Another new Call of Duty is going to release soon, which means it’s time for the game’s alpha and beta to start rolling out. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is the newest game in the series, making a return to the trilogy that was started 12 years ago while offering major gameplay differences compared to the rest of the series. One of the new modes that is going to be part of this game is a two-versus-two mode called Gunfight, which is the only mode this alpha offered. Here are my thoughts on the alpha.
Gunfight is a mode that pits two teams of two against each other. The maps are tiny, all gear is determined at the beginning of each round and the same gear is given to everyone, there is no healing, and rounds are fast. If the clock runs out, a flag will spawn in the middle of the map, and capturing that flag will win the round. The first team to win six rounds wins the game.
In terms of the quality of the mode, I am quite in love with Gunfight. It offers a more tactical and strategic experience without going too heavy into tactics. I communicated with my teammate quite often about enemy location, but I never felt the need to learn specific map callouts. On top of that, matches are really fast, often lasting around five minutes. Call of Duty matches are usually not incredibly long, but this mode is the perfect bite-sized mode for when you have a tiny bit of time on your hands. What helps lower the time are the pre-determined loadouts, which both forces change in strategy as well as keep an even playing field. Since everyone has the same weapons and throwables, everyone is on a level playing field and no time has to be given up for choosing a loadout. One more thing worth noting is that throwables cannot be used within the first five seconds of the round, which I’m glad is the case considering how many dumb deaths there could be if that rule wasn’t there. The mode itself is a lot of fun to play, and I hope it stays popular throughout the lifespan of the game.
In terms of how the game controls and feels, Modern Warfare is a definite change from the previous entry. Movement in the game is slower and more tactical, and combat feels heavier. One thing this game brings back and goes heavy into is leaning. The game offers a wide variety of leaning options, but I am actually not a big fan of leaning. Personally, I think designating buttons to leaning would work best for this game, but Modern Warfare instead has you lock onto a corner. Leaning is definitely a tool I want to use in this game, but locking to the corner of a wall makes it a bit awkward. Also, the game actually has two modes of sprint, with a normal sprint and what the developers are calling a “super sprint.” In super sprint, the gun is raised up, which leads me to conclude that the faster of two sprints will hinder shooting. Super sprinting doesn’t really feel necessary, but I’m sure people will find use out of it. Modern Warfare is going away from the frantic and fast-paced nature of Black Ops 4 and instead is offering combat and controls more in line with Rainbow Six: Siege.
This gunfight alpha is only on PS4, and the system is worth noting because this is the first game to allow keyboard and mouse support. You heard right: keyboard players and controller players could play in the same lobby. When it comes to first-person shooters, I am much better with a keyboard and mouse, so keyboard support is a definite positive for me. There were a lot of issues around it like not being able to map or even see key bindings, but this issue has been addressed. Sometimes when I was playing, I would wonder whether this inclusion was a mistake given the fact that the two control methods are not equal, but I am still glad this is there nonetheless.
At the end of the day, the biggest issue I had with the game has nothing to do with the mode or the game, but with the alpha itself. Gunfight is a solid mode, but it is also a very closed-off mode. This mode feels separate from the main multiplayer offerings, has its own maps, and doesn’t interact with loadouts. If Call of Duty is a burger, then this alpha would be the lettuce: I can’t get a good sense of how good the burger is from the lettuce alone. There will be a beta in the near future that I hope will open up the game and show off everything this game has to offer; but until then, I can only say so much about this game.
In conclusion, I think this year’s Call of Duty is shaping up to be a very memorable title. This new mode is a lot of fun, and the slower approach to the series is a welcoming change compared to the previous game’s more fast-paced action. I still want to know more about things like Ground War and Gunsmith, but the little window into the new game this alpha offers shows what I think people will consider the best Call of Duty in years.