Call of Duty: Modern Warfare beta is now live

Reboot feels like a true successor to its namesake

Call of Duty Modern Warfare: Beta feels like an updated, more modern version of predecessor Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. 
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After an exciting alpha test last month that showed a lot of promise, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is back with its first beta.

The alpha showed off a tiny slice of gameplay in the form of Gunfight, pitting two pairs of players against each other in close-quarters combat on tiny maps with predetermined and identical load-outs. It was something slightly different from what we are used to seeing from the franchise, but I suspect that this mode, almost like a shrunk-down version of an arena shooter, will be quite popular when the game is out.

This weekend’s beta adds many more multiplayer modes to the mix, and the one fans have probably been the most curious about is the six-versus-six deathmatch mode. This has always been the bread and butter of CoD games, and playing it is usually the best way to get a real feel for what a new entry brings to the table.

Early impressions are extremely positive - this really does feel like an updated, more modern version of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.

There’s a real sense of weight to your character as you move through the world, and everything simply has a touch more realism to it than we’ve become used to in the most recent entries.

Some alpha players complained that the gunplay felt a bit too slow and deliberate, but whether you find this a negative or positive will depend on personal preference. Make no mistake - this is still a fast, frantic twitch shooter, not an Arma-style sim.

Performance and matchmaking look really good so far.

The beta is open for players who have pre-ordered the game from Thursday, September 12 (although you don't need to pre-order if you're in the Middle East), and for everyone else from Saturday, September 14. It ends on Monday, September 16.

Xbox One and PC gamers will have to wait a week for their chance to play.

If you were unsure about what to do this weekend, you may have just found your answer.