Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Review (PS5) – Half-baked, Yet Highly Entertaining
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 offers something for everyone. Whether you’re a fan of cinematic, single-player first-person shooters, traditional Call of Duty competitive or coop multiplayer, Battlefield-like large-scale battles, or even Battle Royale modes, this game has you covered in some shape or form. In terms of available content, this is one $70 purchase that doesn’t need to justify its price, as it’s bound to be on your active playlist for months or even years to come!
The game’s campaign takes place three years after the events of 2019’s Modern Warfare. Task Force 141 has returned, and the team of Price, Ghost, Soap, Gaz have come together to face an unparalleled new threat in the form of a certain Hassan Zyani. The latter is suspected for being in possession of stolen American missiles with which to wreak havoc.
The sixteen campaign missions in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 last around eight to ten hours on the Normal difficulty. While the campaign featured in 2019’s Modern Warfare had some entertaining missions, it was more grounded and lacked the bombastic, over-the-top set-pieces that other Call of Duty campaigns are known for. This situation has been rectified with Modern Warfare 2, where the campaign takes you on a trip through intense, action-packed missions featuring some of the most engrossing set-pieces the series has seen to date. The production values and audiovisual triumph further add to the overall impact that these action sequences deliver. It would be a crime not to mention the impressive attention to detail on display during the Amsterdam mission.
As one would expect from a Call of Duty game, the gunplay is top-notch. Weapons feel fantastic, thanks in part to the great haptic feedback on the PS5’s DualSense controller and the game being capable of running at 120 fps. Sound effects also play their part in giving weapon fire a serious punch and making you feel like a part of the action-packed battles.
The campaign missions are varied, occasionally to a fault. You’re on a globetrotting adventure across places like Mexico, Spain, and Amsterdam. There are missions where you’re encouraged to go guns blazing, and others that require you to take up a more tactical approach. A certain mission is oddly reminiscent of Metal Gear Solid V, putting you in a large open world-like region and giving you some freedom to choose from multiple approaches to take down enemy installations. It’s a breath of fresh air from the otherwise narrow and linear missions seen in most Call of Duty campaigns. There’s also an Uncharted inspired convoy mission, where you’re driving and hopping across a variety of vehicles with moments that wouldn’t be out of place in a big budget Hollywood production.
As mentioned earlier, though, all this variety sometimes make missions feel too different from one another to the point where they might as well have been from different games. Certain mechanics are half-heartedly introduced in one mission, only to be forgotten for most of the remainder of the campaign. Survival elements have been thrown in for good measure, but it didn’t feel like the game couldn’t have done without them. They’re seemingly there just to tick another checkbox in the name of variety.
While these elements do feel out of place and take away from the tighter pacing in an otherwise action-packed and tactical solo first-person shooter experience, the campaign still manages to impress overall. Though, those looking for a more grounded approach to combat encounters like in the campaign from the original will likely come away a little disappointed with the sequel.
The main course of any Call of Duty title is its multiplayer offering. Infinity Ward has added a bunch of new mechanics to Modern Warfare 2 with the intention of evolving the core gameplay experience. For starters, it is now possible to perform a dive that directly transitions into the prone stance, which can prove useful in numerous situations. Also new to the series is the ability to clamber and hang on to ledges, making the act of climbing and traversal feel more fluid and natural. Lastly, players are now able to swim and go underwater.
While these are great additions to gameplay in their own right, the 6v6 maps don’t do a good enough job of facilitating the improved traversal and underwater gameplay. It feels like a wasted opportunity, at least at launch. There are a couple of exceptions where you’ll be able to take advantage of these skills, but, for the most part, you’re likely to forget they even exist. Future DLC and the arrival of Warzone 2.0 will undoubtedly improve things in this area, but these mechanics are unfortunately underutilized for now.
The revamped weapon progression and perk system indicate that Infinity Ward has attempted to make the game more accessible to newcomers, as the changes largely benefit them. It’s a good way to lessen the advantage of veterans from the get-go, and give less seasoned players a fighting chance. Perhaps the return of the third-person mode is also a part of this initiative to make the series more accessible to players who prefer this camera perspective. In the multiplayer beta, Infinity Ward had opted for aim-down-the-sight (ADS) to switch to first-person mode, which had a jarring effect on the flow of gameplay. This has been rectified in the final release, and your character remains in third-person view even during ADS. As a result, the third-person mode now feels like a more cohesive alternative to the regular mode.
Three new match types round up the new additions to Modern Warfare 2’s multiplayer mode. In addition to the usual Team Deathmatch, Domination, Hardpoint, Kill Confirmed, and Search and Destroy, the game introduces Prisoner Rescue, Knock Out (6 vs 6) and Invasion (32 vs 32). In Prisoner Rescue, players must either defend or rescue two hostages by carrying them to their base. Knock Out has both sides fighting over a bag of cash, which must be held for 60 seconds. Lastly, Invasion is a fresh take on the Ground War match type, with the main difference being that there are no points to capture and AI teammates are added to the mix.
Lastly, Modern Warfare 2’s co-op mode, Spec Ops, includes three cooperative missions at launch, and also offers the option for couch coop via split screen. Unfortunately, the mode is limited to just two online players, which feels like a step back compared to some of the other co-op modes offered in prior Call of Duty titles. Nevertheless, it’s a decent alternative to the main multiplayer modes.
All in all, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 brings some great new additions to the series’ core formula, but largely fails to accommodate them in its multiplayer maps at launch. That said, the core multiplayer experience remains strong, with weapons that feel and sound better than ever. Similarly, the survival mechanics introduced in the midst of the campaign serve no meaningful consequence in later mission. Nevertheless, it’s an entertaining eight to ten hours of action-packed missions featuring some of the most engrossing set-pieces the series has seen to date.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Game Information
- Price: $69.99
- Publisher: Activision
- Developer: Infinity Ward
- Platform: PS5 (Reviewed)
- Disclaimer: A review code was given by the publisher