Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 (2022) review - Ghost Retcon - Finger Guns (2023)

High production values, slick multiplayer, and plenty of nods to the past make Modern Warfare 2 (2022) a triumphant return for Ghost & Co. The Finger Gun Review.

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 is a great game, and as such, we decided to approach it as a team. Miles and Josh joined me on this mission. It's fitting, because even though you're playing the solo campaign, you rarely feel alone in this game. Can Modern Warfare 2 (2022) reach the heights of its 2009 namesake, considered by many to be the pinnacle of the series? Yup. yes you can

The campaign

by Miles Thompson

2009's Modern Warfare 2 is probably best remembered for its infamous "No Russian" sequel, as well as its incredibly addictive and nostalgic multiplayer mayhem. The campaign was big, bombastic and about the spectacle of a global conflict. You've repelled a US invasion, sabotaged an oil rig, defended Burger Town with just your knife ("Ramirez!!").

Modern Warfare 2's campaign was a Michael Bay blockbuster about the thrill of the Force fantasy. However, Infinity Ward opted for a more grounded, edgy, and altogether more methodical approach to their action franchise. 2019's Modern Warfare reboot, which favors more tense and less over-the-top "ooh rah" encounters, was a breath of fresh air, albeit a breath of combat brutality.

"Clean House" is still a quest I refer to when I think of claustrophobic suspense and nail-biting suspense. With that in mind, can the second entry in the reboot series hit the same high notes? Check your NVGs and watch the curves, Bravo Team dims again.

Roger? No, just Roger

In 2022's Modern Warfare 2, you'll take on the role of multiple protagonists, as is now commonplace in Call of Duty. Ghost, Price and company are after an Iranian commander who is doing some shady missile deals he really shouldn't have done.

There are some new faces and the story differs from the original 2009 version, though it strikes a good balance between the nostalgic homage to its predecessor and its own unique story. For example, Shephard is making a comeback, and we all know what that means for Overwatch's trusted commanders. More than that, however, it's the recreation of iconic moments that you'll fondly remember from your heyday.

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An oil rig robbery, AC-130 firefighting, a prison escape sequence, traditional snipe and stealth case, are all here and accounted for. With this iteration, however, Infinity Ward has made each of these scenarios so different that it feels like a new version of a frayed memory. Dark Waters is an excellent example of how to pay homage to an earlier performance while still feeling like a new experience worthy of its own title.

Much to the excitement of many people, Ghost is back and he's a beefy action hero as ever, perhaps even more so in this one just to capitalize on his legendary status. Gaz returns from 2019 and Farah also makes a minor recurring appearance alongside new recruits Alejandro and Rodolfo. Soap and crew meet here, and for the most part, it works. I wish Soap's Scottish brogue wasn't so tragically bad and that the dialogue and voice acting leaned a little too much into ultra-rude military stereotypes, but overall it's good campaign storytelling.

Plus, Alone has some of the best soap ghost pranks heard in a CoD game, which is worth the price of admission alone.

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call of fire

In Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2's 17 missions, you'll engage in your usual firefights, stealth takedowns, and action scenarios. We all know how CoD plays at this point, so I'm not going to delve into the moment-by-moment gameplay. The firefight mechanics are tight and engaging, as we've all come to expect.

The variety of settings is solid as you move from narrow, claustrophobic corridors to more open battlegrounds of carnage. Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 is at its best in the former. As the pace slows and you navigate your way through a multi-tiered building, looking around every corner for a hidden insurgent, the gameplay comes to life with the thrill of a well-balanced tug-of-war.

Some missions also have an extra gimmick, like a level where you have to go out unarmed and injured, collecting trash across the map to craft a knife or smoke bomb to attack your opponents. Another has you fighting the face of a ship rocking in the waves around you, moving containers and crates as you go. I've been killed by a rogue box more than once, I can tell you that.

I also want to mention the new "Press F to show respect" moment with the Modern Warfare 2 entry: "Press L2 to deescalate civilians". Infinity Ward seem to know what they're doing when it comes to riffing on past meme moments. It's pretty ridiculous, but almost in a deliberately silly way.

Midway through and towards the end of the campaign, however, Modern Warfare 2 loses its best elements and focuses more on spectacle, which I was a little disappointed about. It's all very fun and enjoyable, but it loses the edge and sense of grit that made the rebooted Modern Warfare series so compelling thus far.

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Because of this, I would recommend starting the Realism difficulty as soon as you complete the campaign for the first time. Realism removes the HUD and gives you 1-2 shots before death all the time. The first half of the campaign will be absolutely stunning in this mode, as you navigate nerve-wracking corners or try to thwart a sneak attack from a sneaky enemy.

Sean likened it to a set of puzzles to solve and I totally agree. The realism significantly ups the ante, enhancing everything that is so exciting about Infinity Ward's melee approach. On the other hand, it can also expose your larger standard sections as unbalanced and poorly structured in some cases.

check your fire

Seriously, none of the following issues affect Modern Warfare 2 significantly, it's still a pretty good campaign and the best since MW 2019. However, certain sections like the Prison Break sequence have areas where spawns and AI can be overpowered seem to ruin your life that brought back some of the nightmares of the World at War veterans' experience.

Also, there are a few bugs here that are noticeable enough to break some of the immersion. For example, in Recon by Fire you have to hide and dodge some enemy patrols. A cool little crawling ghillie. However, if you are within a certain range (even if it isn't detected), this can break the AI ​​pattern, meaning they don't walk and prevent you from reaching checkpoints unless you complete the level, which is weird.

There are other minor visual issues too - dead bodies floating in the air, NPC animations that are out of sync, or a guy climbing onto a truck despite not touching the truck. Given the excellent graphics and visual presentation, they probably stand out a little more than any other title. A slight lack of polish is all it really is, but we'd be remiss not to mention that there are some issues, albeit minor ones.

Other than that, Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 looks amazing. I can pretty much guarantee you'll be impressed by some of the environmental detail and lighting effects you'll often encounter in your Bravo Team mission. Despite the problems, Modern Warfare 2's campaign is an excellent return to form and a real thrill.

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Back in the saddle

If you're one of the minority of people still playing Call of Duty for its single-player offerings, Modern Warfare 2 will bring you a thrilling, thrilling, and fully immersive firefight.

A variety of missions, exciting level design and mechanics, excellent graphics and excellent audio work mean that you will be immensely entertained during the 5-6 hour runtime. It has some balance issues in certain sections (mostly on higher difficulties) and a slight lack of polish, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy every moment of it.

Captain Price and his special ops team of tough friends are back for revenge. The tributes to 2009's inspiration are nostalgic and bright, while the genuinely fun back-and-forth with Soap and Ghost will stick with you, even if the overarching story is somewhat predictable.

Bravo-6 is getting dark, and you'll have a hard time not joining them.

the multiplayer

by Sean Davis

During myWriteof Modern Warfare 2 Beta, I made a bold claim. I said "CoD MW II showed early signs of being one of the best in the series to date". Of course, this was based on my experience with just a few cards, but it felt great. I mentioned some issues with spawn locations and the need to tweak them, but overall the multiplayer was very promising. That promise was fulfilled in the final version of Modern Warfare 2.

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The game

There are a number of changes to the core Call of Duty formula that make this easier. First and foremost is the overall feel of the game. The game is fast - it's not as "fast" as Advanced Warfare, but it's fast nonetheless. Most matches are short and aggressive, rather than the half-hour fights you find in other shooters. Almost everything about Modern Warfare 2 on PS5 is fast: the TTK is relatively short unless your enemy is grabbing armor, respawns are near instantaneous, your movement speed (though it depends a bit on the weapon you're grabbing) feels quick, getting in and out of water feels easy, and the minimap will now no longer ping to show you photos, so you'll be sizing up what's to come.

While Modern Warfare 2's multiplayer feels fast-paced, it doesn't detract from the tactical and strategic nature of the game. It seems like every element of the game strives for balance, no matter how you play. Damage dealt per shot is balanced on a razor's edge with rate of fire, reload speed, ammo per magazine, etc., so no weapon feels like an advantage, for example. Rushers with a fully leveled M4 will probably do just as well as the sniper camped on the roof with a ranged rifle. For every bad game you're struggling to get started, you have one game where it all comes together and you're a walking wall of death.

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Of course, you can customize your Modern Warfare 2 experience a bit through the new Gunsmith 2.0 and Kill Streak reward systems. The first, Gunsmith, lets you tweak the handling of your chosen weapons. The more times you use a weapon, the higher its level, the more unlockable components you'll earn, and the more you can tweak your weapon. Everything from the sights to the ammo, from the stock to the barrel can be adjusted, affecting how the weapon works. Each component has positive and negative effects on your weapon, such as: B. Increased recoil in exchange for increased ranged damage. These changes have a noticeable effect on your weapon and can affect your success if you adapt the weapon to your playstyle.

Then there's the Kill Streak reward system. Similar to the past, you will be rewarded for achieving a killstreak and can choose what to unlock at different kill levels. Most of the rewards will be familiar to longtime players - UAV, Sentry Drone, Chopper Gunner, etc. - but there are also some new entries like the Drone Bomb. You can only select 3 Kill Streak rewards at a time, which further deepens the tactical nature of the game. Are you playing in a mode that you know will struggle to keep up? Perhaps targeting rewards towards the lower end rather than the 15-kill Juggernaut option.

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The maps and modes

As is common with Call of Duty these days, Modern Warfare 2 maps are reserved for specific game modes and player counts. The Quick Play playlist - a rotating mode with all the usual Call of Duty classics shuffled around - takes place on smaller maps that accommodate teams of 3 to 6 players. The other modes - Invasion (a PvPvE mode) and Ground War (which Battlefield has been trying to do for years with varying degrees of success) - take place on a much larger scale and come with maps to accommodate these larger battles. What's quite interesting is that some of the smaller maps are actually parts of the larger arenas used during the Invasion and Ground War.

After spending nearly 30 hours playing Modern Warfare 2's multiplayer, I can't think of a single map in the current crop that is of poor quality. There's a generous mix of card types here that fit typical shooter structures. There are several three-lane maps - Crown Raceway, Santa Seña Border Crossing, Farm 18, Zarqwa Hydroelectric - with the traditional trio of interconnecting paths running from one side of the map to the other. There are also some less traditional maps here, maps with centralized pinch points but with wider open spaces and views from every corner. Taraq comes into its own here, offering crumbling corners and open balconies to counter it. It's incredibly well designed. The overall design quality of the card is very, very high.

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If there's one aspect of Modern Warfare 2's maps that seems lost, it's the presence of iconic assets. While all of the maps are a lot of fun to play, they lack the characteristics that would make them instantly recognizable, even if you're taking a beating. There's nothing here with Nuketown, Terminal, or Crash's character that gives them the potential to make this "best cards" list. If any of the maps stand a chance, it's Crown Raceway, which comes complete with race car sounds that can provide an interesting challenge.

As far as modes go, most of the fan favorites are making a comeback. Team Deathmatch, Free-for-All, Domination, Search and Destroy, Headquarters, Kill Confirmed, Hardpoint and Knockout are all here, present and correct with the same rules you'd expect. Notable in its absence is Gun Game. The mode became a favorite in previous Call of Duty installments, but it doesn't exist here. I hope it arrives later, but for now it's a much-missed mode.

There are quite a few new modes being introduced as part of Modern Warfare 2, and they all bring something different to the table. The new main mode is prisoner rescue. This is basically a hybrid of Search & Destroy and Capture The Flag. Teams are divided into defenders and attackers and are tasked with fulfilling their respective roles around a pair of prisoners. If attackers grab a prisoner and manage to carry him to an Exfil location, they score. In this mode, downed players can also be revived and there is no respawning. If defenders defeat all attackers, they win the round. While this mode is new to other modes, it is unlikely to replace existing favorites.

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The other two main game modes are Invasion and Ground War. Both are like massive deathmatch battles between two larger teams that have dominance over available vehicles. They feel like a cross between a traditional Call of Duty match and some of Fortnite's timed modes. Invasion includes a bots element in every match, making it feel bigger than any other Call of Duty match type in history. You get the feeling that there's a massive fight going on - but the AI ​​is generally pretty bad, which can quickly pull you out of that immersion when you're just running for fire. The Ground War is my favorite recurring supplement. Combining larger, goal-oriented team play with Warzone mechanics, this mode feels grand and frantic. If you're a fan of the bigger teamfights like Battlefield or Battlefront, this feels on par with their biggest and best modes. It's a lot of fun and will fill the Warzone-shaped hole in this CoD entry until Battle Royale 2.0 arrives.

A new perspective?

A third-person multiplayer moshpit is also included in Modern Warfare 2. Here's what you can expect - CoD in a third-person perspective. Playing Call of Duty this way completely changes the feel of the game. It's almost like SOCOM. Instead of poking your head around corners, you can lean against walls to safely see the path ahead.

Despite the revolutionary way this mode works, I don't see it becoming a new staple for Call of Duty. In general, it seems like there's a different design philosophy to cards designed with a third-person or first-person perspective in mind. There is a different feeling than with suchdishonest societyB. for the maps in Modern Warfare 2 - taller buildings avoid spikes around corners, etc. It's pretty cool playing Call of Duty in third-person - don't get me wrong - but if this is something Infinity Ward and Activision want to read about Check it out, it might be worth making your own thing with custom cards designed specifically for it.

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The Modern Warfare 2 multiplayer verdict

The multiplayer element of Call of Duty games has been the highlight of every new title in the series since Call of Duty 4. It's no different here with Modern Warfare 2, which offers a sleek, fun and highly polished game suite, multiplayer modes and maps. Some of the tweaks - most notably the minimap change - might annoy longtime players, but I honestly think all of these changes benefit the multiplayer. Here is a much more complicated game, where you have to listen to the sounds, pay attention to the movements and think about what to do instead of looking for pings on a mini-map. The new sound system that has been implemented is phenomenal and gives you a sense of place that many have complained about in previous Call of Duty games. Call of Duty is usually a game I play for a few weeks before deleting it to make room for other games on my hard drive. I can definitely see myself playing Modern Warfare 2 multiplayer for months. If the flow of content coming into the game is constant, it can go much further than that.

The purchase/specification operations

by Miles Thompson

I've spent many nights with friends who scored 3 stars in the original Modern Warfare 2's Spec Ops mode. It was amazingly created for a mode that 95% of the CoD population probably never played or cared very much about.

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 returns with 3 missions that are... well, underwhelming. It doesn't help that the matchmaking and servers are weaker than a wall of wafers, nor does it help that the AI ​​is clearly not built for a more open space with multiple objectives to manage.

Make no mistake, the mode is superficially fun - you won't be recreating the intense and impressively crafted experiences of 2009 here. The requirements for 3 stars are also completely arbitrary - time limits on 2/3 missions or limiting the number of enemy plants on the last one.

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I played with Sean (when not booting him) and Josh, finding that you can completely abuse the checkpoint system to maximize missions. You can literally run to the objective, ignore all enemies, plant/find what you need, die, release, repeat and complete the level in less than half the time required. The way success is measured undermines the level design philosophy itself, which is a shame.

Still, I had some wonderfully hilarious and epic moments. From blowing up a helicopter colliding with mine and Josh's truck, to Sean rolling half an army to complete a mission, to mercilessly shooting 10+ soldiers on the same ladder while Sean's downed soldier looked on, I had fun. It's stupid, horrible, ridiculous fun, but I can't deny it's a nice little distraction for an hour or two.

It doesn't live up to the 2009 version of Spec Ops, but Call of Duty is in an entirely different realm now. The fact that there's even a Spec Ops mode is surprising, so I'll grab what I can. It's worth checking out, just don't base your purchase decision on this wonky, wonky mode.

by Sean Davis

The current three co-op missions are by far my least favorite element of Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2. They almost feel clingy and redundant compared to everything else in the game. That doesn't mean they're poor - they're not. But they don't look as polished and refined as the rest of the Modern Warfare 2 bundle.

This lack of polish manifested itself to me in the form of odd sags. While playing online with Miles and strangers combined, I got kicked out of the game with the error message "Developer error [some numbers]". Co-op missions can be time-consuming, so finding a way through them only to find myself kicked in the lobby and leaving my co-op partner alone to complete the mission is pretty disheartening.

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Then there's the enemy AI - like in multiplayer Invasion mode, bot opponents can be spectacularly stupid in co-op. Failure in these modes almost always comes down to a numbers game rather than the tactical reasoning displayed by the AI. Set up a kill runner and you can squash kill after kill after kill while the dummy soldiers just run into oncoming fire.

However, when these missions work, they can be a lot of fun. Driving a truck around a base, blasting your way through Juggernauts while my co-op partner fires RPGs at helicopters circling overhead is an absolute delight. While co-op isn't essential to the Modern Warfare 2 experience, it's also harmless, allowing you to skip these missions entirely if you're only here for the multiplayer and campaign.

Despite some gripes, Modern Warfare 2 is a true return to form for Call of Duty. A masterfully crafted multiplayer experience and an excellent campaign mode that pays homage to its predecessors while still feeling its own thing, brought together in one of the best big-budget shooters in years.

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Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 (2022) is available now for PlayStation 5 (test platform), PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series S|X and PC.

developer: Infinity Guard
editor: Activision Blizzard

Disclaimer: To complete this review, we received a promo code from the publisher. For our full review policy,please go here.

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