The Glorious Return of Headquarters in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare

Headquarters takes all the best parts of Call of Duty and slaps it into one mode. I was beyond pumped when I heard the news Headquarters was making its long-awaited return to the franchise. Not since Black Ops II have we been able to enjoy the best objective mode in Call of Duty. And I say that as a diehard Domination fan. 

After playing the open beta, it’s good to have it back. Here’s why.

Headquarters amplifies the Call of Duty moments. While not as organic as Battlefield moments, Call of Duty’s killstreaks offer up the big ‘woah’ moment. With Headquarters, it can be turned up to 11. Calling in an AC-130 gunship as I defended a Headquarters objective for a few extra seconds is such a badass feeling. Hell, even spectating my buddy calling in killstreaks is cool.

Killstreaks have always been the franchise’s way of standing out. And Headquarters lets them shine. Whether it’s holding the objective for a few extra seconds to barely squeeze out a victory, or using an airstrike to clear it out before the enemy team takes it – one killstreak can turn the tide during a push to the objective.

Regular gunplay can also offer up plenty of epic moments too. A well-cooked grenade can take out three or four people. Or, a single sniper bullet taking out multiple players. Moments like this are what make any shooter special. And Headquarters funnels the action in such a way to make them happen more often.

Catching your breath. Nearly all Call of Duty multiplayer modes are all action, all the time. Headquarters is too, but you also get a chance to breathe if you die while defending an objective. Respawns are disabled for the team that captures it. Once you die, you’re stuck spectating a teammate.

It gives you a second to relax as your teammates try to defend the objective. It’s also when some of the best moments can happen. Watching a teammate hold off an entire team by themselves gives me that same feeling as watching a buddy clutch a win on a Battle Royale game.

No respawns gets the heart pumping. Headquarters gives you a piece of that tension from Search and Destroy without limiting you to one life. I always catch myself mashing the ‘X’ button as I try to respawn before my teammates capture the objective. After that, it’s you and your team holding the line as everyone else rushes you.

It’s not as heart pumping as a single life mode like Search and Destroy, but it adds a layer of tension all the other respawn modes lack. 

Each objective is its own match. We’ve all been on the receiving end of a beatdown in Call of Duty. I’ve played plenty of Domination matches that make me wonder if the game put bots on my team.

But with Headquarters, the objective constantly rotates around the map. It always feels like my team has a chance to turn an early deficit around. I never get that locked down feeling from Domination or when another player is racking up killstreaks in Deathmatch.

Each new objective feels like a reset as both teams jockey for position on a new area of the map.

Headquarters is as good as I remembered it. After a seven-year hiatus from Call of Duty, it’s good to have it back. No other Call of Duty multiplayer mode compares. Sure, the new super-sized Ground War is fun – but give me 10v10 Headquarters all day, every day.