Modern Warfare, less modern gameplay
The retro behind CoD's wallop
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is out now on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360! Wait, hang on, that was 2007. What's going on here?!
Ah, I see. On the same day that Sony "dropped" MediEvil, Activision decided to release the rebooted Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, which is the same name as the original, isn't it? How do they think archivists feel about this? Indexers? It's going to get confusing! Think of the search engines!
Call of Duty, as a series, strikes me as the sort of thing that Retronauts' discerning readership would pour some amount of scorn over. I can understand that, to a degree. It's positioned at the very cutting edge of AAA gaming, which really is the opposite of retro. Despite this, I find the gameplay of Call of Duty in single-player is often gratifyingly old-school. While it's generally ostensibly grounded, the reality is that the games are bonkers on the level of Contra. No aliens, natch, but the frenetic set-pieces and snappy gunplay married with campaigns that really don't outstay their welcome is a recipe for breezy, compulsive experiences.
I freely invite your scorn, but the rollercoaster of madness that was Call of Duty: Ghosts is one of the most singularly memorable, ludicrously joyous gaming experiences I've ever had. Is it a good game? God, no. Christ, no. But it's so deranged, the stakes so relentless in their expansion, the villain so COMPLETELY BAT-(Spit - Ed) INSANE that it called to mind the likes of Contra Hard Corps in its delightful excess. The energy is retro, even though nothing else is.
I expect the new Modern Warfare to have an extremely grim, gritty and "realistic" (by videogame standards) attempt at a story. I anticipate that its gameplay will remain fundamentally identical in every way that counts. To me, it's quite an interesting dichotomy between the aesthetics/presentation and the reality of its very simple, very accessible gameplay. It goes to show that gaming's present and future is so - maybe irreversibly - rooted in its past. Boots on the well-trodden ground.