Today, Infinity Ward and Activision lifted the curtain on this year’s entry in the acclaimed FPS franchise. It’s a reboot of the most beloved subfranchise in the series and will be titled simply ‘Call of Duty: Modern Warfare’. A number of YouTuber and members of the press got to see the game in action and there’s a lot of very interesting and important information that has come out of their impressions.
We’ve gathered all of the biggest pieces of news and rounded-up right here so you can quickly get filled in on what Call of Duty: Modern Warfare has to offer from the campaign, multiplayer, mechanics, features, and much more.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is not a prequel or a sequel, it’s an all-new story with familiar characters
One of the most defining elements of the Modern Warfare series is the story. They provided twisty, bombastic blockbuster-esque campaigns that were packed to the brim with iconic moments and memorable characters like Soap, Captain Price, and Ghost.
Sadly, pretty much every character from the trilogy outside of Price was dead by the end of MW3. So, Infinity Ward has taken the liberty of creating an all-new Modern Warfare timeline completely separate from the original trilogy, think of it like an alternate universe.
Captain Price will return as seen in the trailer and there will be room for Ghost and Soap to join him given they haven’t died in this universe. Captain Price has been recast to have an actor that can do full performance capture as opposed to getting someone to capture his motion, designing his look separately, and then getting another actor to voice him.
Infinity Ward has replaced the beloved Billy Murray with actor Barry Sloane, known for his role in History Channel’s Seal Team Six drama, Six. The idea was to find an actor who both fit the look and could authentically replicate a similar voice. If we see other characters return, it’s likely they’ll receive this treatment as well.
As for new characters, there will be other playable characters on different sides of the war (more on that later). Call of Duty is known for having big name actors in their games and the one that has been called out so far is Black Panther himself, Chadwick Boseman, who will play one of the leads.
The story will be gritty, real, provocative, and uncomfortable
Part of the reason for the reboot was also to tackle a story that is authentic to our real wars and captures an incredibly dark, haunting tone. Infinity Ward really wants to utilize the idea of ‘ripping from the headlines’ for this story and using that feeling that everyone had when playing the No Russian mission in MW2 to drive home an emotional connection to the story.
Players will be placed in the shoes of a child soldier forced to defend herself as her home is invaded and her parents are murdered. You’ll play as rebels and other untrained soldiers throughout the game, fulfilling an almost survival element of gameplay.
You will also play alongside Tier 1 operatives who are the best in class but still have to ensure they don’t collapse under the high-stress situations they’re in. One mission sees a squad infiltrating a house at night. They breach and clear various rooms, using proper techniques and communication provided by Navy SEAL consultants on the game.
Of course, not everyone in this house is hostile but you don’t know who could be hiding in a room, concealing a weapon, or something even more sinister so you’ll be on your toes. At one point, the soldiers hear someone moving in a bathroom so they shoot through the wall to catch the person off guard and kill them. Various people who saw the game also noted a section where a baby could be heard crying and as they entered the room, the mother rushed in front of the child’s crib.
If you lack trigger discipline, you could end up killing this woman and apparently, you won’t have any game ending fail state if you do. There could be repercussions later but that is unknown at this time. The tension will be high and you can make mistakes that could come with consequences down the line.
Infinity Ward noted that they’ll have multiple scenarios like this in the game. The team was quoted as saying “Jaws not Saw” in reference to the game’s tone, meaning they don’t want it to be gory and grotesque for the sake of disturbing the player. They want intensity and a sense of uneasiness.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare will also feature a number of diverse perspectives in the campaign with rebel fighters, Arabic soldiers, Navy SEALs, and much more to make a story that is morally gray. There’s seemingly no “main antagonist” like Modern Warfare 2 and 3’s Makarov or Irons from Advanced Warfare.
Infinity Ward is keen on making a story that shows there’s not just “one side” to all these stories, you’re going to see all the angles. This could be incredible, it could be super polarizing, it could be a total mess, only time will tell. Whatever the case may be, it feels very risky and if it does work, it’s going to be very rewarding for the team.
A brand new engine to give a photorealistic look and a feeling of realism
Call of Duty has been using the same engine for quite some time. This isn’t uncommon for any series or studio, that’s the point of an engine. It helps make developing a game smoother and more efficient, especially when you’re crafting a game of this size. That said, Infinity Ward will be the first to use an as of yet unnamed engine that will be shared across the franchise for the foreseeable future.
You can read the official description from Infinity Ward of what’s in play with the new engine below.
“The new technology utilizes the latest advancements in visual engineering, including a physically-based material system allowing for state of the art photogrammetry, a new hybrid tile based streaming system, new PBR decal rendering system, world volumetric lighting, 4K HDR, DirectX Raytracing (PC) and more as well as a new GPU geometry pipeline. Spectral rendering delivers thermal heat radiation and infrared identification for both thermal and night-vision in-game imaging. The technical investment provides a cutting edge animation and blend shape system, while the new suite of audio tools supports full Dolby ATMOS, on supported platforms, along with the latest in audio simulation effects.”
Work began on both this engine and Modern Warfare as early as five years ago, meaning Infinity Ward has poured a lot of sweat, blood, and tears into this title. We here at GameZone are simpletons who can hardly comprehend how games are made so we’ll happily redirect you to Digital Foundry’s really wonderful breakdown of all the tech featured in Modern Warfare, which has dozens of nuggets of juicy info.
A focus on creating a unified experience from single player to co-op to PVP
While it’s all a bit vague at the moment, Infinity Ward wants to ensure everything about Modern Warfare feels consistent. That means you won’t go from a gritty single-player story to a campy zombie mode where everyone cracks quips while heavy metal music blares in the background.
Infinity Ward has also specifically said, “expect a unified narrative experience and progression across the entire game, including single-player campaign, online multiplayer, and co-op experiences“. The studio told the press that this progression can allow players who aren’t the best at multiplayer to level up their guns in co-op or single-player and bring their unlocks into the multiplayer.
As for what the aforementioned co-op will be if not the traditional zombies, Infinity Ward is remaining tight-lipped but is heavily hinting at a return to MW2 and 3’s Spec Ops mode.
Infinity Ward wants to please the community; Will have cross-play and free DLC
Call of Duty has a very large and very vocal fanbase. If they get angry, they will be sure to let you know. There have been many, many, many times they’ve had their feathers ruffled since the days of the Modern Warfare trilogy. Things like a lack of a campaign in Black Ops 4, microtransactions, jet packs, space warfare, and so much more have really riled the community.
The Modern Warfare name in of itself is like a child’s blankie for the Call of Duty community. It puts them at ease, just look at how they used Modern Warfare Remastered to cushion the backlash to Infinite Warfare.
Infinity Ward will be doing much more than using the brand as a safety net to ensure happiness for their fans this year. For starters, there is absolutely zero season pass and all post-launch content will be free of charge. There will be nothing splitting the player base this time around and everyone will play in harmony, and we mean EVERYONE.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare will mark the first time in the series that there’s cross-play. Xbox One players can play with PS4 players online in the highly-anticipated FPS release and seemingly so can PC players but it has yet to be revealed if there will be any restrictions on this.
It’s unclear if Modern Warfare will feature any loot boxes or microtransactions but we’d have to imagine if there were none, they would’ve said as much. That’s purely speculative though, we probably won’t find out until the game is actually out.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare will release for Xbox One, PS4, and PC on October 25th, 2019.
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