Since 2007, the release of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Call of Duty has become something of a lifestyle. Activision (now Activision-Blizzard) has been cashing in on the IP for over a decade, even fielding a multi-studio rotation to support its development cycle. Now, 12 years later, after a 2016 remaster held hostage by Infinite Warfare and shamelessly shoehorned with micro-transactions, fans are being treated to what looks like a proper reboot.
The freshly unveiled 2019 re-imagining of Modern Warfare comes on the heels of Black Ops 4, which treated gamers to a singularly focused multiplayer experience that had no campaign to speak of really (the game did, however, have a Battle Royale mode called ‘Blackout’). This time, the brand looks as though it’ll be returning to its roots in a sense, with the new Modern Warfare pitching “an emotionally charged experience that’s inspired by the headlines in the world today, where the rules are grey and battle lines are blurred.”
The official investor presser goes on to mention a new engine, cross-play, and that there will be no “season pass.” In competition with successful cross-play titles like Fortnite, free content and regular post launch support ought to go a long way in helping the former phenomenon to recapture some of its old school feel — a franchise that has hampered its community in the past by dividing the player base either with DLC or betwixt digital storefronts (Infinite Warfare launched separately on both Steam and the Windows Store).
Larger video gaming based publications have been quick to comment on and criticize the direction, suggesting that Call of Duty games, either by design or by tone, are simply unsuited to rhetorically affect players in a meaningful way. While I’m inclined to agree, that Call of Duty isn’t always conducive to evoking the complexities of the human condition, the Modern Warfare titles aren’t without their iconic moments. Whether it be staving off the enemy advance in “All Ghillied Up,” or the positively memetic “No Russian,” Call of Duty will likely continue to have the potential to be powerful. Much to its credit, the original title felt like more of a discerning killing machine than its more recent successors.
Not unsurprisingly Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, the fourth Modern Warfare game (not at all to be confused with Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, or Modern Warfare Remastered) seems just a touch ambitious in tone. The Activision blog uses the word “edgy” literally alongside phrases like “culturally relevant” and “thought-provoking.” If you think Infinity Ward will successfully deliver the warrior-poet experience being touted, you can pre-order the game right here. Otherwise, why not check out our podcast.
Image Source: Activision Blizzard