Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 – Review, the return of Task Force 141

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The franchise of Call of Duty is one of the highest paying in the game industry, and Activision knows it very well. As well as its IP has the ability to make millions of players fall in love with it, so the publisher is constantly committed to working on its evolution. In 2019 it was the turn of Modern Warfare and the unpublished Warzone and Call of Duty Mobile, then came the excellent Black Ops Cold War and the more disappointing Vanguard. History this year repeats itself and the line-up of the franchise is preparing to update with Warzone 2.0, the upcoming Warzone Mobile and the highly anticipated Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 that we offer you in review. Just in front of such a large amount of news for the fans of the series, what we were most waiting for was this new main title, a direct sequel to the 2019 chapter. After playing the campaign, the multiplayer and all the other very interesting news, we are finally ready to give you our verdict for one of the most awaited works of 2022.

The return of Task Force 141

Let's open the examination starting from none other than campaign, an element that is normally left in the background to give more space to multiplayer and related modes. However, being a continuation of the story of Task Force 141, many had important expectations regarding the plot and possible implications. We too were eager to find out what happened in this new campaign, but what we have seen he left us partly very satisfied, partly slightly disappointed.

This is because the Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 campaign is very different from that seen in previous titles. The dynamic narration seen in Black Ops Cold War and Vanguard is abandoned, seasoned with some secondary missions, in favor of a greater linearity. If in 2019 the first Modern Warfare laid the foundations for the characterization of the characters on their interpersonal relationships, the current chapter fails slightly in this sense, given that he can't always clearly define every face of the cast.

The foundations of each of the members of Task Force 141 are outlined by the small moments of interlude between one level and another, as well as in the most important moments of each single mission. Nor can we say that particularly delicate issues have been touched upon, above all because the narrative sector always remains anchored on the tactical approach, with some slightly political aftertaste. History of Modern Warfare 2 stays that way quite simple e it never gets too out of balance nor with particular plot twists - which fans of the original chapter will surely remember - nor with impactful deaths in the team of Ghost, Price and Soap.

Instead, what we loved about the campaign is its ability to contrast sharply to multiplayer, totally detaching from the frenzy of clashes and embracing more atypical gameplay mechanics and dynamics for the franchise. The story of Modern Warfare 2 is made up not only of firefights, but also of particularly challenging tactical operations and stealth phases. Indeed, although it is true to say that the campaign tells the story of a modern war, what Activision and Infinity Ward show us is a silent, political and cyber conflict.

A different, but memorable campaign

This translates into very varied levels where we will either have to provide air support to the Task Force, or work as a team to infiltrate an enemy base or, again, pass silently through a city without being noticed by opposing soldiers and building equipment with materials found around. The playful variety is also the strongest element of the campaign, which gives the work a touch of originality that we never expected. 

Specifically, we very much enjoyed a mission in which, together with Price, we have to infiltrate enemy bases by clearing the area with sniper rifles. Even more sensational was the level where, as Soap, we had to make our way through a night town hiding from enemy soldiers and crafting the equipment with luck materials found around. In short, the Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 campaign has thus revealed itself extremely interesting especially as regards the playful system, while it sins more or less evidently in the narration and in the storyline itself.

Even more interesting, but also disappointing at the same time, is the fact that no real definitive conclusion is reached. Anyone who has already completed the campaign or remembers the events of the original trilogy well will know in which direction Activision is taking the story of Modern Warfare. The arrival of a sequel might seem obvious at this point but, to be honest, we seriously wonder if the publisher is really convinced to propose once again a mission of some importance, especially when considering the current situation in terms of foreign policy. Call of Duty veterans: you understand what we mean, right?

Lots of variety for multiplayer

Closed the parenthesis of the single player, let's open the huge diatribe linked to online multiplayer by immediately answering a question: yes, we thoroughly enjoyed the whole multiplayer rig in all its facets and modalities. Among these we clearly find the classic matches such as domination, team deathmatch or confirmed kill, plus some interesting news.

Among these we cannot fail to mention the Third person moshpit, a new addition to the series that allows you to play a deathmatch with a completely new perspective. We had already had the opportunity to try this novelty during the beta period, which gave us a first look at what we would have found in the full version of the title. We confirm how interesting this mode is, especially for those who want to try something new.

One small flaw that we pointed out in our first impressions was the switch from third person to first person when using any type of viewfinder, while now the view remains anchored in the third person. This clearly excluding the use of some sights for long distances. We are happy to see that Activision and Infinity Ward have also listened to this player feedback before releasing the title, however we cannot fail to specify that this change involves a frequent problem with the aim itself.

It happens quite often to find yourself in situations where, shooting from an angle, you ended up shooting at a wall and it was therefore necessary to expose yourself a lot. This is clearly an unequivocal fact and one that cannot be circumvented, there is little to do. In any case, it is only one of the many small uncertainties that the third-person Moshpit carries on its shoulders, and it is clear that the development team has not placed a lot of attention in the creation of this mode.

“A Real Battlefield”

The methods are more interesting Ground Warfare and Invasion, which throw the player on a whole larger plane in matches that throw their rules on domination and team deathmatches. The maps are much larger and the amount of players grows to 32 per game, with a significant amount of bots entering the field for both factions. If we combine these factors with the presence of vehicles, helicopters from which to re-enter the game and the frequent appearance of crates with a series of kills, we understand how much these modes match the standards of Battlefield gameplay.

The feeling that Earth War and Invasion exude is to be in a real battlefield, where an enemy soldier can come out at every corner and a sniper can be found at a distance, hidden on who knows what roof. So let's talk about very interesting news but perhaps they are not really for us, who instead loved something completely new.

Radio silence

Let's talk about the entire cooperative multiplayer sector, or a part of Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 completely focused on the tactical approach together with a friend or a random player. Until now we can find three missions, very distinct from each other, which we recommend starting with a friend. The first, more interesting, involves tactical infiltration via HALO launch in a town, with the aim of finding and collecting some nuclear materials, choosing together the strategic approach for each strategic point.

The other two missions follow along the lines of the first, throwing two players into a huge open map with specific objectives and a great deal of freedom to decide how to proceed. Other small details: it is not possible to create sets of equipment before taking the field - although we will be able to find weapons around the map - and we will therefore have to make the most of everything we have available, as well as communication with our companion.

Needless to say, on a Discord call with a friend of yours, this may be the most fun and immersive mode in Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2, as well as the biggest surprise that Activision and Infinity Ward have reserved for us. On the other hand, we already know that more missions will be added in the near future, which is why we can't wait to find out what other levels await us.

To surround the entire play system, a key element of the entire Call of Duty multiplayer experience, are obviously the maps. We will be honest with you: we are not fully convinced of the work done with Modern Warfare 2. We objectively acknowledge that there is a fair amount of variety in level design, in terms of level structure, size, and art direction. It is undeniable that the development team has worked hard on trying to diversify each single map as much as possible, and in this he achieved a rather remarkable result. Confirming what we already said during the beta test, what is really missing are iconic, memorable maps in which players can be happy to enter the field. Let's face it: how nice it was to see what the map of the match would be Rust? Here is the feeling that is missing.

In the current Modern Warfare 2 there are perhaps only two or three really interesting maps, out of a total of 16 scenarios where most of them soon end up being forgotten or really just a side dish rather than the protagonist of the game. Even worse is the inability to edit the map, with the risk of ending up in a highway area, Then scary vertical, full of vehicles ready to explode, snipers and grenades.

Instead, we liked the more open worlds of cooperative games, where the large proportions of the map are really perfect for the type of mode. They always give the player both the possibility of freely deciding how to approach a particular objective, and a fair level of challenge when faced with a limit, whether structural or enemy.

Together with the maps, the second co-protagonist of the Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 play system is obviously the gunplay, as well as the gameplay in a broader context. Infinity Ward has clearly picked up on what it did with 2019's Modern Warfare, modernizing some small things and smoothing out where necessary. However, there are some new features such as the aforementioned third-person mode or the possibility of cling to edges to peek and possibly firing pistols, although it is not an addition that offers anything really impactful on the gameplay.

However, we believe that a really excellent job has been done with the weapons, both in terms of quantity and customization. Specifically, thanks to the platform system it is now possible build new types of rifles starting from some basic ones. Let's take an example: by taking an M4 to a higher level we can unlock an M16, keeping most of the modifications that we have previously unlocked. Indeed, it is a system that speeds up progression and obtaining new weapons but which at the same time makes it more complete and customizable.

Less convincing however is the way in which the specialties have been modified now slightly more complex and at times even confusing. You may find yourself looking for tutorials to understand the new way perks work, but we'll keep it short: just two perks can be active for the entire duration of the match, while two more will automatically activate in more advanced stages. A small advantage related to this system is the presence of a good dose of specialties available to the player and, in any case, it is good for the entire play system.

A technically uncertain launch

We are moving towards the conclusion of the examination by evaluating the technical sector of Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 which, as you may have already heard from many other sources, is unfortunately still rather unstable. Crashes were more frequent than we'd like to admit, especially during the campaign, and we got to witness a dismal amount of bugs across all modes. Same speech server side, which currently can create glitches and lag during matches.

Don't be alarmed though, clearly we are not talking about a critical situation or, worse, a title with serious problems. We only think that the work still needs a long series of updates to resolve the technical uncertainties that risk weighing on the overall experience. Without forgetting that the need for a greater balance of weapons and equipment is really felt a lot, as there are some exceptions that risk breaking the game when used in specific ways on certain maps.

As for the visual and sound system, however, we can confirm the attention to detail placed by Infinity Ward, who has packaged an artistically impeccable work in every aspect. It goes without saying that Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 is a small feast for the eyes in every single situation, expressing its true potential during the campaign - where the scenes are clearly more calibrated by the developers - and during some cooperative games.

We have already specified that the scenic variety is a strength of the scenarios, but we have not yet told you how surprising the sound sector was. We are not talking about the soundtrack, which is not even reproduced at times due to technical bugs, but about all the sound effects. For example, it surprised us to see how, during a campaign mission, when we fired from a support helicopter and shots exploded on the ground near our allies, we could hear the blast from the Task Force microphone.

We also hope to see an improvement regarding all bots, which are always too dull. We have seen enemy soldiers perform incomprehensible actions or stand still in front of a wall waiting to be killed. In short, in a competition of cunning Modern Warfare 2 bots would not find themselves on the podium, and we were sorry because it greatly ruins the gaming experience, especially during cooperative games.

  • Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 (Tested on PC) 8.3 Final Vote

    To reach a final verdict, the only thing you really have to take into consideration is that Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 is an incredible work, which literally has nothing to envy to the previous chapters of the series and which can be appreciated in its news and improvements. Let all prejudices and all sorts of uncontextualized opinions slide over you, and take the pad in hand to try for yourself everything it can offer you. Clearly there are still many uncertainties and balances to be made, just as the amount of bugs to be resolved is not exactly indifferent, but in the current state - and with the future that lies ahead - Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 promises to be a game that it will keep you busy for many hours.

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