After days of speculation, gamers finally got a sneak peek at the much-hyped Call of Duty: Modern Warfare reboot as the developers temporarily launched the beta version across all platforms ahead of its October 25th release date. Over the years, CoD lost ground to its largest FPS competitor Battlefield with fans continuing to blame the franchise for sacrificing the elements that are core to delivering the ultimate Call of Duty experience.
Ever since the series hit a low point with Call of Duty: Ghosts, Activision have tried a handful of different strategies to get the series back on track, resurrecting the Modern Warfare title following its 2007 original release being the latest of them. Did it work? Is the new Modern Warfare game going to be the Wonderwall that will successfully set the benchmark for future CoD entries? It’s still early days to answer that, but the beta version did come with glimpses of promise.
Since it was a beta run of course there were problems, glitches and inconsistencies. Today I will highlight some of the best things about the new Modern Warfare beta alongside some of the facts that I felt should be ironed out once the retailer version hits the shelves.
POSITIVE: KILLSTREAKS ARE BACK
If you ask CoD enthusiasts to name a feature that resonates with the series, most of them will bring up killstreaks. Call of Duty titles have pioneered the use of killstreaks in the industry but with the likes of Battlefield and PUBG creating the hype for PTFO in recent years, Activision decided to scrap the feature in CoD: Black Ops 4 and introduce an objective based score sheet to level the playing field. But the killstreaks have always sparked a thematic joy playing Call of Duty entries, and since it was the original Modern Warfare game that popularized killstreaks as a feature, the 2019 game is the perfect occasion to relive the classic CoD killing spree.
NEGATIVE: TOO MUCH CAMPING
The reintroduction of killstreaks and the beta map designs soon made me realize the best way to play this game is camping. There are lots of windows and cover places where you can easily hide and take out your enemies instead of exploring the area and gunning down your opponents. The lure of continuous kills to unlock special weapons also encourages more camping. Camping is a regular feature in shooting games where maps are designed in such a way that it virtually eliminates the need for any run-and-gun action. The maps need to be redesigned to cut down on these excessive camping tendencies and make the game more proactive.
POSITIVE: THE MODES DIVERSIFY THE EXPERIENCE
The Modern Warfare beta introduced us to multiple game modes which offer a praiseworthy level of variety. Not all of them are going to catch your eye for sure but whenever you feel like taking a break from the primary campaign there would be a handful of alternatives available. The Realism mode was my personal favorite, where you get thrown into a situation much akin to real life battle scenarios. There’s no HUD to monitor your vitals, the bullets are more lethal and you are susceptible to friendly fire. The Gunfight mode also proved to be a great diversion for me where I was teamed up with another player to take on a 2v2 challenge.
NEGATIVE: INCONSISTENT SERVER TICK RATES
While I was playing the Modern Warfare beta, there were times when I was just cruising through. Whoever fell on my path had to embrace an immediate demise but sometimes I found myself in the exact opposite situation; before even moving a muscle I found my falling to enemy fire. Yes, this can happen when players with superior expertise encounters less skilled players but such abrupt transitions of difficulty from game to game led me to think this might be down to inconsistent server tick rates. Sometimes the assailant’s bullet will take you down before you even see him/her appear on the screen. This is a major issue in a game like CoD where you can’t survive more than a few bullet wounds.
POSITIVE: THE CROSSPLAY COMPATIBILITY COULD BE A GAMECHANGER
Activision took a massive step forward in the franchise when they announced the new Modern Warfare game will support crossplay between PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, meaning regardless of the platforms you and your friends have, all of you can enjoy the game together. This can become the industry norm for AAA titles in the coming days, but it’s not an easy ask. Cross platform gameplay requires a seamless balance between platforms, which this game did in a remarkable way. Even though no official confirmations have been made, players have reported during the beta-testing that cross-progression is also possible between the platforms. If this happens to be true, you can continue the game on a different platform logging into your Activision account without disrupting your game progress.
NEGATIVE: THE SPAWNING SYSTEM IS TERRIBLE
The spawning system received a lot of attention from the players throughout the beta period, unfortunately mostly negative. Whether I was playing the chaotic ground wars or lower scale battles such as Domination, I was continuously being spawned in the least convenient places possible. Sometimes it was hilariously far away from the action and sometimes just in front of enemy fire which resulted in my immediate and obviously irritating demise. Thankfully, Infinity Ward have already declared that they will address the matter and aim to get it fixed before the October 25th release.
POSITIVE: THE GUNSMITH FEATURE IS THE BEST CLASS BUILDING FEATURE IN CoD HISTORY
The Gunsmith feature is a definite upgrade on Pick 10, Pick 13 and other preceding CoD class building systems since it puts more options on the table in exchange of minimal sacrifices. In the previous systems, you would have to give up attachments and secondary weapons to gain access to other attachments and perks. But under the new system, it’s much easier to build a high quality setup. With Overkill activated, you could carry two primary weapons, each with 5 attachments and you could all this for a cost of 17 points only! The gun customization options are also massive. Some of the weapons will have up to 60 accessories available when the final version comes out.