Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019) is something of a reset for the bestselling FPS franchise – removing the frills of zombies, jetpacks, double-jumps and futuristic gadgetry for a grounded take on what military engagement actually looks like in the 21st century. The name is no coincidence, either; 2007's Modern Warfare was a landmark entry in the Call of Duty series, and it looks like Activision is looking to recreate what made the game of the same name so successful.
It’s all about the gritty realities of war this time out, with the ‘modern’ of the ‘Modern Warfare’ title referring to the gear, weapons and gadgetry being used today in the Middle East and Russia, rather than the far-flung fantasies of science fiction.
We can't talk about a Modern Warfare reboot without talking about multiplayer – and thankfully the latest iteration looks set to deliver. According to the game's developer, Modern Warfare will support community across platforms for the first time, release maps across all platforms simultaneously and removing both the season pass and a la carte maps that split the player base in years past.
It's the dawning of a new era for the one of the most beloved first-person shooters of all-time. Here's what you need to know about Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? The sixteenth Call of Duty game
- What can I play it on? PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC
- Is there crossplay multiplayer? Absolutely
- When can I play it? October 25, 2019
- Where can I buy it? We've rounded up the latest offers
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare release date
Announced right before E3 2019, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare leaked ahead of the event but a trailer gave us our first glimpse and a variety of details for the game.
It included the release date, which is set for October 25, 2019. You're already able to pre-order the game on the official site too.
If you want to get the jump on your friends and enemies in multiplayer, Walmart has a pre-order deal that comes with three hours of double XP online. You can cash in your boosted XP hours any time until 10/25/2024, so there's no need to rush straight in on launch day and potentially waste your earnings. (If you're in the UK, GAME is offering a similar pre-order deal!)
Call of Duty Modern Warfare screenshots
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare trailers
Infinity Ward has released a PC trailer for Modern Warfare that shows off the game's fantastic visuals with 4K resolution and an uncapped frame rate.
It's not long until the game's release and we now have a thrilling launch trailer to enjoy. Watch it for yourself below:
PlayStation's State of Play showcase saw the debut of several fantastic trailers for some highly-anticipated games, with a new story-focused Call of Duty: Modern Warfare trailer being a particular highlight. You can check out that trailer below.
At Gamescom 2019, Infinity Ward released a new trailer revealing Modern Warfare's ray tracing in action. Check it out below:
Not had enough footage of Modern Warfare multiplayer? Check out the 24 minutes of multiplayer footage released by Infinity Ward in August 2019 below.
The latest multiplayer trailer has been revealed for what's being claimed to be Call of Duty's most immersive multiplayer to date.
Infinity Ward has confirmed a brand new multiplayer mode for Modern Warfare called Gunfight and released five whole minutes of crisp 4K gameplay to give players a better idea of what to expect from this fast-paced, 2v2 mode. Watch it for yourself below.
The first trailer for Modern Warfare was the release trailer that debuted on May 30.
In it, we can see series protagonist (and all-around badass) Captain Price light up, and some intense – and dare we say great-looking – nightvision sequences.
You can watch it below:
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare news
No lootboxes confirmed
Infinity Ward has now confirmed that Modern Warfare will not have lootboxes and will, instead, monetise through a Battle Pass. Anything such as weapons and attachments that would have an impact on the balance of play will not be available for purchase and will be unlockable simply by playing the game. In the battle pass itself, players will be able to see exactly what they're earning or buying and there will be a focus on cosmetic content that doesn't give players any in-game advantage.
According to Infinity Ward, the battle pass will not launch with the game. Instead, the developer wants players to enjoy the base game content first and the battle pass will launch later in this year. After this, passes will "launch timed to new, post-launch live seasons, so you can unlock cool new Modern Warfare-themed content that matches each season."
Concern over loot boxes
There have been some worries among Call of Duty fans about what the monetisation plans around Modern Warfare may be, with loot boxes looming large in the minds of many. Studio art director at Infinity Ward, Joel Emslie, has stepped forward on the game's subreddit to say that the game will not have loot boxes.
Under the thread title "Current Events" Emslie wrote in no uncertain terms:
"Sigh. There continues to be misinformed and incorrect info being pushed about Modern Warfare. What I can say right now is that we are definitely NOT working on any kind of supply drop or loot box system. Also, functional stuff is unlocked through GAMEPLAY. Stay tuned, we're planning to release info this week."
It looks like those feeling concern will be waiting for bated breath for more news before the game's release.
Ahead of Modern Warfare’s release, the game’s PC specifications have been revealed. And they’re pretty hefty.
The game will, according to Battle.net, require a massive 175GB hard drive space. The space required on consoles has not yet been revealed but it will be interesting to whether 4K consoles will need something similar.
OS: Windows 7 64-bit or Windows 10 64-bit
Processor” Intel Core i3-4340 or AMD FX-6300
Video” NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 or AMD Radeon HD 7950
Memory: 8GB RAM
Storage: 175GB hard drive
OS: Windows 10 64-bit
Processor: Intel Cire i5-2500K or AMD Ryzen R5 1600X
Video: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660, AMD Radeon R9 390, or AMD Radeon RX 580
Memory: 12 GB RAM
Storage 175 GB hard drive
We now know more about Modern Warfare’s Special Ops mode thanks to an official blog post. According to the post, Special Ops (completely separate to the PS4 timed exclusive mode Special Ops Survival) can be played by up to 4 players together and the main aim is to work together to “stop and sever a global terror organization’s access to weapons, funds, intelligence, and hardware.”
Special Ops is divided into two game modes: Missions and Operations. Operations are multiplayer only matches that feature unique objectives and a certain amount of freedom in terms of how you approach it.
Missions, meanwhile, can be played with others or solo. These missions will be less sprawling than Operations and more focused on testing your skills with certain weapons or tools. On completing a mission your performance will be given a star rating.
Cross-progression between online multiplayer and Special Ops has been enabled so you’ll be able to carry your items and progress between modes.
COD: Mobile edition
If you can't wait until October 12, a free-to-play COD: Mobile game will be launching October 1 for iOS and Android, joining the likes of Fortnite mobile for on-the-go FPS multiplayer. There'll be a host of maps and game modes adapted from mainline COD games, including a version of the battle royale Blackout mode.
Modern Warfare will have console-PC crossplay and in a blog post Activision has confirmed that "most" of its post-release content will launch across all platforms simultaneously. So new maps, modes and missions will be available to everyone. When Activision says "most" we're not entirely sure what they mean, however, as they've said they'll announce more details closer to the game's October release. We know that PlayStation players will have "an exciting day one advantage" but what this is has not been confirmed.
Battle royale possibilities
There have been rumors that Modern Warfare could very well be getting a battle royale mode, but that it will be launched as a free standalone option in 2020 rather than alongside the main game as a multiplayer mode.
The rumors are unconfirmed but they do come from YouTuber LongSensation, a source with a fairly good track record. However, until Infinity Ward confirms or denies we can't be sure.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare will be fully optimized for PC players, according to recent reports, complete with some PC-specific features as well as cross-play with consoles.
As reported by DualShockers, the PC version of the game will have an uncapped frame rate as well as a slider for Field of View so that you can decide how much of your surroundings you want to see in your peripheral vision.
Ultra-wide monitors will be supported with the ability to configure monitors to suit your needs. For any console players concerned about mouse and keyboard advantages in cross-play scenarios, matchmaking will be done according to peripherals so it's down to you whether or not you play with those using a mouse and keyboard. Infinity Ward is already ahead of those ultra-sneaky players who might think about changing their peripheral mid-match; you can't, it's locked in.
As promised, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare's multiplayer reveal took place in August. Fans have already seen the brand new 2v2 mode, Gunfight, but now there's a bigger picture that suggests a truly reinvigorated Call of Duty multiplayer experience to look forward to.
First up, there's cross-platform multiplayer between consoles and PC as well as a free season pass, showing Infinity Ward is taking a cue from popular multiplayer titles like Fortnite and is making efforts not to split up its playerbase.
Further to 2v2 fights in Gunfight, there are 6v6, 10v10 and 20v20 matches though the real surprise is a new mode called Ground War which will support up to 100 players, though there's no footage of that just yet. With this expansive multiplayer offering, it seems that Infinity Ward is looking to appeal to all kinds of shooter fans. Watch the multiplayer trailer for yourself below.
Killstreaks are back
Ahead of the full multiplayer reveal scheduled for August 1, Activision has confirmed that Killstreaks will make a return in Modern Warfare, making it the first game in quite a while to include the feature.
As players rack up kills, they'll be able to unlock weapons and armor. Some of the killstreaks have been revealed on Twitter already including the intimidating Juggernaut suit from Modern Warfare 3, the light infantry assault vehicle and, most unpleasantly, the controversial White Phosphorus.
More information on the game will be revealed on August 1.
Female multiplayer options
Infinity Ward has been drip-feeding multiplayer news ahead of the full reveal on August 1st. The latest announcement has come from a Reddit post in which communications manager, Ashton Williams, has confirmed that there will be playable female models in Modern Warfare's multiplayer.
In addition to that confirmation of playable female characters, Infinity Ward has also revealed some footage of what the short cinematic preceding a multiplayer match will look like to Twitter ahead of the full multiplayer reveal. Like in Call of Duty: WW2's War Mode, the cinematic will show players in a scene heading towards their drop point.
Full Multiplayer Reveal
While fans have had a first look at Gunfight, Modern Warfare’s new 2v2 multiplayer mode, a more full reveal has been announced for August 1. On a Twitch livestream, Infinity Ward is expected to show how the game’s story will continue into its online play and how progression across modes will play out.
Infinity Ward gave fans their first peek at multiplayer gameplay via Twitch followed by a five minute long 4K trailer. Four players streamed Modern Warfare live on the streaming platform, debuting Gunfight, the brand new 2v2 multiplayer mode that will be in the game.
Gunfight is a mode for four players where two teams will play in “multi-round cage matches” across three small custom maps. Every two rounds, teams will swap to opposite sides of the map. All four players will have the same loadout which will typically be comprised of a primary and secondary weapon as well as a tactical Grenade and a piece of Lethal Equipment. The first team to win six rounds are the winners.
This is going to be a mode for players that like fast rounds, with each round counting down on a 40 second timer. If one team hasn’t wiped out the other by the time the 40 seconds is up, a flag will appear on the map. The first team to control the area around the flag for more than three seconds is them the winner of the round. Each round, overall, will last for around a minute so speed is key.
Aim Down Sight reload
Infinity Ward has confirmed in a blog post that Modern Warfare will have Aim Down Sight reload, the first time the feature has appeared in a Call of Duty game by default.
Aim Down Sight reload will mean that, while aiming down the sight of your weapon, your view won't be pulled away to watch an animation when you reload. Instead, you'll stay on target.
Animation director Mark Grigsby offered some details on the feature in the post:
“One other thing we added this year is the ADS [Aiming Down Sight] reload. In the past, if you're ADS, and you're shooting and you reload, the weapon would go off to the side, and you'd have to retrain to get to your target. This time if you reload, it stays on the target, so you can stay in the battle.”
"Ripped straight from the headlines"
We watched a behind-the-doors demo of the new Call of Duty during E3 2019 – and it wasn't for the feint-hearted. The demo (which was cut short from other press demos earlier in the week) firstly showed a cutscene of a terrorist incident at London's Piccadilly Circus before launching into gameplay from a mission called 'Hour of the Wolf'.
This mission sees you tracking down the instigator of the terrorist attack (AKA The Wold) to a townhouse in North London. As a member of the SAS, the player creeps up a ladder and into the back of the dimly lit home where they methodically assassinate the plain-clothes terrorists occupying the residency. There's even an unsettling situation involving a woman using her baby as a shield.
It's pretty rough but Infinity Ward claims the new Modern Warfare sees missions "ripped straight from the headlines" and investigated the "civilian collateral damage" that comes hand-in-hand with war.
What was peculiar was that our presentation was shorter than those who had attended earlier in the week. We were only shown the London townhouse mission, whereas other journalists were shown an extra – more controversial – segment which seen players taking on the role of a child soldier in an unspecified war-torn country.
Is this a reboot of the classic Modern Warfare?
Not exactly. If you want to relive that Call of Duty 4 experience you'll want to dust off your PS3 or Xbox 360, or play the recent remaster of that game.
Instead, Infinity Ward is using the Modern Warfare name here to evoke a similar feeling, and some of the same characters will return but this is an entirely new storyline set in a different timeline.
It's totally separate to what we've seen in the previous games as here those events haven't occurred. We'll still follow Captain Price in this different timeline, and it may mean we see over returning characters throughout too.
Price features heavily in the trailer above, and he ends it by saying there's a team of his "old comrades" so it may well be that we see the return of other fan favorite characters such as Soap or Gaz.
This new timeline is also why the game isn't called Modern Warfare 4. It should mean it's a good place for new entrants to the series to pick up the game, but there's sure to be a few nods to the original series for die-hard fans.
Narrative director at Infinity Ward, Taylor Kurosaki, also noted that the game's storyline is still being tweaked but it's anywhere between five and nine hours long.
That means it's not set to be very long, but at least this time there is a storyline. Call of Duty: Blacks Ops 4 opted to drop the storyline in favor of focusing on online play, which is something we've heard very little about so far for this game.
No zombie mode…
Zombie mode might be a staple of the over-the-top Black Ops entries into the Call of Duty series, but the undead horde will not be being reanimated this time around in Modern Warfare according to Campaign Gameplay Director Jacob Minkoff.
In an interview with PlayStation Lifestyle, Minkoff said that the team's goal is to create something on par with today's battlefields – which, unfortunately, don't include any undead wandering around.
"We don't have the flexibility to do something like put zombies in the game. That would compromise the feeling of playing in a world that feels realistic and authentic and relative to today's conflicts and things we face," Minkoff said.
If you want Zombies, you'll just have to wait for the next Black Ops game.
A whole new engine
This title will be the first to use a whole new engine for the series, and that should allow for some drastic graphical improvements over previous titles including Black Ops 4. It's the first time the games will use a new engine in 14 years.
We've yet to learn the name of the engine, but we know that the franchise has been working on it for five years.
We expect to learn more about it in the coming months, but we can expect some more detailed environments, improved volumetric lighting and ray tracing technology too.
According to ComicBook.com, the game be "heavy on troubling, realistic emotions, very much inspired by the controversial 'No Russian level"
That mission is in Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2. It was highly controversial at the time for depicting an undercover CIA agent who takes part in a mass shooting of civilians.
The trailer suggests other terrorist attacks may feature in the story, and children also feature so it may be these elements are used to stir up controversy.
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