It’s almost here. This Friday will see the release of Infinity Ward’s soft reboot of the Modern Warfare franchise and the sixteenth overall instalment in the Call of Duty franchise. Bringing the series back to basics in the same vein as Sledgehammer Games WWII entry, Modern Warfare looks to be harkening back to what fans came in droves originally: straight forward combat. Whilst the later futuristic entries do have their defenders, it quickly became apparent that fans were hoping to be back in a more boots-on-the-ground playing field than a jet-propelled arena.

Throughout the development of this year’s entry, Infinity Ward has been positively obliging and attentive to the thoughts of their fanbase. Season passes have been done away with and any DLC post-launch will be free to players. Whether microtransactions in the form of a battle pass for cosmetics akin to the recently released mobile game will appear is yet to be seen. As new footage and information have been revealed in the last two months, one particular piece stood out to me and reaffirmed to me that Modern Warfare meant business.

Gunfight mode.

Pitting players against each other in a 2v2 format, Gunfight is a claustrophobic injection of the Modern Warfare series best strengths. There’s no need to take matters to a private lobby on Rust in this day and age. Gunfight is your ticket to challenging bouts of tense rivalry. In an even more appealing turn, this mode also puts the focus back on teamwork more than so than recent entries to the franchise.

Whilst Team Deathmatch may say team in the title and overall kills are pooled together for victory, the collaboration between non-party players isn’t as evident as it might have been before. Gunfight instantly gives you needs to call and respond with your new teammate for an efficient win. The maps may be more compact and tight naturally, but it’s how gameplay is conducted that will be the proof of the pudding. Watching gameplay of this mode screams an extremely exciting bare bones flavour that will surely reignite the fire that burned in us all back in the days of starting quick scoping clans and proving our metal with the most impressive 360-degree trick shot. With no thrusters or futuristic operatus in sight, the unfiltered skill of the player is back to the forefront.

Aiding this new multiplayer turn isn’t just the prospect of the mode itself, but the revamped engine and firearm ballistics that are setting Modern Warfare apart from the CoD formula. Weapons have their weight and rousing sound design back. It’s not just a list of stats declaring what has more damage, weapons are set to finally feel different again. From my own experience, the problem with the combat is the last few instalments has been to do with every weapon not having an identity, be that in feel or visual execution. Modern Warfare has been to the Michael Mann school of hard-hitting gunfights to reassure us that this combat is going to hit hard.

Gunfight is a necessary step and inclusion to the franchise. A reminder of the exhilarating rush that these games can provide. Infinity War are suited and rebooted.