Bravo Six, Going Dark


Alexander Gray

Photo of protagonists from the Modern Warfare campaign with the background being from the mission “Highway of Death.” (Photo courtesy of Alexander Gray).

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is exactly what this franchise needed to redirect the series back into the spotlight of greatness. Despite the flaws and bugs this game has launched with, it is currently my favorite Call of Duty because of the direction of gameplay, story, and that sweet new game engine.

*Spoiler warning

The True Side of War (The Story)

In the past, Call of Duty’s campaign has gone away from the realism of war in favor of a cartoonish style of story where the bad guys are beaten and everyone lives happily ever after. However, the tone has changed with the newest installment, going for a more gritty and realistic world of war with hard choices that are faced every day. This addition is something I’m actually happy about as it enriches the story experience, building physical and moral conflict. This is highlighted by the warning about graphic and disturbing content before you enter the story mode.

The story in total is about 4-5 hours long. That length will be even longer on higher difficulties. However, I can’t recommend enough that you start on normal difficulty, as I had a pretty hard challenge on normal difficulty, most likely due to the decreased “time to kill,” or how fast a player absorbs damage.

With that, you also don’t have the boring overused street fights we’ve come to know in the past Call of Duty stories. The developers made sure to mix up the gameplay, from stealth missions to an escort mission directing a civilian through cameras. All these changes provide refreshing breaks from the combat.

The story is dark and we see that in the first opening cutscenes where it wastes no time introducing the terrorist organization “Al-Qatar” and the first terrorist attack in London, which lead up to the mission “Piccadilly”. I was incredibly surprised how fast the tone turned dark. This tone stays throughout the deterioration of the story.

During the terrorist attack in Piccadilly, you watch your shots as crowds of civilians are fleeing from danger. If you accidentally shoot a civilian, you instantly lose the mission. Compile that with the mix of gunfire and suicide bombers, and you have the most intense mission in the game. The mission ultimately ends with a hostage situation with one hostage having a bomb strapped to him and not enough time to defuse the bomb, ultimately leading to throwing him away from the other hostages.

The campaign also takes a look at how war affects citizens in third world countries. The mission “Hometown” focuses from the perspective of a child and the effects of bombings from the Russian military. It makes for a terrifying mission, as later in the mission, you are playing a “Life or Death” game of Hide and Seek with a Russian soldier who tracked your family to your house and is hunting you down. Even later in the mission, you are trying to escape the gas infected town as Russians roam the streets, taking people to camps.

Overall, I was incredibly happy with the campaign’s tone and gameplay, as it made for a refreshing and great experience in the campaign.

The Land Of Crossplay and Campers (Multiplayer)

The Multiplayer has been both a fun and annoying experience. They’ve revamped multiplayer with the removal of hated features from past iterations and the implementation of crossplay. It is definitely a step up from last year’s game, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, which was plagued with technical issues, bugs, chat lag, and the most predatory microtransaction system seen in the whole game series.

The developers have done away with the boring and lazy three-lane system from previous iterations, leading to more complex map design with strong points in the map which guarantee your team winning if you hold them.

However, there’s a key problem with complex map design; it leads to camping, or staying in one position for the whole game). So now, in every multiplayer map you are guaranteed to find someone who is camping corner with a shotgun and surrounded by claymores (mines) which is super annoying at times.

Back to the positives however, the developers have decided to add crossplay. For the first time ever, you will be able to play with friends on Xbox One, PC, and Playstation 4. Along with that, PC and Xbox players playing with keyboard and mouse will be separated from controller users to keep things balanced.

One of the best introductions, in my opinion, is the new Ground War mode. A 32v32 mode that is similar to conquest on the Battlefield games, where both teams duke it out to capture and hold points across the map until one team reaches the score limit. There is another way to win the match by capturing and holding all points for 45 seconds, Defcon will activate and a nuke will drop, ending the match, which is a nice little alternative way to end the match.

The new create-a-class system is probably my favorite part of multiplayer, which is replacing the pick-ten system. The new create-a-class system allows you to fill all the slots in your class with the added bonus of the new gunsmith mode, where you can edit your weapons attachments, perks, and features, all with a pro and con system.

Currently, they haven’t implemented their new microtransaction system, so we don’t know if that will have a positive or negative effect on the gameplay and matches.

The Story Continues (Spec-Ops)

Spec-Ops, or Special Operations, mode returns to CoD with a twist. Now, it’s continuing the story with four-player co-op operations, including one mission where you hijack a plane. In the operations, you select skills that are essential to your team moving forward. Along with those powerups, you can find equipment in the operations that will help you along the way.

I highly recommend doing these with friends so you can talk to them, as going into public lobbies with random players isn’t going to work well because there is no forced game chat. Communication is essential to these operations because without it you’re not going anywhere. The operations are also super difficult, so I recommend that you level up first in multiplayer so you have access to good gear.

Now there’s one part of Spec-Ops I’m missing. The Spec-Ops survival mode. Xbox and players will not receive the Spec-Ops Survival mode until October of 2020. Yes, an entire year from now. Sony paid for one-year exclusivity of one entire mode. They also inadvertently split the entire CoD community in half with this action, something fans weren’t happy about at launch.

Glitches and Bugs

There haven’t been many glitches or bugs that I’ve seen on the game. The only major bug in the game is bricking or shutting down, Xbox consoles. My friends and I have had it happen to us multiple times and it usually starts with the game freezing, followed by a black screen, and finally, the game shutting down your console. Other than that major bug, it’s just been graphical glitches and bugged AI mechanics, which rarely occur.

Alexander Gray
Photo of night vision goggles from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare on the left and Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 on the right. (Photo courtesy of Alexander Gray).

Going Dark Edition Content

The Going Dark Edition of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare comes with the night vision goggles that are seen in the game, skins, and variants for multiplayer, 1800 CoD points, which is the in-game currency, and the game itself.

I was surprised by the build quality of the night vision goggles. Unlike the ones from Call of Duty: MW2, you are able to flip the lenses up. Also, when in a bright area, the goggles will turn off night vision mode, so you’re not blinded.

The skins for the characters and weapons are based on old missions from the original Modern Warfare series. My two favorite skins from this edition have been “Wet Works” and “All Ghillied Up.” Other than the benefit of blending into the grass with the ghillie suit, they serve as nostalgia from the old series. On top of that, the skins look super nice.


Call of Duty: Modern Warfare has been one of the best, if not the best, Call of Duty games we have had in a long time. From the intense story to the fun overhauled multiplayer, it’s no wonder why this game is so popular right now.

8.5/10 (B-Tier)