With Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Infinity Ward seems to be scrapping everything we think we know about the popular FPS franchise in favour of a single-player campaign that we’re told will shock, provoke, and surprise.
Infinity Ward previously revealed that 2019’s Modern Warfare would be a complete reboot, separate from the original trilogy of games so that it can dive into a more realistic story that tackles more contemporary themes.
Based on what we’ve heard of the game’s campaign so far, it’s not going to be pulling any punches when it comes to depicting the realities of war in 2019. In a recent interview with PCGamesN, art director Joel Emslie and campaign gameplay director Jacob Minkoff shed a little more light on what to expect.
While discussing the story, the two men talked of how much video game narratives have come on since Modern Warfare 3 in 2011, and how Infinity Ward wanted to up its game and do something a little more sophistacated than you might expect from a Call of Duty title.
I’ve never seen narrative in a Modern Warfare game like this narrative. The stories [of the original trilogy] were great for that time period, but I think the gaming community expects more now, it has to be more sophisticated, and from what I’ve seen it’s incredible, there’s a really great story driving this thing.
It sounds like these efforts haven’t been in vain, as Minkoff revealed that multiple playtesters have cried while experiencing the campaign. Emslie added that he thought people were joking when they told him, until he saw videos of the playtesters in tears.
In a recent interview with IGN, Infinity Ward narrative director Taylor Kurosaki revealed that the main drive behind rebooting the series was based on the idea that the very term “modern warfare” has changed so dramatically in the last decade.
He explained that war today is more complex than ever before:
When we set out to make this game, we asked ourselves ‘what does the word ‘modern’ followed by the word ‘warfare’ mean?’ Modern warfare, in 2019, means the theater of war is even less defined now than it was back when those first games were made. It’s more complex. It’s more grey. It less mimics what traditional warfare meant.
If Infinity Ward is serious about committing to an accurate depiction of the horrors of war over the last few years, then we’re in for a bleak ride. We’ve already heard the game will feature a section where you play as a child solider, and the perspective of freedom fighters and the innocent bystanders who are simply trying to stay alive in a warzone will be given equal billing with Tier 1 operators.
Based on pretty much all of the interviews we’ve seen so far, it seems like Infinity Ward truly wants to tell a story that stays with us, rather than churn out another generic FPS campaign. There are a lot of ways it could go wrong, but I’m intrigued to see how the studio pulls it off.
We’ll find out when Call of Duty: Modern Warfare arrives on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on October 25.
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Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.