I know I’m a tad late with this review this year, but now, it has become like some sort of a tradition. What I mean is that doesn’t matter what I, or any other outlet for that matter, thinks about that year’s Call of Duty; it will still sell like hot cakes. On boy, did this year’s Call of Duty sold well.
The game made like, what, a billion dollars in it’s first week or so and in my honest opinion, it is more than justified as this is probably one of the best, if not the best, Call of Duty game in recent memory.
I absolutely enjoyed the shit out of this game. The campaign is really strong with not only tons of amazing blockbuster set-pieces and badass character moments like the usual, but also for the “new” elements that it introduces.
Modern Warfare 2019’s campaign was stellar and Modern Warfare 2 somewhat manages to top that. While playing the game and going through the missions, two lines from the first game kept replaying in my head.
“Where do we draw the line sir?” That was what Gaz asked to Captain Price after he had to do something of a very questionable nature. And Price’s response? “You draw the line wherever you need it, Sergeant”.
This is modern warfare where the lines between good and bad are often blurred. These special Tier 1 operatives can’t always go by the book as their enemies will not. They have to do whatever they need to do in order to complete the mission. And in my opinion, Infinity Ward has captured this necessary brutality of modern warfare in an exceptional way in Modern Warfare 2.
Now, I personally do not care about any of the real world politics like “America is good and everyone else is bad” like many other outlets seemed to mention on their coverage. I don’t care about any of that shit. I play Call of Duty campaigns for the bombastic fictional experience that they offer.
A terrorist group has acquired a number of missiles and they plan to attack America with them and it’s up to the Task Force 141 to find these missiles and stop these imminent attacks. However, the story gets a little bit more complicated as the team has to travel all around the globe to collect information, find those behind these imminent attacks and ultimately save the day.
This conflict includes a lot of countries and factions from the members of Task Force 141, the CIA, a corrupt US army general, a shadow US military group, the Mexican Army and a Mexican Cartel, the Al-Qatala terrorist group, rebel fighters, Russians… yeah, there’s a lot of involved parties. Yet, how they are interwoven with each other, somehow makes sense and you are in for a hell of a good time.
And it’s up to Ghost, Price, Gaz, Soap and the newly introduced badass Alejandro Vargas along with help of some old friends to get to the bottom of everything. What a journey this is though. One moment you’ll bomb the shit out of a high ranking official in the middle of the desert, the next you will move and clear a couple of enemy occupied houses in the middle of nowhere to then capturing a high value target in the middle of the day in Amsterdam. Another moment will see you crossing the Mexican-US border pursuing another HVT on foot going from house to house deescalating any potential conflict with rightfully angry civilians. Then you will fight against an angry Mexican army and make your escape through the mountains and ultimately down through a river. Then you will hang upside down a flying helicopter somewhere across a middle eastern desert and then you will have to drive, jump across cars and shoot your way through hordes of enemy vehicles to ultimately save a friend. Then you will storm an oil rig in the middle of the ocean and also fight across a massive moving ship deck where the containers shift and move around with the ship leaving your ass open to enemy attacks. Then you will get to operate a gunship in a very tactical way which is kinda a first for the series and help a ground team capture an HVT. Then you will storm a massive prison complex to save another friend. Then you will see yourself stranded alone in a small Mexican town where you have to crawl around, craft makeshift bombs and engage in guerilla tactics in order to survive. Then you will stealth your way through a modern rendition of the famous “Chernobyl” mission. Then you will rappel down a massive skyscraper in Chicago clearing enemy combatants floor by floor… and so on. IT GETS CRAZY AND I ABSOLUTELY LOVED EVERY SINGLE MINUTE.
The amount of action and blockbuster set-pieces is insane. But the game doesn’t shy away from slowing things down when it needs to. You will feel this shift in the gameplay too as your character movement will feel slower. In these moments, you are not meant to run and gun, but to slow down and think tactically. Granted, if you play on Recruit you can still run and gun and be fine, but I don’t like to play Call of Duty campaigns like that. You need to play this game in Veteran, where one mistake usually means death and you’d be surprised how much better the overall experience will ultimately be. Yes, it will be harder cause, well, it is supposed to be, but the level of immersion and satisfaction you’ll get is bar none. The "Alone" mission showcases this the best where Soap is hurt, alone and stranded in a small Mexican town and has to craft and fight his way around heavily armored enemies. It's a tense mission, that in Veteran plays a lot like a horror game as you never know what might be hiding around the next corner.
Did I mention that all of the members of 141 are ultimate badasses? However, they are not just your one-dimensional gruff characters with thick accents. There’s depth to each of them, there’s pain behind each one of them and the interactions / banter between them is probably the best we’ve ever gotten in a Call of Duty campaign. It also helps a lot that the game looks and sounds phenomenal as the graphics, sound design and voice acting are industry leading. Yeah, this campaign is the bomb and you should absolutely play it.
The other part of each Call of Duty release is the multiplayer and I have to say that I did really enjoy it. This time around the game has also been slowed down a notch and feels more tactical. Of course, you can still tactical sprint all over the place, but you will end up dying a lot more. You have to adapt to this new flow, you have to check corners a lot more and more often than not, prefire in order to mow down anyone in front of you. However, I also have to mention that, for a couple of years now, I have not been a big fan of competitive first person shooters. I’m an old man, my reflexes are not what they used to be and when going against the demon kids that play nowadays, I tend to fall short. However, give a shotgun and I will hurt these kids real bad in smaller maps.
All of the usual modes like TDM, Kill Confirmed, Hardpoint, Search and Destroy etc. are here and if they are not, good chance is that they will come in the weeks to come since the amount of support in terms of new content, new modes, new maps that Call of Duty receives is unmatched in the gaming industry.
There are a couple of new modes already in the game, one being a 3rd person mode which works surprisingly well and will do wonders when Warzone 2.0 releases since it will also be present there too. The other mode called Prisoner Rescue, a new six-vs-six mode where the defending team must protect two hostages as the attackers try to rescue them. It’s a very tactical mode, something very different to the usual Call of Duty MP experience and I must say that they knocked it out of the part.
Ground War is great and probably it’s the best implementation we’ve ever seen. The maps are large with great flag placements that create engaging encounters, there are tons of vehicles players can use and the amount of available weapons, perks, throwables, gadgets, field upgrades and killstreaks is just insane and offers up a ton of loadout possibilities.
Progression has also been slightly tweaked where now to unlock a specific weapon you need to use and level up another weapon. However, the attachments that you unlock for that first weapon will also be available for this new weapon. This nudges players to try out guns that they would probably never touch. In Gunsmith you can also modify an existing weapon adding up to 5 attachments, but you can also straight up change the weapon frame creating a totally new weapon. Again, the level of customization is crazy and you might need to spend some time until you find the weapon that works for you and your play style.
The final mode is the co-op mode, but right now it’s very limited. There are only 3 missions you can play in co-op with other players and although these missions are good and somewhat expand on the campaign, you can beat them in just a couple of minutes.
As it is right now, Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 is a monster of a game with a phenomenal campaign and fantastic multiplayer and well worth your hard earned cash. However, as it’s usual with each Call of Duty, this is just the beginning for this game as the roadmap is rich and exciting. New modes, new maps, new weapons will start to trickle down with each new season. Then you have the new exciting Warzone 2.0 along with the new DMZ mode. Yeah, this is probably the most complete Call of Duty game to date and it will only get better. Thanks for reading!
The game was reviewed on a PS5 using a promo code supplied by the amazing PR. Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 is now available on PlayStation, Xbox and PC.