Infinity Ward promised that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare was much more than a simple soft reboot, it was a total effort of reconstruction and reenvisioning aimed to challenge what people think when they hear "Call of Duty." Prima Games was given the opportunity to hang out with some of the devs and play the various multiplayer modes that will be available this October and as a long-time fan of the franchise, the differences were astounding while miracoulsy retaining a familiar feel. As I left the venue, I found myself - as a fan - feeling heard and almost taken care of, which drove me to think of this title as a love letter to fans after years of feedback and evolution.
The one thing that sticks out the most about Modern Warfare is its realism, and I'm not just talking graphically. The team completely deconstructed much of what we knew of this particular entry into the franchise and rebuilt it in a way where the devil was certainly in the details. From the ADS configurations to the incredibly detailed sound of the hammer of a weapon slamming down, the fight for realism was etched into every single facet of this game, including the different multiplayer experiences that will be available.
We spoke with Pat Kelley, the Studio Head for Infinity War, about all of the changes ahead, as well as the balance of keeping it familiar to long-time fans, and his philosophy on the entire process was a clear indicator of the passion and care that went into this. Kelley referred to their approach as their "Dogma," their set of reoccurring principles when taking apart this game piece by piece.
A big part of that dogma was "Gameplay is king." What Kelley meant by this is that cinematics and Michael Bay-esque explosions are cool and all but that should never overshadow gameplay and the ultimate experience. Kelley mentioned that a big question they asked themselves is "Is this in service of fun on the controller, is it in service of gameplay as a whole" and it was that big-picture thinking that resulted in so many of the newly added features.
The team described the newest game as "the ultimate multiplayer playground," a place filled with "badass fun" without losing that realistic feel. As someone who has been playing far more Black Ops 4 than I'd like to admit, the differences in playstyles were staggering. After a few rounds, those same differences became incredibly appreciated.
Instead of effortless, weightless movement, even the base mechanics of the game have been made to feel realistic to match the visual settings. Because of that, even sprinting feels slower than previous games, truly allowing the player to feel the weight of the kevlar suit, the weaponry, and the weight of the objective (kidding on that last part, gamers don't care about objectives).
There are also more weapons and weapon attachments than ever before, bringing in close to 60 attachments for all weapon types. This was also a feature highly requested by fans, something that the dev team took to heart and even went to gun ranges to make sure this was implemented realistically.
But the biggest thing, perhaps, about the upcoming game being a love letter is that they have addressed the number one complaint that players have had: Paywalls. It's because of that feedback that Infinity Ward confirmed that there will be NO season pass and no playable barriers for those that want to get in there and game. All maps and content will be FREE, which is a huge step - especially following Black Ops 4 which fell under considerable criticism for its microtransaction approach.
But you'll see for yourself how much care they put into this game when Call of Duty: Modern Warfare releases on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC on October 25th.
The author of this story is a big-time FPS fan and she's also a former US Navy Sailer-turned-greenside Marine. You can follow her on Twitter @DirtyEffinHippy.