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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2019 - first reviews, plus alpha details and pre-orders

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Critics give their initial impressions after trialling the new shooter at Gamescom

Tuesday, August 20, 2019 - 4:11pm

A rebooted version of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is just a couple of months away - and a select few have been trialling one of the new multiplayer modes. 

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Due to arrive in October, the next instalment in the first-person shooter (FPS) franchise is being touted by the game’s developer, Infinity Ward, as a “reimagined” version of 2007’s Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.

Despite being one of the most popular game franchises, Infinity Ward has opted to return the series to its roots following a spate of lacklustre titles. It’s hoped that a new take on a classic game will reignite fans’ interest.

Here’s what the critics have to say - and how players can get their hands on the game as soon as this weekend:

First reviews

A couple of reviewers got their hands on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare at this year’s Gamescom expo in Cologne, Germany, which runs until 24 August. 

Although the “brutal” single-player campaign was off limits to reviewers, TechRadar says it was able to get to grips with the new Gunfight multiplayer mode.

Gunfight is “essentially a 2v2 battle to the death”, where players fight each other on “extremely small maps”, the tech site says. Players can’t just hide in a corner in the hope of catching an enemy by surprise, as the game will lock off areas of the map after a certain amount of time has elapsed.

“It’s a stripped-back experience when compared to the lightning-fast pace of current FPS games,” says Tech Advisor, one that rewards “tactics and team communication as well as quick response times”.  

Upping the stakes are constantly changing weapon loadouts, which force players into adapting their tactics to stay ahead of the competition, the website says. “This forces you from your comfort zone and keeps things fresh, round after round.”

Gunfight mode is a welcome addition to the rebooted Modern Warfare, strengthening the gameplay without compromising “the core DNA of the franchise”, notes TechRadar. 

It’s unlikely to win over the series’ detractors, but it may bring back fans who have been “waiting for Call of Duty to return to its roots - if you consider Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare to be its roots”, the site concludes.

Will there be a public alpha?

Yes. The alpha - a small section of the game that players can test before launch - will be available to download for free on the PlayStation 4 between 23 and 25 August, Eurogamer reports. 

The alpha will centre around Gunfight mode, where players will be able to battle against each other on five “close-quarters maps”, the site says. 

Unfortunately for Xbox and PC players, the alpha will be available only to PS4 owners this weekend. 

When does it come out?

There isn’t too long to go until the new Modern Warfare hits store shelves, as the game launches on PS4, Xbox One and PC on 25 October. 

Where to pre-order 

Fans can pre-order the game for the PS4 and Xbox One at Amazon, with prices starting at £49.99. 

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