Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is the most realistic and troubling Call of Duty — Campaign Impressions

Keshav Bhat

Editors Note: Activision Publishing Inc. provided us with travel and lodging to visit Infinity Ward studio for a preview event.

At Infinity Ward, I had a chance to see two campaign missions from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. I posted another article describing what the two missions were but wanted to do a separate post on the overall impressions of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare’s campaign based on what we saw because it was a lot. 

Infinity Ward is pushing the boundaries of realism and brutality in a campaign for Call of Duty since Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2’s No Russian mission. 

And it’s very hard to describe in words how emotional and real these missions were. You really have to see it for yourself to get an understanding of what this all looks like and how it toys with your emotions. There’s parts where you think they’re going to kill a child or hurt someone who is innocent, but they don’t; other parts where you straight up see civilians being murdered. It’s a game that is going to challenge the political climate that exists today, especially with this notion that exists of ‘violence in video games’ for those who do not understand or are part of the gaming industry directly. In many ways, this is the first Call of Duty that is truly deserving of its ‘Mature’ rating. 

And we’ve seen before that Call of Duty can be banned in some countries, and in all honesty, based on my impressions, I feel some countries might reject this game. It’s almost shocking that Activision green lit this game based on the direction it goes in and based on the current political climate the United States has. No Russian is a mission that remains controversial even till today, and this game seems to be just as troubling and pushing that boundary — but beyond just one single mission.  

Beyond the troubling aspects, I also think we’re getting what some people have wanted for a long time with the Call of Duty franchise: a Call of Duty that, beyond being a game, is incredibly real in both the story and graphics wise. This game actually embracesthe idea of being called “Modern Warfare.” It embraces Tier 1 Operators going up against terrorists. Rebel fighters fighting terrorists. Terrorists fighting back. It is a modern war, grounded in reality. 

We have not seen this level of detail, realism, and just absolute grounded story in Call of Duty. I have been with charlieintel since the start — all the way back in 2011 — and there has not been a Call of Duty game during this time that has this real of a story. 

Infinity Ward does not appear to hide from a lot of what’s happening in this world in bringing the experiences to life. And, they made that very clear to us too. They want players to feel an emotional connection to what’s happening, being able to relate to some of the events, and understand the characters’ motivation for why they are fighting and what they are fighting for. The ‘ripped from the headlines’ thing is very key in this game — as we see attacks and battles that could be happening today in this world. And the game is set in 2019 basically. It’s now.

Infinity Ward also says they worked with Navy SEALS to motion capture how they move, how they react, and include that in the game. The Seal raid mission mentioned was using real Seals’ motion capture to that situation and how they act. You can see this come through during the SEAL Raid mission that was shown to us with the movement of the characters, the reaction, and call outs throughout the whole mission.

They also said that the missions we saw, which were already troubling in some ways, are not the most troubling in the game, there’s ones that are more dramatic than this, which is, although exciting in some ways, also worrisome. 

And how this realism and all translates to multiplayer, we’ll have to wait and see as they’re only detailing the campaign at this point.

But from what has been shown thus far of the campaign, it all looks incredible — a story we can relate to, graphics that are the best we’ve ever seen, and so much more for Call of Duty. 

It’s a game I have wanted from Call of Duty for a long time. 

For more of our coverage on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, check out our page for all the news we’ve posted here

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