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It's here, guys. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare has launched and it's the return of the 'Modern Warfare' sub-franchise which hasn't been worked on since 2011 when Modern Warfare 3 was released.
The game looks to be a hit with fans so we've listed everything you need to know about it. Thank us whenever but first of all, the story trailer:
Excitingly, cross-play between Xbox, PC and PlayStation 4 is available for the first time ever. Sony first announced that it would finally yield and enable cross-play support for games between PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC and mobile devices in September last year in the face of fans and industry figures all vehemently pointing out that cross-play was quite clearly the future.
The full release of Modern Warfare is expected to be the next big game to launch with the feature enabled. It makes perfect sense for most developers to enable cross-play in their games. Being able to combine playerbases, commerce and gameplay between various platforms can only be seen as a win for both consumer and studio.
Next up, the long-running Prestige system has been scrapped and replaced with a new ranking, or progression, system.
In Modern Warfare, players will progress through Enlisted Ranks (1-55) by completing specific challenges and winning matches in order to unlock new equipment, weapons, perks, Killstreaks and upgrades.
Once you reach the highest Enlisted Rank, you don't Prestige as you would have done in previous Call of Duty games. This means that all of the items and perks you've earned while playing through the Enlisted Ranks will stay with you, and you won't need to go through the entire process again after reaching the highest rank.
Instead, reaching the highest Enlisted Rank means you'll be able to transfer to the new seasonal Officer Ranks progression system, which isn't entirely dissimilar to the way Epic Games handles progression in Fortnite.
Special Ops, a series of four-player co-op modes in which you'll have to work together to complete various missions and objectives, is back. The below gameplay images suggest popular maps/missions Chernobyl and Mile High Club from the original Modern Warfare series will return.
Then there's microtransactions and how they will be cosmetic-only, according to Infinity Ward.
Infinity Ward's Art Director Joel Emslie has took to Reddit to clarify the situation, confirming that the studio currently has no plans to introduce loot boxes to the military shooter. He wrote: "What I can say right now is that we are definitely NOT working on any kind of supply drop or loot box system. Also, functional stuff is unlocked through GAMEPLAY."
The fact that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare won't include any pay-to-win elements at launch should be taken as an encouraging sign, although fans have pointed out that publisher Activision has a habit of introducing loot boxes post-launch.
All maps released post-launch will be free, as opposed to paying for them as is standard in previous years. Saving money all round - we like this.
Infinity Ward wrote in a blog post: "We've set our sights on not only creating the best game possible this year, but also on breaking down walls and bringing the community together."
There will be no season pass either... Activision announced: "Removing Season Pass and a la carte DLC multiplayer map packs to ensure everyone can play together." Thanks, chaps.
Finally, the campaign is going to be incredibly gritty and brutal inspired by real-life covert operations.
Narrative Director Taylor Kurosaki told us in a recent interview at a COD event in London, that much of the game's campaign has been inspired by the real-life accounts of Navy SEALs.
He said: "We get anecdotes from the SEALs all the time. Cutscenes and situations that we have in the game, are inspired by some of the stories they've told us. The narrative and entire theme of the game, at least from the Western perspective, was inspired by them.
"Mitch [Hall, ex-Navy SEAL and franchise adviser] said, 'What's the burden that a modern combat operator carries? The burden is being expected to operate perfectly, when the intelligence is imperfect. That's the burden. If we mess up, the whole world finds out about it.'"
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