While we still have yet to see this year’s Call of Duty game, it sounds like Activision is implementing something new to the shooter series when it launches in the fall: cosmetic carryover between the last game and the next.
This Modern Warfare 3 Gameplay Feature Spices Up A Weak Campaign
In a post on the Call of Duty series’ official Twitter account, the company teased that Modern Warfare II’s Operators (character skins), Weapons, and Bundles will transfer over to the 2023 game when it comes out later this year. The post itself was a poll that asked “Should #MWII Operators, Weapons and Bundles carry forward into Call of Duty 2023,” and the only two answers were “Yes” and “Yes, when is reveal?”, referencing the fact that the next game has yet to actually make its public debut. Since neither of those answers are a negative, it sounds like Operators, Weapons, and Bundles are transferring over to the new game.
Cosmetic carryover has been an issue for Call of Duty, as Activision puts out a new game every year without much, if any, connectivity between games. In a lot of live-service games, you’ll spend money and unlock items to use over the course of several years, but with Call of Duty players moving over to a new game every year, a lot of that time and money investment is left behind. It sounds like Activision is aiming to rectify this issue by making Call of Duty more akin to live-service games, even if it is still jumping between new entries.
While that’s some good news on the Call of Duty front, the military shooter series had been a major point of contention in Microsoft’s efforts to acquire Activision Blizzard since that process began at the start of 2022. Now, the deal all but finalized, Microsoft and Sony have signed an agreement to ensure the series appears on PlayStation platforms in the future.
After a recent spike in interest as old servers were brought back online on Xbox, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II was taken offline earlier this week on PC over reports of malicious hacks. According to Techcrunch, players were getting attacked in the 2009 game via “hacked lobbies.”
This Modern Warfare 3 Gameplay Feature Spices Up A Weak Campaign
Update 8/2/2023 12:47 p.m. ET: 2008’s Modern Warfare 2 is once again operational on Steam. Activision tweeted that the underlying issue has been resolved and online multiplayer is working. Now all you have to worry about are your standard run-of-the-mill cheaters.
Original story follows.
Alerts about malicious activity in the game date back to June 26 with a post on the Steam Discussion page warning that players should make sure they have a virus scanner active before playing. “They attack using hacked lobbies,” wrote Steam user Bee, identifying the malware as “Trojan:Win32 Wacatac.B!ml.” Other players corroborated the issue. “Ye, i just deleted that Trojan,” wrote back Steam user Kordiii. “Was wondering wtf is that.”
According to Techcrunch, hackers were using a worm, a piece of malicious code that can self-replicate and automatically spread from one user to another. Anyone in one of the hacked lobbies would get the virus, and then spread it to whoever they played with next. “This means the hackers must have found and are exploiting one or multiple bugs in the game to execute malicious code on the other players’ computers,” it reported.
Activision ended up taking the Steam version of the game offline on July 26. When asked about the issues, a spokesperson for the company directed Techcrunch to the following tweet: “Multiplayer for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2009) on Steam was brought offline while we investigate reports of an issue.”
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Despite being over a decade old, Modern Warfare 2 still averages 500 concurrent players a day on Steam. And that number increased earlier this month after players discovered matchmaking had been improved across a host of older Xbox 360 games. While players on console encountered lag and cheaters, there don’t appear to be any similar reports of malware infections. In the meantime, there’s over a dozen other Call of Duty multiplayer games people can pick up and play.
Activision has officially teased 2023’s Call of Duty after months of leaks. Titled Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III, it will seemingly be a direct sequel to last year’s game and it’s coming out on November 10.
This Modern Warfare 3 Gameplay Feature Spices Up A Weak Campaign
None of that is unexpected at this point considering Activision has released a new full-priced Call of Duty every year since the series debuted back in 2003. Today’s reveal was accompanied by a 41-second teaser in which grizzled Modern Warfare protagonist Captain Price mentions something about the heads of snakes and says “never bury your enemies alive,” possibly an allusion to Russian ultranationalist leader Vladimir Makarov, the main antagonist of the original Modern Warfare III.
Whatever the reboot brings, it will seemingly fit right on top of the existing, joint live-service platform established with last year’s entry and Warzone 2.0. The Call of Duty Twitter account previously teased that all of players’ existing operators, weapons, and cosmetic bundles would carry over between Modern Warfare II and III. Tons of new and returning weapons and killstreaks have also seemingly leaked ahead of the game’s official showcase, expected sometime before the end of August.
It also looks like a fan-favorite maneuver is getting added back into the series. Over the weekend, Call of Duty content creator FaZe Swagg posted a video showing he had received a “slide” sandal, a random can of food, and an old cellphone, hinting at the return of the 2019 Modern Warfare’s slide cancelling mechanic. It allowed high-level players to skip around maps much quicker than their opponents, but was removed in Warzone 2.0 and Modern Warfare II, leading some players to experiment with less efficient alternatives.
The biggest question remains just how much of a full-fledged Call of Duty game the November 2023 one will be. Bloomberg had previoulsy reported that Activision was looking at skipping this year in terms of a new annualized release as the franchise buckles under the weight of all the costs and studios required to keep pumping out sequels. Expanded DLC developed with the assistance of Sledgehammer Games would fill in the gap instead, it was reported.
Whether Modern Warfare III ends up feeling more like a smaller stand-alone update remains to be seen. We don’t yet know whether it will be priced at the new standard “next-gen” rate of $70. What we do know is that it will still be coming to PlayStation 5 as previously expected, despite the finalization of Microsoft’s deal to acquire Activision Blizzard fast approaching. The tech giant confirmed a 10-year agreement to continue supporting Activision games on Sony’s platform even after they technically become part of Xbox Game Studios.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III (2023) will launch on November 10 of this year with an all-new campaign and multiplayer featuring all 16 original maps from the 2009 version of Modern Warfare 2. If that sounds confusing, uh, stay frosty and we’ll break it all down for you.
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The next chapter in the reimagining of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (which first started with 2019’s Modern Warfare release) was officially revealed on August 17, though we already knew that the game was in development from Sledgehammer Games before the official reveal. Interestingly, this will be the first back-to-back direct sequel in the history of Call of Duty—traditionally the franchise has swapped back-and-forth between developers for releases (a Black Ops game comes out after a Modern Warfare title, etc.).
Today, it was confirmed that MW III willfeature the return of slide canceling and a red-dot mini map to help locate players who are actively shooting in multiplayer matches, but we know a whole lot more than that—including a new style of play for campaigns and the return of zombies. Check out the gameplay reveal trailer below:
Call of Duty
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III will feature “Open Combat Missions”
Perhaps the most interesting bit of info from the Call of Duty blog update today is the inclusion of what are referred to as “Open Combat Missions.” These will exist alongside the more cinematic missions of the new campaign (which picks up directly from the events of 2022’s Modern Warfare II) and is described as such:
Open Combat Missions (OCMs) are an exciting innovation to the Call of Duty Campaign. Not only do these complement the cinematic missions you’ve come to expect, but they also provide you with numerous additional choices regarding your methods of mission completion. For example, if you prefer to use stealth techniques, you may wish to undertake an OCM with a lights-out approach, using night-vision goggles and suppressed weapons and complete your objectives without your adversaries knowing you were even there. However, if loud explosions and reckless abandon are part of your repertoire, strap extra armor plates onto your torso and hit those targets head-on!
In Kotaku’s impressions of last year’s Call of Duty campaign, one of Clarie Jackson’s biggest criticisms was that, despite a solid core shooting experience, the missions were far too constricted, far too often. A choice of tactics and more open-ended environments sounds promising indeed.
Modern Warfare III’s events will pick up right where Modern Warfare II left off, and yes, Vladimir Makarov (a franchise “big bad”) is returning.
But that’s not all. On the multiplayer side of things, Modern Warfare III is slated to bring back a more familiar, classic style of play.
Slide canceling, red dot mini map, and more
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III will feature far more classic movement mechanics than what the series has seen in recent releases:
Map voting returns, allowing players greater autonomy over their multiplayer matches.
Classic minimap behavior, with red dots indicating when an enemy is firing an unsuppressed weapon.
All chosen perks are available at the start of each match.
The covert sneakers perk allows for silent movement (assuming you’ve chosen the correct footwear).
Core multiplayer health is increased to 150, lengthening the Time-to-Kill (TTK). Hardcore mode is not affected.
You can cancel slide animations (i.e., “slide cancel”), but slide canceling does not reset tactical sprint.
You can cancel partial reloads during an animation (i.e., “reload cancel”) to immediately return fire.
Mantling is faster, and you can mantle while sprinting.
You can fire during and immediately after sliding.
Tactical sprint durations are increased (the exact duration depends on the weapon being used).
Tactical sprint recharges while sprinting.
Modern Warfare II (2022) weapons and Modern Warfare 2 (2009) maps
If you’ve grown attached to your arsenal in Modern Warfare II’s multiplayer, fear not. The announcement revealed that Modern Warfare III’s multiplayer will grant you access to every gun you’ve earned in MWII. And if you’re feeling nostalgic, even better—all of MW2 (2009)’s maps are getting a reimagining for this new multiplayer release.
Though the game will feature some classic mechanics, Modern Warfare III is also aiming for something new with “tac-stance,” a gameplay feature that is described in the blog post as such:
The operator unshoulders the weapon and holds it in a canted firing position.
You can toggle in and out of Tac-Stance dynamically while aiming down sights.
Tac-Stance trades precise accuracy for improved mobility and handling.
Some spread to your firing will occur, best described as a middle ground between full ADS and hipfire.
It is designed to be used in aggressive, close-quarter combat situations.
By default, you fire in Tac-Stance while Sliding.
Modern Warfare III will also see a new 3v3v3 competitive multiplayer mode called “Cutthroat,” in addition to some classic modes, as well.
The latest Call of Duty game will launch onNovember 10 for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and PC (on both Battle.net and Steam).
We got a lengthy look at a campaign mission from the upcoming Modern Warfare III during Gamescom 2023’s opening night, and once again it appears that Sledgehammer Games, Infinity Ward, and Activision are banking hard on Call of Duty fans’ nostalgia.
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The mission, called “Operation 627,” sees your merry band of military murderers leaving through a submarine’s hatch and emerging into dark, cloudy ocean waters. They swim to the surface, upon which it’s revealed that they’re approaching a seaside prison. As they make their way inside, it quickly becomes apparent that this is the same Gulag from the original Warzone map, Verdansk.
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But that’s not the only nod to older Call of Duty content: “The Gulag” is the name of a mission in the original Modern Warfare 2 (not the one that came out in 2022, but the one from 2009). During that mission, you are sent to rescue Prisoner 627 (who it turns out, is Captain Price) from a Russian prison, where he’s being held captive. Price doesn’t appear in the mission shown during the Gamescom trailer, so it’s likely that he’ll be captured again in this updated version of the Modern Warfare 2 mission. The showers from that 2009 campaign map were inspiration for Warzone’s first map, Verdansk, so everything is really coming full circle in the Call of Duty world.
Modern Warfare III will also bring back every multiplayer map from 2009’s Modern Warfare 2, so there is a ton of crossover going on here. Yes, I am also confused why all of the MW2 nods are happening in Modern Warfare III and not the Modern Warfare II that came out last year. Call of Duty is confusing, who’d have thought?
A freaky new trailer for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III’s Zombies gave us our first look at the upcoming game, and it’s as eerie and tense as you would expect from the now legendary first-person shooter mode—except now it has some new (yet familiar) faces in the undead mix. That’s because this version of Zombies marks the first time the mode comes to a Modern Warfare game.
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Read More: Modern Warfare III Comes Out In November, Brings Back Slide Canceling Pre-order Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III: Amazon | Best Buy | GameStop
The trailer begins with a team of four seemingly unknown operatives donning night vision goggles to break into a corpse-littered facility. They come upon four corpses sat around a table, the center of which sits a device that opens to reveal glowing vials of an unknown substance. “They’re actually real, they’re actually here,” an operator says, removing his gas mask to reveal that he’s Viktor Zakhaev, iconic Call of Duty antagonist who will be the chief baddie in the main Modern Warfare III campaign. Once his team swipes the vials, they, head out of the building and run directly into a police force—this nods to the brand-new feature in this upcoming Zombies mode: You’ll duke it out against human and nonhuman enemies.
Call of Duty
Call of Duty zombie players will recognize the serum asAetherium, an element in the Call of Duty franchise used for techno-biological warfare. The trailer ends with John “Soap” MacTavish , a member of the multinational special operations unit Task Force 141, and fellow familiar face Kate Laswell preparing for the incursion against Zakhaev.
This sets up the open-world experience that Modern Warfare III’s zombie mode will offer, and its player-versus-environment that takes place across different regions that scale in difficulty and density. The official blog post accompanying the trailer promises “a greater quantity of undead than ever before,” that combines “the very best of Modern Warfare map features and systems with the tried-and-true core features of Treyarch Zombies.”
Read More: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III Will Bring Back Every OG MWII Multiplayer Map Pre-order Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III: Amazon | Best Buy | GameStop
The new take on the classic Zombies mode will be available when Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III launches on November 10 for PC, PlayStation 4/5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S. In typical Call of Duty fashion, if you preorder Modern Warfare III, you’ll get access to the beta whenever that starts.
Activison Blizzard’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III multiplayer, out worldwide on November 10, apparently lets you murder people with marijuana. The detail was revealed in the Entertainment Software Rating Board’s decision summary for marking the first-person shooter as “mature,” and it seems like the natural evolution to smoke rings.
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“The game includes a finishing move in which marijuana smoke from a bong can be forced into an opponent’s face,” the ESRB plainly states. “Badges/banners and character outfits also depict cannabis and/or smoking figures.”
From this limited description, I’d say MWIII isn’t attempting any commentary on the world’s anxious relationship to drugs, nor trying to suggest that smoking kills (though, as a finishing move, or one of the series’ complicated kill animations, it literally does). The finisher the ESRB details sounds like the Blowin’ Smoke kill from Warzone, in which players flex on their opponents by breathing a smoke cloud into their faces, except this one is less death by way of secondhand smoke and more “RIP to you after that bong rip.” The point is, I think, that smoking looks sick sometimes, especially if you’re a 17-year-old playing CoD.
Other reasons for the ESRB’s “M” rating (a Call of Duty game hasn’t been approved for teens since Call of Duty 3 in 2006) sound like more all-purpose CoD stuff, including “large explosions, screams of pain, and blood-splatter effects.” There are, of course, “terrorists (dressed as police officers and paramedics),” the ESRB writes, “shooting/killing fleeing civilians inside a stadium concourse; airline passengers getting shot on a plane; prisoners shot inside a cell.”
The game’s recently revealed Zombie mode—the beloved, macabre mode’s first time in a Modern Warfare game—also often results “in decapitation and/or dismemberment; large blood-splatter effects accompany these sequences.” The game will also reanimate every original Modern Warfare II multiplayer map, though those are less grounds for the ESRB’s concern.
In any case, you can watch all these mature video game qualities play out when Modern Warfare III releases on consoles and PC in November.
Pre-order Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III: Amazon | Best Buy | GameStop
Update 09/21/2023 at 1:30 p.m. EST: Replaced references to Treyarch with multiplayer developer Sledgehammer Games; removed “open-world” as a descriptor for MWIII.
The new PlayStation 5 “slim” complete with a disc drive and DualSense controller is being bundled at no extra cost with Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3, according to a new advertisement shared by CoD news site Charlie Intel. The free game comes just a month after Call of Duty officially became part of Xbox.
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The redesigned PS5 with a Blu-Ray player is normally $500, while the all-digital version that can be upgraded with a detachable disc drive later is normally $450. Since a new ad shared by Charlie Intel shows the Modern Warfare 3 bundle still only costing $500, it seems like Sony is preparing to celebrate Microsoft’s $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard by giving away the game for free. The bundles come out November 10, the same day as Modern Warfare 3. Just wait until you see them on store shelves. They’re really small.
Sony has given away new Call of Duty games before in its console bundles. Infinite Warfare was free with a new PS4 in 2016 ($300), and WWII was free in 2017. However, this is the first time Sony is debuting such a big deal alongside the launch of a slim model, and right after the game just became owned by its biggest competitor. While Microsoft and Sony hashed out a deal to keep the franchise on PlayStation moving forward, this will be the last time the PS5 version of the game will come with timed-exclusive bonus content.
The free game will likely help boost PS5 sales this holiday, in which Sony is looking to sell a record-breaking 25 million consoles by the end of March 2024. That target comes even as Sony’s only major first-party game this year is Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, and even as it begins cutting some staff across various PlayStation studios.
The ad spotted by Charlie Intel notes that the deal is only up for grabs while supplies last, and reminds prospective buyers that the new metal ring vertical stand isn’t included in the bundle. It’s sold separately and will cost $30.