Activision details Modern Warfare's Special Ops modes

Activision has revealed more about what we've got to look forward to in the Special Ops mode that will be included with the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare reboot coming later this month. The four-player co-op modes will see an alliance led by the stalwart forces of good and righteousness at the CIA and FSB working to disrupt the operations of the global terrorist organization Al-Qatala.

There was some unhappiness a couple of weeks ago (among PC and Xbox One players, at least) when Activision announced that the "Survival mode" in Special Ops will be PS4-exclusive for a year. Perhaps as a result, today's announcement focuses more heavily on everything else offered by the mode, beginning with Operations, set in various war-torn locales where matchmade teams of four will work to complete various objectives that ultimately lead to the "destruction of a key logistical aspect of the Al-Qatala army."

"Employ different strategies. Go in quietly or tackle the insurrection head-on," Activision said. "The enemy reacts to your team’s decisions, meaning the outcome of any battle can change."

There will be four multi-stage Operations available at launch, and more will arrive in post-launch seasons, across all platforms simultaneously.

Missions in Special Ops will be "a more curated experience where your proficiency with specific weapons, killstreaks, and other tools will be tested," Activision said. Playable solo or in squads of up to four, "Missions are extremely replayable, and you’re able to achieve a 1, 2, or 3-star ranking based on your performance."

Like Operations, all post-launch Missions will also be rolled out to all platforms simultaneously.

The Survival mode, which will only be available on the PlayStation 4 until October 1, 2020, is a "wave-based horde mode" that pits teams of up to four players against "increasingly difficult and determined combatants in a variety of experiences" on one of three multiplayer maps. Again, presumably cognizant of exclusivity sensitivity, Blizzard emphasized that Survival is an "additional cooperative mode," that is "unrelated to the Special Ops Operations and Missions."

All operators, loadouts, and progress made in standard multiplayer modes will carry over to Special Ops, and because the Armistice team fighting Al-Qatala includes both Coalition and Allegiance forces, who are on opposite sides of standard multiplayer modes, all operators are available for selection by all players. Players will also choose specific roles in Special Operations matches—Assault, Recon, Engineer, Demolition, Medic, and Heavy—each of which will come with its own Field Upgrade and class-specific perk.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare comes out on October 25. Despite being nearly two weeks away, the launch trailer arrived yesterday.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.