New year, new Call of Duty – but what’s it going to be?
Infinity Ward comms manager Ashton Williams has been posting images of skulls and ghosts – promoting speculation that the next game will be either a sequel to 2013’s Ghosts or another instalment in the Modern Warfare series.
The latter seems far more likely, with Kotaku’s Jason Schreier claiming in a forum post that a Ghosts sequel isn’t on the cards.
So, what would we like to see in this year’s COD? After the misstep that was Infinite Warfare, IW will want to come back with bang.
A proper single-player campaign
Last year’s Black Ops 4 was class but didn’t include a single-player campaign – opting instead to focus on battle royale.
Although data shows that few COD players actually complete a sol campaign, it still felt like a glaring omission – and one we’d like to see rectified this year.
Here’s where it gets interesting.
Williams has been posting a lot of images featuring skulls – which could relate to Modern Warfare 2’s Simon ‘Ghost Riley, who wore a skull-patterned balaclava.
As he died in the Modern Warfare 2, we could be seeing a prequel – perhaps focusing on how he became Ghost?
Either way, we can’t wait to see what IW have up their sleeve.
While Sledgehammer’s COD: WWII looked stunning, Black Ops 4 – although colourful, represented a downgrade in the graphics department.
In fact, 2014’s Advanced Warfare arguably boasted better visuals.
This year, we’d like to see improved graphics across the board.
We’re almost certain there won’t be a battle royale mode – so more focus can be shifted on visual polish, rather than trying to fit 100 players on to a huge map.
Here’s the good news.
Both Advanced Warfare and WWII ran on highly-modified versions of IW’s in-house engine – although Sledgehammer (fittingly) pummelled it to within an inch of its life – rewriting code, adding new animation, physics, rendering, lighting, motion capture and facial animations (to name but a few tweaks).
So, expect to see graphics on par with both of those games – with improvements in these key areas.
Modern Warfare 2 remastered
Yes, it’s just been made backwards compatible but a remake is still top of many gamers’ wish lists.
Last year, an Amazon listing appeared to confirm the game will be being remade, although it’s not sure exactly when.
A few months before, Activision’s annual investor report revealed the company plans “releases of remastered versions of titles from our library of IPs” this year.
This is particularly interesting as it says titles (plural), indicating there are several remastered games on the way.
It follows mounting pressure from fans – thousands of which signed a petition begging developer Infinity Ward to update the popular shooter.
Believe it or not, 2019 marks the 10-year anniversary of Modern Warfare 2. Timing wise, a remaster would certainly make sense.
Activison may use the game as a means of locking people down to pre-orders, before releasing the game as a standalone, much like the remastered original, a few months later.
Remaster the old maps in multiplayer
Rust. Need we say more?
So, how good was the last remaster?
In 2016, Raven Software gave the original Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare a much-needed visual spit and polish.
Despite a few flaws, it arguably generated more excitement than the lacklustre Infinite Warfare.
MW2 runs on the same, albeit tweaked engine, as its predecessor – so in theory, would be easy to port over.
What about the controversial No Russian mission?
Yes – chances are IW will once again face pressure to omit the mission from the game – especially given the recent school shootings in the US.
However, they side-stepped this last time with an option that allowed you to skip these sections of the game.
Expect the same mechanic to return should a MW2 remaster appear.
We can’t wait!