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Call Of Duty Modern Warfare Review :: Tight, Intense And Dark

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The last time I played a Call Of Duty campaign was way back in 2015, with Black Ops 3. That campaign was symbolic of everything that was wrong with FPS campaigns. Repetitive, railed on corridors with little to offer. Last year, the single-player aspect of Call Of Duty seemed to have taken its last breath, as Black Ops 4 rolled out a satisfactory multiplayer-only game. Then something changed; Infinity Ward decided to reboot the Modern Warfare sub-franchise, and suddenly. everyone was talking about Captain Price. Now that the game has been out for a couple of weeks, with everything from Special Ops to Multiplayer available to all players, how does the game stack up? Let’s find out.

Story & Narrative

The story of Modern Warfare is a triumph. There is no better way to put it. It’s intense, it’s vibrant, and it has a coherent narrative. Instead of pushing American propaganda, Call Of Duty Modern Warfare explores the complicated conflict in Urzikstan (a fictional country under a dictator being rebelled against by a radical group and interfered with by the Russian army) and involves missions in the UK, aforementioned Urzikstan and even Russia.

Every mission amps up the intensity, and there is no slack or a moment to breath anywhere. Right from the first mission, you are consistently put into situations that vary from breaching a military annex in the middle of nowhere to infiltrating a terrorist hub in the middle of suburbia London. There is a mission where you have to use a sniper and provide support to the actual assault, and another which is highly reminiscent of the missions that the American army pulled in Afghanistan and Iraq, raiding compounds and the cave system beneath them for high-value targets.

There are choices to be made too. Is the woman making that hasty movement, trying to cover her baby or reaching towards the gun? Is that man lying on a gurney and whimpering in pain, really hurt or is he just faking it?

All of this is wrapped in and knitted together into a very believable narrative that leads up to a satisfying climax. With the setup for a highly anticipated sequel of course. But I have already said too much. If you have ever loved a war movie, chances are you will find your mission in Call Of Duty Modern Warfare.

Game Modes

All I would say is that unless you are looking for the trophy don’t play the game at Realism difficulty. While it makes the game seem more immersive and presents minimum HUD, it does make the game more difficult than it should be. Enemies spot you way before you do, your never 2 shots away from dying and sometimes it can feel as if you are banging your head against a wall.

Having said that Call Of Duty Modern Warfare plays great. It’s one of the most responsive games that I have played in recent memory. And switching to a lesser FPS like Destiny 2 and even Rainbow Six Seige feels like your moving in honey once you have got a taste for Modern Warfare. The action in Call Of Duty is slick, smooth and quick.

Apart from the campaign, there are also the Spec Ops missions, which are co-op in nature and continue the story of the single-player campaign forward, albeit not in the best way. These are super hard, designed for a team of 4 at least adequately co-ordinated players, and would require a few tries before teams start cracking this. So I recommend you find that one friend you ignored during your Apex Legends days, and get the gang back together.

“Zombie Mode” though, a staple of the series since 2013 misses out this time. And the only reason I could think why is the fact that how oddly it stood out with the rest of the game stepped so deeply in realism.  There is however a Survival Mode, which is exclusive to the PS4 till October 2020 (which if you ask me is as good as an exclusive), and is exactly what it sounds like, a wave-based co-op mode where you need to survive waves upon waves of enemies. It’s very similar to how Zombie mode used to work, but I believe this fits the synergy better.

The multiplayer mode plays predictably, with each match earning you experience so you can level up your weapons, unlock accessories, badges, perks, and killstreak rewards as you play more and more of the game. The “Killstreak” is a departure from the last game and a return to old form, as it replaces the previously used “Scorestreak” dropping points in favor of outright kill. Making it difficult to stack them up, which is both a good thing and a bad thing depending on how good you are at killing people (online).

The mini-map which had been removed in the favor of a compass-like marker during the beta returns to the full game after player feedback, but not in the way you would expect. The mini-map only shows the immediate contours of your venue, and not the enemies, unless you specifically mark them using one of your skills. It mixes the things up a little bit, but the red dots still appear on the compass when someone shoots, and since the compass coordinates have become the standard way of giving directions in most competitive games, Call Of Duty Modern Warfare maintains the status quo.

While the standard suite of modes returns, the focus is on the new 2v2 mode called Gunfight. This race to 6 rounds of death-match mode is the most fun to play with if you, like me is a lonely person with no friends (sad life). The round plays out much faster. All the maps are smaller and similar (They all have a left, right and mid lane). And the mode rolls out random loadouts after every 2 rounds, letting you try out guns that you still haven’t unlocked in the standard multiplayer mode. It feels like the mode, where you can learn the ropes of the multiplayer mechanics without screwing up the win streaks for too many randos.

On the flip side, there is the “Ground War”, a game mode that allows up to 100 players to play together. It’s more battlefield than Battle Royale though, so don’t get your hopes up. The new multiplayer mode puts you on a huge team of players–up to 50 or more–and puts you against another team on huge battlefields. Those maps include high locations, a variety of different kinds of engagement areas, and powerful vehicles. It’s a significant change from most Call of Duty modes and their tighter, more intimate maps. Ground War requires a shift in thinking from the Call of Duty battles you’re used to. Again this mode is for people who know how to make their own fun and also understand the game well enough to get the best out of its mechanics.

Call Of Duty Modern Warfare will also be ditching the much-hated Season’s Pass and the concepts of loot boxes, so if you want a skin, just buy it. And that’s the way it’s supposed to be. The absence of the Season’s Pass, will also allow Infinity Ward to drop free DLCs and updates without having to worry about isolating a certain section of the community.

Graphics Performance & Sound

Infinity Ward also decided to try out a new game engine with Call Of Duty Modern Warfare, and boy has it paid off. The cutscenes look hyper-realistic, the game world has a rich environment and vibrant details, and wait till you go dark for the first time (turn on your night goggles). Call Of Duty Modern Warfare is as much a visual experience as its a gameplay one. What’s wondrous is that the game manages to add a meaningful storyline, ‘fulfilling’ multiplayer and visual experience like no other. Environments are designed keeping in mind the overall design of the map – keeping it as realistic as possible. The game bets big on photorealism to make the player feel like they are actually in action rather than playing behind the big screen. Revamped particle effects, particularly for explosions and bullets as well as debris, as well as the depth of field make Modern Warfare seem truly ‘modern’. (atleast in the graphics department)

What is truly wondrous is how the studio managed to pull it off. Modern Warfare looks better than Black Ops 4 by a huge margin, yet performs way better than it on all platforms equally. It’s honestly good to see that Infinity Ward has taken some lessons from the disastrous launch of Infinity Warfare, and has managed to improve quite a lot. If we are being nitpicky though, I would say that the PS4 screenshot took a huge amount of time, sometimes having me wait for an entire minute before the icon popped up.

The sounds too, sound very familiar to what you see in movies every day. Voice acting as well is on-point, with distinct accents especially on the beloved Captain Price. This is what AAA means, a product not only polished in gameplay but also polished visually and audibly.


Call Of Duty Modern Warfare is a prime example of an FPS game done right. Intense riveting story, a robust multiplayer mode and a tough as a nails co-op experience, make Call Of Duty Modern a must-play experience this year. In my review of Black Ops 4 last year, I had wondered if the franchise had moved on from single-player stories, this year while playing Call Of Duty Modern Warfare I have realized how wrong I was. A Call Of Duty campaign if done right has so much to offer, and Modern Warfare does it right.

    1. I loved the score. I felt the guns sounded so real that it was scary. But as far the background music goes, I don’t think a lot of people focused on it since it was drowned out by all the gunfire.

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