Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Announced, Will Be A Dark Reboot For The Franchise

Following a cryptic tease Tuesday afternoon, Activision announced Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, the latest installment in the long-running series of first-person shooters. In a new trailer released Thursday, we got our first look at the rebooted Modern Warfare.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare will be released October 25, 2019 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Here’s what we know:

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  • Modern Warfare will ditch the annual pass model, delivering free maps, content, and post-launch events to all players. We don’t know what the new model will look like, but the old one offered an average of four paid map packs for each game. There still might be other kinds of paid content in this game, but Activision isn’t saying just yet.
  • The game will feature cross-play support between PC and consoles. Kotaku asked Activision for clarification on whether or not this means Xbox One or PS4 players could play together, but no information is available at this time. The PC version is exclusive to Battle.net
  • Per Activision, Modern Warfare will feature a completely new engine.
  • In the single-player campaign, “Players will engage in breathtaking covert operations alongside a diverse cast of international special forces throughout iconic European cities and volatile expanses of the Middle East.”
  • Cooperative play also returns, in what Modern Warfare dubs “Elite Operations.”
  • An “immersive narrative experience” spanning all three of the game’s modes—single-player, co-op, and competitive multiplayer—is planned, although details on what that means are scant.

As Kotaku previously reported, the new Modern Warfare is in some ways a re-imagining of the original one. The presence of Captain Price is the big, obvious tip-off, but there are a few shots that seem to nod at early levels from the original Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, with lots of new imagery threaded in.

Previews for the game have indicated that the new Modern Warfare will attempt to go beyond visual callbacks. Ars Technica reports that half of the campaign will unfold from the perspective an Arab soldier, a female rebel fighter named Farah from an unnamed country that might be Afghanistan. Per the report, the new Modern Warfare is aiming for a more brutal “morally gray” approach, with an extended sequence set in Farah’s home as it is terrorized by Russian soldiers, with civilians—and even infants—in peril. Comparisons to “No Russian,” the controversial Modern Warfare 2 level which gave players the option to take part in a terrorist assault on an airport, abound.

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Modern Warfare may be thoroughly reworked, but edginess is very much in step with this series’ sensational approach to modern conflict. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare put players in the shoes of a man about to be executed by a terrorist and had them ride out a nuclear explosion. Modern Warfare 2 notoriously had “No Russian.” 2019's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare may be a reboot, but it’s still out to shock in much the same way.

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