Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019, Xbox One)

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare cover art

The Call of Duty franchise is one of the biggest, if not the biggest franchise of first-person shooter games in the history of video games. From a World War Two shooter made in 2003 to modern combat, the Vietnam war and futuristic sci-fi story lines, Call of Duty has done it all in the first-person shooter genre. Back in 2007, Call of Duty changed the world of first-person shooter gaming with Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare raised the bar for what other first-person shooter games should play like and a lot of games followed suit. The Call of Duty franchise eventually became very stale with the same old, same old being done with every game and nothing changing. But in 2017, after thirteen main installments in the Call of Duty franchise, there was new life with the release of Call of Duty: World War Two. People were excited again for Call of Duty and I think that Activision, the publishers of the Call of Duty franchise has seen that people wanted more Call of Duty games that were in the same style of the older games, so Call of Duty: Modern Warfare reboot came around in 2019 and boy, what a game it was.

“What the hell kind of name is Soap, eh?”

The game is set in 2019 and it starts with you playing as a CIA officer named Alex. Alex and a squad of marines are trying to seize a shipment of dangerous chemical gases headed for Urzikstan. The marines find enemies which turn out to be Russian soldiers and after killing them they eventually find the gas, but as they’re leaving the compound, unknown assailants ambush them and kill the marines. Alex is staring at the assailants and one of them realises that they weren’t shooting at Russian soldiers like they thought, but American marines. The assailants panic and escape with the gas when they find out Americans were involved.

Alex’s handler in the CIA, Station Chief Kate Laswell realises that this situation is bad and the Russians are annoyed that their soldiers have been killed by Americans so to de-escalate the situation, she brings in an expert and veteran soldier, SAS Captain John Price.

Breach and clear

In London, while the SAS are moving through the streets in a vehicle, suicide bombers blow themselves up all around Piccadilly Circus, killing a lot of innocent civilians. The Suicide bombers were from a terrorist organisation known as Al-Qatala. SAS Sergeant Kyle Garrick, along with Captain Price travel through the streets of London killing terrorists insurgents who are gunning people down in London. Price is impressed by Garrick and wants him to go to Urzikstan with him. In the mean time while all of this is going on, Alex is sent to Urzikstan to meet with the rebels who are trying to overthrow the invading Russian army lead by General Roman Barkov. Alex meets Farah, the leader of the rebels and she agrees to help Alex track down the missing chemical gases as long as Alex helps to take out the Russian army and remove them from Urzikstan.

A main member of Al-Qatala becomes exposed, Omar “The Wolf” Sulaman after a raid on a house led by Garrick and the SAS. They find out that the location of The Wolf is in a hospital in Urzikstan which Alex and the marines raid. They find and apprehend The Wolf, but with this another piece is put onto the chess board with Jamal “The Butcher” Rahar, another member of Al-Qatala. After The Butcher realises that The Wolf is in American custody in the American Embassy, he launches an all out attack against the embassy. Though the SAS, American and rebel forces try to hold onto the The Wolf and keep him in custody, they fail to do so and he is broken out.

Alex, Price, Garrick and Farah

While Farah and the rebels set up an ambush to recapture The Wolf on a highway, the Russians attack both the rebel forces and Al-Qatala. It is here that it is revealed that Farah’s brother, Hadir was the one in the beginning of the game who ambushed the American marines and stole the gas. He told Farah that he wanted to use it to drive away the Russians and Al-Qatala. Hadir sets off the gas and kills all the Russian and Al-Qatala soldiers in the area but he almost killed Farah and Alex also. Hadir then escapes.

The game then goes back to 1999 and it shows Farah and Hadir as children when Russia invades Urzikstan. The streets were bombed and their mother was killed in the bombing. Farah was trapped under a pile of rubble but she was rescued. The Russians then start the invasion properly and Farah’s father brings her home, where Hadir is waiting. A Russian soldier breaks in and kills their father leaving Farah and Hadir to fend for themselves. After a game of cat and mouse throughout the house, the children eventually kill the Russian soldier and attempt to escape through the streets of Urzikstan. They eventually make it outside the city where they see a Russian truck with a few Russian soldiers standing outside it. Through teamwork, Farah and Hadir deal with the Russian soldiers and make it to the truck, but as they enter, Barkov catches them and imprisons them for ten years.

Urzikstan left in ruin by the Russians

Farah rises through the ranks in the rebel forces while in prison and with the help of a younger Captain Price, Farah and Hadir break out of prison. Back in the present, Hadir with seemingly nowhere else to go joins forces with Al-Qatala to fight the Russian invasion. Farah and Price find out where The Wolf is hiding, infiltrate his compound and they end up killing him once and for all. Alex is told by Kate that because the gas is still out there, the rebel forces are deemed a terrorist organisation by the American government. Alex is absolutely outraged by this and vows to stay in Urzikstan to aid the fight with Farah.

With Intel that Russia is about to be attacked by Al-Qatala and Hadir, the SAS lead by Price heads to St. Petersburg in Russia. While there they meet up with an old acquaintance of Price’s named, Nikolai. Nikolai has information on The Butcher which eventually leads to his capture by the SAS. The Butcher refuses to cooperate with Price, even under interrogation so Price uses The Butchers wife and child as leverage and eventually he complies. The Butcher tells them that Hadir is on his way to attack and kill General Barkov at his estate in Moldova. Price and Garrick find Hadir at the estate and he tells them about the gas factory that is owned by Barkov, but Kate Laswell drops down and tells Price that Hadir is wanted by the Russian government. Price hands over Hadir but keeps the Intel on the gas factory.

With everyone together including help from Laswell, they all converge and attack Barkov’s gas factory. Nikolai brought explosives to use to destroy the gas factory but in the battle the detonator gets damaged and the explosives have to be set off manually. Alex volunteers to stay behind and set off the explosives. While all of this is going on, Barkov attempts to leave the factory by helicopter but Farah catches up with him and eventually kills him, finishing this once and for all. After all of this, Farah, Price and the rest of the allied forces leave the factory as Alex, sacrificing himself detonates the explosives.

At the end, Barkov was disowned by the Russian government. Captain Price meets with Laswell and tells her that he wants to set up a new task force for called Task Force 141 to deal with any future problems and one in particular called Victor Zakhaev. Price shows Laswell some profiles of people he wants on this task force and they are as follows: Garrick, John “Soap” McTavish and Simon “Ghost” Riley. Zakhaev along with Soap and Ghost are all characters from the previous Modern Warfare games. END OF STORY.

Going dark!

So onto the game, the game was developed by Infinity Ward, who developed all the other Modern Warfare games. The game play itself had me feeling strange. In one way it felt like every other Call of Duty game I ever played. It was fast, a lot of fun, very fluid and an enjoyable experience, though done to death. But in another way, it felt like Call of Duty upgraded. The atmosphere was a lot more tense, the combat felt more dangerous and threatening and because of all of that, the game play felt a lot more exciting. Some of the missions such as “Going Dark” and “Clean House” were some of the most intense first-person shooter missions I have ever played in a video game and they had the hair on the back of my neck completely standing. I was on the edge of my seat and totally immersed in the missions and trying my hardest not to make mistakes and kill innocent civilians. This level of intensity and detail are some things that I definitely feel are needed in a modern combat war game setting.

Graphically the game looked absolutely stunning. The character models were beautifully and very highly detailed. A new engine was used for this game which allowed better lighting, more detailed environments and ray tracing. The landscapes were great looking especially Piccadilly Circus in London. During that mission, with all the chaos and noise, explosions and other things going on, it gave me a slight idea what an actual attack like this would be like, not that I would want to know, but it seemed eerily realistic.

Piccadilly attack

The music in the game composed by Sarah Schachner is absolutely incredible. I loved the soundtrack from the first moment I heard. Their is an element of seriousness and sadness to the main theme song of the game which I feel Call of Duty was sorely lacking over the last few games. When you hear the main theme in this game it gives you the feeling of “take this seriously because it is a serious subject matter” and I did and from taking it seriously I enjoyed the game a lot. I got all this just from the main theme song, the rest of the soundtrack is equally as epic and thought provoking and something that I thoroughly enjoyed while playing the game or just doing my own thing.

Apart from the main story there are also spec ops missions which is a multiplayer cooperative objective based game mode. It follows on from the death of The Wolf from the main story and it’s all about a new leader taking over Al-Qatala and how a combined force of the best fighters around the world called the armistice are coming together to stop Al-Qatala. Other than that, there is the multiplayer mode with Death match, Domination and other such game modes, the bread and butter of Call of Duty games. It’s fine, it’s fun and it is pretty enjoyable but still very same old, same old.

So after all of that I think it is finally time to get into the scoring of the game:

Graphics: Beautifully detailed, very realistic and amazing lighting 10/10

Sound: Fantastic soundtrack full of thought provoking tracks and the sounds of the game are pretty awesome too. 10/10

Game play: Good gun play, fast combat, fun and quite tense but still nothing new 9/10

Worth: Yes, it is worth it even just for the Modern Warfare story line. If you’re looking to play online any other COD game would do the same job. 8/10

Story: Pretty good story with an interesting ending, leaving me wanting more. 7/10

Total: 88/100 B+

I hope you enjoyed my review and as always, thanks for reading!

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