For the longest time, it was rumoured that the 2019 Call of Duty – the 16th in the series – would be Modern Warfare 4. As it turns out, developer Infinity Ward opted to do away with the numbering and start from scratch.
Yep, the next Call of Duty is simply called Modern Warfare, just like the original 2007 game, which was also developed by Infinity Ward. But this 2019 release is no remaster – as you’ll surely know by now, it’s actually a total reboot of the Modern Warfare trilogy.
That means when we play through Modern Warfare’s ambitious and gritty sounding new campaign, we won’t be picking up after the events of 2011’s Modern Warfare 3. While that might come as disappointing news to some, Infinity Ward has revealed there’s a few very good reasons behind the reboot.
In a recent interview with IGN, Infinity Ward narrative director Taylor Kurosaki revealed that the main drive behind the reboot 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.
Kurosaki spoke of how the original Modern Warfare was inspired by the likes of 9/11 and Operation Desert Storm. He described this period as a little more clear cut, and “traditional, in a modern sense”, with enemies that wore uniforms and flew flags.
Continuing, he said that warfare by today’s standards is a far more terrifying beast, in that “any city can become a warzone in the link of an eye.” This in turn results in more collateral damage, which was a concept Infinity Ward used as a “leaping off point” for this new Modern Warfare.
Kurosaki also said that Infinity Ward decided they’d wouldn’t be able to tell the realistic story they wanted to tell if they’d stuck to the “classic” Modern Warfare timeline, because by the end of Modern Warfare 3, the series was too far removed from the real world.
By the end of Modern Warfare 3, the Russians had invaded the United States, the nukes had gone off, and to continue that storyline would have meant diverging away from what we all know of the world we live in today. That series had kind of forked from reality, so to speak. A tenet of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare has always been that it feels ripped from the headlines, it feels relevant. And in order to do that again, it felt like we couldn’t continue that storyline: there weren’t any sort of human-scale stakes left in that world. We believe that bringing today’s zeitgeist into a story that feels authentic and gritty and real required reimagining the series.
Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare launches on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on October 25. The game will have a full single player campaign, as well as various multiplayer modes, cross-platform play, and no season passes.
It’s safe to say people are pretty excited for this one.
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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.