Call of Duty: Modern Warfare – First Impressions

Written by Alex Maidment (nSanity Beach)

The time has finally come… Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is live!

It’s potentially something I say every year but I was actually excited for this game! Every year I get my hopes up for an epic new CoD game and over the past few years, I’ve felt a little disappointed – not enough to stop buying the game, as it’s usually still 3-6 months of fun despite how the game actually plays.

This game feels different somehow… more refined, better thought through and a bit like a game that has to make up for years of let downs. So let’s take our first look at the new 2019 Call of Duty, starting with the campaign:

Campaign

I’ll keep this short and light so as not to spoil it for anyone.

I started the game on ‘Hardened’ mode – I’ve played many a CoD campaign and considered Veteran, even Realistic, but I want to enjoy the campaign without getting too stressed! I’ll come back to the harder mode at a later point.

NOTE: The campaign isn’t for the light-hearted, not so much in the gore that you might expect from war, but more from the discomfort of the situations you are put in.

The very first cut scene is pretty harrowing and takes us to London before quickly cutting to a time in the past. That’s when we start to get properly into the game.

The cutscene looks great and as you take control of your character, it’s almost seamless from cut scene to game play, all it took was sliding down a rope from a chopper.

You’ll certainly recognise some of the characters in this game if you’ve played previous Call of Duty games, and that’s a detail I love! It instantly makes the game feel somewhat familiar, especially as a fan of the original Modern Warfare series.

It’s worth noting that I’m playing on a standard Xbox One (although on a 4K monitor and TV) and the game looks pretty nice but in the first level there were some signs of motion blur, frame lag and at times, it just wasn’t all that sharp. These issues seemed to fade quickly though and moving into the 2nd level, the cut scenes continue to look fantastic and the performance seemed to improve,

I can only imagine it looks really great on an Xbox One X, PS4 Pro and of course on PC (providing you’ve got a set-up that can handle the higher graphics and frame rates!).

Having played through the first couple of missions, I can definitely say that this feels more like the CoD campaigns we all know and love – it’s gritty, interesting, dark and has attention to detail.

One thing I particularly like about the campaign is how much it feels like one long movie where you play the protagonists. The clever cut scenes combined with the communication between characters makes it feel like the war film you didn’t know you wanted to be a part of.

As you can imagine, there are some twists and turns and of course, in the classic CoD style there is a moment where you’re lying on the floor feeling helpless…

Previous to this game, I would say that the best CoD campaign was between CoD 4: MW and MW 2 for me, but in terms of modern war style FPS games, the Battlefield 4 campaign was probably the best I’ve ever played – everything from the emotion of the first 5 minutes of the campaign to the sheer enjoyment of the campaign was brilliant.

Where Call of Duty: Modern Warfare lacks some emotion in the first part of the game, that starts to come in later and what it lacks in emotion, it makes up for in story line and game play.

My first impressions of the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare campaign: it’s uncomfortable at times but the game play is solid and it looks brilliant. It’s like playing the lead characters in a film.

Spec Ops

I haven’t had an opportunity to play Spec Ops yet as it’s a two-player mode, however, from the initial cut scene and the drama that ensues, it’s lined up to be fun!

It’s a game mode that I’m excited to play and one thing I love so far is the connection between the campaign and spec ops with the characters – it’s a nice touch.

Watch this space for our future thoughts on Spec Ops.

Online Multiplayer

Online multiplayer is usually where I spend most of my time on a Call of Duty game and I couldn’t wait to get started with this one having played some of the game previously at EGX.

There will be a lot more to come from Casual Heroes Gaming in terms of the CoD MW multiplayer but having tried out a couple of game modes, here are my first impressions:

Team Deathmatch

The classic. No objective other than to kill the enemy team more than they kill you. Simple, but effective.

Unsurprisingly, the first game didn’t go so well, however, I also joined mid-game when my team was already losing, so momentum wasn’t on my side – seemed somewhat unfair.

Before moving onto another game mode, I gave it another go, this team, a fresh match. The result was much better! A positive kill/death ratio!

From the first couple of TDM games, it’s safe to say that it plays nicely. So much so that in the 2nd game, the time actually ran out with 2 kills in it and it was pretty gripping!

Headquarters

After TDM, I switched it up with headquarters, an objective based game type, king of the hill style. It was a lot of fun and it brought a bit more shape to what everyone on the team was doing.

The pace of the game felt quick and the sound effects just add this scary but thrilling sense of realism. Frags really came into their own with opportunities for multi grenade kills thanks to the objective area.

It was great fun!

Domination

An old classic and another objective game that puts everyone into only few points on the map. It was wild. Fast-paced, fun and the teams actually played to the objective. Although it wears pretty chaotic and I died… a lot.

Overall online first impressions:

The maps are intuitive, a good size and have a lot of different places to go, both high and low, but with the boots on the ground, you have to find a way to get over walls, into rooms and through doors.

The actual game play seems quite fast paced in the objective game modes of headquarters and domination and TDM keeps a steady pace.

The time to kill seems good, especially considering I’m usually a Hardcore type of player where it’s much quicker to kill but also to be killed. The standard core in MW doesn’t seem too tricky to take someone down, but equally, you can take damage from a lot of weapons and still have time to react before dying, with some exceptions of course.

The weapons feel nice, quite balanced and so far, it feels like you can actually tell the difference between weapon types, changing the style of play depending what you choose to arm yourself with.

Of course, these are only first impressions but already, the game feels better on day one than the previous few before it.

Overall Day One Impressions

It’s solid. The campaign is dark, gritty but exiting and the online play is essentially classic CoD rebooted. The maps are less three channelled than they used to be (although still some evidence of this) and the game play is quick but allows for different playing styles.

It’s refreshing that people can’t just jump through a 2nd story window and the new game mechanics for closing doors, peeking round corners and mounting your weapons on a surface are all welcomed additions!

Watch this space!

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