Call of Duty Modern Warfare (Hands-On) Preview

Call of Duty is trying to make a comeback this year with a soft reboot of their Modern Warfare brand of the series. Promising new changes to gameplay, a more mature tone compared to Black Ops IIII, and trying to recapture what made Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare so groundbreaking 12 years. It’s no small order but it seems they are committed to this idea.

Now the alpha only had two modes present both a new variation of a 2v2 mode which is new to the series. The thing this is the most like is Halo 5 Guardian’s Breakout mode which is a 4v4 elimination style mode with a flag capture point in the center. It’s basically the same setup here except 2v2 instead of 4v4 likely to keep the pace of the matches extremely fast due to the low amount of kill time in Call of Duty.

Each round in the first variation of the mode has you switching between random weapons each time you start a round. In terms of an alpha this is good so you can get a feel for how the basic sets of the weapons the game will be using is going to feel. At least in this alpha I felt like I could get kills with each weapon shotguns did damage even from longer distances and sniping feels somewhat revamped to be more about hard aiming than quick reflex.

The entire movement system and animations themselves have been completely changed from the past decade of Call of Duty. It’s not a drastic life changing experience but it feels like an update to the formula this series really needed. The pace and movement feel more comparable to games like Rainbow Six and Battlefield while still retaining the fast-paced movement of Call of Duty.

The other mode was more of fair start system where both teams started with no weapons and you have to go out and find weapons or rely on melee. Which has been reworked to be much faster and more fluid as you can now tap the button twice really fast to do melee kills instead of their being a slow delay that usually ends up in you being killed.

On the graphical side I don’t’ want to say much because this an alpha build of one mode 4 months before the game is even set release. But I found animations and guns to look very clean and high quality. But the environment and character models looked quite awful, and the game by default has massive amounts of motion blur and film grain on which made everything look terrible and almost sickening to play. Once I turned off those features, I felt that it improved greatly, and I could just focus on the gameplay side of things.

The connection at least for me was very good for an alpha, only ever had about 2 games crash on me. But this only 2v2, the servers will likely be tested much more by higher player count modes. In short, I say that this alpha feels promising and I hope when the multiplayer beta arrives here in the next few weeks, we get a bigger taste of the game. I am looking forward to it more than any Call of Duty in the past few years because I want to believe they’ve made something that I can proud to be playing again.