Infinity Ward removes the essences.
The war changes. At least in video games. Since Modern Warfare redefined the SPF in 2007 it has rained a lot. So much that we had even forgotten what modern warfare was. Call of Duty had focused on a futuristic conflict in several installments and, when he wanted to breathe, he turned to World War II. But Activision and Infinity Ward have wanted to return to the roots with this new Modern Warfare, a kind of reinterpretation of what changed everything forever. And here many things have changed too. Some better – much better. Others not so much. And others that will generate controversy according to each. But there is no doubt that the delivery of this 2019 commitment to shake the hornet. And get it.
When it was announced that what was new for this year was a Modern Warfare, suspicions and many questions were raised. Even the least bitter of Call of Duty surrender to the ball that led to the 2007 game. And once again using the brand, which left the high pavilion with the three installments with its name, was a risky bet. But also interesting. Who was going to tell us that after those years in which everyone rolled the blanket to the head and began to bring modern conflicts everywhere we were going to miss it. But that's how it is. The amalgam of jetpacks, sprints on the walls and the nostalgia of the World Wars left in recent times, and almost forgotten, modern warfare. And in that we recover a certain freshness that is impregnated especially in the campaign and in the multiplayer. Not so much in the cooperative, a pending issue of Infinity Ward: it has not finished hitting the key to offer an alternative to Treyarch zombies. Nor here.
Captain Price, conflicts in the Middle East and pure news
When we saw Donald Trump this weekend announcing the operation that had killed ISIS leader Al Baghdadi, we couldn't stop thinking about his relationship with the Modern Warfare campaign, so precise in certain things, however disturbing it may seem. The action here is located in the search and capture of the Wolf, the leader of Al Qatala, a terrorist group in charge of a lethal attack on London. All this while trying to intercept a shipment of chemical weapons in Urzikistan and the presence of Russia among the bad guys, something that has generated review bombing for changing certain elements of the Gulf War in the 90s for the game.
Beyond this controversy, the truth is that the Modern Warfare campaign works more than well within its parameters. There was a time when having a short, intense and linear campaign didn't like it. Too cinematic and with limited interaction. But, who was going to tell us, in full 2019 is a breath of fresh air. At a time when you even know how Uncharted and Gears of War have embraced to a greater or lesser extent the concept of open or semi-open world, having something like this campaign, about six hours, satisfies us.
And he does it because, as usual in Infinity War campaigns (although the last one of Infinite Warfare was not like that), there is a great variety of situations that provide rhythm and different points of view. Night vision raids, demanding sniper phases – wind and distance are of importance that we did not see in Chernobyl in the mythical phase of the original Modern Warfare – use of unmanned and devastating aerial weapons and several objectives to be met in changing phases. It lasts just not to get heavy, to go at a constant pace and to leave a good taste in the mouth.
Surely some events at the narrative level are somewhat abrupt, and there is no lack of topics debatable from the American point of view. But this is so true that it puts us before morally complex situations, and presents us with the harshness of war in all its splendor. Death of innocents, children involved, torture and limits that the protagonists cross and we do not know if we want it to be so. It has a less festive and less playful approach, although Americans remain the best in the world in the epilogue. And all this makes it entertaining and satisfying. Although the enemy AI does not shine – just for its accuracy – and although in its linearity, sometimes we have to repeat a checkpoint for something unforeseen.
The jewel in the crown: a disruptive multiplayer
But here, as in most Call of Duty since 2007, it has come to compete online. And after hours with the campaign and its various difficulties, it is in the multiplayer where the potential and longevity of a Call of Duty is settled. Modern Warfare risks and generally works out well. We find seven main modes, where there is no lack of Team Duel or Domain, both in a brand version of the house and another more than 20 players, as well as Search and Destroy, Headquarters or the new Cyber Attack, based on recovering a device and place it on the enemy base. It is missing, yes, Low Confirmed.
It is in the classic modes where we see a bigger disruption between what is Call of Duty and what is Modern Warfare in 2019. The first thing we should put on the table is the design of maps, as a rule larger than in previous deliveries. This encourages us to have more calm situations and more positioning situations. The frenetism of some mythical maps such as Hijacked, Nuketown, Crash or the madness of those compact labyrinths that were the scenarios of Infinite Warfare has been lost. The design maintains the three paths that define the company, and among them, there, all kinds of recesses, turns and many directions in the form of houses, train tracks, trenches or containers. In addition, of course, of floors that provide high positions to take into account, both in attack and defense.
Learning all the exits and dead zones is not easy, but it has its grace. Less concurrent are certain open spaces that are a candy for snipers, kings of the cotarro in some scenarios such as Euphrates Bridge, a map separated by a huge bridge in the middle and that is glory for the ‘camperos’. In fact, Team Duel is what suffers most on maps like this and in general, in most medium-sized scenarios. Others, such as Domain or Cyber Attack are enjoyed by the amount of roads and places to surprise. It is true that even in these dynamic modes, snipers have some maps where they make too much difference for what a Call of Duty is.
It is something that the most purists will leave you upset. Surely maps such as Hackeny Yard or Arklov Peak are the closest to what Infinity Ward intended: intermediate spaces, with conflict zones, places to shoot at a distance … But also roads to circumvent them. In any case, throughout the games our feeling is that the map design offers a new and satisfactory experience in some cases, but it is irregular and does not just work as expected in others.
After the last update a week after leaving the game, Low Confirmed has been added, a notable absence in the first few days. The mode, of course, is not saved from a certain 'champion' in some scenarios where snipers continue to pass the objective of the mode itself. In any case, in areas like Picaddilly it develops satisfactorily for fashion lovers.
Another two-sided mode is Terrestrial War, the large-scale battle for 64 players that clearly drinks from the Battlefield Conquest mode. These are five major areas that we must control to score points and take the victory. The dynamism of the casualties and rebirth makes it much more agile and constant in pace than other similar proposals. And the presence of low streak gives it a touch of Call of Duty. But on the other side we have some vehicles that do not make a difference as we might suppose – neither in variety nor in options – and the two available maps know little. Nor do they get rid of some design decisions in which snipers have more prominence in the account.
2 vs. 2: pure Call of Duty
During E3 we could try the star mode of the game, Shooting. In later trial versions it was shown that it had enormous potential. And with the final version we confirm: Shooting is the best of this Modern Warfare. The operation is as follows: two against two on tiny maps, where when you start the round you see the enemy. The goal, kill the two enemies, win round and reach six rounds defeated to take the game. If too much time passes, an extension is entered and whoever catches a flag wins the round. If nobody takes it, the team with the most life wins. Whatever happens, they are always short games and force you to move and take the lead.
This makes it intense, fun and varied. It also helps another element to keep in mind: every two rounds change the weapons we use randomly. Always the same for all four players. Pure vice. Playing with a friend and empathizing is the best way to let the hours go by without us noticing. The direct approach, knowing how to use the weapons that touch us at that time, including secondary and throwing, and adapting to the situation with each passing round make it a frantic experience like few others and a success this year.
The options are closed with other modes such as the classic all against all or a Tactical Rules that gives us a tremendous immersion: the interface is at the minimum expression, there is no map except for specific moments (use of the UAV) and the feeling of realism is enormous . At the time, Infinity Ward wanted this, to play without a map, to be the core of the game. Finally it was not so after the complaints, but here is the modality for those who want to experience something different. And convincing.
Kill fast, adapt to the arsenal
There are several playable changes that make this Call of Duty, beyond maps and new modes, feel different. We see it especially in the handling of weapons. The recoil in most of them, the animations at the time of loading – which leave you sold and are not immediate as in past years – or the absence (at least as we knew it) of the Quick Scope in snipers due to the slowness of targeted and the dispersion penalty until the sight is complete. They are some examples of how the control, movement and reaction of the character feels more real. There will be few times we die because we have thrown or placed a bomb and in the transition to take the weapon again, they see us and kill us. Nor the times when we must control a more pronounced recoil than in other deliveries and that force us to learn to control the more than 20 different weapons.
There is no lack of classics such as the M4A1, the FAL, the AK47, submachine guns such as the P90 or the MP5, machine guns such as the PKM or the SA87 and tactical rifles such as the EBR-14 or snipers such as the Dragunov or the HDR. Complemented with all kinds of options that change in accuracy, rate of fire, mobility or range. The best is the touch and see how each has its advantages and disadvantages. And know that certain additives, such as Kilo 141, are nerf meat sooner rather than later.
To all this, endless accessories in the form of a barrel, sight, cylinder head, couplings, handles, ammunition and others. Even at certain exaggerated moments. Our M4A1 (yes, we are the typical ones) has more than 15 peepholes available now, and we still need to reach the more than 20 available. And so it happens, although not with so many options, with the customization elements. If we add to this the armory, which will allow us to get modified weapons of all kinds, we have hours and hours of unlocking ahead.
Our arsenal is completed with a run of casualties that maintains the essence of the saga, but with certain variations. Novelties such as personal radar, a kind of individual UAV, a turret with a hand-held shield, a wheelson, land vehicle controlled by remote control or the controversial white phosphorus merge with variations of others such as cluster attack – a sort of Hellstorm but where we must aim from the ground where we want the shot – and classics that don't fail like the sentry, the help package, the VTOL or UAV and UAV response among others. For the best building streaks, the Juggernaut suit to be a walking machine gun or an advanced UAV that marks the enemy's course. In general, varied and effective for all types of players, even for the less skilled taking streaks.
The field improvements, which allow us to have extra ammunition, be silent for a while or launch a reconnaissance drone, complete a character that does not lack already known and new advantages: light step, excess of medium, hard line, shrapnel, Cold blood and all those options that allow us to customize our style and above all, camouflage our weaknesses. If we are a magnet for grenades and claymore, better to have an advantage that minimizes damage. If we are not to be still, better to have a light and phantom step so as not to be detected in UAV. And so with everything.
A cooperative that stays halfway
As usual in the company, the third leg that supports this Call of Duty is a cooperative mode of operations for four players. There are four main ones where we have to realize different objectives, ranging from getting information from key characters to hacking certain elements or killing enemies. The problem is that it suffers from an artificiality that leaves it below the campaign and multiplayer. The experience, entertaining with friends, is far from being able to compete with modalities such as zombies.
That is because the design of missions is quite debatable, and that the constant respawn of enemies, from all possible sides, ends up being a burden that does not translate into the feeling of being on a mission with several objectives. If we do not advance, enemies do not stop coming from everywhere. If Bin Laden had had this infinite army, today the West would no longer exist. The presence of Juggernauts resistant to the level of a tank, the development based on going to one site, ending with a VIP, saying that we have to go for another, and so on several times; or having to hack the same thing five times makes you lose interest. And all while enemies are coming out from under the stones even if we have cleaned the area with precision. The presence of classes also does not improve the experience, although as we say, in company it is more enjoyable. Something better is survival and classic special operations, more horde-type cutting having to prepare the ground and adapt to the armament and elements that we find on the map.
Goodbye to the loot boxes
The Prestige has also changed. Infinity Ward has wanted to remodel the progression system to facilitate its season-based roadmap. The prestige that had accompanied the franchise for more than a decade has given way to a hundred unpublished levels. All players will unlock the equipment until they reach level 55; From that moment, we will begin to climb with the sole objective of obtaining special medals. When we reach a group of medals (with which we will be adding cosmetic elements to our assortment), we will have the possibility of obtaining a special weapon plan. As if it were a battle pass, once the validity of that content framework ends, all players will see their rank restarted to return to 55. So on season after season. Or rather: we will never see our progress in equipment lost, as was the case with the traditional system.
At the moment we have several daily challenges and long-term missions that invite us to perform tasks to get experience and loot of all kinds. A system clearly inspired by Fortnite and that although it has room for improvement – if we do not activate the missions it does not tell us that we have made X headshots even if we have done them – but that the reward system regarding the loot boxes of the last years. A good way out of our comfort zone to try weapons, tactics and other challenges that we propose.
Technical section: sound show
At the audiovisual level, what is most surprising is the game's audio. The forcefulness of bullets, explosions, differences in nuances in shots and explosives and how everything sounds in general. The players indicate when they see enemies, we are told places where there are movements and everything as a whole gives us an immersive experience as we did not remember in other deliveries. In addition, the footsteps of the enemies help us to know where they come from, although it is true that at this point, this system makes us listen to them from far away and needs some arrangement to make it perfect. A dubbing level, in general it sounds good … Except in the post of head Kate Laswell, a voice that clearly shows below by the actress Najwa Nimri. It is not about centralizing criticism in a name, but it is the one that has been promoted to hype and saucer …
Finally, note that at a visual level the game fulfills its mission with 60 frames per second as a long-standing non-negotiable factor. Fluency, new animations and everything moving solidly in varied scenarios. Especially well lighting and certain explosions in campaign mode, where the game is best seen. In multiplayer, despite all that has been said, there are some minor errors with some textures that take time to load, although it is somewhat smaller.
Call of Duty Modern Warfare is a delivery that risks many changes, and most go well. On the one hand we have an intense campaign, cinematographic and with enough variety to enjoy it from beginning to end. It does not leave indifferent. On the other, there is a willingness to break up in multiplayer. The touch, variety and customization of weapons is one of its successes, although the bet on intermediate maps has two faces: on the one hand, in a large number of scenarios, dynamic modes such as Cyber Attack and Domain shine more than ever. On the other, the debatable design of some maps makes the champion excessive and ways like Team Duel suffer.
And in the midst of all this, the shooting mode: pure frenetism and one of the best additions in years in the saga. A total success that reminds us of the best of Infinity Ward in fast, changing and fun games like few others. The great conflict of 64 players in Terrestrial War offers contrasts between an obvious potential and room for improvement, and the cooperative still does not make the quality leap that can equate it to the level of the zombie mode of other games in the franchise.
Definitely. A Modern Warfare that wins the majority of bets that it puts on the table, although the most purists will miss, and rightly so, smaller maps where hiding like a zarigüella does not come out profitable in the long run and with some prominent absences in these first bars of game life.
- Convincing changes in the control, tact and response of weapons
- Shooting mode is one of the best additions in years: intensity, frenetism and variety
- armThe large number of customization elements of things, accessories, streaks … growing and more diverse
- Modes like Domain, Cyber Attack and Tactical Rules benefit from some intermediate maps in size
- The campaign, intense, varied and with elements that will not leave you indifferent
- In general, the sound section
- Some maps have an irregular design, where the champion and snipers have an excess of prominence
- The cooperative mode and its operations follow a step below the rest of the proposals
- Terrestrial War has the potential to offer more than it gives us, especially as far as vehicles are concerned
Remarkable game that we will enjoy and remember. A good purchase, highly recommended for lovers of the genre. It is well taken care of at all levels.