Call of Duty: Modern Warfare at E3 2019
E3 2019 gave the world its first look at the single player campaign in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.
Infinity Ward came to E3 this year to debut a sneak peek at the game’s single-player gameplay. Before jumping into the demo, the devs talked a bit about their philosophy in designing the game. First of all, Modern Warfare is not Modern Warfare 4, but rather a re-imagining of the series for today. They wanted a game that is realistic and authentic, that would also deliver a story that could have been taken from today’s headlines. So they’ve created a campaign in which you’ll be faced with the same complex moral decisions that today’s soldiers are faced with in combat, and forced to make complex decisions within seconds.
The mission demoed was taken from the early part of the game’s campaign. A terrorist attack has occurred in central London, and the cell responsible has been identified and located. You are part of the team of elite operatives sent at night to the house occupied by the cell.
The first thing that leapt out at me while I was watching the opening of the demo was the quality of the graphics. The game is incredibly detailed to the point of being photo-realistic - you could easily mistake the game for a video. I thought we were watching a cutscene until the demo’s player looked down the sights of his weapon for the first time. And the demo was being run on a PS4 Pro, so the developers were able to get that amazing level of detail out of console hardware.
Once the team entered the building, there were more technological achievements to behold. In typical shooters, the scale of building interiors is not realistic – the game needs to give the AI room to find its way around. Not so in Modern Warfare - the terrorist cell occupied a multistory urban home with small rooms connected by a tight hallway that was bordered on the other side by a small staircase. The claustrophobic environment added to the tension as the team slowly cleared the house room-by-room and floor-by-floor.
One room was cleared in a unique way – the player shot out the room’s light and then the team used their night vision goggles to eliminate the terrorists as they scrambled around in the dark. Once the terrorists knew the team had breached their safe house, they took up ambush positions by hiding in places like under a bed or crouched between a toilet and a wall. The player literally had seconds to locate and eliminate each of these threats while moving through the house, and in doing so demonstrated the game’s ability to model damage. The terrorist under the bed was killed by firing through the mattress, and while it happened very quickly I wouldn’t be surprised to see pieces of foam being ejected from the mattress as each bullet passed through it. The terrorist in the bathroom opened fire before the player even reached the bathroom door, firing through the wall. The player responded in kind, methodically firing his assault rifle through the wall in a line and then entered the bathroom to find the terrorist slumped on the floor. At another point in the demo, the player switched to a shotgun and fired through a door, leaving a gaping, splintered hole in the wood.
The split-second decisions that the developers mentioned before the demo were also on display. On entering one room you could see a person moving, but it turned out to be a woman trying to protect a baby. Near the end of the demo, a woman appeared to surrender to the team, but there was something odd about her movements. After the player made the decision to shoot her, the squad found that she was trying to reach for a detonator.
The demo was an impressive first look at the game’s single player campaign. Special Forces missions will only be a part of the final campaign, though. They wouldn’t give away too much about it at E3, but I did learn that you’ll have the opportunity to face a variety of situations in locations around the world, and that you will take on a number of roles including the opportunity to play as a freedom fighter. As someone who was admittedly a bit disappointed that Black Ops 4 didn’t include a single player campaign, I am pretty excited by what I saw at E3. With word that the game will feature a unified narrative between all modes, this may prove to be one of the most interesting single player campaigns in the series.
Transmitted: 1/27/2021 4:08:21 PM