Call of Duty: Modern Warfare review – bold steps

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It doesn’t take long for Infinity Ward to justify its reimagining of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. In the twelve years since the original released the world has seen a surge in deadly terrorist attacks – resulting in over 600 fatalities in Western Europe alone – and within a few minutes of starting Modern Warfare’s campaign, you’re placed at the scene of a massive bombing at Piccadilly Circus, right in the heart of London.

Panicked screams and wailing sirens flood your ears as you get back to your feet and draw your gun. Ahead of you are several armed terrorists shooting indiscriminately into crowds of fleeing civilians, but with distraught commuters scrambling across the street between you and your targets, it’s nigh-impossible to get a clear shot. There’s no correct call to make, no instructions of what to do, and absolutely no time for hesitation. You can and probably will kill an innocent person during this short firefight – my very first shot killed a fellow police officer – and a mistake like that will play back in your head for days.

This mission sets the tone for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare’s campaign perfectly. It’s a story about the messiness of contemporary conflict, the vast grey gulf that exists between right and wrong, and the burden that operating within such vague boundaries places on soldiers. Back in 2007 it was pretty obvious who the good guys were. This time it’s not so simple.

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