Call of Duty: Modern Warfare’s Gunfight Mode Stirs Up Nostalgic Memories

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare’s Gunfight Mode Stirs Up Nostalgic Memories

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare's Gunfight mode feels like a great tribute to the old days of 1v1's on Rust with your friends.

Regardless of the games that you’re interested in, most of us can remember the days of the original Modern Warfare games. 360 no scopes, insults to your mom, and 1v1 challenges on Shipment, Rust, or Dome were commonplace back then and it was, frankly, all a part of the experience.

Fast forward to 2019, and Infinity Ward is releasing a reimagining of the classic first-person shooter sub-series with a mode entirely based on 2v2 gameplay. I, like many players throughout the weekend, got to get their hands on the mode’s PlayStation 4-exclusive Alpha and what on the surface seems like a small, fun game mode immediately brought me back to the old days.

For those that don’t know, Gunfight has a very simple premise. Two players face two other players in an extremely small map with the same random loadout. There are no respawns and the first team to either wipe out the other team or capture the flag in the middle of the map wins the round. If neither team captures the flag within a certain amount of time, the team with the most collective health wins the match. It’s a very simple concept; one that might not have even had the ability to fail. That being said, Gunfight is genuinely fun. Considering the reaction it was getting from people over the weekend, including from those that I know who don’t like Call of Duty, I’m definitely not alone.


After a few practice matches, I felt like I was immediately transported to 2009/2010, at the height of the Call of Duty craze. Facing off against your friends on a small map was always tons of fun and this seems like it’s almost a spiritual successor to that experience. While this Alpha didn’t allow me to play private matches, you were able to team up with your friends on the same team. I can’t tell you the number of times I was laughing and had a huge smile on my face, which was something that I haven’t done in a while in a Call of Duty game. That’s not to say that I haven’t enjoyed my time with Black Ops 4 or WWIIbut I haven’t had these types of energetic reactions since Modern Warfare 3. 

As expected, each round is incredibly short, coming in at around 1 to 2 minutes long, if that. During my time with Gunfight, I saw some rounds end within a literal matter of seconds. Like the Call of Duty’s of the past, you need to be fast in Gunfight. Camping won’t get you anywhere and being strategic in the back of the map generally won’t either. In my experience, the best strategy you can have is to rush your enemies as fast as possible. That’s not to say you shouldn’t be strategic. Avoiding the center of each map is a no-no and you should be around cover as much as possible. But waiting around for something to happen just doesn’t end well.

In addition to the normal mode, Infinity Ward also added a variant called OSP. In it, everyone starts with a pistol and players have to pick up weapons around the map. To be honest, I’m not sure if I like either mode more than the other. That said, both have their place in Modern Warfare and you’ll generally have fun in each.


One thing to note is that, while this was enjoyable, it’s up to Infinity Ward to add fun maps into the game. In my opinion, five Gunfight maps aren’t enough and there definitely needs to be more added before the game’s launch. Personally, I think 10 would be the sweet spot, although 7 would be acceptable, in my opinion. Now, this was the game’s Alpha, which means there’s almost certainly going to be more than just these five. Still, it is something that I wanted to point out.

All in all, Modern Warfare’s Gunfight mode is great, short fun. While I don’t think it’ll be my go-to game mode when it releases, I’ll certainly be playing it all the time. Between its small maps and fast-paced gameplay, I immediately felt like I was playing Modern Warfare 1, 2, and during their glory days again.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare will arrive later this fall on October 25 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.