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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Game preview

Game preview 01 August 2019, 19:01

author: Darius Matusiak

A wannabe fighter pilot, racing driver, and a spec-op; an adventurer and a space marine – hence, a gamer. I’ve been playing games since Wing Commander, and writing since Destiny.

Call of Duty Changes Scope – Modern Warfare Multiplayer Hands-on

The multiplayer in Modern Warfare is still fast and feels very familiar. The new engine didn't suddenly turn it into a slow, tactical shooter, but the rejuvenated COD seems to be taking steps in the right direction, as it grows in size and scope.

Read the review Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Review – Nearly the Best CoD Ever

This text was based on the PC version.

We came to the village on the back of a truck. It was already dark when we hurriedly exfilled the car, so everyone turned the NVs on. In an instant, I was able to make out all the details: the silhouettes of friendlies, some barrels and stones surrounding the entrance to the cave. In the greenish glow, everyone looked a bit like Jedi knights, with the lasers that cut through the air in all directions with thin, perfectly straight beams. At first glance, it almost looks like a disco club – except the harrowing silence.

There was only the sound of boots pressing against the sand, the creaking door, and, after a while, the first, suppressed gun shots. A laser beam suddenly appears from a completely unexpected direction. Its source is certainly not friendly. I just wait for the guy to pop-up in my crosshair. A single burst from the M4 and we move on. Near the cave's exit, we could hear someone's hurried footsteps increasingly loudly. This time, the exchange of fire got more chaotic, but after a while, we pushed on again. Confirmed hit? Hard to tell for sure, he doesn't move though.

Multiplayer in the new Call of Duty: Modern Warfare:

  • different modes for different number of players;
  • large-scale battle for over 40 players;
  • crossplay matchmaking based on the controller used;
  • night battles with night vision;
  • modding weapons in gunsmith mode;
  • unlocking ready-made operators without customization;
  • supporting weapons on elements of the environment, including vertical frames;
  • hidden passages – no stairs and ladders, but you can get higher;
  • bullets physics – each bullet is an object traveling through the map, rather than a point on the screen;
  • piercing cover depending on the caliber of the projectile;
  • the return of the killerstreaks;
  • no season pass – free DLCs and maps;

Zero Dark Thirty

Without a GUI, without hitboxes and a crosshair in the center of the screen, the bright laser beam is the only guarantee of precision in the night skirmishes of the “authentic” mode. It's a hybrid of the “hardcore” mode from previous installments and a variation of the standard mode – with disabled HUD. And this is how I liked my Call of Duty: Modern Warfare the most. The HP stays the same, friendly fire, beloved by trolls, is off, but you get +100 to atmosphere – both because there's no interface, and because the night-time operations are done with rare mastery.

Light sources on the map now gain tactical importance because the NV isn't always going to help you get your bearings. Some rooms will have lamp switches that, if switched on at the right moment, can completely blind the enemy using an NVG. This is one of the many details that make the multiplayer in Modern Warfare feel genuinely fresh. Of course, there's no escaping a certain de ja vu because – wait for it – CoD is CoD; the series isn't going to go all tactical all of the sudden, won't turn into a Squad overnight. The new engine, however, introduces so many fixes and refinements that a few hours with the game is not enough to satisfy the curiosity of exploring them all.

We do our best to enable running the game on weaker PC configurations. We haven't established what the official minimum requirements are yet, but don't expect a huge difference between the previous installment.

Jack O'Hara – design director, Paul Haile – PC production manager.

See it, hear it, feel it

Changes are evident in the completely new animations, as well as the audio layer. The naturalness of animations is not only visible when watching other players, but also when moving yourself – even though it's an FPS. You've got the feeling of looking through the eyes of a person, rather than a camera lens. The character is agile, but at the same time, the weight and inertia is also clearly there. You can jog or sprint, and the amount of time it takes to aim down sights changes according to movement speed. You can slide, and support the weapon on elements of the environment to reduce recoil – these are all nice additions that are basically elements of a soldier simulator.

Generally, for the first time in the Call of Duty series, the shooting felt solid, comparable to Battlefield. Weapons swerve around naturally when we walk, recoil is evident because of the retraction of the gun barrel and the slight movements of the head and hands, rather than some arbitrary spray pattern. Gunshots could be a little louder, but it's still a lot better than in the previous game – the force of guns accelerating pieces of led to deadly velocity is, finally, apparent through sound. All the auxiliary noises, such as shells falling on the floor, or debris pelting around after explosions, are also great. Another nice detail is that guns sound different outside and indoors. All this has a positive impact on immersion and improves the overall experience.

Matchmaking will mostly depend on the quality of Internet connection, but equal chances will be more important in some modes than others. In some cases, we will introduce matchmaking based on skill, for example in the 2 vs. 2 Gunfight mode. Dying after 2 seconds isn't fun, and if matchmaking wasn't skill-determined here, any trace of pleasure could quickly evaporate for many.

The most interesting novelty in matchmaking is matching by controller – no matter if you use a mouse and keyboard on PS4, or a gamepad on PC, you will play with people using the same gear. If things don't work as they should, you can always switch crossplay off.

Geoff Smith – MP design director, Mark Grigsby – animation director

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