Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Preview – Infinity Ward’s latest could be the series’ best in years

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is the next entry in Activision's blockbuster shooter franchise, and is intended as a soft reboot of Infinity Ward's 2007 classic. We've compiled all the latest news, gameplay details and our hands-on preview from Gamescom 2019.

Infinity Ward is returning to the name that helped define its identity in 2019, set to release a reimagined version of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. While it maintains some of the characters and locations we’re familiar with, this is a completely new experience.

Arriving on PS4, Xbox One and PC later this year, the new Modern Warfare makes some major advancements to the shooter blockbuster with a new engine, a greater emphasis on storytelling and some serious shake-ups to core gameplay mechanics.

Trusted Reviews has compiled everything you need to know about Call of Duty: Modern Warfare including all the latest news, release date, gameplay trailers, and our hands-on preview for Gamescom 2019. 

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Modern Warfare

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Multiplayer Preview

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is an unusual beast. It’s intended as the beginning of a re-imagined franchise, taking one of the most beloved shooter trilogies of all-time and hurling it into a new era. Infinity Ward has tasked itself with living up to a legacy itself created, and that starts with nailing what helped define it all those years ago – online multiplayer. 

At Gamescom 2019, I had a chance to delve into a brand-new mode known as Gunfight across one of the equally new Dark Maps. These grim, claustrophobic battlegrounds are filled with tight corners and pesky obstacles that make it hard to predict an opponent’s movements, and that’s without factoring in the encroaching darkness. 

This specific playlist sees two duos of soldiers facing off against one another, weapon loadouts changing with each passing round to further emphasise the need for sudden experimentation. My partner and I proceeded to get absolutely demolished by the competition, managing to fit in a handful of kills between the bouts of embarrassment. 

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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare

If anything, this thrashing only helped me appreciate how poignant the atmosphere created by Infinity Ward can be. At least in this mode, gone are the erratic twitch-shooting and foul language that helped defined the series, replaced by a grim aesthetic further punctuated by weapons that simple feel heavy in your grip, with each bullet capable of tearing through whatever it touches. 

It’s somewhat unsettling, especially when in the fearful darkness I happened to blast an approaching marine away with a well-placed shot of my Desert Eagle. Sadly, at times the environments felt far too small for concise strategy, so any victories did not feel like a genuine result of skill. Upon spawning, you can wait five seconds, hurl a grenade and hope for the best. The map was so tiny that there was always a chance I’d nail the enemy. Otherwise, simply go prone and wait for the pesky buggers to move in one of only a few directions they can proceed in. 

Getting picked off was so easy that it became a source of frustration, feeling like I didn’t have a chance to react or even fight back with the loadout I’m christened with. Obviously, like any Call of Duty, things will change as you level up and curate an arsenal that perfectly fits your playstyle. But here, the pacing seldom left a good impression. Which is a shame, since the gunplay is oftentimes incredible. 

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Call of Duty Modern Warfare Preview

Everything simply feels heavier. Rifles weigh down your arms while high-calibre pistols fling back violently with the firing of each round. Infinity Ward’s new vision of modern warfare is darker, grittier, but not uncompromising; it feels like the aim is to present a more realistic form of combat without sacrificing what makes the franchise so beloved in the first place. It’s like peanut butter and jelly, but someone got Counter Strike in your Call of Duty. 

Outside of Gunfight, I can see traditional playlists such as Team Deathmatch and Search and Destroy being completely transformed by this new method of gunplay, allowing players to approach things in a way the franchise simply hasn’t allowed for in the past. Pumping a clip into enemy insurgents while rushing towards the objective, aiming down sights as you reload knowing that each passing moment could be your last. 

Despite the anxiety that accompanies them, anecdotes like this are what make multiplayer shooters so memorable. Time spent with your friends overcoming odds that once felt insurmountable. Of course, Modern Warfare could potentially morph into the same addictive twitch shooter it’s always been, but I feel some mechanical strides have been made to create something different, and I really, really hope the audience embraces it. 

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Call of Duty Modern Warfare Preview

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Multiplayer preview – First Impressions

Having only sampled one mode in a largely claustrophobic night map it’s far too early to draw conclusions on Modern Warfare’s multiplayer. What I can say is the movement, gunplay and overall atmosphere has huge potential, perhaps more than the franchise has had in several years. If the stars align, this bold reworking of the 2007 classic might just make a similar impact.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Multiplayer – All the info from the initial reveal

The multiplayer reveal for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare has come and gone, bringing with it an avalanche of new information for the upcoming shooter. If we’re honest, Infinity Ward has managed to surpass expectations with a back-to-basics experience that harkens back to the 2007 classic. This includes the return of killstreaks, fast-paced gunplay and a few surprising additions we’re keen to play around with. 

Firstly, Modern Warfare will support cross-platform multiplayer at launch, allowing you to team up with and play against players across consoles and PC. This is a huge feature, and a positive sign for huge franchises going forward. We just hope there’s a way to differentiate between players using controllers against mouse and keyboard. Otherwise, we’ll be in for a tough time. 

Modern Warfare will feature a variety of new and returning multiplayer modes, all of which we’ve compiled below in an easy to consume list: 

  • Team Deathmatch
  • Free For All
  • Search and Destroy 
  • Domination
  • Gunfight
  • Cyber Attack
  • Headquarters 
  • Ground War

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So, despite some big changes being made to the overall formula, players should feel firmly at home with a selection of modes that have occupied the franchise for literal decades at this point. That, and nothing beats topping the final three in a tense game of free-for-all. Take no prisoners! In terms of killstreaks and maps, we also have concrete information of which ones are set to appear in Modern Warfare. This list is subject to change before launch, but check them all out below: 

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Multiplayer Maps – Every confirmed battleground so far

  • Aniyah Palace
  • Azhir Cave
  • Grazna Raid
  • Gun Runner
  • Euphrates Bridge

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Multiplayer Killstreaks  – All the rewards you can use

  • AV
  • Counter UAV
  • Care Package
  • Cluster Strike
  • Cruise Missile
  • Precision Airstrike
  • Wheelson
  • Infantry Assault Vehicle
  • Emergency Airdrop
  • VTOL Jet
  • Chopper Gunner
  • White Phosphorus
  • Support Helo
  • Gunship
  • Advanced UAV
  • Juggernaut 
  • Tactical Nuke

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Modern Warfare

Call of Duty Modern Warfare release date – when is it coming out?

Activision has confirmed that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare will be launching for PS4, Xbox One and PC on October 25, 2019.

Call of Duty Modern Warfare multiplayer beta – when is it?

The multiplayer beta will be split into two weekend periods, the first of which will be exclusive to players who pre-ordered on PS4. The dates are as follows:

Weekend 1:

  • September 12-13: (PS4 Early Access)
  • September 14-16: (PS4 Open Beta)

Weekend 2: 

  • September 19-20: (Early Access XBO and PC. Open Beta on PS4)
  • September 21-23: Open Beta on all platforms)

Call of Duty Modern Warfare Trailer – How does it look?

You can check out the reveal trailer for Modern Warfare below:

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Call of Duty Modern Warfare Gameplay – how does it play?

If you’ve played Call of Duty in the past decade, the core concepts of Modern Warfare will be immediately familiar to you. It’s all about, fast, responsive shooting across the solo campaign and a variety of multiplayer modes. However, Modern Warfare pulls pack the futuristic tropes seen in previous entries to focus on something more grounded. For starters, don’t expect any sliding, wall-running or jetpacks in this one.

Infinity Ward has confirmed it is not set in the same universe as the original trilogy, intended as a complete re-imagining of the story we know and love. However, it will see the return of beloved characters such as Captain Price. Here’s hoping Gaz, Soap, and Roach make a welcome return, too. There will be a solo campaign, with the narrative focusing on Russia and the Middle East, which sounds similar to the original trio of games.

When it comes to multiplayer, you can of course expect the usual selection of weapons, killstreaks and meaningful routes of progress as you play with friends and rank up. Infinity Ward has also said that campaign progression will carry over to multiplayer, so you’ll always be rewarded for playing Modern Warfare. Cross-play is also confirmed across all three platforms, which is a major change for the series, and we’re totally on board.

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