This review is an unedited version of the review written by Zombie Dredd and published in the Tech Magazine: Issue 78 February 2020.

If you were expecting 2019 to be the year that Activision skipped the release of a Call of Duty, it would have been the year you were very wrong. Thankfully, the latest addition to the franchise did remember to bring along a single player campaign this time around. And it’s a good one, making the game itself all the better for it.

However, the single player story will not be for everybody. It comes packed with controversy and many questionable moments about the morality of war. It is a campaign for mature players only. However, it is potentially the best story in franchise history, and serves as both a reboot and part prequel to the original Modern Warfare series. A few fan-favourite characters make their return in a campaign that is both varied and familiar.

The familiarity is that Modern Warfare is still a first-person shooter, but one with tweaks along the way. The graphics and sound are the most visible and audible of the improvements. The game looks fantastic, and the missions with night vision enabled are outstanding. And claustrophobic too. Moving through a narrow three-storey house in search of enemies and innocents with the green haze of night vision on may go down as one of the franchise’s greatest levels. But the game succeeds in its open levels too, with stealth and all out gunfights in equal measure. Each mission is carefully considered to offer players the series’ most engaging campaign yet.

Another improvement is in the multiplayer aspect of the game. Activision decided to drop their season pass, and with the 2019 release, all players have access to the maps as they get released. Sure, you can spend on microtransactions if you want, but it’s mostly just so your gun can be a pretty colour. Or, you could play a bit more and unlock some for yourself.

And I am confident you will play the multiplayer more. On release – as is now par for the course with most new titles – Modern Warfare’s multiplayer was not perfect. But the developer, Infinity Ward, has been rolling out updates quickly, adding improvements and content to ensure players will keep returning.

There is the usual slew of competitive online modes including team deathmatch and free-for-all. 2v2 Gunfight is fast paced and likely to be a fan-favourite in time, while Ground War is reminiscent of Battlefield in scale, and the weapon gunsmith tips its hat to Ghost Recon.

For those looking for a co-operative element, Spec Ops returns. The mode continues the game’s story but is a wave-based mode tasking you to essentially survive or secure an objective. It is no Zombies mode in its current state and may be the release’s weak link.

Modern Warfare is in many ways the most authentic Call of Duty game in years. Little to no borrowing of ideas from the current buzz-names in gaming, it does what the franchise always did at its peak – offer a thrilling game with a great story and quality multiplayer.

Score: 8.5/10
Available on: PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC
Distributed in SA by: Megarom Interactive