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A depiction of the potential new graphics for Call of Duty: Modern Duty II
Illustration by Laura Wood, The Ohio State University

Does this reboot have something new to offer to the Call of Duty franchise?

The Call of Duty franchise has set a ridiculously high standard for itself, and for the most part, has lived up to the hype. However, as the years go on and old titles make a reappearance, fans become extra critical of rebooted, remastered and remade games. Will Modern Warfare II get all the praise this Halloween season? Or just all the criticism? 

Modern Warfare Throughout the Years 

Developed by Infinity Ward and published by Activision, Call of Duty was first released in 2003 as a Microsoft Windows exclusive game. The now-iconic first-person shooter simulates the actions and adventures of World War II, where players find themselves in the British, American and Soviet armed forces. And while the game is remembered for its many fun aspects, it’s important to recognize that it was also praised for being relatively historically accurate, and therefore educational for some of its players. The game has a staggering 9.3 rating on IGN, classifying it as “amazing,” and Infinity Ward and Activision did not stop there.

Infinity Ward would produce two additional Call of Duty games in 2005 and 2006. The games were well received, earning IGN ratings of 9 and 8.8, respectively. However, it was the developer’s fourth release that would change the business trajectory of Infinity Ward and Activision forever.

In 2007, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare was released. This game was available to Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 gamers, which helped its massive boom in sales. 15.7 million copies of the game have sold — more than Call of Duty 2’s and 3’s sales combined — and the popularity led to an abundance of Modern Warfare games being released in years to come. The game earned itself a 9.4 IGN rating, also adding it to the list of “amazing” video games. Set four years in the future, the 2007 game took place in 2011, with a focus on issues in both the Middle East and Russia. The game took inspiration from the real-life U.S. Marine Force Recon and British SAS commandoes, and while the campaign conflict is made up, the game still represented a very real depiction of war in the Middle East. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare also has an extensive online aspect, allowing players to play different game modes, customize weapons and play with friends.

After the release of Modern Warfare, two sequels — Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 — were released. Each made tens of millions of sales and earned ratings of 9.5 and 9 through IGN. The success of these games was unsurprising; however, many gamers and avid fans were shocked to learn that Infinity Ward was developing a Call of Duty: Modern Warfare reboot in 2019. The rebooted game included some new and old faces, as well as some familiar campaign moments. The success of the first reboot warranted the production of a second one, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II, set to release on Oct. 28.

Reboot vs. Remake: What’s the Difference?

One thing that needs to be set straight early on is exactly how Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II relates to its older counterpart. Infinity Ward and Activision have confirmed that the game is, in fact, a reboot of the 2009 game of the same name. Additionally, it’s also a direct sequel to the most recent 2019 Modern Warfare release (which is a reboot of the 2007 game).

In recent years, fans of all different games have expressed concern for all the remastering and remaking that is going on in the game industry. Some feel that companies have given up on original ideas and instead are recycling old ones for the sake of some coin. If you’re someone who is worried about this, worry no more! A reboot is distinctly different from a remake or remaster. A reboot changes a significant amount of the original game material. This means that fans will see some familiar things like people or places but won’t be able to guess what happens next in the campaign just because they’ve already played the original game. A reboot is more about maintaining aesthetics and ideas, rather than just redoing the original game frame by frame.

Modern Warfare II New Trailer

From the trailer, it appears the Modern Warfare II storyline will pick up right where Modern Warfare left off back in 2019. Aside from the familiar cast of characters, fans might feel as if they’re playing a brand-new game. As far as aesthetics go, fans should get excited about the graphics. As seen in the official release trailer and official gameplay trailer, the highlights, shadows and lighting work together to make the game look more realistic than ever.

The world gameplay trailer opens dramatically with a character frantically falling onto the road in the middle of a battle. The disorienting camera movement is on-brand from Infinity Ward and helps to make a more immersive game. This immediate action is common in the Call of Duty franchise and has long been known to keep gamers coming back to play the company’s new and evolving games. This trailer helps let players know that the tone of the game will be much less focused on large-scale battles and instead will be focused on small-scale operations. This might be hit or miss for first-person shooter fans, but it is safe to say it showcases the game’s exploration of different FPS styles.

Call of Duty fans should take this rebooted Modern Warfare II as a chance to play one of their favorite games in a new, and better, environment. The game appears to be a brilliant mix of the evolution of first-person shooter games with its inclusion of battle passes, operator skins, weapon customizations and much more. Fans who jump at the chance to pre-order the game will get early access to the open beta of the game.

Writer Profile

Janey Schmidt

Columbia College Chicago
Bachelor of Arts in English

I have always been an avid reader no matter the format. I am especially eager to read, write, and talk about all things fantasy!

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