Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Preview - E3 2019
We get a brief look at the campaign of the upcoming shooter
Call of Duty has been arguably the most successful yearly franchise in all of gaming. Even as other series like Assassin's Creed and Need for Speed take breaks to reinvent themselves, fruitfully or otherwise, the shooter franchise from Activision has been going at it non-stop. As such, it can be difficult to innovate, which is why we have had various sub-series, such as Black Ops, run as deep as four games. Not to be outdone, Infinity Ward have also decided to release the fourth entry in their Modern Warfare sub-series.
However, in a brief video for the game's campaign that we saw at E3 2019, the developers said they made a conscious choice not to put a number 4 on the end. Instead, the game is simply called Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, and is meant to be a soft reboot and reimagining of the brand. The fans have demanded a more realistic and authentic Call of Duty, and this new title hopes to deliver on this, as the team reportedly went all over the globe in doing their research. The story will focus on modern conflicts, where the morally grey realities dominate the headlines.
The demo that we saw didn't particularly delve into such concepts though. We saw a terrorist act occur in the streets of London, and in the next mission, Captain Price and his Bravo 6 team were closing in on the urban location that has been identified as the base for the terrorist cell responsible for the attack. So far, so straight forward on who the good guys and the bad terrorists are. Perhaps the fact that the team was silently assaulting a typical looking London home at night was supposed to be a bold new scenario for the typically bombastic series, but it really didn't have much emotional impact.
We observed as the player and the assault team quietly entered the home – the player deployed a ladder to climb into the kitchen, while others seemingly broke in through the basement door. The team met up in the kitchen and entered a linear formation, and began their sweep of the very tight but tall structure. In the living room, they saw three hostiles with weapons, discussing some other sinister plot. The player shot out the ceiling light, and the team quickly dropped the two men with silenced shots, as the player took out the third enemy. Now in night vision, the team began their approach up the stairs.
All of the higher stories featured one bedroom each. The second level saw an unsuspecting enemy gunned down, but not before he returned fire. On the next level, we dropped one foe, while another was hiding under the bed and was also taken out. Yet another foe was barricaded in the bathroom, and our character shot right through the wall to take him out.
The team continued to whisper and move quietly, even though the enemies above were now clearly waiting and aware. On the next level, before the team had a chance to enter the bedroom, the enemy unleashed a flurry of gunfire and injured a member of the infiltration team. Everyone dove to the floor, and the player used his shotgun to blast the bedroom door, and then threw in a flashbang. Inside, the man took a woman hostage. We took him out with a clean headshot – but then, the panicked woman turned out to also be an enemy as she grabbed a rifle, so she was put down as well. Perhaps this is the kind of "shock value" that Infinity War are trying to recreate, but it seemed like a flimsy attempt.
Bravo 6 finally reached the attic, where again a woman was screaming that she was going to surrender. But of course, she went for a gun instead, and was also violently shot. With the sweep complete, the team was now looking at the mountains of evidence in this attic, clearly depicting terrorist plots, past and perhaps future. With this, the demo concluded.
It's difficult to judge how Call of Duty: Modern Warfare campaign will play out based on our extremely brief hands-off video. The series is definitely trying to modernize itself and the soft-reboot approach is an apt description, but beyond that, it's possible that the new game will fall into the same pitfalls as the previous campaigns. After omitting a campaign entirely last year, will the new Modern Warfare reinvigorate the mode, or put it squarely on the backburner? We will find out when Call of Duty: Modern Warfare launches this October for PC, Xbox One, and PS4.