Spec Ops returns to Call of Duty in Modern Warfare

Infinity Ward wants to showcase a grittier, more realistic narrative.

Call of Duty's Icon Alexander Lee · 11 Jun 2019

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Image via Infinity Ward

Eight years after Spec Ops made its last appearance in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, the beloved game mode is returning to the upcoming Modern Warfare title, according to the YouTube Live E3 2019 show by Infinity Ward.


Past versions of Spec Ops have involved high-octane missions that can be played in single-player mode or cooperatively. Though Infinity Ward developers didn’t give much more insight about its return, they told viewers that the rebooted mode would be “Spec Ops like you’ve never seen before.” They did, however, confirm that the mode would be connected to the game’s overarching narrative—indeed, the narrative will go across all modes in Modern Warfare. “It’s one universe,” said a developer.


The narrative will be split into two sides: rebel freedom fighters and Tier-One Special Operation forces. The developers are intent on building a “consistent universe,” with both factions using weapons and equipment that are consistent with those of similar groups in the real world. This lines up with the developers’ previously stated goal to tackle real-life geopolitical issues in Modern Warfare.  

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Not all Call of Duty fans reacted positively to this more realistic angle. Though the E3 crowd was wowed by the gritty graphics teased by the Infinity Ward team, one Iraq veteran took to Twitter to criticize the focus on “real moments,” sharing his own stories of terror from the front lines.



Still, all signs point to the upcoming Call of Duty title being one of the series’ most realistic and topical iterations yet. If Infinity Ward can deliver on its promises and provide an up-to-date Spec Ops experience, then fans will flock to the new title.

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