The Call of Duty: Modern Warfare alpha is currently live on PlayStation 4 and it's pretty impressive, but one aspect of the game that's sparked a vociferous debate revolves around what happens when you're nearly dead.
When you're close to death in Modern Warfare, Infinity Ward's soft reboot of its famous first-person shooter franchise, your screen turns black and white. It's a pretty dramatic switch and, for some, makes it easy to lose a target and fight back. It doesn't help that the black and white effect feels like it lasts too long.
You can see the black and white screen effect clearly in the video below:
While there are some players who've said they're now used to the black and white effect, I've seen many comments from players complaining about it, and it seems most are hoping for a change in time for Modern Warfare's October launch.
In a post on the Modern Warfare subreddit, Infinity Ward listed feedback it's working on. There's a lot of welcome stuff in here. Highlights include audio footstep changes and an acknowledgment that enemy nameplate is sometimes visible behind cover and can make shooting at long distances a bit distracting. But there was also a note about the black and white:
"Black and White Screen At Low Health: In Gunfight, you only have one life and no health regeneration. If you've been hit and are at less than 25 health, your screen will flash black and white to visually show you that your life could end fairly quickly with another blow."
This line on the black and white screen has confused players because all it does is explain how the black and white transition works. It doesn't reveal Infinity Ward's feeling on how it's currently working, or the feedback from players.
However, an earlier comment from Infinity Ward on reddit suggested the black and white screen is something the developers can look into, so perhaps a change will be made in time for the launch of the game.
My impression is the black and white flash can certainly be difficult to play with, but it serves a purpose and fits in with the more realistic, old-school gameplay Modern Warfare is going for. In Gunfight, it puts you on edge in an already tense game mode. And it certainly adds value to the tactical stim, which you sometimes have at your disposal.
So, I don't think the black and white screen should be pulled from the game. But perhaps the developers could tone down the saturation to make the effect a little less distracting, and maybe shave a second or two off the debuff. It'll be interesting to see how Infinity Ward reacts.