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“Gunfight,” Call of Duty: Modern Warfare’s 2v2 mode, looks rad

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare’s new Gunfight mode looks like the anti-Battle Royale.

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Call of Duty Modern Warfare Gunfight

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare’s new Gunfight mode looks like the anti-Battle Royale.

After last year’s Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 ditched a campaign for the 1-vs-99 multiplayer action of “Blackout,” the latest in Activision’s long-running shooter series is considerably smaller and faster. 

Critics saw the new mode, Gunfight, back in May at E3’s “Judges’ Week.” Their impressions went up (alongside a stream of the mode) last week. On Thursday, developer Infinity Ward released a deeper look at Gunfight. It’s a new two-on-two multiplayer mode that seems tense, exhilarating and a little frightening. Each of the three arenas featured in the trailer appear smaller than Nuketown, the series’ gold standard for close-quarters combat.

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The first, Pine, drops players in a wooded arena that wouldn’t look out of place in Days Gone. The second, King, pits combatants against each other in an abandoned warehouse with plenty o’ puddles. The third, Stack, is a desert-based cargo yard with tons of shipping containers to duck behind.

The pace is breakneck. With Infinity Ward’s expert shooters at the controls, rounds only last about 20 seconds. In size, player count and speed, Gunfight is bucking the biggest trends in multiplayer shooters right now.

Battle Royale may still rule the shooter roost, but Call of Duty: Modern Warfare’s Gunfight is a fascinating counterreaction.

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Andrew King is a journalist, critic, poet, stand-up comedian and museum caretaker living in Illinois.

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