Every year there is always a honeymoon phase with the new Call of Duty where you get this game and you are like “Wow! This is incredible, way better than last year!” Fellow writers at The Zombie Chimp, even had high expectations this could be the best Call of Duty ever. However, with this new iteration of Call of Duty and with the reboot of the Modern Warfare franchise, it cut my honeymoon phase short. I play on a Xbox One X, which is traditionally the best place you can play games as it is the most powerful console, however with the newest addition in the Call of Duty franchise, there were many issues with the game bricking and hard crashing consoles, because of this I started playing the game later than usual as I feared of my console getting bricked. However, sadly, at the time of writing, over a week after launch and two patches later, the issues of console crashing remain and are very common among me and my friends. It is among the most frustrating things I have experienced to have a game literally crash the console.
Aside from the “Game breaking” bug my friends and I have been experiencing, is the game actually good? The answer to this question is yes. Let’s start with the campaign. When last year’s Black Ops 4 omitted a campaign mode and committed to being fully online, the backlash was rampant. This year’s campaign has made its glorious return and Infinity Ward touted it to be the main selling point of the game, with talk of it being very realistic and gritty. The goal of it was to show was real-life war was like. How does their vision pan out in execution though?
I honestly feel this is a “good but not great” campaign. There are a lot of good qualities in it, yet many bad ones. Let’s start with a good thing, the variety. Every mission isn’t just the same run and gun sort of blockbuster gunfight through a level mission that we usually know CoD campaigns for. There is a good bit of variety, such as sections where you play as a child, one section where act like Aiden Pearce from Watch Dogs and are leading people through cameras, even another where you are a cinderblock carrier, along with a few other surprises.
You might think Modern Warfare is a prequel, but they do not connect the game’s story to the original trilogy story-wise despite using many of the same characters. It is a soft reboot and separate universe, think of it of another world in the multi-verse, shown because different characters have different voice actors. As for the story itself though, as I touched on before it is only decent. This isn’t because of its themes being “too mature” or anything of that manner, it’s because the story presents itself poorly. For the first half of the game, I wasn’t aware of what the main villain’s name was, and the final mission story-wise isn’t written well and some things that happen just aren’t interesting and feel wrong and you question how certain characters got where and why they did things the way they did them.
Speaking of the themes and events that happen in the game before the game there was a lot of talk about the campaign trying to be dark and evoke and evoke the feelings of “No Russian” from Modern Warfare. Some dark stuff happens in this game, but to be honest I thought that aspect was under-delivered or that the game over-promised it. I will not deny that sections like this aren’t in the game, but they’re not as graphic as you might expect.
So, what about the multiplayer? The main reason you were probably interested in this game long term. It is such a mixed bag now, especially with the whole console crashing thing, but ignoring that let us talk about the gameplay. The game is really fun, I really love it when I play it. However, it is some of the most frustrating multiplayer I have played in a long time. Two reasons for this, one is that shotguns are extremely overpowered and two is that the maps mostly aren’t good.
Let’s start with the guns, this is my favorite selection of guns in a Call of Duty in a long time. Although that’s just personal taste. The issue with this, however, is that they overpowered certain guns like crazy. I am looking at you 725/Olympia shotgun. This Shotgun is the most overpowered weapon at the beginning of a game in my memory, rivaling even the Remington in Black Ops 2 before it was nerfed. It can essentially be used as a sniper because it has such a long-range, and it kills in one hit. Shotguns probably should kill you in one hit, that’s okay, but combined with the range and another issue we are about to hit on it is unbearable and makes me not want to play the game even more. I don’t say that because “Mad Cuz Bad” I say that because the gun is overpowered, and it will drive you crazy because most people playing are using it since it is so Overpowered.
The second issue with multiplayer is the maps. I’m just going to be honest with you, they are not good. So many of the maps in this game have cramped buildings, which shows off the “open door” function this game is proud of. In theory, there is no issue with this but in practice, the biggest issue with this is that Lots of cramped buildings, small spaces, and lots of rooms with many corners equals a clear uptick in camping and claymores. Especially with the doors, oftentimes and opposing enemy will purposely shut a door and place a claymore behind it, making it impossible to see the claymore and disarm it, which leads to you opening a door and getting frustrated and annoyed because in that situation you had no chance. Piccadilly in this game is even arguably the worst map in CoD history, and that isn’t me exaggerating or overreacting at the moment, if you get that map everyone automatically quits because people dislike it so much. This game also doesn’t have map voting like previous games, so often you’ll get stuck with a map you don’t want to play.
The caveat to all the complaints about the maps is that the game will offer free maps post-launch, so hopefully they are better and more fun. There are some other minor issues though, like for example in some game modes you can not see your deaths, you can only see your kills, which is such an odd decision because it isn’t consistent because in other game modes you can. Also, in this game, your player character likes to “call out” where the enemy is. In this game, the minimap doesn’t show when enemies shoot, so you are supposed to rely on call outs. The issue with these call outs is that they are so broad you have no clue where they are referring to, for example, your guy might say “Enemy at the buses!!” Yet there are five buses around the map, and you are asking yourself “What?” and you can’t sneak up on an enemy because they can also hear your call outs.
Ground war in Modern Warfare is unlike Ground War of past Call of Duty’s, Ground War takes HEAVY inspiration from Battlefields Conquest mode, and that is essentially what it is. It’s a fun game mode at the beginning. The issue with this game mode unlike Battlefield is that this game mode only has two maps to play on, and once you play maybe 6 matches, you are over the same maps, one can hope and expect though that with them adding free maps.
The progression in the game is good though. The graphics are amazing. The shooting feels great, the guns sound great and have very in-depth animations. The customization for the guns is so in detail and amazing with all the different attachments you can add. Cross-Play is a very nice addition and moves the industry forward and it moves it one step close to becoming the standard, and it only matches you with PC Players using controllers so you don’t have to mess with Keyboard and Mouse people and get destroyed.
Another issue with the game is that I am playing it on Xbox, so survival mode was removed because it is exclusive to PS4 for an entire year. So, take from that what you will. The Co-Op mode in the game is also very lackluster and not fun at all as the missions aren’t in-depth at all and are just endless waves of enemies spawning to kill. It is truly a shame when you compare it to Spec Ops of the old games were more like actual missions.