Judging strictly from this Open Beta, the Call of Duty franchise appears to be trending in the right direction.
The Modern Warfare Open Beta has been a ton of fun. It’s probably the most fun I’ve had with a CoD title in quite some time. Which, considering this is just a beta, tells you two things. First, Modern Warfare must be really good so far. And second, it’s a little sad that an Open Beta has brought on more excitement than the past few installments of this franchise.
However, this beta wasn’t a perfect gaming experience filled with unicorns, rainbows, and flying tanks. Modern Warfare has its fair share of problems that I hope are corrected by launch time (That flying tank post below is one of them). It’s also important to note the obvious. This was a beta and all of the opinions I have about the game can easily change come this October at launch.
The gameplay and animations in Modern Warfare are remarkably smooth. From reloading your weapons to sliding to even looking around corners (we’ll get to that in a second), everything is fluid and responsive. The gunplay is nothing short of phenomenal. Although weapons like the MP5 and M4 are overpowered, most weapons are a blast to use.
Going into this beta, I was reading concerns from those on this grand place called the internet stating that the TTK was too quick. TTK means Time To Kill, or how many bullets it takes to kill someone in a firefight. For me, the TTK was not an issue. Other than a handful of random encounters in my many hours in the beta, I had ample time to react to people in a firefight.
The beta feels much like the old school Call of Duty that many gamers grew up with but with some awesome additions. Peeking around corners like something out of a Tom Clancy game is a mechanic I’ve personally wanted in Call of Duty since Modern Warfare 2. You’re not completely safe while you are glancing behind a corner or over a wooden crate but it does give you a little more cover. The “Tactical Sprint”, or what I’m calling the “Super Sprint”, is another small but meaningful addition to the gameplay. You can run a little faster for a short duration by clicking the sprint button but if you encounter an enemy, it’ll take a longer for you to get your gun ready.
Field Upgrades can help your team in many ways. This is basically your third piece of equipment that will charge back up over time. You can use a Deployable Cover, Stopping Power Rounds, Ammo Boxes, a Recon Drone to spot out enemies, and much more to aid your squad in battle. This all gives the gameplay a new coat of paint, so to speak. Cross-Play is another win so far. As it’s already been said on social media, a PlayStation vs. Xbox Playlist would be cool to see down the line.
#ModernWarfare really needs to have a PS4 vs. Xbox One playlist.
Just imagine the voice chat in that lobby. ?
— Call of Duty News (@charlieINTEL) September 20, 2019
Another way Modern Warfare thrives is with its variety in game modes. There’s something for any FPS fan here. Do you want a quick, tactical experience? Try the 2v2 Gunfight. You want to play an objective-based game mode, try either Headquarters or 10v10 Headquarters (if you’re feeling lucky). And if you want to play a mode that is essentially Battlefield fueled on a six-pack of Mountain Dew and Doritos, the 32v32 Ground War is the way to go.
The 32v32 Ground War has gotten everyone’s attention and there’s a good reason why. It’s high-octane, non-stop action with vehicles and killstreaks constantly draping over the map. It may sound overbearing at first but it’s one of those modes that have you saying “Okay, just one more game and then I’m hopping off.” after every match. My only critiques here are that the vehicle controls are a bit clunky and the spawn system.
There’s been a lot of praise in this impressions article so far. The Modern Warfare beta was, by all accounts, awesome. But, it was nowhere near perfect and featured a plethora of issues. The top of that list for me has to be the spawn system. Across nearly every mode in the beta, spawning is terrible. Enemies spawn on top of you, you spawn right behind or in front of them, and it’s entirely too easy to spawn-trap a team in the smaller modes. Call of Duty usually has spawn system problems every year but Modern Warfare’s stands out as one of the worst in some time.
Visuals for your character and weapon are top-notch but I can’t say the same for the maps (which are hit or miss in terms of quality). For the most part, they look unrefined. Again, this is just a beta so there’s a chance the visuals will improve come launch. My final gripe is with the servers. I had a squad of 3-4 people for most of my playtime in the beta. Unfortunately, after every game, it would stick us in a lobby with the caption “Connecting to Matchmaking Services” at the top of the screen. To fix this and actually find a game, one of us would have to leave the party, start a new one, and invite everyone back.
Customization is something I have vastly enjoyed so far, especially the Gunsmith. You have 5 attachments you can put on your primary weapon and there are a ton of them to choose from. Each with their own positive and negative traits. You even have a Perk you can equip that will give you things like “Sleight of Hand” and “FMJ” rounds. All in all, this has led to more variety in my classes and more experimentation to see what works best for me. Another stellar addition to customization is the ability to edit your class at any time during a match. So, if a new scope isn’t working for me, I can revert to my old setup as soon as I respawn.
Overall, Modern Warfare appears to showcase the best gameplay from a Call of Duty title in quite some time. Additions like peering around corners, Field Upgrades, super sprint, the Gunsmith, and the new game modes (especially 32v32 Ground War) all give the Call of Duty franchise a much-needed facelift. If this beta is any indicator, Modern Warfare is a major step in the right direction for this series. However, it also raises some concerns for the full-game. Server issues are no stranger to this franchise. The same can be said for crazy glitches and the atrocious spawn system. However, this is what a beta is for. Figuring out what works and what doesn’t. Infinity Ward has listened to our feedback on the game thus far and the mini-map criticisms prove that. Hopefully, they’ll do the same with everyone’s issues with this beta.