The recently released Call of Duty: Modern Warfare launched without a way for players to see their death count in multiplayer matches, but the developers recently added that feature as part of a DLC pack with a $20 price tag. The ability for players to see their score during matches is a standard feature in multiplayer games, including past editions of Call of Duty.
In a year where fresh installments of shooter franchises like Ghost Recon Breakpoint were utter disappointments, Modern Warfare launched to much more favorable reviews. Screen Rant gave Modern Warfare 4/5 stars, calling it “a meaningful step forward for the long-running franchise.” On the other hand, the multiplayer component specifically was not as well received, with complaints about its lackluster map design and missing features. On top of that, one multiplayer mode, Survival, is exclusive to PS4 for nearly a full year, creating an odd division in the community.
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Modern Warfare’s microtransaction strategy isn’t likely to make players happy, either. As reported by MP1st, the only current way to unlock an in-game death counter is to buy the Mother Russia DLC bundle through the game’s store, which costs $20 worth of COD Points. Included in that bundle is a watch skin called Time to Die, which displays how many times the wearer has died in the current match. The Mother Russia pack does include other items, so players aren’t paying $20 just for this one feature, but the Time to Die watch isn’t available as a standalone purchase or through any means other than buying the bundle.
Aside from this pricey method of unlocking the scoreboard, Modern Warfare has been on a good streak when it comes to new content. The latest Call of Duty ditched lootboxes for the much less controversial season pass model, giving players a clear path toward unlocking new content. Modern Warfare has also regularly dropped free content updates containing everything from new weapons to new game modes. In a teaser for Modern Warfare’s Season One, which started December 3, developer Infinity Ward promised the biggest free content update in Call of Duty history.
While it can be argued that a personal scoreboard doesn’t necessarily give players an advantage in multiplayer, locking away a standard feature (especially one that was free in every previous Call of Duty game) seems like a step too far. Infinity Ward and publisher Activision have done a lot of work to keep players happy with the way this version of Modern Warfare delivers news content; they just can’t seem to stop themselves from finding new ways to screw it up.