With another year comes another Call of Duty, and this time around, Infinity Ward is back with a reboot of their Modern Warfare trilogy. Being a reboot, the game's story and setting are unconnected to past titles in the series. Still, there are some returning characters, fun callbacks, and small gameplay changes the only fans of previous games will notice.
So because of this, we decided to play through the new game and piece together our list of 10 things only players of the previous games in the franchise noticed.
10 Captain Price's Return
Starting off the list is the return of one of the Call of Duty's most iconic characters, Captain Price. Price does not make his appearance until Modern Warfare's second mission, but following that level, he appears regularly throughout the campaign. New fans might be unfamiliar with Price and likely assumed he was new to the series.
As with past games featuring Price, the character is a commanding officer to all of the playable characters, so you will need to get used to taking orders from the Captain.
9 Ground War Changes
Looking now at the multiplayer of Modern Warfare, fans of the previous games will notice there have been some notable changes made to the Ground War mode. In particular, the player count has risen to 64, Ground War is only played on larger maps specific to the playlist, and there is a squad system that allows you to spawn on squadmates.
Overall, Ground War now feels very similar to Battlefield's Conquest game mode but with Call of Duty's gunplay and loadout system.
8 Griggs Makes An Appearance
The next returning character on the list is Staff Sergeant Griggs, who first appeared in the original Modern Warfare from 2007. As was the case last time around, Griggs is a member of the US Marine Corps who assists the player during the campaign, but his overall role in the game's story is much less significant.
New Call of Duty players might have even completely missed the character, as Griggs' appearance during the campaign only has him read off a couple of lines of dialogue.
7 Special Ops Returns
The modes included in each year's Call of Duty usually depends on which developer is working on the game, so it should be no surprise that with the reboot of Modern Warfare, Infinity Ward would bring with back Special Ops mode. For those unfamiliar with Special Ops, it is a set of missions designed around co-op play that first appeared in Modern Warfare 2.
One exciting change to Special Ops returning Call of Duty fans will notice is that the developers have decided to include cut scenes in the mode that connect the missions to the single-player campaign.
6 More Gun Customization Options
One of the most exciting changes Infinity Ward has made to the Call of Duty multiplayer formula is an increase in the number of weapon customization options. This includes a number of things like sights, barrels, muzzles, gun perks, and skins.
At first, players might feel a bit overwhelmed with the sheer number of options, but the game does a good job doling out new customization options bit by bit, and veteran players will likely be able to acclimate quickly.
5 Nikolai Is Back
Another familiar face that returning players will know from past Modern Warfare games is the Russian informant who works will Price, Nikolai. Just like his last appearance, all of the Modern Warfare's characters will refer to him as Nikolai though this is just a codename.
Similar to Griggs' inclusion in the game, Nikolai's overall role in the game is somewhat reduced compared to his first appearance. Though unlike Griggs, he does appear a few times during the story and is featured in a couple of cutscenes.
4 Crossplay Is Finally Here
Of all the multiplayer changes on this list, the addition of crossplay to Modern Warfare is by far the most significant. Fans of most multiplayer games, not just Call of Duty, have been begging developers to introduce crossplay into their games, and Infinity Ward actually did it.
In most situations to keep matchmaking fair, the game will match people by input type to keep controller and mouse and keyboard users separated. The one instance where this isn't the case is if you are in a mixed input party because the matchmaker will then match you with similar groups.
3 New Game Engine
One of the big talking points coming out of many early previews of Modern Warfare was how much better it looked in comparison to past Call of Duty titles. This is due to Infinity Ward's decision to use a brand new game engine for its latest release, which is a significant change for a series that has been building off the same tech since Call of Duty 2.
With this new engine, the developers were able to run the game in 4K and even let PC players take advantage of Raytracing.
2 One Shot, One Kill's Sniper Mechanics
One of Call of Duty 4's most well-known missions is One Shot, One Kill, where players are tasked with assassinating an enemy at a long-range and need to account for things like wind and bullet velocity. What made this level so unique is that in every other situation from the game, these were aspects that you didn't need to consider.
While the new Modern Warfare has added some bullet physics to weapons, it is still not as significant as those seen in One Shot, One Kill. The one exception to this, though, is a sniper mission in the campaign that borrows many of the mechanics used in the Call of Duty 4 level.
1 A More Serious Campaign
Following the announcement of Modern Warfare, Infinity Ward began talking about how they were attempting to make this year's Call of Duty campaign more mature through the use of more realistic settings, characters, and set-piece moments. Overall the developers have succeeded in this goal, and this new take on a Call of Duty story provides an excellent reason for long-time fans to jump back in.
Unfortunately, new fans won't be able to have quite the same appreciation for how the series has grown, but luckily the general high polish and memorable story beats of Modern Warfare should still be impactful.