Original Articles

COD: Modern Warfare Spec Ops – Operations Mode is a Work in Progress

Gameplay video inside

by Kyle Hanson


Even though the game represents a reboot of the franchise, there’s a lot of new stuff added to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. Whether it’s the extremely enjoyable Gunfight or the Battlefield styled Ground War, there’s a lot to choose from. Of course, there’s one more option that fans are excited for with Special Ops. This is split into a few different options, but the one I tried at the recent review event for which Activision paid for my travel and hotel was the main Operations.

Correction: An earlier draft of this article said this mode was the PS4 exclusive Survival Mode. It is instead the Operations Mode available to all players. It has been corrected to reflect that.

Original Article (cont): I came away somewhat unimpressed with this mode in particular, though you’ll have to wait for my final review to hit later on for the full game’s assessment. And to be fair, while this was a review event, the team made it clear that Spec Ops Operations was a bit of a work in progress even at this time. The difficulty in particular was cited as needing tuning, and that’s what we all felt as we played.

Death came swiftly and easily as we loaded into any of the three maps available at launch. Enemy shots hit like a truck, taking out your meager armor and health with swift efficiency. This isn’t a problem by itself, but there were other issues that led to frustration throughout. For one, enemies spawn often and many times where you wouldn’t, or shouldn’t expect them. Clearing out an area with no entries or exits does not guarantee that more enemies won’t flood from that direction. In fact if the spawn system hasn’t been tweaked you’ll likely be able to watch as enemies spawn behind pillars or inside of bushes before they rush your squad of four players all fighting to survive and accomplish an ever changing set of objectives.

Spec Ops offers a lot of new mechanics to the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare experience

Teamwork is key to survival though, and that was possibly where we faltered the most. Spec Ops as a whole offers a lot of new mechanics to the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare experience, and we weren’t fully prepared to take them all on in this sort of session. Players choose a role that offers them unique abilities, such as armoring the entire squad or dropping ammo for retrieval. Each map also starts with an area where powerups can be collected in a sort of Battle Royale style setup. Carrying a new set of armor for your entire squad is great, but getting some offensive power like ammo that deal more damage can be even more effective.

From there you are given an objective, typically across the map, and set off as a group. Enemies will dot the map and once they spot you the frenzy really begins. After some quick failures we tried to be more stealthy, but that doesn’t seem to be a real option as enemy spawns were off the charts soon after the fighting began. There was rarely a moment of calm as we trekked from one objective point to the other. Sure, the trip between offered a brief respite to armor and ammo back up, but then it was back into the fray once again and death soon followed.

The faults here aren’t with the mechanics or anything that can’t be updated before or after launch. The idea behind Call of Duty: Modern Warfare’s Spec Ops Operations Mode is sound and can certainly make for a fun co-op session. It just needs a bit more work before it’s ready for the big leagues that are already contained within this multiplayer suite. Perhaps it adheres too much to Call of Duty’s fast time-to-kill mentality, or the enemies are simply hitting too hard out of the gate, as the devs seemed to indicate at the event. With some difficulty tweaks, a more experienced playerbase, and some fine tuning it could become worthy of its contemporaries, but until then just enjoy the rest of the modes on offer at launch.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Spec Ops Gameplay

- This article was updated on:October 24th, 2019

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