It's time for your first look at one of the new multiplayer modes coming to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (opens in new tab) this year. It's called Gunfight, and it's a 2v2 mode that takes place on a small map with short rounds and a series of changing weapon loadouts. Check out a VOD of the livestream embedded above where you can see the mode in action.
Gunfight begins with two teams at opposite ends of a small map. You don't pick your weapon loadout—the mode decides that for you, so players will have a different set of weapons every match. When the round begins, the two teams face off. There's no healing or reviving in Gunfight. It's kill or be killed.
It's meant to be a fast-paced mode with short rounds, so if no one is killed within the first 40 seconds, the rules change. A flag will appear in the center of the map and the teams will need to defend it for three seconds to score a point. You can also score a point by wiping out the other team, or by being the team with the most health left when the timer expires. In some rounds, additional weapons are scattered around the map and can be picked up by the players. The first team to six points wins the match.
I got to play a few rounds of Gunfight back in May, and I have to say this business with the flag comes as a complete surprise to me. No flag ever appeared in the matches I played because we all killed each other very, very quickly. The map we played on, called King (which takes place inside a warehouse) is incredibly small. There's cover in the middle of the map, and a corridor on either side, but it's still tiny, like fighting in a closet. It's not hard to spot the other team—at the beginning of one round I just hit the spacebar to jump and see over the cover, and there they were, maybe 20 feet away—so I honestly have a hard time imaging no one getting killed within the first 40 seconds of a round, unless both teams just hunker down and don't move.
The mode was a fun one, fast-paced and frantic, with replays at the end so everyone can see how well (or how poorly) the other players did. I enjoy the cycling loadouts and never knowing what sort of weapons you'll be competing with, though when I heard the mode was called Gunfight I was hoping it would be more like Gun Game or Arms Race from Counter-Strike—modes where you'd begin with one weapon and once you scored a kill, you'd cycle to the next weapon. This ain't that, but it's still a fun mode.
In addition to the warehouse map I got to play, there's a map called Pine that takes place in a forest, and another called Stack which is in a container yard in a desert. I would imagine the aim would be to have more maps at launch in October and new ones added post-launch: I think these bite-sized bouts of combat work best when there's a lot of variety, not just in weapon loadouts but also in scenery.
You'll be able to learn more about Gunfight and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare's other multiplayer modes during a multiplayer reveal event scheduled for August 1 at 10 AM PT on Twitch (opens in new tab).