Ahead of its multiplayer reveal livestream for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Infinity Ward invited journalists to go hands-on with the game and thrash each other in matches as small as two-on-two and as large as 20-on-20. The focus was on competitive multiplayer and most of what it’ll entail, and it seems Infinity Ward will show off even more in the game’s open beta. But the event also provided a few new details about another Modern Warfare game mode: Special Ops.
You might remember Special Ops (or Spec Ops) from past Call of Duty: Modern Warfare games. It was part of both Modern Warfare 2 and Modern Warfare 3, but the mode hasn’t shown up again since the latter’s 2011 release. Spec Ops consisted of a series of quick, short missions that were geared toward cooperative play with a second person, and a lot of those missions were based on the single-player campaign. New elements popped up in Spec Ops that weren’t in the single-player campaigns, like the armored Juggernaut, which makes a return in the new Modern Warfare. In Modern Warfare 3, Spec Ops added “Survival,” a version that had players teaming up to fend off waves of enemies.
Spec Ops is back in Modern Warfare as a cooperative game mode, but this time it sounds like it might be more substantive than in its past iterations. Publisher Activision calls Spec Ops an “all-new” group of “strategic” co-op missions that anyone can play, regardless of skill level. We also know that Spec Ops will tie into the story in some ways, although Infinity Ward hasn’t been specific about just how yet. That suggests the Survival version isn’t making a comeback.
“You might see different characters appearing in Spec Ops from the narrative and stories carry through,” art director Joel Emslie told GameSpot during the multiplayer reveal event.
One of the major focuses on Modern Warfare is to make the game feel more like a unified experience across its game modes, rather than separate multiplayer, single-player, and cooperative experiences in one package. All the game’s modes take place in the same universe, and Emslie said you might be able to look over a cliff or into the distance on a multiplayer level to spot a location you’ll recognize from single-player or co-op. The big way that Infinity Ward is unifying the experience, though, is through player progression and gameplay. Weapons feel the same from one mode to the next, and any attachments or equipment you earn as you play in one mode will be available in the others.
Emslie said the main way Modern Warfare unites single-player and multiplayer is with the feel of the gameplay, while the main progression carry-over comes between multiplayer and Spec Ops.
The inclusion of Spec Ops means we won’t see another cooperative mode that’s become a mainstay of the franchise, though: Infinity Ward confirmed there won’t be a Zombies mode in Modern Warfare.
Check out our impressions of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare’s multiplayer, and read more about its open beta, how big teams can get, and how the game is changing radar and Killstreaks. You can also check out footage of the Modern Warfare’s new night vision goggles in action from our hands-on session.