Modern Warfare for a Modern Bob Jones: What’s the Hype About?


Alexander Hill, Writer

For some students such as myself, video games aren’t just a pastime; they’re an escape from the daily stresses that school and life brings, something to connect with friends over, and something to be healthily competitive over. The start of 2019 in terms of game releases was somewhat dry, save for a couple hit releases such as the incredible remaster of Resident Evil 2. However, after E3 and some other unexpected reveals this year, the last quarter of 2019 and the beginning of 2020 bring extremely promising titles; the highly anticipated release of Borderlands 3 happened over the past week, and 40% of students in a survey stated that they were aware and excited for the release. However, some people such as myself prefer other means of purchasing the game, as the Epic Games launcher is a little notorious for being lackluster in both performance and privacy.

The main event of 2019, however, will be the total re-imagining of the Call of Duty series, with the familiar title of Modern Warfare. Another 40% of students said they were aware of and excited for the title’s release, ranging from casual players to veterans of the series.

The buildup for the game started over the summer, with an unexpected teaser trailer featuring a familiar face and a promising narrative. There wasn’t much information divulged other than some private campaign screenings with some journalists; some of whom were shocked by the gritty and realistic nature that the game will bring. This controversy has led many to ask developers Infinity Ward to “tone down the violence” in the campaign. However, the developers are refusing to back down. The game, as many have said, has lost sight of what it started out as; the campaign used to portray more gritty and real situations, but as the series progressed, the settings and themes became more akin to action movies rather than a war drama. This year promises to be different. According to reports, your performance will be judged based on decision making and collateral damage; some civilians may accidentally perform an action that can be mistaken for hostile, and the player may mistakenly kill the civilian, losing points and performance in the process. This situation is a grisly reminder of the reality of war in the 21st century; not every enemy is in a uniform.

While the campaign may be an acquired taste, as some purely play the game for the multiplayer alone, the official Beta for the multiplayer dropped this past weekend, with noticeably high amounts of praise and some criticism.

Teased in August, the Multiplayer has veteran players of the series drooling; ludicrous killstreaks such as the fabled Pave Low and AC-130 Gunship return, and the “Pick-10” perk system has been replaced with the classic red-yellow-blue perk system. While Call of Duty’s arsenals have never been large, save for more recent games and controversial microtransaction-exclusive weapons (I’ll touch on this in a bit,) this game is to provide the player with Battlefield and beyond levels of weapon customization through the gunsmithing menu. Players need to level up and fulfill certain requirements with weapons in order to unlock attachments for their guns, such as a CQB Barrel for the M4A1 reminiscent of the MK.18 CQBR. The requirements vary from gun to gun and attachment to attachment, but the level of customization is deeper than COD has gone before. Maps, as quoted by Infinity Ward, are to differ from the “3-lane design” that has plagued modern COD games; they’re more reminiscent of older maps from games such as Black Ops and Modern Warfare 2, with many options open to the player with an emphasis on finding flanking routes. Of course, not every game is perfect, and the major issue that players had was the initial absence of a constant minimap. The original version of the Beta had no minimap without either a Personal Radar killstreak, a UAV killstreak, or an Advanced UAV killstreak active. However, the addition of a constant minimap without the Personal Radar streak was made, but unlike other titles, you can’t see enemies on the map when they shoot by default. Personally, I don’t mind not having a minimap constantly; it gives me more reason to learn the map like the back of my hand, and for movement and awareness to become second nature. That being said, I will 100% run with a UAV over a Personal Radar so that my team can actually see the map with enemies on it.

Another major anticipation, though negative, are microtransactions. Starting with Advanced Warfare, lootboxes with weapons inside that are sometimes more favorable than the ones you can earn by leveling up (such as the notorious ASM1 Speakeasy and BAL Obsidian Steed from Advanced Warfare,) have been a huge controversy and reason for many players to move on. The mechanic stained 2016’s Modern Warfare Remastered after the boxes were initially cosmetic exclusive. Many players such as myself are fearful that this pattern is destined to repeat itself; Activision will claim that the boxes are cosmetic only, and they will be, but only at first. Then, more and more, the game will be based on how much you’re grinding for scrap points or something similar or paying to buy these crates. There has already been confirmation that the game will not have paid-for map DLC. Only time will tell what Activision does with this. In all, the game is purely promising from almost every angle; the gunplay feels crisp and satisfying. Sniping, though rough at first without upgrades, is smooth, and general gameplay is a huge refresher from the recent titles. There’s a reason why so many Bob Jones students are excited and waiting for the coming release. 

Bravo Six, going dark.