Call of Duty is always a franchise that likes to keep its fans guessing. So imagine the gaming world's surprise when Activision announced the working title of the next installment in the series: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. We're sure that, if you're reading this, you don't need us to tell you that's a title that's not only already been released, but also remastered in the last couple of years.
Despite this, it points to good news for long-time fans of the franchise. Modern Warfare, the fourth game released in the series, was heralded as perhaps its best, combining a realistic, Tom Clancy-esque geo-political war story with the kind of combat and suspense that brought gamers onto the 21st century battlefield more realistically than any other game released at the time. Not to mention the multiplayer, which was so addictive that only Fortnite has ever really matched it since.
Back in May, Activision lifted the lid on what the 'soft reboot' of the Modern Warfare franchise will look like, and on initial glance, the story mode they teased looks like basically everything fans of the original could have asked for.
Set to drop on October 25, it appears to be a return to the fundamentals of what made the original Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare such a revolutionary title in the FPS genre. It goes back to proper, gritty, modern day warfare, and as rumours suggested earlier this week, will indeed be something of a reboot for the series rather than a out-and-out remake. That means many of Modern Warfare's original characters, Captain Price among them, will return, albeit in a new story.
Like Modern Warfare, the game will once again be campaign-focused, placing an emphasis on storytelling and presenting a semi-realistic geopolitical scenario — something that Call of Duty titles since have either fallen short of or, in the case of Black Ops 4, simply not bothered to do. The game's story will put you into the shoes of characters from Tier 1 of America's special forces, an SAS member, and in the second part, a rebel fighter in the middle east.
It's also set to be a game designed to shock the senses and pound home the real-world conflict of the situation the characters find themselves in. “We are telling a story about modern war in the real world,” says Jacob Minkoff, the single-player design director on Modern Warfare. “If we whitewash it, if we backpedal from it, if we show a world where the heroes fight the terrorists and win, you never see the impact on the average person, the collateral damage, or the morally gray situations that soldiers themselves have to face."
Developer Infinity Ward has even elected to leave out CoD's iconic Zombies mode to distance itself as far as possible from the Black Ops-style games that have become banner holders for the CoD franchise over the past few years.
"Because they [other CoD developer Treyarch] focus on more of the stylized, graphic novel, super-hero experience, they can have the much more ‘out there’ different types of gameplay in their games,” Minkoff told Playstation Lifestyle.
"But for us, we’re trying to create an authentic, realistic feeling world. We don’t have the flexibility to do something like put zombies in the game. That would compromise the feeling of playing in a world that feels realistic and authentic and relative to today’s conflicts and things we face."
Those who have managed to get their hands on the game have said that it delivers on the grim reality of modern day war in a way we've never really seen in a game before. YouTuber Drift0r tweeted: "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare makes MW2's 'No Russian' look like a Pixar Film," he said, referring to the infamous level where you carry out a terrorist attack on civilians in an Airport. "I'm deadly serious when I saw that I was shocked by the level of realistic violence. Will be surprised if the game gets rated M instead of AO. Good luck buying it in NZ, DE, or SEA countries."
Keshav Bhat, a writer from Call of Duty news site Charlie Intel, also tweeted: "If you thought No Russian was the worst they've done, this game matches that level of intensity in many aspects," he said, adding: "The graphics are the best we've seen in Call of Duty yet."
CoD have since released the game's multiplayer trailer, promising what they call the most immersive multiplayer experience put in a CoD game to date, even if it is one many are calling more stripped back. Players will get the option to fight against eachother in a range of different combat modes, including Gunfight (2 vs 2), 6 vs 6, 10 vs 10, and even a new 'Ground War' mode that brings 100 vs 100 fights into the fold. The trailer has also announced a ton of new weapons and modern add-ons that players will be able to activate, from drones to air strikes and ROVs.
Sounds okay to us, and especially timely considering that the Battlefield franchise also plans to return to its roots with a third Bad Company game. In the meantime, you'll catch us endlessly replaying the Chernobyl level from the original.