Editor’s Note: Activision Publishing provided us with travel and accommodation to Los Angeles for the Modern Warfare review event. We played Call of Duty: Modern Warfare on PlayStation 4 Pro.
Please note: Our post features spoilers for the campaign. If you’re interested in playing the campaign, please do not need until you complete it. Let us know your thoughts too!
During our review event last week in LA, we had a chance to go hands with the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Campaign. In fact, we got to the entire campaign from start to finish.
Infinity Ward is known for delivering stories that capture people’s attention, stories that have an impact on people, and emotional connection with characters. Infinity Ward’s last title, Infinite Warfare, had one of the best campaigns in Call of Duty history.
Does Modern Warfare’s campaign match up to that?
After our play session: Yes.
Modern Warfare’s campaign is real. Like, Infinity Ward was not messing around when they said they would tackle real events and real moments in this game. The stories and moments that the campaign touches — from real events in the Middle East to conflicts of large foreign powers — is on display in this game.
It’s a campaign that people can actually relate to, and of course, Captain Price is back. It’s a different Captain Price, but as you play, you’ll see how Infinity Ward pays homage to the original character.
The story is very real. You can see how certain real life events inspired this story and its overall goal.
For example, one of the main enemies in the game is ‘The Wolf.’ Infinity Ward tries to make this character almost the ‘Osama Bin Laden’ of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare with how big an impact he has on the outcome of certain events. He’s there…and an annoying person who has his hands in everything that happens.
Playing this campaign, I don’t think there is any “No Russian” standout moment that really sticks — there are aspects throughout the game that have this. The waterboarding moments, the child crying, playing as the child, civilians in Piccadilly, and more. The game makes you choose in some situations, and it penalizes you if you make the wrong choice in other cases. The waterboarding moment makes you feel uneasy — the graphics, the effects, and more give you the sense of how horrifying that is.
The game has the emotional aspect that Infinity Ward wanted to deliver. It makes you feel a connection to Farrah and her story and why she fights. Her back story helps explain what’s going through people’s minds in that region who have had their lives uprooted by war. They have to pick up what’s left and fight. The flashback scenes help lay the ground work for the connection for Farrah and even identifies the connection between Price and Farrah.
Let’s talk about the ending. Major Spoilers now.
I was waiting for another mission to happen after what happened between Captain Price and Laswell. He shows the documents of the original Modern Warfare characters, including Gaz, Ghost, and Soap, and it ends?!
Infinity Ward is annoyingly good at making cliffhanger. They know how to keep those endings wide open for the future, especially Call of Duty: Ghosts, which to this day annoys me that we have no real closure to what happened there.
And this story does the same. It leaves it open for….Modern Warfare 2, Part 2? Who knows what they can call their next game. But the ending does leave for a lot of possibilities. We don’t even know what can happen next, and I was really hoping for one more mission with Soap and Ghost to really drive home the overall connection back to Modern Warfare, but it does not happen. You don’t get to see Soap or Ghost in this game, which was a bit sad.
And this is the first time that the campaign mode goes beyond just the campaign with a continuation of some themes in the Special Ops mode. You are greeted to an ending cut scene after the game’s credits that sets up Special Ops mode in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. It’s an interesting idea — continuing the story into another mode, but at the same time leaves you wanting more of the story itself.
Infinity Ward delivered a good story — one that makes you feel an emotional connection to the characters, a connection to the events as they’re ground in reality, and leaves you wondering what’s next for Infinity Ward.
Overall, we’d recommend that you play the campaign. Infinity Ward built a good story that deserves a play through.
Warzone development started in late 2017, built to match Modern Warfare feel
An interview with Infinity Ward reveals the difficulty of making Warzone, and how it was always supposed to play like Modern Warfare.
An interview with Infinity Ward’s co-studio heads describes the process involved with making Warzone, the pressure of pitching it to Activision, and how it was never meant to “step on Treyarch’s toes.”
The idea of Warzone seems like such a basic concept and you wonder why it took so long to fashion it. Fortnite launched in July 2017, and it would be nearly three years until Call of Duty followed suit with its own fully-realized version of battle royale.
Black Ops IIII’s Blackout mode certainly captured some of this vision, but Warzone is an all-encompassing experience that truly captures the magic of the last man standing format and is heading for Season 3.
Yet the 2017 vision for Warzone almost proved too much as it required a massive undertaking – casting doubt in Activision minds.
In the interview with Washington Post, Infinity Ward’s Co-Studio Heads, Patrick Kelly & Dave Stohl, described how Call of Duty: Warzone was created and pitched to Activision executives.
Kelly states as part of the interview that Call of Duty: Warzone’s development pitch occurred in early 2018 when Infinity Ward leads convened with Activision executives to pitch this idea.
Warzone’s code name at the time was Magma.
Kelly re-called some parts of his pitch for the interview. “Okay, so here’s the thing,” Kelly said, reenacting his pitch to the Activision executives. “We want to have the same fidelity [in ‘Warzone’] as the rest of the game. And we want [players] to be able to go in every one of the buildings. And we want to have these [mission] contracts and we want to have really unique geography all over the world.”
The ambition behind Warzone was big at the time.
“And, by the way, this is going to be a massive art undertaking. And, by the way, this would be a massive technical undertaking. And, by the way, we don’t have the gameplay entirely figured out yet. And by the way …”
“Some people were concerned, like, have you gone too far with this? You know, is this too big a bite to take?”
He notes that the building of Warzone was not meant to “step on Treyarch’s toes,” but rather, the focus of Warzone was to become a battle royale to better fit and match Modern Warfare’s world.
Blackout was focused on Black Ops 4, and it’s world, and Kelly believed the Modern Warfare experience needed a different take.
“[Blackout] was never the concern,” Kelly said. “The concern was like, ‘So, let me get this straight. You don’t have the tech sorted yet. You don’t have the bandwidth to do the art for the thing yet, and you don’t have gameplay entirely sorted yet.’” He told Activision executives: “But we will!”
The actual development of Warzone started in very early stages in late 2017, Kelly says, with the idea of having a fictional city of Verdansk. The popularity of PUBG and Fortnite during that time period ignited the entire industry to bring out versions of battle royale experiences to compete and match up.
The Washington Post story describes how Infinity Ward started its development. They wanted to take a real environment and city and bring it to life at a massive scale never done before in Call of Duty.
The game kept getting new buildings, locations, and they expanded the map to the point where it got too big.
“It’s funny, because it was starting to get out of control,” Kelly said. “What happened was there are some builders working on this and they just kept building, building, building. We were going to end up with this space that was going to be miles and miles and miles of city. It was like, whoa this is getting away from us here. We’ve got to rein this in a bit. And part of the reason was that we knew we were going to have certain physical limitations, you know, like how many players can you actually support in the world?”
“So we started building the space,” Kelly said. “And we still didn’t know precisely what we were going to do with it.”
Kelly did not mention if the original pitch included the game being free to play or if that came with how the industry changed and Activision’s need to adapt.
Call of Duty: Warzone officially released on March 10, 2020 and now has over 100 million players.
We’re over one year into Warzone’s release, and the game is integrated with Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War. Infinity Ward handed off a lot of the development of the title to Raven Software, who has been supporting the project since its initial development stages.
Image credits: Activision
How to unlock the Sykov Pistol in Modern Warfare & Warzone Season 2
The Sykov full-auto pistol has finally been added to Warzone and Modern Warfare, so here’s how to unlock this powerful new sidearm.
In a surprise update on April 15, the highly-anticipated Sykov full-auto Pistol was added to Call of Duty: Warzone and Modern Warfare, so here’s how to unlock this powerful new sidearm.
After players found the Sykov Pistol in Plunder, they were desperate to get their hands on this new Modern Warfare weapon. In an update on April 15, the Sykov Pistol was finally added to the game.
It’s described in-game as a “double-action/single-action sidearm” that “comes with a few custom gunsmith mods that make it an outstanding addition to any arsenal.” From gameplay, we know that these powerful modifications are the full-auto feature and the 80 Round Mags.
With the right attachments, the Sykov pistol is unstoppable at close-range. Here’s everything you need to do to unlock it.
How to unlock the Sykov in Warzone and Modern Warfare
The Sykov Pistol is easy to unlock in Modern Warfare and Warzone, you simply need to get 4 kills while using pistols in 5 different matches.
If you own Modern Warfare, this is the place to do it. Jump into small maps such as Shipment or Shoot House in Hardcore mode, use any pistol, and you’ll be able to one-tap other players with ease.
If you only own Warzone, the challenge will be more difficult but is still very manageable. We recommend jumping into Plunder with some of Warzone’s best pistols. The akimbo Diamattis are still powerhouses, and dual Renettis will also offer similar results.
Also, we recommend you finish the match for progress to count. Leaving the match early can cause issues with the progress not counting, so you can simply get your pistol kills then play on as normal until the match ends.
How to unlock Akimbo for the Sykov pistol
What makes the Sykov so powerful is its Akimbo perk. This isn’t unlocked as a regular challenge, you’ll need to get 3 kills in 5 different matches using the Mo’Money perk with the Sykov.
The challenge description is reportedly bugged and will tell you to use the Renetti, but you need to use the Mo’Money perk with the Sykov.
Again, this challenge is easy in Modern Warfare’s multiplayer. We recommend playing Hardcore Shipment and Shoothouse as you’ll get the kills in no time.
For Warzone, we recommend hopping into Plunder. Equip Mo’Money to your Sykov and take close-range fights and you should be able to get at least three kills.
The Sykov’s arrival follows three new maps being added to Modern Warfare – Killhouse, Al-Raab Airbase, and Drainage. The latter two have been removed but will be returning soon as they still needed more “love.”
- Read more: When is Warzone’s nuke event?
The Sykov is also the first of the unreleased Modern Warfare weapons to have arrived in the game, with the CX-9 SMG and Raal LMG still scheduled to arrive.
Ranked up, the Sykov pistol is likely to be a dominant weapon close-range in Warzone, so if the issues with unlocking it are addressed, it’s worth utilizing the upcoming Double XP event to quickly unlock all of the attachments.
Image Credit: Activision
New Modern Warfare MP maps returning soon
Killhouse added to Modern Warfare, as two more maps to come soon.
Following the Warzone Season 2 Reloaded update, Modern Warfare received three new maps – Call of Duty 4’s Killhouse, Al-Raab Airbase, and Drainage. Now, the two new maps have been temporarily removed but will return soon, and Killhouse still remains.
Although Call of Duty games usually lose the majority of their player base when the next installment of the franchise releases, Black Ops Cold War’s joint progression system has given Modern Warfare fans a reason to stay. Even while playing 2019’s title, they will continue to increase their rank in Warzone and Cold War.
Modern Warfare’s content lifecycle was set to end in November 2020 with the release of Cold War, but as part of Warzone’s mid-Season 2 update, Activision treated fans to three new maps: Killhouse, Al-Raab Airbase, and Drainage.
Killhouse was, and still is, available in a 24/7 playlist in Modern Warfare’s multiplayer, but Al-Raab and Drainage were only available in private matches. Now, however, Al-Raab and Drainage have been mysteriously removed from the game.
Old-school CoD fans will remember Killhouse well as it made its debut in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare but has also been included in CoD Mobile and Modern Warfare Remastered.
This close-range map, inspired by CoD 4’s tutorial level, F.N.G, is set in a military training warehouse. Although the map is small, it has plenty of cover and obstacles to navigate between.
You can still jump straight into Killhouse by selecting the “Killhouse 24/7” playlist from the Modern Warfare menu.
The other 6v6 map added in this surprise update was Al-Raab Airbase, but it could only be accessed through Private Matches. This map may also be familiar as it appears to be modeled after the Russian airbase Alex and Farah assault in the campaign mission, Proxy War. This map is relatively larger than CoD’s standard 6v6, with plenty of verticality and long lanes to snipe down.
A new Gunfight map, Drainage, was also added to Modern Warfare’s Private Matches. Similar to Airbase, Drainage is large for a 2v2 map, but it will also support 3v3 and other small team game modes. A bridge goes over the map as its standout feature, and there’s a ton of debris on the ground for players to use as cover.
These two maps will be returning to Modern Warfare MP “soon” Infinity Ward says in a new tweet. The maps needed more “love” before they could become available to play.
Infinity Ward never acknowledged the maps being added or taken away, so we don’t know if these are the only changes made to Modern Warfare.
Image Credit: Activision / CODTracker
Cold War’s Dark Aether camos & Gunsmith Customs coming soon to Warzone
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When will Warzone’s PS5 & Xbox Series X update release? Next-gen update in development
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