Modern Warfare 2 Review | Initial Thoughts From The Beta

The Call of Duty title for 2022 is Modern Warfare 2, led by Infinity Ward. Here’s our review of the game, and whether we think it’s worth buying for the average CoD-fan.

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This is the only Modern Warfare 2 review you need | © Activision

Warzone players will probably buy MW2 regardless of how good it is because they want access to easier weapon-levelling. But for those who are just interested in the core MW2 experience, from Campaign to Multiplayer and Spec-Ops, is it worth buying? It’s a full price game ($70 on current-gen consoles) so you want to be sure.

In this review we’ll discuss our opinion on Modern Warfare 2 stage-by-stage, starting with our initial thoughts playing the beta. If you’re completely unfamiliar with what’s included in the game, you might want to check out this guide to MW2 first, so that you can read the review with some context.

Review of Modern Warfare 2 | Thoughts from the Beta

MW2 Content

Based on everything we saw at Call of Duty Next, we can say with some certainty that this looks like one of the biggest offerings of content in franchise history. The Raids and DMZ mode will be post-launch content, but even from October 28 you’ll have a campaign, traditional spec-ops, and 16 multiplayer maps with new modes to play.

MW2 Gameplay

Movement

The movement in Modern Warfare 2 is quite different to the previous three games. There’s no slide-cancelling, quite long sprint-out times, and a few new mechanics like Dolphin Diving and Ledge-Hanging. This all contributes to give us a quite slow-paced games. If anything it will probably remind older fans of the original boots-on-the-ground Call of Duty games.

Gunplay

The TTK is short, but the increased recoil in this game makes mid-ranged fights last longer than they would in MW2019 or Vanguard. It’s hard to tell in the beta whether it’s simply because we don’t have the best recoil mitigation attachments, but the recoil is definitely more significant than we expected.

The maps and the longer-sprint out times definitely favor ARs over SMGs, and the game rewards pre-aiming more than aggressive play. Some will prefer this style of CoD, but others won’t, so your personal preference comes into play here.

MW2 Maps

As you can see from the gallery below, one of the things MW2’s predecessor (MW2019) did so poorly was maps. They were awful. And we’re pleased to announced that Modern Warfare 2’s maps, although not “instant-classics”, are all very decent, playable maps.

In the beta we saw a map called Hotel which will clearly work well for competitive play, as well as a much larger map called Museum that could be fantastic for 10v10. And for those that love chaos, we also got to try a couple of slightly smaller maps that we thoroughly enjoyed, one set in a Mexican market, and the other in a Shoothouse-style training facility. And before you ask, these maps are quite colorful and there’s no issue seeing enemies. Phew.

MW2 Weapons, Perks, Field Upgrades & Equipment

You can check out all the MW2 weapons here, but so far we’re impressed. Nothing seems excessively broken, and they’ve reigned in the attachments to a maximum of 5. Many players will probably be annoyed at first by the new Gunsmith, but after you’ve figured it out after a few hours we think most will come to appreciate the changes. Gunsmith 2.0 is a sleeker, more realistic, and less grindy way to build an arsenal of good weapons.

The changes to the perk system aren’t as confusing as people think, (you can read a guide to the MW2 perks here) but the changes don’t feel necessary. It’s not terrible, but it’s hard to work out why they made this change besides innovation for innovation’s sake.

When it comes to Field Upgrades they’ve given us tons of new stuff to play. From deployable soldiers, which are just a gimmick and won’t see much use, to deployable CCTV cameras, which can be absolutely clutch. But the equipment is largely the same set of Lethals and Tacticals that we got in MW2019. We’re fairly happy with all the grenades and gadgets, nothing seems too broken, and we’re pleased to say these Lethals won’t leave us with a clusterf*** of incendiary damage on the small maps, like in Vanguard.

MW2 Graphics & Sound

The look and feel of this game is outstanding, as we expect from Infinity Ward, especially in how they convey the weight of the weapons and explosions to the player. It feels “heavy”, and in a good way. We’re also very happy to see the maps are well-lit and more colorful than you might expect from an IW CoD. And while we’re heaping on the praise, we should also mention the animations, which are downright sexy. But if we could improve one thing, the footsteps are still slightly too loud.

MW2: Initial Verdict

This is only the beta, and so we’re sure our opinion will change, but we’re happy: everyone who loved MW2019 will love this game, and even those who prefer Treyarch games will probably prefer this a lot to MW2019. Yes, they’re appealing to casuals in some aspects of the game, but this is Call of Duty and not Counter Strike. And in other ways they’re increasing the skill gap beyond what we expected. They’ve clearly listened to the community when it comes to map design and visibility which is good, but before launch they need to keep listening to the community and give us the classic minimap back (if you don’t like it use a suppressor).

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