Some things in life are certain. The sun always rises, Coldplay will always release tepid music for the emotionally stunted, and a new year will always see the release of a new Call of Duty. This time; Modern Warfare.
If the title sounds familiar, that’s because it is. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare was released by Infinity Ward for PS3, Xbox 360, and PC way back in 2007. It was widely hailed as one of the greatest shooters of all time, and was swiftly followed up by Modern Warfare 2 (2009), and Modern Warfare 3 (2011).
While Infinity Ward might be back on development duties, 2019’s Modern Warfare is no remaster, nor is it a sequel that picks up where the last entry left off. Instead, the 16th game in the Call of Duty franchise (wow that’s a lot, isn’t it?) will be a “re-imagining.”
Let’s take a look at everything we know so far, shall we? We’ll start with the basic stuff. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is being developed by Infinity Ward and published by Activision. It’ll launch on October 25 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
Various special editions for the game have been rumoured, but nothing has been confirmed just yet, so hold tight for news regarding that. What is surprising, is that Modern Warfare will not have a season pass, meaning all post launch content such as maps and special events will be free.
In addition to that, Modern Warfare will support cross-platform play between PC and consoles, as part of an effort to “unite the community.” While it’d be foolish to assume Activision won’t put microtransactions of any kind in the game, not having to pay for extra maps is something I can get on board with.
You might have noticed that the announcement trailer featured some genuinely stunning gameplay footage. That’s because Modern Warfare will be running in an entirely new engine which boasts makes use a “physically-based material system,” ray tracing (on PC), world volumetric lighting, and other features that make this the best looking Call of Duty yet.
With a great engine comes great responsibility to tell an engaging story, and it’s been confirmed that Modern Warfare will indeed have a single player campaign – something that was missing from last year’s Black Ops 4.
Both Activision and Infinity Ward have been talking up what they promise is an “edgy”, “thought provoking”, and “provocative” campaign that will go to some pretty dark places. The publisher also said that the narrative and progression be threaded across Modern Warfare‘s single-player, co-op, and multiplayer modes, so you’ll need to play everything to get the whole picture.
A big part of rebooting Modern Warfare was to give the team the ability to place familiar characters such as Price in more contemporary settings that deal with conflicts directly inspired by recent events, so don’t expect Infinity Ward to sugar coat some of the awful things that have happened in the last decade.
As with past Call of Duty campaigns, we’ll experience a story told from multiple perspectives. Infinity Ward narrative director Taylor Kurosaki confirmed to Engagdet that we’ll play as both Tier 1 operators and freedom fighters throughout the conflict that takes players across the Middle East and Europe. The intention is to add a perspective we’ve never seen in a Call of Duty game before.
This is a completely new perspective for Modern Warfare, this is a brand new thing. We spend about half the game playing alongside Tier 1 operators and about half the game playing alongside rebel freedom fighters. This is exciting not only from a storytelling perspective, where we can delve into the lives of these characters and see why they fight and what they fight for, but also from a gameplay perspective.
It’s ambitious sounding stuff, and various outlets have reported a level where you’ll play as a child solider, which sounds incredibly harrowing. Kuosaki told Variety that when the time came to make a new Modern Warfare, Infinity Ward couldn’t really shy away from that term means in 2019; A world where the lines between battle zones and normality are more blurred than ever before.
If we only talked about western soldiers fighting in far-flung lands or on domestic counter-terrorism in their homes that would also only tell you half the story. There is a whole group of people where the battle zones are their home and their cities.
While a solid, quality campaign is something players are happy to see return in Modern Warfare, multiplayer has always been the meat of the Call of Duty experience. Unfortunately, most of the details on multiplayer are under wraps for now.
We have heard that the game will feature “several” multiplayer modes, including an “all-new cooperative play mode, featuring a collection of strategic co-op missions.”
It’s also currently unclear if the game will have a battle royale mode like Black Ops 4, but previous rumblings suggested Infinity Ward would be ditching battle royale in favour of more traditional multiplayer.
As long as Rust makes a comeback, I’ll die happy.
If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
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.