Title: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.
Release date: 2022.
Console (player on): PlayStation 5.
Console (also available on): PlayStation 4, PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series x/S.
Play Time: 15 hours.
Mode(s): Campaign, Co-op, Multiplayer.
Genre(s): First-Person Shooter.
Developer: Infinity Ward.
Writer(s): Brian Bloom, Eric Anderson, Justin Harris & Matthew Haraza Davis.
Composer(s): Sarah Scachner.
Voice Actor(s): Alain Mesa, Barry Sloane, Ramon Fernandez, Claudia Doumit, Glenn Morshower, and many more!
My Overall Rating:
Although no other first-person shooter developers in the video game industry today are capable of replicating an iota of the Call of Duty‘s franchise’s success, it is a distinguished burden that publisher Activision must carry on yearly to deliver an original, addictive, and ground-breaking title that can keep the franchise alive. Fortunately, the utilization of iconic and popular characters such as Ghost, Captain Price, and General Shepherd, offers little to no window of opportunity to butcher the story as the latest covert operation sends, once again, these characters on international soil in a thrilling race against time. Developed by Infinity War using a new IW engine, the latest Call of Duty title, accessible on multiple next-generation gaming consoles and PC, is a direct sequel to the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare reboot released in 2019 and attempts to reimagine the original story with modern-day twists and turns. This game features a campaign, special operation missions, a multiplayer feature, and a free-to-play battle royale game mode called Warzone 2.0.
What is Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 about? Taking place in 2022, Task Force 141, under the command of General Shepherd, is ordered to conduct precision strikes on Russian-backed Iranian forces. Following the death of Iranian general Ghorbrani at the hands of Americans with the help of a deadly ballistic missile strike, his second-in-command Quds Force Major Hassan Zyani takes over the leadership of their organization and prepares over several months their hateful revenge on the United States of America. As MARSOC Marines deploy to put an end to Hassan Zyani’s activities, they discover that he was in possession of American-made missiles, which sends the upper management into complete turmoil, ready to do anything, to search and destroy these armaments and stop Hassan Zyani before a larger war begins.
When it comes to story-telling, the Call of Duty franchise has often preferred a more bombastic approach filled with split-second decision-making and an irrational amount of Michael Bay-style explosions rather than delivering a clever and witty narrative with climactic and memorable action and suspense. Focused on an arcade style of first-person shooting while restraining the player’s freedom through linear progression (e.g. environment-restraining passages that make it mandatory for players to go where the developers want them to go) and pace-controlled animated sequences (e.g. when your player is forced to walk slowly behind a non-playing character), the approach is much more hopeful in deceivingly impress players through short-lengthed cinematic story-telling, memorable and short dialogues, and chaotic and flashy action. Unfortunately, the predictable and déjà-vu plot twists make the short narrative traditional and weak in execution. At times, it does succeed in creating new relationship dynamics between various key characters while delivering entertaining banter but the game’s inability to think up an intelligent plot leaves you mostly in awe at its mechanics rather than its story.
It is in fact its gameplay, mostly by polishing the previous game’s mechanics, that allows this sequel to thrive and players to overlook its more creative flaws. Not only are the visuals gorgeous and detailed, especially when the game takes place in broad daylight in European countries, but the weapon sounds, design, and feel are also impeccable. As you progress through the game, purposely structured to allow players to explore different terrains (air, underwater, or ground), playstyles (stealth, sniper, vehicular warfare, guns-blazing shootouts, and many more), and environment (day or night), players can also explore a myriad of guns and lethal/tactical grenades. While some chapters do show more creativity than the usual Call of Duty missions, they never last long enough or allow players to properly indulge themselves in the mechanics. Nevertheless, traditional mechanics as well as some novelties (whether it’s the underwater mechanics or the cover system) makes it a breeze to get through the campaign without many hassles. That is if you exclude all the release-day bugs that were mostly irritants to the overall gaming experience.
Then again, who even plays Call of Duty for its campaign nowadays? Their multiplayer remains the main attraction and it is everything players could ask for, from numerous original map designs to an intricate and varied selection of weapons, all playstyles are welcome, as well as the frustrations that come with being killed by them. Although there’s a sense of a rudimentary user interface and limited options in the multiplayer modes, which eventually will be subject to patches, it leaves a sour aftertaste considering the minimum that you could ask from a franchise that has had years to master their craft. The weapon crafting feature is also slightly inconvenient and far from being optimal to encourage players to try different class setups. Fortunately, many of the inconveniences simply get drowned by the addictive and rewarding gameplay that players are accustomed to within the Call of Duty franchise. The shaky and broken launch of Warzone 2.0., weeks after the initial release of the game, should also be left unscrutinized, deep in the closet. One can only hope that the next installment, also the 20th of the franchise, will make the development leap that the franchise needs.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is a decent yet forgettable installment in the franchise, content with the bare minimal, as it sacrifices story-telling for gameplay, and begs on a nostalgia factor to be commercially successful.