Call of Duty Modern Warfare II is here and when we were offered the opportunity to review it I was rather excited.
I’m old enough to remember the original modern warfares and while my favourite remains Call of Duty 2, you’d have to be insane not to recognise the impact MW had and that they represent the peak of the franchise.
I dropped off the CoD train not long after this as the yearly multiple studio rotation began and the franchise in my opinion dropped off in terms of ingenuity and quality in my opinion.
I did play a lot of Warzone, who didn’t, as far as Battle Royale games go, it’s still the best even if it suffers from the usual CoD issues.
Enough of my CoD past, let’s get into Modern Warfare 2.
Veteran, other Campaign difficulties exist but I’ve never tried them, this is how I like to play Call of Duty campaigns. The gang are all here, Soap, Ghost and Price, all the nostalgia you could want is here and to be honest it’s not just the cast that feel…dated.
The adage “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it” could be Call of Duty’s tagline at this point. The campaign is exactly what you’d expect, a tight rigidly scripted blast fest that is equal parts enjoyable as it is stale and repetitive. Now, my difficulty of choice “Veteran” is perhaps partly responsible for the campaign feeling so restrictive. Veteran, you will die alot, this isn’t something that really bothers me as I know what i’ve signed up for. The frustration arises in the fact that the campaigns scripted level design combined with the difficulty means that you have to play the game exactly as intended or you simply won’t progress, there is zero player freedom here to the point that the game may as well be an on rails shooter. For the sake of being thorough I’d did replay a level on ‘Hardened” (the difficulty option down from Vet) and then the game is insultingly easy as the enemy AI couldn’t hit a barn on this setting.
Needless to say my frustration began to build as I progressed through the campaign, the plot is pretty much what you’d expect, bad people have weapons, good people with weapons need to go stop them. Now, I will say that the plot has a few nice surprises that tie it to the OG MW’s in a way that even excited my casual Call of Duty brain that I’m not going to spoil. Speaking of Spoil, one of the campaigns 17 missions “Violence and Timing” almost entirely spoiled the campaign. The mission consists of a prolonged vehicle section which simply put is overlong and tedious, not to mention the awful physics on display in this mission. Your huge flatbed truck will be pushed from the road by a tiny van (which also counts as dying, forcing you to repeat sections) or you’ll end up T-boning yourself by trying to run an enemy car off of the road, which you can’t do as the games overly scripted nature won’t allow it.
The penultimate mission has what I can only call a boss fight, which again is frankly ridiculous and scripted to the point of frustration, dying and having to hear the same dialogue over and over again became so tiresome that I almost gave up.
Campaigns are normally the highpoint of Call of Duty for me so it was with very little expectation that I ventured into the games multiplayer.
Once again “Don’t fix it’ is the order of the day, while visually the multiplayer looks just as good as the campaign and the sound is incredible, to the point that it could be the best sounding war game i’ve ever played (previously this honour belonged to the Battlefield franchise) it still plays like COD. That is to say, sprint around the map with the fastest assault weapon you can find and spray rounds at the other people doing the exact same thing. Well, thats the case for the non objective based game modes. I enjoyed every single second of Prisoner Rescue and elimination I played. Everything about Call of Duty multiplayer but with some tactical pace thrown in makes for an incredible time
I did play some Warzone 2.0 and frankly it’s a new map, thats it. Missions have been renamed but are fundamentally the same as 1.0, I honestly have nothing more to say about it.
So far, I’m not loving Modern Warfare 2, but that was suddenly about to change. DMZ may still be in beta but this is exactly what I wanted to play without even knowing it. A huge map, a perfect mix of PVP and PVE. In DMZ you and two squad mates drop into the game and have missions to complete to unlock weapons to use. That doesn’t sound fun, but if you fail to exfil from the DZM any weapons your carrying are lost to the zone (although you can insure one weapon and thats just restricted by a cool-down before you can use it again). It’s a risk and reward situation, how much time do you spend in zone, given that there’s a limited amount of exfil points, these will be overtaken by the radiation as the game goes on, meaning that every squad in the game may end up in a battle for that last chopper out. It’s honestly exhilarating, it’s almost like each exfil has the same tension of the end of a Warzone match.
Review code was provided by Activision