Yesterday we saw over an hour-long hour stream of Gunfight, the brand new game mode from the upcoming Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare (October 25). It aims to be a “fast-paced, pick-up-and-play experience that’s easy to learn.”
The Gunfight is a 2v2 team mode, described as “Small team, multi-round cage matches.” You don’t pick your loadout, you all have the same guns and equipment, and they switch after two rounds. There are no respawns, you only get one life each, and your objective aim is to eliminate the opposing team. The maps are all custom made, of the multiple areas we saw they all appear to be tightly packed, forcing the two sides to run into one another from near enough the first moment.
As always in Call of Duty, a few shots and you’re dead, however instead of sprinting around recklessly, the way players were slowly peeking around corners and calling out positions seemed more like a close round of Rainbow Six Siege, with matches being decided by brief bursts of action.
The rounds are short, with a forty-second timer before moving into overtime. In overtime, a flag spawns, the first to capture the flag wins. If nobody reaches it in the 10 seconds after it spawns, the team with the most health wins. Both team’s health bar is permanently displayed at the top of the screen so you always know who has the advantage and can sit safe, and who has to run out of position to make a play.
The Gunfight is undoubtedly an interesting premise; it seems like a combination of traditional Counter-Strike and the Gun Game mode introduced back in the original Black Ops. Infinity Ward’s Multiplayer Design Director said, “When we stripped the game down [to] test each weapon, everyone would check each weapon for balancing, and the game mode was born out of that.”
While the streamers themselves were as obnoxious as the profession requires, I am happy to tell you that the gameplay is just as enjoyable muted, which you can watch here. Although it was quite cathartic watching ProSyndicate lose. Hopefully, he doesn’t try to set up an undisclosed gambling site for this game too. I don’t think he would get off with just another slap on the wrist. Bit of a risky choice by Infinity Ward to help promote their new title, short memories I guess.
There was also some questionable hitboxes on display too, a sniper shot aimed 3 feet to the right ended up being a match-winning shot, but Call of Duty has always been quite forgiving in that regard. Hopefully, the killcams don’t upset too many people
From what was shown, Gunfight mode looks quite fun. It’s something you and a friend could quickly lose an hour to, and the turnover between rounds is fast, although it could be much faster; due to the mode’s design, there were a few times when the short downtime between rounds seemed longer than the fights themselves.
It’s easy to imagine some people getting heavily into this; the random element will not only move the mindset away from picking the best gun or the most overpowered loadout, but it will also rely more on individual skill and teamwork while keeping things fair and balanced with everyone using the same gear. Players will have to become versatile with all weapons in the game, be able to recognize on the fly what tool in their ever-changing arsenal is the best fit for each situation and have an intimate understanding of the maps themselves.
The modes lifespan is impossible to judge right now, but if Infinity Ward’s choice of reveal means anything, this mode looks perfect for streamers to collaborate. It certainly was entertaining to watch despite the choice in streamers, for 30 minutes at least.