Call of Duty games of recent hasn’t been particularly inspired. Even when Activision tried to remaster a classic title with Modern Warfare Remastered they still managed to get things completely wrong. The recent news that Modern Warfare 2019 will be cross-platform and not feature a season pass are huge steps in the right direction. However, that alone won’t be enough. Here are the other things Call of Duty 2019 will need to be great.
5. Don’t Be Too Slow Paced
One harsh reality realized by myself when playing Modern Warfare Remastered is that slow paced Call of Duty gameplay isn’t fun anymore. During the Modern Military Shooter era of gaming, this format worked but industry innovations have left slower paced FPS behind. In the age of Fortnite, Overwatch and Apex Legends, the demand for old school Call of Duty gameplay feels arbitrary.
Whilst not executed perfectly, games like Advanced Warfare and Black Ops 3 had the right intentions. Obviously, Modern Warfare will not feature exo movement or jet boosters but I would like to see a higher base movement speed than the original. Fast mantling, gun swapping, and generally quicker movement all feel far more natural and satisfying to me. Trying to create the exact same gameplay experience of older Call of Duty’s will most likely backfire.
4. Not Too Small, Not Too Big
Those who played Ghosts know all too well what happens when maps are designed too big. You spend half the game looking for players and camping playstyles are heavily encouraged. The Call of Duty fanbase hasn’t exactly been a fan of large maps as a whole anyway. Modern Warfare 2‘s Fuel and Wasteland come to mind most when I think of terrible, big maps.
Too small isn’t a good idea either though. I know many in the Call of Duty community are fond of tiny maps such as Nuketown and Rust. I couldn’t disagree more with these people. These tiny maps are the bane of my existence. Their fundamental design just causes spawn killing and unfun, momentum-based killstreaks to flood every lobby involving them. It’s the classic fun for the winner, horrible for the loser mentality. I still want Modern Warfare to feature a degree of variety but I think Infinity Ward should focus on verticality rather than size. CoD maps haven’t made the most of vertical map design and that’s a real shame. Battles for high ground and more interesting flank routes could offer something different to the over-used, flat, three-lane maps that are everywhere in Call of Duty now.
3. The Class System is Fine, Stop Messing With It
Call of Duty WW2 completely dumped the pick-10 system for seemingly no good reason. Established in Black Ops 2, the pick-10 system worked much as the name suggests. You have 10 points to select a class from with each individual item using up one point. Every gun, attachment, perk, and equipment can be used in a class as long as you still have points free. It encourages unique classes and freedom to play how you want.
Black Ops 4 did bring this back but I fear with the initial focus to make Modern Warfare like the originals they may drop this again. Call of Duty 4, Modern Warfare 2 and Modern Warfare 3 all had bad class systems that are outdated by today’s standards. Bring back a well-made class-10 system and stop changing things that were already as good as they were ever going to be. Also, bin specialists whilst you’re at it. They were never a good idea in the first place.
2. Dedicated Servers are a Must
I fully expect Modern Warfare to feature dedicated servers from day one across all platforms. Peer to peer is a bad system used by lazy developers who don’t want to invest in their title. Call of Duty has used a mix of P2P and dedicated servers throughout its history. The format of having one player host a lobby for up to 16 people is just ridiculous. The fact Activision still try to see if they can get away with this with certain CoDs is in itself kind of sad.
Dedicated servers are also a necessity if Activision wants Modern Warfare to be taken seriously as an eSport. The Call of Duty Championship is fairly large but without a proper Open Division format to get players involved, standard ranked ladders are used instead. Not having dedicated servers for any kind of serious competitive play ruins the entire experience for ladder players.
1. Can We Get a Good PC Port for Once?
Call of Duty on PC is a sad sight. Most games will release, have an active population for a couple of months and then drop off a cliff shortly after. One of the biggest problems the PC versions have to overcome is that poor optimization by the developers leads to high spec requirements. Considering Call of Duty has never been a good looking game, it never made sense that most CoD titles on PC have some of the steepest hardware requirements in the industry. They are especially tough on RAM with 16gb being a minimum to run any newer Call of Duty somewhat competently.
Other PC shooters make an effort to be accessible in order to maintain a long-term, healthy player base. It’s the primary reason games like Overwatch and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has been so successful. Call of Duty on PC has also suffered from years of basic port failures like a lack of FoV options, frame pacing problems, and common crashing. Infinity Ward has a bad track record with PC ports but this year they have a chance to change that with Modern Warfare.
These five things alone won’t necessarily fix Call of Duty but they will do a lot of good for the franchise. If they can get these core issues addressed and keep up the positive work we’ve already seen then Modern Warfare could be a special reboot. This is a genuine chance for Call of Duty to prove it can still be an innovative, great FPS title. I just hope Activision don’t get too greedy and mess it up like they did Modern Warfare Remastered.