Game Review: Call Of Duty Modern Warfare Reboot Succeeds With New Nonviolent Conflict Resolution System

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Hugging it out after a senseless public execution was avoided

At E3 this year, I was among the select few invited to a private beta test for the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare reboot.

Although I went in not expecting much from an otherwise exhausted franchise, I was blown away by one feature that made me believe a series rebirth is possible. Known for its over-the-top combat and futuristic setting in recent years, Modern Warfare is a breath of fresh air for its rich array of nonviolent conflict resolution techniques intricately designed to calmly de-escalate any hostile encounter.

Single Player Campaign

For all of its violent battle mechanics—like airstrikes and blood-spattering headshots—Modern Warfare boasts just as many mindful, level-headed approaches. Take for example, the opening sequence where you choose between a sniper rifle, submachine gun, and a copy of The Peacemaker by Ken Sande. Right away, I had to decide whether to dispatch the target from a distance, get up close and personal, or look within, realize I’m getting emotionally involved, and opt for a self-care day to meditate on next steps.

Better yet, another particularly gruesome scene gives players the option to follow orders and gun down innocent civilians in an Azerbaijan market square—a choice that sparks World War III—or tackle the issue privately with Captain Price and learn that he made the impulsive call on an empty stomach.

Related: Popular New Fan Theory Suggests Potential For World War 2 Sequel

You’ll find many moments like these in the carefully designed choice-driven narrative that organically culminates in one of 57 different endings, ranging from a nuke decimating a quarter of the globe to having a kickass time at mercenary leader Imran Zakhaev’s cabin in Breckinridge tearing up the slopes and roasting smores.

Whether you use your breath to steady the sniper scope or your emotions, the fate of the world is in your hands.

Multiplayer

With a richly detailed character customization screen, I was awestruck with how I could choose from over 75 weapons, compliment my load out with flashbangs and throwing knives, and put my stamp on it with a camouflage skin. Equally, however, I was able to go for a more holistic approach and catch my militant foes off guard with the Relaxed Posture and Positive Attitude perks.

By stringing together consecutive steps in resolving conflict, a player can unlock what is known as “Kindstreaks.” In one situation, after I invited a hostile to take a seat, thanked him for coming, and asked if he would like a La Croix, I could then call in an “Uber Eats Airdrop” to enjoy with my blood-thirsting enemy as a gesture of good faith.

UBER EATS AIRDROP

The beautifully reimagined map “Overgrown” in particular struck a nostalgic chord as I relived the days of my youth quickscoping enemies from afar with the iconic M-40A3 bolt-action rifle. But as an adult, I was more impressed by the new map, “Closed-Door Office”: a safe space where players can engage in a meaningful 1-on-1 close quarters discussion.

Certain game modes encouraged diplomacy in voice chat by motivating players to discuss why their battle is occurring rather than blindly escalate the situation with violence. For example, after I validated the other team’s feelings in a round of Domination, I then coordinated appropriate times for each team to capture flags without any killing needed. With a final score of 200 – 200, everybody won.

By far, my favorite addition was ‘Peacemaker’ mode: a co-op game mode for advanced players to de-escalate heated arguments in the fastest time possible. Similar to Spec Ops in previous titles, players need to use active listening and be adept at I-statements to stand a chance. For example, instead of saying, “you’ll piss me off if you murder the hostages”, it is more effective to hold ‘X’, bring up a list of dialogue options, and select, “I would feel unheard if the hostages are murdered.”

Before I knew it, I was denuclearizing a volatile country by avoiding sharp words and maintaining a gentle tone of voice with a radical Middle Eastern terrorist organization!

Related: ISIS, American Soldiers Reach Ceasefire In Anticipation Of New Tame Impala Album

Verdict

“Our mission is to give players full-control in the heat of combat. For some, that means unloading a clip of your red dot sight M-60 into enemy lines, but for others, that might mean halting battle, climbing atop a Humvee, and asking, ‘Hey, can we just chill out for a second?’” game director Frederic Sims said.

Mission Accomplished.

Between choices like sleeping on it, taking a walk to cool off, and readdressing the issue at a later date, Modern Warfare adds a unique RPG element that makes combat thoroughly enjoyable, even for the most pacifistic gamer.

Rarely does a video game impact me IRL, but I would be remiss not to mention that Modern Warfare has made me a better person at heart. Many of the techniques I learned in game are surprisingly useful in the workplace and at home. These have reminded me that, if I take a moment to remember the Three R’s: Regulate, Relate, and Reason, there is often an easy way to avoid a messy fight. And when there isn’t, I always have that rocket-propelled grenade launcher under my bed.

It’s refreshing to see a little modern welfare in Modern Warfare.

Score: 9.5/10

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Colton From ‘The Bachelor’ Diagnosed With A Terminal Case Of Blue Balls

LOS ANGELES—Colton Underwood, the star of The Bachelor, was admitted to UCLA Medical Center this week for what is being called the most severe case of blue balls in recent history.

“Mr. Underwood’s condition is a result of prolonged abstinence and exposure to an excess of drunk, horny women in a sex mansion,” Doctor Frederic Sims said of his patient who has garnered a reputation for saving his virginity until marriage.

Related: ‘Bandersnatch’ Creators To Partner With Pornhub In Next Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Film

Underwood was reportedly found passed out alongside the lingerie section of a JC Penny where security camera footage shows he went into shock after witnessing a mannequin in a lace bra and panties.

He currently remains in an induced coma where his penis is connected to life-support and his testicles have been submerged in ice water to numb the pain.

Doctor Sims went on to say that Colton’s blue balls are swelling at an alarming rate and there could be life-threatening consequences, unless he gets laid soon.

“I am prescribing Mr. Underwood a large dosage of pussy to be administered twice a day for the next thirty years,” Sims said. “We have also made him a Tinder profile to help expedite his recovery.”

Fortunately, millions of women from across the country have donated their vaginas to the cause. However, Underwood’s family remains resilient in honoring Colton’s wish to wait until he has found “the one.”

Related: Bose Unveils New ‘Wife-Canceling’ Headphones

Will Smith Forced To Step Down From Aladdin Remake Following Blueface Dispute

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LOS ANGELES – Following the first look of the Aladdin remake, Will Smith has chosen to step down from his role as Jafar after he was accused of using blueface.

In the preview, Smith can be seen as part of a C.G.I. rendering of the mystical blue Jafar, which many have regarded as intolerant towards minority genie groups.

A spokesperson for Disney said, “Mr. Smith has chosen to give up his role in order to be respectful and sensitive to the genie community.”

To make ammends, Disney’s next step will reportedly involve reopening auditions to fill the role with a mythical being that is “culturally appropriate.”

Smith released a statement, apologizing for the controversy: “My portrayal of Jafar was meant to honor a famous children’s cartoon. I was saddened when it was brought to my attention that it was being compared to painful images reminiscent of blueface. It was not my intention to poke fun at the tragedies genies have endured throughout history being trapped in lamps.”

The situation has sparked a backlash against other Disney live-action remakes using blueface, most notably, Danny Devito’s portrayal of Stitch in Lilo & Stitch.