Over the long weekend, I jumped with the rest of PS4’s Call of Duty community to test out the reboot of Modern Warfare. The early alpha — which lasted from August 24 to August 26 — featured the new 2v2 game mode called “Gunfight” and the altered version of it called “Gunfight: OPS”.
For the developers of Infinity Ward, the alpha was the beginning of public server tests to prepare the release of Modern Warfare reboot on October 25, 2019. For PS4, it was an opportunity to experience the gameplay and while most of it feels like good old Call of Duty, some change makes Modern Warfare another promising title from the annual franchise.
Gunfight only asks the teams of two to simply eliminate the opposing duo. If a team isn’t eliminated before 40- seconds, a flag will spawn in the middle of the map triggering a 10 second overtime. The teams can now either search and kill the opposing team or capture the flag, which takes only a few seconds to do so. The first team to win 6 rounds wins the match.
It’s simple yet I like the sense of strategy and patience required to pull off kills every round. The beauty of gunfight is how each team is equipped with the exact same loadout and changes every 2 rounds. So, it mostly leans towards player skill and awareness. Grenades and other equipment are locked seconds after the round starts, preventing matches to become a chug fest of grenades the moment players can move.
Infinity Ward talked about recoil being changed to give each gun a unique feel when fired and that needs hours of playtime to really get a feel of each one, but what’s noticeable is how the guns sound. They sound like each has weight to them and it gets amplified if you shoot your gun indoors, making this game sound great when paired with a headset with surround sound. The sound of footsteps might need a bit of fine-tuning as it’s easy to not notice a player despite them sprinting at you.
There are three maps available during the alpha and are small ones specifically tailored for Gunfight. “Speedball” is a firing range with tires and targets, “King” is a warehouse of some kind and “Pine” is a forest map that makes players suggest a more subtle approach compared to the other two maps.
During the last day of the alpha, Infinity Ward released a game mode called “Gunfight: OPS”. It’s still 2v2 to kill the opposing team but with only one change - guns are scattered all over the map and you start with nothing and teams must pick up whatever they can find. I had the most fun with this mode as it was fun planning where to go as where you will go will determine your weapons of choice. Also, if a player favors a certain weapon, you can set your eyes on that direction or cut him off before he gets his hands on it.
In a technical standpoint, Modern Warfare feels and looks great with no server issues or even lag with a stable connection. Motion blur —which I believe is the worst addition to make video games more immersive — is on by default, and is my only complaint during my time with the game. A personal thing as I’m sure some of you would understand how that’s always the first thing I turn off when playing a new shooter.
Modern Warfare’s next multiplayer beta
Despite only having access to Gunfight, I get why many gave it praise. You strip Call of Duty with all of its killstreaks and fancy futuristic equipment and what you have is an enjoyable shooter. Those already sold by the game and have pre-ordered is given a head start to the game’s first multiplayer beta weekend, which goes live on the PS4 first starting on September 12, then it becomes available to all PS4 players from September 14 to 16.
Then, players who pre-ordered the game on Xbox One and PC can start playing the beta during it’s second beta weekend which starts on September 19. Then, the beta will be available to all players across PS4, Xbox One, and PC on September 21 to 23.
The second beta testing weekend (Sept 19 - 23) will feature cross-play support, allowing players from PS4, Xbox one, and PC to play with each other.