Written by Karl Dunne
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is a bombastic return to the gritty, no-holds-barred depiction of war and violence that made the franchise a global success over a decade ago. Recent entries into the FPS (First-Person Shooter) staple have focused on sci-fi and futuristic combat with spaceships, jump-packs and laser guns, to the dismay of many fans.
Consequently, the announcement and release of a new entry set in current times were much appreciated by millions of fans. The FPS gameplay of Modern Warfare (2019) is slower than previous entries, with a focus on tactical awareness and item coordination.
Many online-focused video games are worked upon by their developers even beyond their release. Games can be updated regularly with balance changes, item adjustments and can add paid and free content.
Therefore, some games can be entirely different from their launch state or include a wealth of new content and gameplay as time goes on. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is one such game. As one of the biggest video-game releases every single year, many journalists release articles and videos reviewing the game.
However, very few address the state of the game beyond its release state. This is an up-to-date examination of the state of Modern Warfare and what players should expect if they are jumping into this game post-launch.
With the addition of the new battle-royale game mode ‘Warzone’, Modern Warfare now offers four game modes when purchased. So, let’s dive into the consistently updated the Multiplayer mode and the new ‘Warzone’ battle royale mode.
Tactical Chaos – What’s new in Modern Warfare’s Multiplayer?
Multiplayer has been Call of Duty’s foremost selling point for over a decade now and Modern Warfare is definitely a breath of fresh air in the annually-releasing franchise. As mentioned, Modern Warfare is a much slower-paced shooter than its predecessors, taking notes from other widely popular tactical shooters such as Rainbow 6: Siege and Counterstrike: Global Offensive.
The focus on tactical gameplay was clear from the private 2v2 “Gunfight” mode Alpha test and the subsequent ‘Multiplayer Beta’ test. The slower, tactical gameplay loop of Modern Warfare is very enjoyable for players looking for a change of pace from other big Triple-A shooters on the market, such as DOOM Eternal or Overwatch or Battlefield 5. As an ex-Rainbow 6: Siege player, the newest iteration of Call of Duty was a fantastic alternative after losing interest in Siege. Let’s look at the core of Modern Warfare’s multiplayer mode and how it has evolved to its current, March 2020, iteration.
At launch, Modern Warfare featured 10 multiplayer maps, excluding ones designed for the 2v2 Gunfight mode. While Call of Duty has fallen into the trap of continuous ‘3-lane maps’ in recent entries, the developers add some fun and variation into the map design.
‘Azhir Cave’ is an example of interesting map design, where the cave itself stretches from one side of the map to the other, providing cover from air-support kill-streaks, while simultaneously funnelling players into a constant firefight at both close and long range.
‘Piccadilly’ based on Piccadilly Circus in London is an intense mix of high-street firefights in clothing stores and banks, while sneakier players can utilise the distinctive red buses for sniping those caught running between buildings.
The variance in map size and design leads some to suit some game-modes more than others e.g. ‘Aniyah Palace’. While this is artificially made smaller for 12 player game-modes (6v6) such as Team Deathmatch and Headquarters, the map truly shines during the Ground War game-mode which boasts 64 players, 32 per team.
While the 10 maps are still present in the game, some have been updated to help eliminate perfect sniping spots and allows additional objective coverage.
Before March, the biggest examples of post-launch content are the free map additions to the game. Following the base game, five additional maps have been added to the game with another scheduled for release very soon. Three of these new maps are classic Modern Warfare (2007) and Modern Warfare 2 (2009) but with a very nice new coat of paint and some minor map adjustments.
Alongside these, found new maps have been added to ‘Gunfight’, bringing the total to 12 and two additional ‘Ground War’ maps, bringing their total to six. These new maps often have a dedicated matchmaking playlist upon release.
The Multiplayer playlists are also updated weekly, with new offerings such as ‘big-team zombies’ which take place on the gigantic Ground War maps, where up to 64 players attempt to survive a zombie onslaught or ‘Shoot The Ship’ which feature game mods exclusively on the maps ‘Shoot House’ and ‘Shipment’.
The post-launch changes and balancing did not stop at ruining snipers’ (campers) fun on Piccadilly. Items such as the claymore trip-mine and guns like the M4A1 Assault Rifle and the much-lamented 725 Shotgun were heavily re-adjusted to not be perfect weapons.
At launch, claymores provided an easy instant-kill for players who planted them anywhere. Now, the claymore has a slight delay before detonating and players who are savvy enough to spot an enemy claymore and destroy it take reduced damage, as opposed to instant death when within range of the device’s destruction.
Why you should jump into Modern Warfare now
The consistent additions to the roster of maps, game-modes and balancing make Modern Warfare an ever-evolving and growing videogame. The value the game provided at launch was fantastic, however, now, its value has grown even further.
Fresh content updates keep the game fun to play, and players can drop in for a few matches at a time or be rewarded even further for spending more time trying to crack Multiplayer mode’s challenges and missions. These challenges and missions provide tons of things to do and acquire.
As of the writing there are eight weeks’ worth of challenges, 10 for Multiplayer and 10 for ‘Warzone’.
On top of that, the game has 22 missions that require players to complete between 6 – 12 objectives throughout their time in Multiplayer to unlock addition goodies such as calling cards, emblems, XP Boosts, and unique guns.
Furthermore, reaching rank 55 in multiplayer will allow a player to begin the current season’s ‘officer challenges’, of which there are 100. Players unlock a new officer challenge every time they level up until they reach the maximum which is 155. This constant influx of content with weekly updates gives all players, casual or hardcore a plethora of things to do and achieve which adds to the fun, addictive nature of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.
All the above are free of charge for both old and new players. There are only two instances of paid DLC in the game which are the optional battle-pass and cosmetic packs in the store. The battle-pass is like Fortnite’s offerings where if you do not purchase it, players can still unlock several free tiers of cosmetic content and weapons.
Purchasing the pass allows one to unlock all the goodies available, provided they reach the required XP tiers. Also, like Fortnite, savvy players can earn enough COD Points (in-game currency) through their purchased battle-pass to unlock next seasons pass without the need to spend more of their hard-earned money. Previous entries in the franchise had disgusting levels of monetisation such as battle passes, season passes, loot boxes and more. Modern Warfare is extremely consumer friendly in its approach. Continuing their benevolent behaviour, Activision have released a new free Battle-Royale mode!
Warzone Battle Royale- Every Squad for Themselves!
The biggest post-launch update to Modern Warfare was the introduction of a new battle royale mode. Activision shocked and excited their community when they released the new game mode ‘Warzone’ this month. While it had been rumoured and discussed by many players for several weeks, the impact the announcement had on the community was no-less surprising with millions of downloads within the first few days following its release.
What’s more, right now anyone can download Warzone for FREE and play online with other players from any platform. What’s more, PlayStation 4 users can play ‘Warzone’ even if they do not have a PS Plus subscription.
While ‘Warzone’ follows many of the same beats as previous battle-royale games, Call of Duty still strives to be the biggest and the best. With a massive map set in the city of ‘Verdansk’, 150 players can drop onto the map in order to be the last person standing.
While all players start off with a pistol, it is the art of looting, like other battle-royale experiences, that is core to surviving. However, ‘Warzone’ features many fresh mechanics to separate it from the pack. Players can pick up contracts which can dictate an assassination mission on an enemy player for additional resources.
These resources can be used at banks where one can purchase new equipment, kill-streaks or personal weapon loadouts from Multiplayer. The willingness to go the extra mile in completing these contracts will give only the most daring and competent players an advantage over others.
If you should die, and you will die, you will be given a chance at redemption. Players that are not revived are brought in chains to ‘The Gulag’, a dirty prison where players face off against each other with revolvers in 1v1 stand-offs. The winners are allowed back into the ‘Warzone’ once more, hoping to exact revenge on the one who sent them to ‘The Gulag’ in the first place.
The addition of ‘Warzone’ as a free mode is a fantastic taster of the game’s combat and gameplay. With 30 million downloads already, players are jumping into at least one form of Modern Warfare in droves Gamers who may be on the fence about buying into the experience should absolutely try-out ‘Warzone’ which will incentivise more purchases of the full game which is certainly worth the price of admission.
Should I buy Modern Warfare?
This game is an absolute must-buy for fans of the FPS genre, especially by those wanting to branch into more tactical gameplay, squad-based gameplay. The online offering of Modern Warfare was fantastic for its November launch and has only grown in value for money ever since.
There has never been a better time to jump into the latest entry in the long-standing FPS franchise which provides more content than many of its contemporaries. The beauty of a post-launch review is that by this time next week, there will be another plethora of content released for the game to be discussed and enjoyed by all players.