The latest iteration of Call of Duty Multiplayer is here at last. We already gave the Modern Warfare 2 campaign a spin, so it’s time to dive into the multiplayer experience. How does it compare to the latest batch of games? Vanguard left a bad impression on the majority of the player base. The question of how will this year’s release hold up is a hot topic in the community, especially given the now two-year lifecycle for the series.
You’ll quickly notice that Modern Warfare 2 plays and feels different than its predecessors. If anything, the game feels more realistic and less arcade-like.
Activision has removed some movement-based abilities that Warzone grinders have accustomed to. Slide Canceling has been removed to refresh your tactical sprint and bunny hopping around corners. Dolphin diving has now taken its place.
I agree with slide canceling, as it was an unintended bug in the first place. I don’t care for the removal of bunny hopping, however. It was great for aggressive players to jump into a room and get the first shot off.
As for the guns themselves, they feel nice. They have more visual recoil giving the guns more personality. The actual recoil also feels a bit higher too, which is a complete 180 from ten attachment weapons in Vanguard having literally zero recoil at all. While you can have five maximum recoil attachments equipped to minimize as much as possible, they come with tradeoffs such as slower aim down sight and movement speeds. This encourages you to build weapons to your own specific needs. There are consequences for your actions.
The Modern Warfare 2 Gunsmith makes super tuned weapons
Overall, guns this time around are much easier to level and use. Most guns are around level 20, so leveling up everything is much less time-consuming. When you level a weapon and unlock a specific under barrel or silencer, you can use that on every gun where it’s available once you’ve unlocked that slot. This is a nice way to avoid the classic trope of “this weapon is horrible until you get it to a certain level.” You’ll be able to equip specific attachments very early instead of late into the weapons progression.
At max level, you can tune your weapon to increase the use of your attachments further. Does your weapon aim down sight too slowly or have a little too much recoil? Adjust the sliders on your attachments to boost them in the right direction. While this new system seems overly complicated initially, it’s pretty easy to figure out once you get into it.
The final mastery camos in recent Call of Duty games have been a slog. Leveling up every weapon and unlocking up to 100 camos per takes forever. I think Activision has realized this and made it a bit easier on the grinders.
You only need to do four camo challenges per weapon to unlock the Gold challenge. If you’re doing a challenge for weapons with no attachments, like a knife or RPG, then it’s just one. Don’t be fooled; Anyone seeking to earn Polyatomic or Orion mastery camos will still have to earn it.
Little Billy in Middle school likely won’t have time or patience to earn this one. It’s a nice balance to ensure people can realistically obtain camos while making the highly sought-after ones feel prestigious.
The New Call of Duty Maps Are Mostly Fantastic
Featuring 11 new 6v6 Maps and various new game modes, Multiplayer seems like it will be fresh for a while. Of the 11, I have two personal favorites.
Crown Raceway and the Breenbergh Hotel are both beautiful and exciting to play on. The art design here is top-notch and couples well with excellent map design. Shooting lanes, sight lines, and corridors lend to compelling gameplay, particularly on these maps.
A lot of the other maps are fine and perfectly adequate. However, I do have an easy bottom two that most people should agree with.
Taraq is boring; The design choice of a destroyed town with tons of empty space leaves something to be desired. More assets and buildings would’ve helped spice this drab grey-scale map up.
Most people agree that Santa Sena Border Crossing is the worst map of the bunch. Much like most fans didn’t like Piccadilly in Modern Warfare 2019, this one seems to lead the pack in backing out before the game starts. It’s a single-lane map featuring tons of cars for poor angles, hard counter pushes, and exploding vehicles causing random deaths at the start of each map.
One thing I want to highlight is the game’s new Invasion mode. It feels like the Infinity Ward of old; fans of Titanfall 2, in particular, should check this mode out.
Invasion features a Big Team Battle-esque playlist where the only objective is to kill the enemy team. Set on isolated areas of the new Warzone Al Mahzra map, players can get a sneak peek of what’s to come. Kill streaks, bots, and vehicles are all here to keep the gameplay smooth, engaging, and compelling. It delivers that “Big Team Battle” feel that can make this game mode so beloved.
Modern Warfare 2’s multiplayer is not without its flaws
Even with three years of development, the final product may have been released unfinished. The opening week of Modern Warfare 2 had players constantly crashing, unable to party up. The game is also missing features that other entries in the franchise have come standard with.
Calling cards do not show up during the match. Instead, a horrible solid-colored block will inform you when someone called in a killstreak or captured an objective. Hardcore or Tier 1 mode was not included at launch. Many players only play Hardcore mode and the decision not to include it until the Warzone 2 integration seems like a poor decision.
Double XP tokens do not show how much time you have left. Since they count down in real-time, you’re forced to take note of when you started, as there is no way to tell how much time you have remaining once it’s ticking down.
It’s been an imperfect launch, to say the least, and while I don’t doubt these issues have been addressed and will be fixed, I have to talk about the game as it is, not what it will be in the future. These are all issues that must be acknowledged.
Veterans of Call of Duty will undoubtedly find something to love about Modern Warfare 2. There’s truly a lot for fans to enjoy, whether it’s grinding camos, playing search and destroy, or just partying up with friends. If you’re looking to prep for Warzone 2 integration, you’ll enjoy yourself as you jump in and level up your weapons.
That said, FPS enthusiasts looking in, or anyone who has been away from the series for a while may want to wait until Activision can fix the issues currently in the game before diving in.