Call of Duty strikes back


Chris Ndiritu

Harrison Lee (‘20) plays Domination on Rammaza.

The Call of Duty franchise is back with its 19th game, named Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. The game earned over $600 million dollars in the first three days of its release. 

Modern Warfare does not take place in the future like its predecessors Black Ops 4 and Infinite Warfare, which means no more wall running or fast sliding for players. Movement is overall slower in the new Modern Warfare game but the guns kill quickly. 

Modern Warfare has a campaign with 14 missions where you play as three different people all intertwined in the conflict between the people of Russia and fictional country Urzikstan. 

The campaign’s narrative is interesting and thought-provoking. One of the core themes of the game is adjusting your moral compass. The soldiers in Modern Warfare were created with the help of consultants who had previously served as elite forces. In a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of Modern Warfare from Playstation’s YouTube channel, the consultants described their lives as “imperfect men doing an imperfect job and being expected to do it perfectly.”

The multiplayer option in Modern Warfare allows for extensive customization. Call of Duty has removed loot boxes – a pay-to-win version of microtransactions – in favor of a battle pass. The battle pass is for cosmetic items only. All guns and attachments can be unlocked through playing the game. The Call of Duty fandom was excited to hear there would finally be no more loot boxes in the game.

Robbie Reimer (‘20) said, “The game should’ve gotten rid of microtransactions a long time ago. The game is better now.”

Some of the new changes were not as pleasant. Maps in the multiplayer suffer from dull colors and multiple avenues between lanes. It is much harder to see enemies in this game and harder to move as well, and do not be surprised if someone sneakily sitting in a corner with a 725 kills you suddenly. 

The 725 shotgun is an overpowered weapon. It is a “shotgun” that can deal a lot of damage from very far away. Another powerful gun is the M4A1. This automatic assault rifle is a dangerous weapon from most distances and can be easily molded for different play styles. The newest update to the game addressed some of these issues and now the 725 shotgun has less range. 

The update also brought a new map and a new game mode. The new map is called Shoot House which is quite small and very chaotic. The new game mode, Hardpoint, requires players to capture and defend areas that are constantly changing. If you are looking to level up quickly, play Search & Destroy, Ground Wars, or Domination. Each mode provides ample opportunities to get XP by killing, capturing sites, or defending sites. If you are looking for a challenge, check out the co-op missions. They are a great mode to play with friends, and you will be able to unlock a very cool Operator skin called Zane. 

Modern Warfare is the first Call of Duty game I have ever owned. When I finished the game, I thought it was good, but I was not sure how it compared to other Call of Duty games. Specifically, I was interested in how the game compared to the original Call of Duty: Modern Warfare that came out in 2007. 

I borrowed the game from Denis Khonenev (‘20) and decided to play it for a few hours. The story in the 2007 title was fun, but the narrative was not cohesive. It was not clear how some of the characters and activities in missions were connected to each other. However just like the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare of 2019, every mission in the game is unique. The multiplayer maps in the 2007 game are smaller and better suited to fast-paced gameplay.

The campaign is violent and many believe it is also Russophobic. The main villain is General Barkov, a Russian general who has mobilized his troops and taken over Urzikstan. Many felt the game portrayed the Russian army as terrorists. Most critics were fond of the game but some questioned violence in the campaign. 

The game was entertaining and the story was interesting. I did not believe the game was filled with Russophobic propaganda because it was made clear that General Barkov was a rogue military general. General Barkov is the fourth Call of Duty villain to be Russian.

The Call of Duty: Modern Warfare of 2019 is a good game that has the potential to be better. The customization of the weapons allows for anyone to build loadout that matches their play style. The campaign is only six hours long but the multiplayer makes the game very replayable. The updates have been slow, but the changes have been good so far. I am excited for the future of this game. This game should not be taken too seriously. I am hoping to see better maps in the future and more bizarre cosmetic items in the battle pass.