This is a single-player campaign review for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. For our thoughts on PvP, see the ongoing multiplayer reviewand expect our final verdict soon.
After five years of discussing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, there’s no confusion as to which of the two games people are referring to that shares that name. Thanks to a lame story, fumbling mechanical innovations, and underwhelming mission design, this year’s Call of Duty campaign falls short of the standards set by not only the unforgettable 2009 name, but also its 2019 predecessor. An unfortunate misfire. The graphics are impressive, but the shootouts remain cutting-edge, and there are some welcome, but too-brief attempts to break new ground.Modern Warfare 2’s campaign, rather than establishing itself as It relies too heavily on mirroring past Call of Dutys wins…its own wins.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2022) – campaign screenshots
A six-hour campaign takes you away from the Middle Eastern frontiers of Call of Duty Modern Warfare and drops the majority of the run in Mexico. This is thanks to the addition of the Las Almas Drug Cartel to the list of enemies. They play the exact same tired stereotypical roles we’ve seen everywhere from Ghost Recon Wildlands to Bad Boys. They are deeply entangled in a conspiracy involving the Iranian arms deal, stolen US missiles, and interactions between special forces from multiple countries. . Whereas Modern Warfare examined the human story emerging from military occupation and (lightly) appreciated sacrificing some of your own morality to protect the civilian world, Modern Warfare 2 The result is paper-thin, gung-ho characters and predictable conclusions in just half an hour. Expect less Kathryn Bigelow and more Michael Bay vibes in this chapter.
However, that doesn’t mean you won’t find more direct base-level thrills while progressing through its story. , looks incredibly handsome from almost every angle. Mexico is full of beautiful scenery, but a short visit to Amsterdam really shows off Modern Warfare 2’s graphical roar thanks to its impeccable attention to detail and gorgeous lighting effects.
Likewise, as you’d expect from Call of Duty, the shooting also pulls straight off the top shelf. Weapon handling is precise and punchy, and the visual, physical, and especially audio feedback is in a league most FPS games can only dream of. The Sniper Rifle and Assault Rifle in particular are commendable and feel the best yet. The collection of weapons to pick up is seemingly endless, with each one feeling different in feedback and shape, but the mission design is such that the different gun categories feel interchangeable, making one type into another. It rarely takes precedence over type.
Modern Warfare 2 doubles down on its predecessor’s combat with smaller, more “realistic” sized battles. This gives the Call of Duty campaign a unique rhythm. There is much more methodical room cleaning than engaging in large-scale, chaotic battles. This helps cement the identity of the rebooted Modern Warfare series, but at the expense of the intensity that ignited some of the original game’s most memorable shootouts. If enemies weren’t added, I’d be more than happy to welcome this change. They need to shatter helmets and vests before they can finish them off. They feel like fun curveballs at first, but they quickly become an annoying bullet sponge that not only undermines the efficiency of Call of Duty’s longstanding double-tap kill approach, but that those little encounters build up. It crushes the realism you’re trying to do.
As you can imagine, mission designs are incredibly diverse and often built around novel concepts. Those that rely on more standard templates feel overwhelmed and often very static, with multiple “keeping the line” objectives and other common fare, but these are more I appreciate that there are more levels than levels with good objectives. alone), but Modern Warfare 2 struggles to make anything memorable.
Its best attempt is Alone, a stealth level where you have to escape from a maze-like town packed with guards. Starting completely unarmed, collect materials, craft various DIY tools such as smoke grenades, trip mines, and unlock gizmos, and use them to make your way to the exit. It has all the makings of Starr’s Call of Duty missions, but is frustratingly marred by the fact that the characters are injured and can only walk at a snail’s pace. Weaving in between security patrols becomes a chore, and those 40 minutes seem like a lifetime. There’s a short but fun infiltration into the cartel boss’s mansion with a (very) light hitman touch to rub shoulders with enemies.
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But for the most part Modern Warfare 2 is content to relive its past glory. There are two consecutive missions of his that recreate the original Modern Warfare’s Death From Above, raining down all manner of high-caliber ammunition from circling gunships. Another sees the Echo of the Crew Expendable raiding a freighter, while yet another is, of course, a copy of Ghillie-up, all the way down to the enemy hiding in the passing grass. Then there are multiple references to Clean House 2019, which I slowly climb up the stairs behind my two allies whenever I get the chance. It will feel like a “best of” album.
That’s not to say that these covers are without benefits and fun. Gunship missions demand far more precision than inspiration, as targets are often close to civilians, and how to use each of the plane’s three types of ammunition is a daunting task. There is a more cautious sense. The cargo ship level, Dark Waters, makes great use of the movable cover as containers slide and slide across the wet deck. Also, the sniper mission Recon By Fire gives you a backpack full of different tools, giving you more tactical options when clearing out buildings. Blast the door with explosives and fight inside, or drop the tear gas grenade down the ventilation shaft and drive the enemy outside?
I would have liked to see the backpack system used throughout the campaign. While I believe Call of Duty’s strength lies in its linear scenario design, Recon By Fire shows that Infinity Ward has the ability to weave several choices into an encounter. But sadly it’s just one of many mechanics that feel included as a temporary novelty rather than the basis for something richer. An armor plate system used for a single mission has been added, making it look more like a tribute to Warzone than a tactical advantage. It’s possible that the moments were potentially heightened by a layer of tough decisions.
Finally, Modern Warfare 2’s campaign is a little more buggy than you’d expect from Call of Duty. Performance is consistently smooth, but when playing on the PlayStation 5, large maps occasionally experience texture pop-ins, and some elements, such as water, display ugly low-res textures. something happened. Also, at the final checkpoint of the last mission, I ran into a save corruption bug that caused a hard crash every time I loaded it, so I had to restart the mission from the beginning. These aren’t game-breaking in any way, but they are minor irritants.