This year’s new Call of Duty game, a shiny 2022 redo of Modern Warfare 2, is available on all major gaming platforms worldwide today – but is it enough to justify the first-day purchase?
Players who pre-ordered the game tried out the CoD MW2 campaign last week, but now all multiplayer maps for the launch day are also available. Of course, with Warzone 2 on the horizon and MW2 Season 1, many more will come.
Nowadays, a Call of Duty game is more fluid than it used to be since seasonal content after launch (and crossovers with the free Warzone) keep the game fresh months or even years after the first release. But we can only judge what’s ahead of us, so keep reading, and we’ll tell you what we think so far.
One thing you can’t criticize about Modern Warfare 2 is the presentation. As a blockbuster newcomer to one of the gaming industry’s best-funded franchises, it should be no surprise that the new Call of Duty game features top-notch graphics. Nevertheless, it’s hard not to be impressed when you start the game.
Many gamers are first attracted to the MW2 campaign, and there’s no denying that this lively story mode is stunning, offering believable character models, photorealistic locations, and weather/water effects that would make any other video game blush. And again, as you might expect, the offered shooting game is one of the most fluid and entertaining in the recent past.
The same can’t be said for the campaign story, which has more twists and turns than a saw movie box set and a series of revelations that don’t come home. It’s hammy stuff, even silly, but that’s what players expect in some ways. This won’t win best narrative gongs at the Game Awards, but it still needs to be a fun introduction to the game.
Of course, when the totals are added up, the story will show that players spent much more time on the multiplayer modes of Modern Warfare 2 than on the story content. This multiplayer element can change over time, but you want to know how it feels on the first day, and that’s why we’re here. Let’s get started, shall we?
After our first few hours with it, Modern Warfare 2 multiplayer looks pretty promising. After the battles in WW2 of last year’s Call of Duty: Vanguard, fans felt like they were screaming for a more modern and modern experience, and that’s exactly what they’re getting here. Although there is no zombie mode at launch, many other multiplayer contents will keep you busy.
As always, there are competitive and cooperative options to choose from, and you can also switch between online play and local split-screen if you have an additional controller (or mouse and keyboard). There are rescue missions, invasions, defense tasks, and all the usual game types that you would expect. If you are a fan of cod in general, you will feel at home here, and it should be soon that you relearn the basics and become good.
Adding third-person gameplay is a nice touch that allows you to see the action (in the truest sense of the word) from a whole new perspective, although it feels awkward to switch between third- and first-person when you need to aim sniper sights. We’ve also seen reports of graphical glitches, but we haven’t experienced any of them ourselves (and there were no signs of lag, thanks in part to our fast broadband connection).
Overall, we have had very positive experiences with MW2, but that does not mean we have no concerns. Progress, for one, feels slow, as each weapon has its mini-experience bar that will level up over time to unlock perks. The menus also feel fiddly, but these systems could be streamlined over time.
In terms of the minute-by-minute multiplayer gameplay, we only had a good time with MW2 then, although we wouldn’t say that the map design offered here is at a franchise level. Some maps feel cluttered, with the spawn points feeling so random that it’s hard to get into a proper flow.
If things are going right, they are going right, and it is still obvious that CoD is the king of the castle in terms of first-person shooters in the multiplayer section. Whether you prefer to play locally or online, with voice chat on or off, with friends or strangers, you will have a very good time when you invite into this game.
Compared to recent competitors at launch (Battlefield 2042 didn’t have a campaign last year, and its multiplayer felt much shakier), Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 feels far superior. It feels like a manageable overhaul for the franchise, but it should do enough to keep these core fans entertained for hours until the next one comes out.