This year appears to be the return of video game classics, with the release of the Resident Evil 2 remake, WoW Classic and, soon, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. Activision and developer Infinity Ward are bringing back the revolutionary military FPS game, giving it some new paint and new toys for players.
Modern Warfare is a re-imagining of the 2007 Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare originally released for the PS3, PC and Xbox 360, but with some updates. Multiplayer will sport several new modes, including one that lets teams of two compete against each other in small maps and another that lets more than 100 players partake in an all-out war.
Infinity Ward held a livestream on Tuesday to talk about the new Ground War mode that will be available in the upcoming crossplay beta starting Sept. 19. Karst River Quarry is a large map that will have two teams of 32 players battle each other. One of the developers said spawn points are important for the development team because on a map so big they don't want players having to run long distances after respawning. In a Ground War match, players will be able to respawn near a teammate, in a vehicle driven by a teammate or at critical points on the map where all the other teammates should be.
Players who participate in the weekend beta and reach level 10 will receive a 725-shotgun blueprint. Blueprints can be customized in various ways such as changing the barrel or color by the players when they go to the gunsmith.
This weekend's beta will also be the first time a Call of Duty game will have cross-platform play. Players will need to make a CoD account and create a display name that will appear across all platforms. People can form parties with friends on any platform and can speak with each other via in-game voice chat. Each player will have an icon signifying if they're playing on the PS4, Xbox One or PC.
As this is cross-platform play, Infinity Ward also implemented parameters in its matchmaking system to put players with a mouse and keyboard with others using the same. This means those with controllers are likely to play against each other, too. In FPS games, a mouse-and-keyboard is considered to be a superior control option compared with a traditional gamepad, so keeping players separate will help reduce some frustration. However, there may be instances where the two control schemes will play in the same match, for example, if there are a limited number of players available at the time or if players' skill levels are on par with each other.
Infinity Ward also confirmed Tuesday that most post-launch content will appear on all three platforms at the same time. In previous years, one console would receive content days if not weeks before the others depending on what partnership there was with publisher Activision.
What is the release date for Modern Warfare?
Modern Warfare comes out Oct. 25 for the PS4, Xbox One and PC with a Battle.net account. Before its release, there'll be multiple betas, depending on what platform you prefer.
The first PS4 beta started Sept. 12-16 for those who preordered the game. The second beta weekend for all three platforms will take place Sept. 19-23. This'll also test cross-platform play, pitting players from the three platforms against one another, which is a first for the series. Early access to the cross-platform beta starts Sept. 19 for anyone who preordered on PS4, PC or Xbox One, with the open beta starting Sept. 21-23.
Infinity Ward released the PC requirements for the Modern Warfare beta on Wednesday. One important requirement is a graphics card compatible with DirectX 12. Here's the rest needed to run the game:
- OS: Windows 7 64-Bit (SP1) or Windows 10 64-Bit (1709 or later).
- CPU: Intel Core i5 2500k or AMD equivalent.
- Video: Nvidia GeForce GTX 670 2GB / GTX 1650 4GB or AMD Radeon HD 7950.
- RAM: 8GB RAM.
- HDD: 45GB HD space.
And here are the recommended specs for the beta:
- OS: Windows 10 64 Bit (latest Service Pack).
- CPU: Intel Core i7 4770k or AMD equivalent.
- Video: Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 4GB / GTX 1660 6GB or AMD Radeon R9 390 / AMD RX 580.
- RAM: 16GB RAM.
- HDD: 45GB HD space.
Modern Warfare players already in the beta appear to have come across an option for loot boxes. One Twitter user tweeted a screenshot Sept. 12 showing a loot box listed as "common supply drop." It's unclear what's in the box.
Those preordering the game can purchase the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Dark Edition for $200, which will include a pair of working night vision goggles.
A modern retelling
Infinity Ward will officially reveal the details of Modern Warfare's campaign at the end of September. The first trailer shows snippets that will be familiar to fans of the series, including the appearance of SAS Captain John Price, who is a central character in the Modern Warfare games.
The official description for the game says, "Players will engage in breathtaking covert operations alongside a diverse cast of international special forces throughout iconic European cities and volatile expanses of the Middle East."
In the original CoD 4, the leader of a coup in the Middle East is secretly being supported by Russian ultranationalists who want to revert the country to the Cold War era. Players control American and British operatives who are trying to stop nuclear destruction in missions set across the globe. As this is a re-imagining of the game, Modern Warfare may offer an alternate timeline to the events that happened in the original game.
Modern multiplayer madness
Multiplayer is the bread and butter of the Call of Duty series, In Modern Warfare, the game will make some additions, big and small.
On the small side, Infinity Ward developed a new 2vs2 multiplayer called Gunfight. Duos will face off in a small arena and everyone will have the same main weapon, sidearm, lethal grenade and tactical grenade. Players' equipment will change every two rounds and the first team to win six rounds wins the match. Matches can last a few minutes to a few seconds depending on the team.
Modern Warfare will then go big with Ground War, a mode that supports more than 100 players. Early impressions show players will have a big map to play on with vehicles to drive and killstreaks going off left and right.
There will also be the traditional smaller teams of four versus four, six versus six and so on.
The co-op multiplayer Spec Ops will also make a return. Infinity Ward will reveal what will be included in the mode on Oct. 7.
Modern Warfare players who already played in the beta appeared to have come across an option for loot boxes. One Twitter user tweeted a screenshot Sept. 12 showing a loot box listed as "common supply drop." It's unclear what's in the box.
Beta players also noticed that the nuke killstreak is in the game's multiplayer. This was confirmed by a Sept. 12 tweet from Ashton Williams, senior communications manager for Infinity Ward.
In 2009's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, players could call down a nuclear strike after racking up 25 kills in a row. Using a nuke would automatically end the match, and the team with the player who used the killstreak would win the match.
Infinity Ward will also add an extensive number of changes to the game's physics to add another layer of realism. Higher-caliber weapons will penetrate structures better than other weapons, guns can be mounted against surfaces to help reduce recoil and doors can now be breached with grenades. There will also be new finishing moves available for players who get in close to do a knife kill and want to show off a little.
Originally published on Sept. 9 and updated as new information is revealed.