5 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Changes It Needs to Be Great

By Cody Perez

June 8, 2019

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modern warfare changes

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is the fourth main entry in the subseries of the franchise from Infinity Ward and is acting as a reboot of sorts. While some of the characters might stay the same, the themes and plot are changing quite a bit to fit in today’s climate.

Multiplayer and the other game modes are changing as well, as we know that Zombies won’t be in the game and that it will have cross-play. These are major Modern Warfare changes that are going to shift what players think of it and how successful it is.

But it doesn’t have to end there. There are more Modern Warfare changes that I believe need to happen for the game to be as great as it can be and a worthy follow-up for fans to enjoy.

Why Modern Warfare Needs to Change

But before I get into the changes that I think need to happen, why does it have to change in the first place? Well, previous games in the series have made controversial changes or mistakes that resulted in games that weren’t well received by both critics and fans alike.

The shooting and setting in Infinite Warfare weren’t well received by players, Ghosts before that was disliked by a large group of players for its content, Black Ops 4 was criticized for its lack of singleplayer story and copy-pasted multiplayer, and those are only some of the problems.

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Considering that this is a reboot from the core studio that created the first Call of Duty, the stage is set nicely for this game to be a reboot for the entire franchise as a whole. It has the opportunity to not only fix the mistakes from the past but usher in a better future for the franchise to ensure it remains a quality experience.

As such, here are just a few of the Modern Warfare changes that I believe need to happen so that the game can succeed both commercially and critically in the eyes of fans and critics alike.

1. Nuanced Story

We already know that this game is going to bring back a singleplayer campaign that was sorely lacking in the previous Call of Duty game. In fact, we know quite a bit about the story, much more than the other elements of the game.

For one, the story is meant to be current to today’s political and social climate. What worked 10 years ago in a Call of Duty game doesn’t work today when terrorism and other elements have changed and are rampant in the news and society.

Call of Duty No Russian Screenshot

The developers have said they aim to channel the spirit of MW2’s infamous “No Russian” level

Modern Warfare seems to already be taking that approach seriously from what’s been shown off thus far, but it needs to stick the landing well. It can’t only tackle the subjects that are relevant to today’s culture like racism and terrorism just for the sake of doing it and being relevant.

The story needs to have nuance and present itself in a way that doesn’t shy away from the harsh topics that people deal with every day but also not do it in a way that glorifies actions or lacks the utmost respect.

For example, I don’t think it’s wrong for the story to have a mission where you play as a child in a harsh, war-torn environment. This is already confirmed for the game, and it’s fine to show some sensitive subjects like that.

My only wish is that it does so in a nuanced way. There needs to be a reason for it to be shown to the player and, more importantly, it needs to have relevance to the storyline. If it’s meant to show the motivations of a main character when they’re older, that’s great.

At the same time, though, it can’t just be controversial for the sake of being controversial. The sensitive material needs to be handled with care. It’s a very thin line that Infinity Ward will need to walk in order to accomplish this task.

It isn’t going to be easy, and I’m honestly not fully confident that Infinity Ward is capable of doing it, but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen. In fact, it’s one of the Modern Warfare changes that need to happen for the game to truly stay relevant.

With games like God of War reinventing itself for a modern audience, there’s no reason that Call of Duty can’t do the same with its singleplayer campaign.

2. Multiplayer That Matters

The Modern Warfare changes don’t end with just the singleplayer campaign, though. As I mentioned earlier, Black Ops 4 failed miserably in terms of its traditional multiplayer element, at least in my opinion. Much of the content looked and felt just like the Black Ops 3.

The maps seemed to be copy-pasted from the previous game, the lack of exosuits made those same maps feel even worse than they did before, and the gameplay was hurt because of this. It did seem like the traditional multiplayer felt like an afterthought compared to the Blackout battle royale mode.

This can’t be the same case with Modern Warfare. It needs to have meaningful multiplayer that can keep fans playing for years to come, as was the case with every previous Modern Warfare game. At the same time, though, it needs to innovate.

For starters, the maps need to be hand-designed with only this game in mind. It’s fine to take inspiration from previous games, but it should remain only an inspiration. Each map in multiplayer should have assets and a design that is wholly unique to it.

Better yet, the maps should be designed in a way that fits the gameplay feel of the game. Modern Warfare isn’t going to play like Modern Warfare 3 because they’re different games, so its maps shouldn’t feel the same either.

It would be awesome if the maps could take cues from locations that players visit in the main campaign. If there was a massive battle in a certain city, why not have a map held there? This same attention to detail needs to be given to the modes in multiplayer, too.

It’s totally fine to have the expected modes of Domination and Kill Confirmed, but my hope is that Infinity Ward isn’t afraid to try new things, too. Continue the general theme of Modern Warfare and put some twists on familiar modes that players already love while introducing new ones that stand out for trying something new.

3. Next Iteration of Blackout

Speaking of multiplayer, Black Ops 3 added to its multiplayer offering by introducing a new mode called Blackout. Taking inspiration from other battle royale games like PUBG, this new mode brought the tried and true first-person shooter gameplay of Call of Duty to a battle royale format.

It worked really well and is the best feature of that whole game. Oddly enough, though, it still isn’t its own standalone mode, and it requires you to own the base game. I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing (that’s a post for another time), but what would be wrong is to ignore Blackout in Modern Warfare.

I think that the next iteration of Blackout needs to be in Modern Warfare, without a doubt. It doesn’t have to be called Blackout; a new name is totally fine as long as it replaces Treyarch’s battle royale mode. It would be interesting, too, to see what Infinity Ward is able to come up with.

Because they are two different studios, it would be nice to see some of Infinity Ward’s unique twists on battle royale be in the mode. Whether it’s implementing night vision goggles for nighttime and dark sections of the map or new vehicles to traverse in, there are some great ways to mix it up.

Another important element that the battle royale mode will need is a brand-new map. Playing on the same old map but changed up just won’t do, so there needs to be a new place with locations that we haven’t seen before in Blackout.

There could be a snow area, more vertically-focused terrain, dense forests, a jungle, and so on. There is a lot that the main Blackout map is lacking in Black Ops 3, and Infinity Ward’s take on it could fill the gap with a more diverse setting.

4. A True Replacement for Zombies

It seems like for this game and the previous one, Black Ops 4, that something integral to the Call of Duty formula has been stripped away for one reason or another. For the latter, Treyarch took away the singleplayer story campaign that had been part of every mainline game to date.

In terms of the former, though, this upcoming fourth entry/reboot in the series is taking away the Zombies mode for the first time in a very long time from an Infinity Ward title. To me, this is just as big of a disappointment as the lack of a singleplayer campaign would have been — perhaps even more so.

Call of Duty Zombies Gif

For some players, Zombies was the only reason to buy new Call of Duty games

This is because Infinity Ward took the Zombies formula that Treyarch created and did some unique twists on it in the past. While it isn’t surprising, it is an unfortunate choice. It’s my hope that Infinity Ward has something planned to replace Zombies that makes sense and has quality to it.

This extra mode could be in the form of a wave-based mode, like in Modern Warfare 3, where you fight against waves of enemy soldiers and vehicles rather than the undead. I wasn’t the biggest fan of that mode, but with the right improvements to it, it could work.

On the other hand, it would be great to see a cooperative campaign mode where players can work together locally and online to complete story-based missions. Better yet, Infinity Ward could just surprise us with a mode we’ve never thought of, and that would work, too.

I also understand if the battle royale replacement for Blackout is what will fill the gap of missing a Zombies mode. If that’s the case, though, it only emphasizes what I mentioned in the previous section that the developer will need to improve upon it and make it be different from Blackout.

Regardless of what the replacement for Zombies is, there needs to be a feature there as an option for players. Having a story campaign again is great, but it won’t be enough to make players keep coming back to play it more.

5. All-Encompassing Battle Pass/Progression

Infinity Ward promises that Modern Warfare will have progression that will tie the singleplayer and multiplayer modes together, and I would like to see it deliver on this promise. One way that it can is with an improved battle pass and overall progression system.

First and foremost, the game needs to have some form of tiers crossover through both the campaign and multiplayer. If you are playing through missions offline, they should still count towards leveling up your tier and rank just like it would if you were playing multiplayer.

This level of choice benefits players and doesn’t make it seem like you are only being rewarded if you play online against other players. This can ensure that players receive skins for their characters, weapons, and more no matter which mode they choose to play.

This also encourages the players who typically only stick to playing multiplayer to try out the — hopefully — nuanced story missions when they might not have otherwise. Balancing the rewards and points that you get from the various modes will be a challenge, but it’s worth dedicating time and effort to it.

Speaking of challenges, Infinity Ward should introduce challenges to the game, too. Fortnite keeps players engaged and playing the game by introducing challenges to complete on a regular basis. Modern Warfare could do the same by offering weekly or even daily challenges to all of its modes.

For example, the story mode could have its own set of challenges that revolve around “complete this specific mission” or “finish a mission on the hardest difficulty level.” At the same time, multiplayer could have “complete so many matches” and so on.

These challenges could then reward players with quicker progression through the seasonal battle pass. It would also make sure players have their favorite mode catered to so that they feel more inclined to keep playing it. Modern Warfare changes like this would help the game be as successful as it can be.

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