Sometimes games strive to endear themselves to you through a healthy smattering of nostalgia, which usually yields mixed results at best. But some games exist solely for the purpose of reigniting old flames you thought had died in you long ago. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is a prime example of the latter.
For context, the original Modern Warfare came out in 2007 when my friends and I had all graduated from high school. It was the perfect time for a game like that to keep us all together and talking considering we wouldn’t be forced to be in the same place for five days a week. It was a nightly ritual that involved us playing long into the night and talking to one another. It isn’t a unique story by any means, but it’s one that I look back on fondly.
Fast forward to today where everyone is scattered about and doing their own thing. I bought Call of Duty: Modern Warfare out of some weird longing mixed with the general hype I’d heard since it released. Within the first few minutes of playing it, I immediately was flooded with memories of those long nights we would spend together online, and how important that was to me.
Nowadays my gaming buddies and I have drastically different tastes in games, making it hard to sync up on a purchase we can all enjoy, so I knew this game wouldn’t appeal to them. But I picked it up anyway, just for my own curiosity. It’s still incredibly fun and chaotic just like I remembered it, except this time around I’m flying solo. That sounds sadder than I intended it to, but it’s no less true.
There’s still something satisfying and endlessly replayable about the core mechanics and progression in the Call of Duty games that few other titles have matched. While I may not have my friends in my ear, cracking jokes and complaining about how “cheap” the enemies tactics are, I still get that endorphin rush of just running laps around a map and
blasting my enemies away getting killed constantly.
Yet for as much fun as I’m having playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, it still feels like half of an experience without friends to play with. I know I’ll never get those late night game sessions back and quite frankly, I don’t think I really want them. Hell, I can barely stay awake past 11 o’clock these days let alone play a game until 2 in the morning. But there’s something about Call of Duty that makes me wish I could. I guess that’s the power of a good nostalgia trip.