Call of Duty is returning this year with a single player campaign, no zombies and cross-play


The Call of Duty series has been going strong since the first game hit shelves back in 2003, even if last year’s entry did leave a bitter taste in some gamers’ mouths. This is because Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 shipped without a single player campaign, even if it did sell well at retail in spite of this.

This year, though, it seems that Call of Duty is returning to its roots, and will offer the single player campaign fans have grown accustomed to over the years. Not only this, but publisher Activision is bringing back one of the most popular Call of Duty brands this year – Modern Warfare. Actually, the first Modern Warfare game (which saw a release back in 2007) is the franchise’s best game to date.

Something that might cause some confusion, though, is the fact that this game’s title will be very similar to that of 2007’s game – that game was called Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, while this one will go by the title Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, and will ship on October 25 this year. The game is being made by developer Infinity Ward, which was also behind the previous Modern Warfare games.

Regarding the campaign, this will take place in locales all over the world like the other Modern Warfare games.

“We are creating an emotionally charged experience that’s inspired by the headlines in the world today, where the rules are grey and battle lines are blurred. Players will join a varied cast of international special forces and freedom fighters in gripping and heart-pounding missions through iconic European cities and volatile expanses of the Middle East”, said Infinity Ward’s studio head Dave Stohl in a press release.

There are also some surprises in store for long-time fans of the Call of Duty games as well. Aside from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare bringing back the single player campaign this year, the game will also support cross-play, while also doing away with the series’ traditional season pass too. Infinity Ward says this will help unite Call of Duty’s community of players, something which seems to be a priority for the developer this year.

“With the launch of Modern Warfare, we’re taking steps to unite the community. First, we plan for Modern Warfare to be played together across PC and console through cross-play support. Second, we’re eliminating the traditional season pass, so that we can deliver more free maps and content as well as post-launch events to all players”, said Infinity Ward’s creative director Patrick Kelly in a press release.

Eliminating the season pass seems like a good move to me – letting all players access post-launch content will certainly be a boon for anyone buying this Call of Duty game, although I’m not sure of the new cross-play support though.

This is because pitting PC players against console ones is generally a bad idea, especially if PC gamers are using mouse and keyboard, meaning they can make short work of someone playing on console with a gamepad (especially the PS4’s Dualshock, which is less responsive in first-person shooters than the others). So hopefully Activision and Infinity Ward will find a way to balance things out and make sure everyone enjoys a good multiplayer experience regardless of the platform they’re on – perhaps using an “input matchmaking” scheme a la Fortnite as Forbes points out.

Another point of contention is the fact that the new Call of Duty game won’t be shipping with the much-loved zombies mode this year. As campaign director Jacob Minkoff told PlayStation Lifestyle (via VG247) this is due to the fact that the people at Infinity Ward are aiming for a more realistic experience, and having the zombies mode would upset that balance.

“We don’t have the flexibility to do something like put zombies in the game. That would compromise the feeling of playing in a world that feels realistic and authentic and relative to today’s conflicts and things we face”, Minkoff said.

This might rub some the wrong way though, as Call of Duty’s zombies has been one of its most popular features since the mode debuted in 2008’s Call of Duty: World at War game, meaning some players might be angry at its omission this year.

But taking into account that 2007’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is one of the best games the franchise has offered to date, and despite the lack of a zombie mode, it’s hard to think that Activision won’t get this game right, so this is definitely one to watch out for when it hits shelves this fall, then.

Note: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare will be released on October 25, 2019. Available on PS4, Xbox One and PC.