Call of Duty fans are talking about Modern Warfare 2 — not to be confused with the game under the same title from 2009 — following yesterday’s reveal of Modern Warfare 3. Last year’s entry in the long-running annual franchise made a lot of changes that angered fans. In fact, these changes drew so much heat from the community that Sledgehammer is completely walking many of them back for Modern Warfare 3, which is set to release on November 10th.
Changes included gameplay-level overhauls to the shooter’s movement systems, minimap, player health, and perk systems. MW2 also removed players’ ability to vote on maps in-between multiplayer matches. Call of Duty’s success is partially thanks to its consistency, so needless to say, Infinity Ward’s fixing-what’s-not-broken approach drew widespread ire from the game’s player base.
In tandem with the reveal, Call of Duty’s official Twitter account released a thread detailing what fans can expect from the series’ 19th annual entry. After addressing MW3’s campaign and zombies offerings, the account confirmed what fans had been hoping for, announcing that it would be walking back many of the changes introduced in Modern Warfare 2.
#MW3 MP features at launch 👇
🗺 Map Voting returns
🔴 Classic Minimap behavior with red dots for unsuppressed weapons
🏃♂️ Perks available at the start of each match
🤫 Covert Sneakers Perk allows for silent movement
😷 Core Health is increased to 150 for an increased TTK
— Call of Duty (@CallofDuty) August 17, 2023
Fan reactions to the news that Sledgehammer are excited, if a bit annoyed that the changes happened in the first place.
Can someone over there get @InfinityWard on the same page so they’ll stop removing things the fans want in cod. Always takes treyarch or sledgehammer to reverse their mistakes 🤦🏻♂️
— 𝙹𝚎𝚜𝚜𝚎 𝚁𝚊𝚗𝚍𝚊𝚕𝚕 (@Jesse_L_Randall) August 17, 2023
Modern Warfare III is leaning heavily into nostalgia
Modern Warfare III is also leaning heavily into nostalgia. Remarkably, all of its maps at launch at will be remasters of classic maps from the original Modern Warfare 2 (new maps will be released as part of the post-launch D:C. The trailer also clearly leans into massive cultural touchstones like the infamous ‘No Russian’ mission from the original Modern Warfare 2.
Some CoD fans seem skeptical of the drive toward nostalgia, with one Reddit user writing, “It’s interesting how each game in the MW Reboot remixes various parts of the previous trilogy. But to me this begs the question of: is this pandering?
“I think it was cool having some nods in the 2019 MW game and have it go off and do its own thing, but between the trailer showing parts of the gulag, No Russian, and No Fighting in the War Room(?), it feels a bit creatively constrained. Like it wants to be something different, but it’s a different flavor of something we know.”
But plenty are also buying into the nostalgia and fixes that Sledgehammer is offering. In a Twitter Space discussing the reveal, a creator from CharlieIntel remarked on the briefing he had received with other creators, referring to the multiplayer fixes as “a mic drop moment.”
Time will tell whether the first “direct sequel” in the series is able to capture the magic that made fans fall in love with the series in the first place. In the meantime, Modern Warfare 3 releases on November 10th and is available for pre-order now.
Correction: An earlier version of this article speculated that Modern Warfare II support might end early with the release of Modern Warfare III. An Activision representative clarified that Modern Warfare II is in the midst of Season 5 and continues to be supported.
Charlie Wacholz is a freelance writer at IGN.