Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Review

Modern Warfare gets a reboot and get the series back on track, but doesn't quite live up to its namesake.

Review by Darren Cartledge
Published 30th October 2019

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare

  • Developer: Infinity Ward
  • Publisher: Activision
  • Release Date: 25th October 2019

After a fairly long hiatus from the Call of Duty series, the soft reboot of the Modern Warfare variant was enough to entice me back to a series I once eagerly played. Why? Because for me the 2007 original was the game that set the standard for first-person shooters at the time, with an intense campaign and era-defining multiplayer that countless gamers poured endless hours into. So, does 2019’s version live up to it’s heritage? Yes, it does!

The campaign sees a return of form for the series, with a gritty and complex story line that pushes the boundaries, and has clearly been designed to be thought provoking and some would even say deliberately controversial. Of course, Infinity War made it clear from the start of this soft reboot that this Call of Duty would make players question how they look at the world. It’s fair to say that with Modern Warfare this has certainly been achieved with thought provoking missions that see terrorists attacking the streets of London and playing as a child soldier trying to escape an occupying force.

The campaign’s story is intense and engrossing and is complemented by game mechanics that are just as engaging. The shooter mechanics are outstanding, recoil is realistic and manageable and every squeeze of the trigger is extremely satisfying. Aiming down the sights is steady as it should be and every gun seems to be effective in combat. Modern Warfare is full of small details that pull you into the action from gun barrels that smoke after you rapidly empty your clip and then make your weapon ready after reloading. 

Missions in the campaign are well designed and as mentioned above can be quite thought provoking. They offer an engaging mix of all-out assault in war torn city streets, infiltration into enemy territory and also in defensive settings. This approach keeps the campaign feeling fresh and interesting rather than that seen in many other shooters of go here and shoot, followed by go here and shoot some more.

Multiplayer as in any other Call of Duty is, of course, a major part of Modern Warfare and it feels different to that which we have seen in recent version of the franchise. Instead of the run and gun approach of more recent versions, multiplayer in this iteration feels very similar to that of the original Modern Warfare, which many would argue set the benchmark for multiplayer first-person shooters at its time of release. 

It is however, very unforgiving for the ill prepared! Maps are designed with numerous pathways through them, buildings serve as convenient cut-through, whilst back alleys and caves provide opportunities for campers to hide in. Then there’s the roof tops and the many, many windows from which snipers can easily pick you off. At times it can seem every foot step alerts an enemy player to your presence as they descend on your location from multiple directions, it’s both thrilling and frustrating in equal measures. Especially as the game does little to discourage unscrupulous players from “hanging” around spawning points for easy kills. The game offers plenty of customisation options so you can tailor your load-out to match your play style, and from our experience Modern Warfare does actually let you play the way want to instead of having to match the meta as in many other first-person shooter games.

This soft reboot of Modern Warfare for me is a return to form for a series that some would say had begun to lose its appeal. Its campaign stands out for its daring approach and intense gameplay. Whilst its multiplayer, although at times extremely frustrating, is addictive harking back to the original approach taken by the classic Modern Warfare series. 

Review Score: 8/10

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