When it comes to First Person Shooters (FPS), none are more famous than Call of Duty (COD). With the disappointment of the last CoD not having a campaign mode, people have been waiting for this one. This recent Modern Warfare was said to bring back the campaign mode in a big way. Does Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2019 make good on its promise to bring a real campaign? Let’s see if Activision has the goods. This review will have mild spoilers.
The campaign features many moments to change up the core gameplay loop. This is common of other First Person Shooters, but for Call of Duty, this is something new. For example, in a scene that reminds me of The Last of Us, you play as a little girl who is trying to avenge the deaths of her parents. Another event leaves you alone in the dark at risk of being spotted if you stay in the light too long. You can also shoot out the lights to help you stay hidden. Scenarios like these make this CoD title unique, not just another hallway shooter. The typical run-and-gun action CoD is known for is also there, but less than you’d think. Some may find the slower pace boring, however, I found it refreshing.
The gameplay is the same as older Call of Duty installments. The movement scheme is the same in this version, with the exception of “unlimited sprint”, which was not previously available in older installments. This ability allows players to sprint unlimited distances without constantly mashing the left stick. Default controls are the same but can be changed to fit any style of play because button and control stick configurations have been a part of COD for decades. Enemy AI is your stereotypical FPS fair. Combatants hide behind cover, trying to flank your sniper nest. Players will find themselves picking off scores of foes in high action firefights, trying their best to ensure they are not outflanked.
Sound Effects and Graphics
The sound effects are amazing in this game; every weapon has its own distinct feel. Firefights are intensified by the torrent of firing guns and explosions. I recommend playing with headphones or surround sound, so you’ll be fully submerged in the experience. There are so many atmospheric sound effects such as the moans of dying soldiers, the sound of footsteps from the people walking around above you, and the murmuring of conversations heard from behind walls. You’ll find yourself consistently looking around because you’ll hear sounds coming from other directions. The voice acting is passable and fits the tone of the game. It’s pretty much par for the course of other Cod installments. Barry Sloane does a fine enough job as the new voice actor for Captain Price, though this may be jarring to some players who are used to his original voice. Characters’ facial expressions are surprisingly good. A fan favorite, Captain Price is very expressive, which helps sell the voice acting.
The graphics of this title are acceptable for a triple A title. While I was playing sometimes it was a little hard to see everything, but it’s possible this was done on purpose. There are times in the game where you aren’t allowed to shoot certain people, which makes seeing what you’re shooting key. This means you are put in the situation of checking who your targets are even though they are hard to see, making situations more tense then they should be.
Above all else, Call of Duty’s campaign mode is known for its mature content. Activision said they would keep the controversial content intact despite some critics’ complaints, and they didn’t back down. The main story revolves around terrorists using toxic gas on civilians. The gas plot is reminiscent of Modern Warfare 3 and the first Black Ops. You play as many different characters and you travel around the world trying to thwart the terrorists’ plot. Just as with older Modern Warfares’, there are twists in the story. The story is decent and is easy to follow, but it falls into the trap of telling rather than showing. Exposition dumps are sometimes used, rather than organic environmental storytelling. The drama is driven by the harsh events and how the characters react to them. There are a few moments where the player is allowed to make a decision that affects the plot, but they rarely matter, usually resulting in a missed cutscene. If you miss a plot detail, you can start over from the last checkpoint to try out a different option. Allies constantly banter, making them feel like they truly are brothers-in-arms who are in it for the long haul.
SCORE AND FINAL THOUGHTS
I finished the campaign in about 6 -7 hours, so it won’t take you long. The good things about the game are the sound effects, variety, and dialog. The bad things are the dumb AI, boring moments, and forced situations. This makes my overall thought about the campaign a mixed bag. Does the good outshine the bad? I think it does. I give Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2019 a rank of 8/10. A lot of the missions are guided, but those guided quests have enough diversity to make them interesting. I would recommend this game just on the campaign mode alone.