Call of Duty Modern Warfare is the latest breath of fresh air in the series since COD WW2 that takes us back to the grounded and realistic gameplay we yearn for, unlike the now cancerous Black Ops series and other brain-haemorrhaging spinoffs like Ghosts, Advanced Warfare or Infinite Warfare. But still, there are a few missed opportunities that prevent this game from being outright better than Modern Warfare 2007.
One thing that really stood out to me in the campaign was how immersive and eerily realistic some of the missions where, particularly the terrorist attack in London and the stealthy raid missions. The way civilians took up arms or got in your way during mass panics really made it feel like a lived in world rather than a few linear paths. Gone are the ridiculously over the top, on-rails action sequences and back are the tighter, more in-your-face battles that truly test your skill. But what made the campaign experience ultimately disappointing for me was the story.
This is a reboot of MW 2007 that takes place in 2019, and instead of taking notes from actual MODERN conflicts and making groups like ISIS or Hezbollah the main villains, we're instead forced to fight Russia...again...for the 1 millionth time. It ends up feeling like a lazy plotline from an 80s action movie rather than a modern conflict. Imagine how cool it would have been to join forces with Turkish fighters to infiltrate and destroy ISIS, or join forces with the IDF to defend Israel against a full blown invasion from Palestine, you could even incorporate Russia politically or have them involved in a few skirmishes at sea or in the air, but writing a story where Russia INVADES THE MIDDLE EAST is absolutely retarded. This left me feeling unsatisfied by the end of the campaign, regardless of how cool some of the gameplay was.
But at least the multiplayer mode was there to help alleviate that feeling. The multiplayer definitely feels like a huge improvement from the last COD I played (COD WW2), the gunplay feels more accurate and fair, and the new feature that lets you reload while aiming down your sights is freaking cool. You can also switch between long range and short range sights on the fly, and kill-streaks can't be spammed which was an absolute nightmare in COD WW2. The only things I don't like is how they basically ruined the Headquarters mode and added a useless mode called Cyber Warfare which is basically S&D. Infinity Ward also seemed to have a lack of graphic designers this year because not only is the emblem creator missing, but the TINY amount of emblems and banners they do have are garbage. The new Ground War mode is alright, but I would have loved to see the War mode return from COD WW2, as that was truly an exhilarating experience, while Ground War can get pretty boring when you're traversing such a large map. Although, this is coming from someone that doesn't really have any friends, so I imagine Ground War would be a lot more enjoyable with a squad of party members.
Lastly, we have Spec Ops which returns from COD MW3. I really enjoyed playing Classic Spec Ops mode which is basically like the final act of a campaign in Left 4 Dead. Fighting waves of enemies while waiting for a helicopter. It's very fun and intense since the enemy's strength comes from their power in numbers so you're constantly fighting to avoid being overwhelmed in a relatively small area. The Survival mode however is a snooze fest. The maps are large and it takes far too long to get going. By the time it does, the game drops multiple overpowered juggernauts on your ass which drain all the fun from the game and force you to run around like a headless chicken, picking up scraps in a vain attempt to beat them on your own while your teammates are already dead. There will likely be more updates to Spec Ops but for the moment that's all there is.
Ultimately MW is a welcome addition to the franchise that has rock-solid gameplay and brilliant game design. If you're looking for something memorable however, this aint it chief. Hopefully Infinity Ward beef up their writing staff for the sequel and we get a story that is actually epic and interesting just like the last MW2. This one is purely for the multiplayer.