The open beta for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 went live over the weekend, giving us a sneak peek at all of the new games for the follow-up to Infinity Ward''s 2019 reboot, although it wasn''t to confuse with 2009''s Modern Warfare 2, which proved to be very different. So here''s two videos from two very different kinds of Call of Duty players.
Martin: So let''s get this out the first way when it comes to CoD. I pick up every game on launch, throw through the campaign (or as has been, after an hour or two and never pick it up again) then get bored of it once in a row over the year. I''ll admit this, though, that I''ll admit that this has correctly sucked me back into the process, and I''m surprised by how slow the process is, particularly as the call of duty formula comes to an end
Wes: It definitely plays slower, and I think that''s inspired by Infinity Ward''s design. Everything from the slide cancelling nerf to the blisteringly fast time to kill forces you to play more cautious. The mini map isn''t much assistance at all, and having to wait four or eight minutes into a match to unlock certain perks that make you quiet adds a tactical element to what was a traditionally fast-paced, run-and-gun 6v6 Call of Duty multiplayer. The footsteps are
I''m not sure I''m feeling MW2''s multiplayer right now, but I suspect it will begin to feel quicker as players work out the correct counters and the ins and outs of the maps. Modern Warfare, a remake of the 2019 version, has been launched with some catastrophically poor multiplayer maps (I have PTSD from Piccadilly). These new maps flow a lot better, at least.
Martin: Over the course of a year, you certainly played a lot more Call of Duty than I did, so it''s interesting to hear your pointer from the audience. Unlike other game games, playing Rainbow Six: Siege at points is more like playing R6: Siege with everyone''s arse, but it also highlights how punchy the gunplay feels.
Wes: Infinity Ward is an avid video game gunplay player. The weapons are really bang, and the sound is fantastic. Some of the latest animations are fantastic. I love how you draw the gun while still having your primary on-screen. And there are also some really great new executions.
Martin: The animations are fantastic - last night I spent an hour or so on the returning third-person playlist where you can see them in all their glory. I think the general technical skills of Infinity Ward (and the dozens of support studios that assist with calling Call of Duty) are significant in this case. After a remarkably quiet year on this front, it''s been nice to spend time with a game that delivers spectacle on that scale.
Wes: I really liked the third-person playlist! Although it has some frustrating issues. When you aim down sights in third-person, you switch into first-person, which can be overwhelming. It''s like Infinity Ward pulled the camera back for this, but didn''t do anything else. It might be great!
One of the most interesting debates I''ve ever seen around MW2 is whether or not it''s even as good as MW1. It''s interesting to see how people compare it to MW1, not the Call of Duty games that were sandwiched in between. MW1, for all its shortcomings, was a significant step-up for Call of Duty. It really did move the series forward, not just from a technical perspective, but from an impression perspective. It was a fantastic spectacle - one of the best-
Infinity Ward made the jump three years ago, and MW2 is not the kind of jump forward again. For all feel changes, MW2 will have a difficult time wowing fans like MW1 did. Because MW1 was such a catalyst for change (and spawned Warzone) I wonder if certain modifications have been made, because Infinity Ward felt it must do something to increase the conversation, rather than making the improvements the best.
Perhaps I''m being too irritated! I am certain I will do so for hundreds of hours on MW2.
Martin: After Black Ops and Vanguard this feels like a major move forward again - but at least to where the series was back in 2019 with the first Modern Warfare reboot. It was always a bit odd how that one felt like an outlier and then the series regressed again, though it''s also a lot to do with internal politics and the weird way that Call of Duty works with rotating teams.
This makes the effort to make Call of Duty more solid for the future, as it is to rebuild it as Infinity Ward did back in 2019, and on that front it''s difficult to say how successful it is until we get to play Warzone 2.0 for ourselves. Despite this, there''s enough there to make me notice, whereas the last couple of Call of Duty games have felt like non-events.
Wes: That''s certainly true. MW2 is fueled by the roof, and we effectively get two new Call of Duty games within a month of each other, with Warzone 2.0 coming out in November.
One last question for you is: where do you stand on the last stand?
Martin: [Quickly goes to Google to learn about what you''re talking about]. Oh, yes, I think it''s funny, although I also really appreciate the slapstick of Call of Duty, and that''s what this Modern Warfare 2 open beta has delivered in spades. Roll on the second weekend - I''ll be honest.