Sometimes a Call of Duty campaign comes along and makes you say, “Damn, that was pretty intense!“. Not last year obviously because, you know, no campaign. This year, however, Infinity Ward has served up what might be the best COD campaign to date. Keep in mind, this review is only for the campaign portion of the game. A full breakdown of the multiplayer suite will be coming in the near future.
Think of this as a hard reboot of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. Several characters from that game return in a new timeline that takes place in today’s world. In fact, after a brief tutorial/introductory mission, the game begins on October 25th, 2019, the game’s release date. You take the reigns of one of three different characters throughout the game. I won’t get into spoiler territory but the overall plot isn’t much different from previous campaigns. What’s more important is how the game handles the plot as opposed to what it is.
I can already hear the outrage on how the developers chose to approach some of the more intense situations. This campaign isn’t for the faint of heart. The game warns you of the disturbing subject matter every time you boot it up. I can’t think of a game that made me feel this uneasy while playing it though I also can’t speak on what actually happens during war. Not many can. I don’t know how realistic the game portrays actual combat or more importantly, the situations that play out during it. I will say that, at times, the game can be mercilessly brutal. People will certainly ask if it was necessary and I won’t attempt to answer that either. What I do know is that the game definitely evokes some of the horrors of war, at least what I perceive as war. In the end, it’s a fictional story that pushes the limits of the player in more ways than one. These moments will stick with you throughout the game and in the end I respect what Infinity Ward has done here. Whether it’s justified to put it in a game isn’t for me to decide. They did, I played it and it was a powerful experience.
Graphically, the game looks outstanding. I played on the Xbox One X and it’s truly stunning. There are a few frame rate drops from time to time but nothing egregious. The developers went all out with the new engine to bring forward a true sense of realism. You can see that in the facial expressions of the characters. What also stood out to me were the handful of missions presented in the dark. The night vision scenes were almost photo realistic. I have no idea how they pulled it off, but I was blown away.
Relating to the campaign, there’s not much more to say. Clocking in at around 8 hours, it’s not incredibly long. If you’re picking up the game just for the campaign, that may disappoint you. Let me say this though, those 8 hours are extraordinarily well done. For veterans of past COD campaigns, you won’t be disappointed. If you have issues with a very brutal depiction of war and combat, you may want to pass. Modern Warfare brings back that old school Call of Duty vibe back to the single player arena. And I couldn’t be happier with the result.