If you enjoy a good microscopic comparison, nothing beats releasing a new Call of Duty game to get forensic with – the minutiae of recoil models and movement techniques all become crucial.
Modern Warfare 2 has more community hype than any recent COD release and the promise of an effective franchise reboot, all while Xbox’s buyout of Activision continues in the background. We’ve been putting in the hours on the MW2 beta to give you our thoughts on how it’s shaping up.
All Change, No Change
We’ve obviously only had a chance to play Modern Warfare 2’s multiplayer modes so far; we’re sure the campaign will be bombastic and explosive, but we’ll have to wait until it’s released to find out.
On the other hand, the multiplayer beta has provided a sizable amount of content to try out, all of which gives a taste of how Modern Warfare 2 intends to change things.
But first, the obvious caveat: this is still a first-person shooter (with a couple of third-person playlists for a fun twist), and it’s still brutally fast and unforgiving in terms of time-to-kill and level of competition.
With that out of the way, anyone who has played Modern Warfare 2019, Black Ops Cold War, or Vanguard (the last three COD releases from a few years ago) will notice some significant differences in Modern Warfare 2.
For starters, this is a slower Call of Duty than we’ve seen in ages, with rapid movement options like slide-canceling removed to force players to be more deliberate as they slink through the maps on offer.
A new dolphin-dive move lets you jump into the fray, but it delays weapon firing, as does dropping into a prone position, so you won’t see quite the same level of farcical movement around the place as you play. Meanwhile, a new ledge-hang mechanic feels unnecessary but could sometimes come in handy. Read Also; Fall Guys Reached 20 Million Players In Two Days After Going Free To Play
For our money, this is all fantastic – movement was getting out of hand in COD, and we’re looking forward to this slowing down in Warzone 2.0, which will be released shortly after Modern Warfare 2.
It allows for a slower and more deliberate approach, restoring some of the tension only Modern Warfare 2019 has achieved recently, particularly in modes without respawning mechanics.
An intriguing new recoil model complements this – while the guns have kicked and take some getting used to, just like in MW2019, it’s the significant visual recoil that stands out. Shooting a machine gun feels and looks as heavy and bouncy as you would expect (or a lot closer to it, anyway).
In its current state, Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 is a far more realistic-feeling beast than most shooters, albeit one that knowingly undermines that realism with its fast-paced action and modes. This is fantastic progress, and we’re excited to see how much of it survives to the final release.
What’s That Sound?
If the game plays slower and guns require more control, a large part of the equation is due to Infinity Ward’s completely new 3D audio engine.
After years of inconsistency in COD’s multiplayer and (especially) Warzone, this could be the light at the end of the tunnel – a pretty generational leap in quality.
Whereas in previous games, you could generally expect to hear people running down the same corridor or entering the same room, Modern Warfare 2 introduces a world of echoing footsteps and clear cues.
You’ll hear someone creeping through the room above you, then hear them transition onto a marble staircase in an attempt to ambush you – at times, you’ll be able to track their exact location just by listening to the noise. It’s a significant improvement and explains why the minimap no longer displays people firing un-silenced weapons as red dots.
It should not be understated – as it stands, this is a refocusing that prioritizes audio over the map in terms of tactical importance, which was absurd in Vanguard but works perfectly now that the game’s audio is good.
Aside from tactical applications, the incredibly punchy and powerful sound effects are simply impressive from an immersive standpoint, with a wince-inducing character that makes using some guns viscerally enjoyable.
Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2: Level Me Up
Another area of change for Modern Warfare 2 is its dopamine-injecting progression system, which is a little more complicated than before.
Whereas most COD games allow you to level up as you play, unlock new weapons as you rank up, and attach attachments to individual weapons as you use them, things are a little more nuanced here.
You’ll still level up and earn weapons, but some will require you to use a related weapon for a certain amount of time or kills (or so it appears in the beta).
These unlock trees provide a secondary set of objectives to pursue as you play, though they can initially be a little confusing.
Once you’ve unlocked some attachments for a weapon, a newly upgraded Gunsmith system allows you to customize it to your liking, and it’s as detailed as any enthusiast could want. We’re mostly relieved that we’re back down to a maximum of five attachments, removing Vanguard’s absurd overkill.
Again, this excess reduction should benefit the game in the long run if it works as intended. We’re excited to see how it influences Warzone 2.0’s hopefully less laserbeam-esque gunplay. Read Also; Call of Duty Mobile Season 6 2022: All About The Skies
Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2: To Recap
Modern Warfare 2 is coming along nicely, with excellent new audio and a more involved progression system complementing the game’s rock-solid gunplay.