In most military shooters, Night Vision goggles are used to heighten the realism of a single-player campaign sequence for maybe a mission or two. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, however, is trying to use Night Vision to create a unique experience in its multiplayer modes, both by giving the component a new look and feel while also supporting a completely new set of tactics.
On any night map in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, players will have access to Night Vision goggles that function as you’d expect. Some areas that are well lit will not require use of the NVGs, and there are even light switches that can turn an interior dark.
On the surface, the use of NVGs doesn’t seem like anything more than a visual trick. It’s a little harder to see enemies and flanking teams can lead to confusion. And because Call of Duty: Modern Warfare doesn’t have a mini-map, it forces players to rely only on what they see and visual cues to assess a situation.
What makes the night maps so fun and inventive is the addition of IR lasers to each gun barrel. Visually, these lasers function like any other in a military shooter, but the key is that they only activate when a player aims down their sights. However, activating the IR laser comes at a cost, since the enemy’s NVGs can pick up their trail too.
Packaged together, the use of the IR lasers can create a fun game of misdirection between players and their opponents. Campers won’t be able to “hard scope” around a corner because it gives away their position. And more aggressive players can’t simply run into areas hoping to pick off every enemy in the muted green tones of the NVGs.
Instead, combat encounters are more considered and a lot of fun. For example, one player could use their IR laser to entice enemies toward their position, while another flanks around behind.
It’s unclear how long the night map gimmick will last, but for an initial impression, it was the most unique and exciting thing we experienced while playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. There was a new set of tactics and strategy to encounters behind simply having the best aim and it gave a new personality to the map. If MW has more experiences like this and the new Gunfight mode in store for players then they have reason to be excited.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare releases October 25, 2019 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.