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Let’s be honest, there are a lot of reasons to hate on Modern Warfare right now. There are only seven maps to play on in most of the multiplayer modes (three of which are awful), the weapon balancing desperately needs addressing and the matchmaking definitely has some issues that need to be ironed out. Despite this, there is a gem of a gamemode hidden under all of these problems: Gunfight.

New to the Call of Duty series is Gunfight, a 2v2 multiplayer mode that features no respawns, predetermined loadouts and smaller maps to ensure there is no camping. On the off chance players happen to avoid each other throughout the round, an overtime flag is placed in the middle of the map to wrap things up quickly.

There are many reasons to try out Gunfight although one of the most appealing factors is how short the matches are. The first team to win six rounds wins the entire match and on average, these can last anything between four and seven minutes. Having a mode that is this snappy means you can dip in for a quick game without having to commit too much time. Not only does this ensure that most players stay for the duration of the match but, in our experience, people actually do their best to try to win. Gunfight is quite popular at the moment and thanks to cross platform play, the queue times are also reasonably short. In theory, this should last for the game’s lifespan as many players prefer teaming up with a friend and playing together. That said, if you don’t have a buddy to join you, it’s still entirely possible to work with a random teammate and win games.  

We cannot express how nice it is to play this game without running into the 725 every single match. The loadouts in Gunfight are preset, forcing players to try a range of weapons for at least two rounds before switching over to something new. At times you will be handed a sniper rifle and a pistol, but how you use these weapons is down to what tactics you implement. You can hope the enemy team is willing to give you a sniper battle, or you can rush them with only your pistols in hopes that you catch them off guard.  Players do have access to tactical and lethal grenades, but these are locked off in the first five seconds of a match to prevent players dying immediately at their spawn. Health is also a finite resource, so if you take damage, you cannot heal up during that round. This forces you to play somewhat carefully and more seriously as you won’t just respawn like in the multiplayer modes.

One of the advantages of playing Gunfight is that you will end up using a wide variety of weapons, allowing you to level up a range of guns you may not have tried before. This not only helps you to level faster, but if you want to dip into the other multiplayer modes again, you’ll have a load of perks and attachments already unlocked. It’s also helpful to get a feel for each weapon on the off chance your primary gun runs out of ammo in the middle of a fight.

As we mentioned earlier, there are a number of maps in the multiplayer carousel that we’re really not keen on. Thankfully, most of the maps in Gunfight are well designed and are a suitable size for 2v2 firefights. Each map can be roughly split into three lanes: Left, Middle and Right, making it easy to create callouts with a teammate. There is also plenty of cover to ensure the rounds last longer than a few seconds. The only map that feels truly frustrating to play on is Hill as it has tall grass that can make it difficult to see enemies. A lot of the time, you’ll find that you see enemy name tags rather than their player model which just encourages everyone to shoot blindly through the tufts of grass. This is an issue that could be easily remedied, by simply removing the grass, although we doubt we’ll actually see this change implemented.

One of the biggest complaints about Modern Warfare’s multiplayer is the use of Skill Based Matchmaking, pitting players of equal skill against each other instead of the traditional CoD way of throwing all players into battle. Though this may not be popular for the main multiplayer modes, for Gunfight SBMM is essential in order to stop games from ending within 2-3 minutes. We’ve played hours of Gunfight so far and it is rare for us to completely destroy the other team (and the same goes for us getting blasted up), so SBMM is definitely doing its job correctly.

Naturally, we might prefer Gunfight over the other modes due to the issues with multiplayer right now, but also because we come from a Counter Strike background. Having individual rounds where you have to plan your route of attack is normal in THE GAME WE PLAY. Funnily enough, CS:GO also has a 2v2 mode called Wingman which features condensed versions of the maps in the competitive map pool. CS:GO’s take on the 2v2 mode feels much more serious/stressful compared to Gunfight as the games last longer, you have to manage your economy and you are given a rank just like in the normal competitive mode. Gunfight makes you feel as though you’re having more of a personal impact on the outcome of the match, but if you have a bad game, there aren’t any disadvantages. You just hop into another one.

Overall, Gunfight offers a level playing field for all players, providing them with exactly the same tools to determine who can use them most effectively. Matches are short enough to retain players’ attention with SBMM ensuring that the experience feels somewhat challenging. We can play this mode for hours without getting bored or overly frustrated and we’re nowhere near close to abandoning it just yet. 

The final reason Gunfight is so great is that it takes full advantage of our unique stream setup which allows viewers to watch both sources of gameplay at the same time. Can you imagine that? If one person dies, you immediately get to watch the other person with no delay whatsoever. It would be so crazy if you watched our totally unique stream that practically no one has ever seen before. Maybe check it out?

*Review code provided by the publisher*