Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 | critical consensus (2023)

It's the season! It's not really Q4 until Call of Duty launches, and today marks the launch of Modern Warfare 2.

Infinity Ward spearheads this year's entry in the Activision-published franchise, a sequel to 2019's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, which itself was a reboot of the original title of the same name.

Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, out today on PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One and PC, will soon be accompanied by Warzone 2.0. Warzone's 2020 sequel is still a free-to-play battle royale and will actually release a little later on November 16th.

Since Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is a live multiplayer game, most hotfixes are currently ongoing and focused on the single player campaign. The title is also not rated on Metacritic at the time of writing.

The 17-mission campaign follows recurring characters from the franchise and is set in the year 2022.

In your 8/10 rating forGameSpotDescribing the story, SE Doster said: “As members of Task Force 141, you will be put to the test when a US airstrike kills Al-Qatala leader General Ghorbrani, whose successor, Hassan Zyani, vows revenge and himself Allied with an international drug lord." Cartel to transport stolen US missiles.

“Hassan plans to launch the missiles against US targets and it is up to Task Force 141 to prevent that. The campaign is a globe-spanning affair that sends you to fight in places like Amsterdam, Mexico, Chicago and even parts of Al Mazrah. the fictional setting of the Warzone 2.0 map. This gives the setting a refreshing change from mission to mission."

"The 'good parts' come after a marathon of controlled levels peppered with moments of violence that feel uncomfortable at best and morally questionable at worst."Claire Jackson, Kotaku

Doster added that this quest for the missiles "is full of twists and betrayals just like the original Modern Warfare 2" and that Infinity Ward "does a solid job of balancing the nostalgia of the original series while offering a new and compelling storytelling."

But not all reviewers agreed on the narrative aspect and how Modern Warfare 2 deals with the sensitive issues in its six-hour campaign.

In an unrated review formy city, Claire Jackson gets it right from the first sentence: “There is good gameplay in Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. But the 'good bits' come after a pathetically slow marathon of controlled levels, punctuated by moments of violence that are so uncomfortable at best and morally questionable at worst.

He added that MW2's story feels like a "paint-by-numbers journey" that is "pro-war" and "pro-military intervention," noting pacing issues. She described one of the first missions.

"Difficult and questionable levels of violence start at the very beginning," he wrote. "The game's second mission, 'Kill or Capture,' not only requires you to cleanse a building full of wounded soldiers who can barely point a weapon at you, but also tasks you with assassinating anyone wrapped around the body of a Your people is suffering... The armed forces have just killed. And no, you can't just walk away. Though they'll grab a gun and shoot you themselves, they're clearly hiding in a bathroom and aren't wearing military gear. However, you must kill her for level . to proceed to the next sequence. I felt physically uncomfortable playing through this scenario.”

Equally unpleasant missions also occur later in the game. Earlier this week, acheapby streamer Hasan 'HasanAbi' Piker went viral when he showed part of the game in which he tricks himself into "de-escalating civilians" by pointing his gun at them.

Jackson noted that "eventually the tone of the game changes a bit" and things end up with a little more nuance than expected, but it seems too little too late.

"The game portrays international politics as a hornet's nest of past events that, while continuing to portray special forces as the good guys, at least seems to acknowledge that the United States is not an innocent actor who needs to save the day." World. of the bad guys who don't speak English," he wrote.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 | critical consensus (1)

In an unqualified review for theWashington PostAdditionally, Mike Hume also revealed his issues with MW2's narrative, saying that the way events in the game are told "doesn't really feel like considered thought" but instead feels like "shock value".

"Regardless of where you are on the political spectrum, border security and the assassination of a military leader from a country with which the United States is not at war are exhilarating and multifaceted subjects," he wrote. “And yet, these are the sorts of themes that Call of Duty games focus on to deliver the sorts of gritty, headline-grabbing plots that animate movies like Zero Dark Thirty and Sicario.

"But unlike those movies, Call of Duty delivers them as scenarios, just an empty calorie spectacle. It's no surprise, then, that these games are often criticized for at the very least looking unlikable or, worse, cursing entire nations. It's a shame, because aside from a handful of questionable storytelling choices, Modern Warfare 2 offers a welcome stark 180-degree turn in the thin-skinned Vanguard campaign, and the varied and engaging gameplay far outshines its story.

"But unlike those movies, Call of Duty delivers them as props, just an empty calorie spectacle."Mike Hume, Die Washington Post

MW2's narrative doesn't seem to follow Modern Warfare's story satisfactorily either, Sherif Saed declared in his 4/5 reviewVG247.

“In itself, this is another story about a dark-skinned, Arabic-speaking Middle Eastern guy who orchestrates a terrorist attack in the West. The squad has to bounce back and forth between different parts of the world, including the obligatory mission or two in Europe to avert disaster, it's routine as it comes.

However, as a sequel to Modern Warfare 2019, it oddly avoids delving into the events, consequences, and state of the world that were set by the end of that game. You don't have to know that the two main drivers of this game's terrain are -breaking narrativeleft to run a new studioto recognize that something has changed in the last few years.

But most reviewers agreed that story aside, Modern Warfare 2's campaign offers an enjoyable experience. Kotakus' Jackson lamented a very rigid structure that initially lacked fun despite a very high level of polish, but the game seems to open up in later levels.

“There's no denying that Modern Warfare 2 is, at its core, a slick, well-polished first-person shooter with great graphics. The problem, however, is that the game doesn't want you to have too much fun with its toys or explore much of its environments. And it's buggy around the edges, which makes it even less fun.

He continued, "I had fun in the second half of the game and wanted more of the gunplay of Modern Warfare 2, but hell I was bored to death for a few hours before the fun started."

These later levels seem to offer fun in a variety of ways unusual for a Call of Duty title, with what Jackson described as "a big hit out of all Uncharted chases," and later more stealthy missions than that remind them of The Last. of Us, or a "Prison Break Level" with elements comparable to Watch Dogs.

"In many ways, this is the most imaginative and daring campaign we've seen on the show. If you just look at it from a gameplay point of view.”Scherif Saed, VG247

Saed also gushed about the variety of missions, saying, "On the one hand, Modern Warfare 2's campaign is your very standard shooty-bang-bang jaunt around the world with enough rah-rah attitude and military jargon to almost spell it out become their own genre.

"Nonetheless, having almost finished it twice, I've always been amazed at how much more is on offer than I thought (and could be!). In many ways, this is the most imaginative and daring campaign we've seen the series, ever. If you look at it purely from a gameplay point of view."

He added that "almost every other mission flips the script in some way, beginning in a default style before shifting gears to play with an experimental idea or demonstrate a surprising new use of mechanics."

Doster raved about the way MW2 "adds a new level of crafting to the game" and highlighted several more aspects of the open world "that give you more opportunities to explore different tactics for a fight".

"Some stealth missions let you scout the area for the perfect sniper spot to line up a collateral kill, while others simply give you multiple avenues to choose how to attack or sneak past your enemies," he continued away. "This freedom isn't as great as playing an open-world RPG, but the exploration and additional options are a welcome change from the usual hand-driven Call of Duty campaign style."

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 | critical consensus (2)

Saed added that these different approaches make Modern Warfare 2 feel "very un-CoD" at times, saying, "Discovery is part of the joy, and the game often shows restraint, rarely pointing a hand at the different paths that." one follows.” . you can take or potential items you can craft."

However, as a Call of Duty veteran, GameSpot's Doster noticed an increase in difficulty compared to recent entries, leading to what she saw as "one of the biggest issues with the campaign" being how it handles challenges.

"[Checkpoints] were fairly spread out in some missions and I would have to redo a large portion of a mission if I died, while other missions secured my place in awkward spots in the action," he wrote. "Several times I've died and reappeared right near the enemy who just killed me and it's been a tough recovery, especially on stealth missions. Sometimes I've reappeared to die almost instantly, and sometimes it seemed , as if I could only go forward through sheer luck."

"My time with Modern Warfare 2 was great and I really feel that Infinity Ward created this campaign as the greatest hits list for the series."SE Doster, GameSpot

But in closing his review, Doster shared a very positive opinion of the title and hoped that the mission's diversity will become a more permanent part of the annual franchise.

"The success of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2019 left big problems that the sequel tried to fill, but overall Modern Warfare 2 is a strong successor," he said. "I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed the freedom to approach the scenarios in my own way, including all the carjacking. The different locations from mission to mission also ensured that it never got boring.

"My time with Modern Warfare 2 and Task Force 141 was great, and I really feel that Infinity Ward made this campaign the greatest hits list for the series. My surprise at enjoying the additional open-world set pieces and new maneuverability gives me hope that these elements of freedom can become an integral part of the franchise, and that's a future for Call of Duty that I stand behind can."

Jackson's conclusion was a bit more nuanced, with early level boredom and story issues overshadowing the title's innovations.

"After finishing the campaign, I wanted more battles in the game," he wrote. "Unfortunately, all I was left with was a bunch of boring as hell early levels, only vaguely balanced by level structures later carried over from other AAA games. And I don't feel like playing through the sequences where "I shoot at people who don't feel like a threat. I think multiplayer is to be expected, but this campaign is a missed opportunity for those who enjoy military-themed first-person shooters.

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