Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Revisited
My quest for Platinum trophies continues with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare from 2019. A little while ago I wrote about my top ten Call of Duty games. You can check out that list here, but if you can’t be arsed, Modern Warfare was number three. I generally enjoyed the campaign, so was looking forward to revisiting it to mop up the trophies I missed.
I’m not going to write much about the story because it’s the usual cobblers about terrorists blowing up people and the soldiers who are trying to stop them. There have always been controversial moments in COD games, but Modern Warfare seemed to take it to another level.
*SPOILER (sort of) * At one point in the game you play as a child who is hiding from Russian soldiers who are killing everyone in her village. The level starts with you under some rubble following an explosion. Your first image is the sight of your dead mother as you try to get out of this horrific situation. Your father finds you and you manage to escape as you search for your brother. Bombs are going off and during the panic the Russians use gas to lay waste to every living thing. When you arrive home a soldier kills your father in front of you and you are forced to play a deadly game of hide and seek. After you and your brother stab the soldier a few times and finally shoot him, you say goodbye to your dying father and are then forced to walk through the gassed village where everyone is dead or dying. You and your brother are hiding from soldiers who are slowly walking around shooting people who haven’t quite been killed by the deadly gas. Later on in the game when you are an adult, you are tortured including being waterboarded and forced to watch as you see your friends shot in front of you. At one point in the game you are put in a position where you threaten to kill the son and wife of a terrorist. There are scenes of people being stabbed and a terrorist attack taking place in Piccadilly Circus where civilians are indiscriminately killed. *END OF SPOILER*
Now, I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy the story campaign of Modern Warfare, but it did seem to be particularly hard hitting. I understand some of these scenes are included to provide motivation for one of the lead characters about why she hates the Russians so much, but I can’t say hand on heart that I gained any pleasure from these sections. The Last of Us games and Bioshock had similar effects on me. Whilst they are compelling and some of the best videogames I’ve ever played, I had a hard time with the subject matter and story in general. This isn’t the fault of the story, but it’s more about my reaction to them. The Last of Us 1 & 2 are generally very tense experiences and I felt emotionally worn out after playing them. I remember feeling very melancholy after I played Bioshock due to the tone, and because children feature which can be set free or killed to make you more powerful. Maybe my age is now a factor and also because I have two young children? Maybe I’ve become more sensitive as a result? Who knows, but I like to play videogames for enjoyment and escapism. Modern Warfare provides a great deal of escapism such as an assault on a house whilst wearing night vision goggles, but is also sprinkled with things that I would defy anyone to say they enjoyed being part of.
Saying all of that there are probably millions of people who will never experience any of this. I’m not sure what the metrics are, but there are a huge number of people who buy Call of Duty games and never play the single player campaign and choose to jump straight into the multiplayer. I find this a bit crazy if I’m honest, but hey ho.
- A short campaign with some excellent graphics. The levels where you wear night vision goggles are especially impressive.
- A superb multiplayer experience featuring some classic modes and some new ones including battle royale mode, Warzone. Put it like this, I spent 144 hours playing Modern Warfare last year!
- Generally straight forward trophies to achieve getting the platinum. Even playing on Veteran difficulty wasn’t too hard as the levels themselves are fairly short with well-placed checkpoints.
The Bad and the Ugly
- Some questionable story choices led to various moral debates. For the most part I enjoyed the campaign, but witnessing unarmed people being slaughtered from the eyes of a child doesn’t really float my boat.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is an excellent package. As I mentioned, I spent the equivalent of 6 days straight playing the superb multiplayer. Whilst the campaign is short, I would question whether it is sweet.