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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Campaign Review

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Campaign Review

Rebooting the Modern Warfare series is not an easy thing to do because, for many Call of Duty (CoD) fans like myself, it’s a favourite of the many entries over the years. Infinity Ward seems to have taken that into account since it has essentially brought the franchise back to basics with the return of the campaign, foot-on-ground multiplayer and bringing back killstreaks. The big difference with this new reboot to the series is the realism it brings to various aspects of the game, especially when it comes to the campaign which can be intense and even very disturbing at times.

In the months leading towards the release of this rebooted Modern Warfare, there was quite a bit of buzz about how the new campaign is gritty and how it is going to push the boundaries of what a CoD campaign can be. It does that to a point with meaningful characters and some intense and emotional missions, but for the most part, it’s a lot of the same.

The main location for the campaign is a fictional Middle-Eastern country called Urzikstan where you play a few people throughout the six-hour campaign, but you mainly stick with a CIA operative Alex and S.A.S. Sergeant Kyle Garrick. The first mission feels very traditional for a CoD campaign as you take command of Alex and his team who are searching for chemical weapons hidden in a base. As soon as the chemical weapons are found, they are immediately stolen by who Alex believes is Al Qatada, which is one side of the civil war ongoing in Urzikstan. As they try to figure out who stole the chemical weapons, you switch over to Kyle Garrick, and with him, the return of the best and coolest character in any CoD campaign, Captain John Price.

This second mission is showing more of what you would expect from a grittier CoD campaign as there is a terrorist attack in London and you see the horrors of suicide bombers and chaos in the streets. There is one very intense scene where Captain Price and Kyle find a civilian wearing a bomb vest and Price throws him over some railings without hesitation when he sees how much time is left on the countdown. Kyle is immediately shocked by this action and feels kind of gross about it though realises it was the right choice.

There are a couple of missions like this, that make you feel horrified and unsettled of what is happening on screen. The main culprit of this is the mission ‘Hometown’ which follows Farah Karim – the leader of the other side of the ongoing Urzikstan civil war and a main protagonist in the story – when she was a child. It’s a disturbing mission where you see the horrors of war through a child’s eyes as they make you do some very graphic things. It’s uncomfortable to watch, let alone play, but it builds Farah’s character and her motives. Plus, it’s nice to see a CoD campaign humanize the Middle-Eastern side of the war for a change through Farah and others throughout the story.

As mentioned previously, most of these missions don’t feel like a huge departure from the CoD games we’ve seen in the past which was slightly disappointing even if they were still fun. The standout missions were the ones that involved the night vision goggles because of how intense they are since they’re slower-paced than the others. The mission ‘Clean House’ comes to mind which is an nerve-racking search through a house with tight corners and unpredictable outcomes as not everyone in the building are enemies. More slow-paced missions would have been a welcomed addition since we’ve already seen the over-the-top action from previous iterations. Despite that, this definitely one of the best campaigns since the first Black Ops.

The buttery-smooth CoD gameplay you know and love is back, despite the change to a new engine. It feels a bit heavier than the previous entries, but for the most part, it plays very familiar. The biggest change to the gameplay is the ability to mount your gun to essentially any surface that makes sense, giving you more accuracy and less recoil. While it works well, it’s my least favourite addition because of what it does to the multiplayer, but more on that in the multiplayer review. New features like reloading your gun while still aimed down sights and tossing a flashbang with one arm so you still have your gun out bring that realism to the gameplay as well. Other than that, not much has changed in terms of gameplay, but at least it still feels great to play.

Visually, this rebooted Modern Warfare looks excellent. While the new engine didn’t change much in terms of gameplay, it did wonders for the visuals. The lighting is incredible, the textures are sharp on a PlayStation 4 Pro, and it all runs incredibly well at a solid 60FPS throughout. The cinematics in the campaign are even better as well with superb character models and animations, but you definitely notice the change between the gameplay because of how much better they actually are.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare’s campaign is one of the best we’ve seen from the franchise in years with meaningful characters and a horrifying depiction of war that some players may not be ready for. It can feel familiar to fans when it’s being loud, but when things quiet down, it becomes an intense experience that will have you asking for more.

Score: 8.5/10

Richard Shivdarsan

Richard Shivdarsan

Staff Writer

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