Call of Duty: Modern Warfare open beta first impressions

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare open beta first impressions

The Call of Duty: Modern Warfare cross-play open beta launched yesterday and it is already looking incredibly promising.

Earlier this month eGaming Desk wrote a about how the soft reboot of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare would be the best the series has offered in the last decade. It was met with some interesting responses – particularly our claim that the first Black Ops game was the point at which the franchise began to spiral.

It wasn’t that Black Ops wasn’t a good game, it just didn’t grip me like Modern Warfare, World at War and Modern Warfare 2 had. Frankly, no Call of Duty game has since.

I didn’t feel the urge to keep playing. I got bored far too quickly. As you would expect from someone who has long fallen out of love with the franchise, I haven’t pre-ordered the game and had to wait until now to test out the multiplayer.

After just five hours of the open beta for Modern Warfare I already feel more confident that Call of Duty is back on track. Gone are the days of jetpacks, enemies sponging bullets and outlandish arcade-style shenanigans.

Hackney Yard and Azhir Cave are great maps for games of Domination, Headquarters and Cyber Attack, and are fun to play from start to finish.

Grazna Raid and Gun Runner are also two pleasing maps, though I didn’t like them as much as Hackney Yard and Azhir Cave.

Parts of Azhir Cave remind me of other scenarios in earlier Call of Duty entries, but nonetheless it proved to be a fun time.

Hackney Yard in particular is a phenomenal map for both Headquarters and Cyber Attack. It offers a lot of close-quarter combat situations, especially in Headquarters, that make it fun to attack with a team or lock down certain areas.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare oozes classic Infinity Ward

Cyber Attack is a welcome addition, it essentially serves as a more frenetic ‘search and destroy’ mode. The two teams vie for an EMP device to plant at the enemy’s data centre.

Like with Search and Destroy, players have one life per round, but it is possible to revive team mates. To win a round, one team must either successfully plant the EMP or eliminate the entire enemy team.

To triumph, a team must win five rounds. It’s fast-paced, often chaotic and – for those players who aren’t a fan of Search and Destroy – it is more forgiving.

This is because you can be revived, and if you play well you can gain lots and lots of experience (XP) to level up.

Likewise, for players who prefer intricate, tactical fights, the two-versus-two (2v2) gunfight mode is another great mode for those wanting to dazzle their opponents with smart play.

Perhaps the biggest draw for the open beta is its focus on realism.

It is still early days but the multiplayer mode seems to be off to a great start – it feels both old and new. It isn’t as dark as I’d first thought it might be, but it isn’t as cartoonish as more recent entries have proven either.

The open beta oozes classic Infinity War, but part of this is dampened when the matches begins.

It still feels like Call of Duty, but it can be slower than traditional games have been in the past. This much though, I feel, is more of a teething issue and once you are used to it, you begin to notice it less and less.

It isn’t at all similar to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) but I couldn’t shake the feeling that it felt like a mix between the original Modern Warfare and CS:GO.

Having played a fair amount of the original Modern Warfare (CoD 4) remaster this year from when it was a free game of the month for PS+ subscribers, there is one detail that I really like about the rebooted Modern Warfare open beta.

In the CoD 4 remaster – and particularly on non-hardcore modes – it could take an obscene amount of bullets to actually kill someone, an unrealistic amount even.

To me, this didn’t feel as prominent in the open beta. A few good shots and sure enough the enemy is down.

Admittedly, this is an open beta and as such as the final product – while only a month away – could still change with balancing amendments made to the multiplayer.

It was actually refreshing to play a regular game mode and have a sniper bullet kill an enemy in one shot. Too many times have I cursed other Call of Duty games for allowing an enemy player to take a sniper bullet to the head and survive after seeing the dreaded hit marker appear.

The MP5 is still king

Fans of the original Modern Warfare will no doubt remember how over-powered the MP5 was and so far the MP5 is once again my favourite weapon in the open beta.

The AK-47 is still powerful but the MP5’s rate of fire really suits my preferred CQB-style and as such, from the limited time I’ve played the beta, takes the crown for best weapon so far.

All in all, the open beta is as refreshing as it is different, it’s as nostalgic as it is modern and it shines brighter than a lot of its contemporaries.

It could well push away more recent fans of the franchise with it looking to go back to a grassroots-style game blended with modern elements, but this is also a direction which is reeling fans like me back in.

The open beta is currently live and will run until September 23. It is a hefty download for what it is though, on PlayStation 4 it is roughly 40 gigabytes.

It is available for all PlayStation 4 players and for players who have pre-ordered on Xbox One and PC. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare will fully launch on October 25.

Interested in reading more Modern Warfare-related stories? Discover more about how mouse and keyboard setups will be supported on console as well as PC.

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