Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II – Review

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II picks up where Call of Duty: Modern Warfare left off in 2019.  There is an imminent threat that you need to deal with or the world won’t be the same tomorrow.  There are some nice twists and turns going through the campaign and some interesting ideas I don’t think I have seen in a Call of Duty campaign before.  Of course, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II is a massive title and the blockbuster campaign is only a part of it.

The most popular part of any Call of Duty game is the multiplayer suite and there is a lot here this year.  Unfortunately, the user interface is pretty bad here so it might take a while to get used to how to find everything.  It isn’t immediately obvious where to go to find the campaign for example, so you’ll have to search around a bit.  A lot of people want to jump into a game as soon as possible and that is where the “Quick Play” option comes in.  If you don’t care what mode you play in, you can go here and immediately find a match.  If you only want to play specific modes though you should filter your list beforehand.  For example, if you only want to play Team Deathmatch or Kill Confirmed you need to make sure those are the only options checked on the list so you don’t get put in Domination or Hardpoint.

A new addition to Call of Duty this year is the inclusion of a third-person mode in multiplayer.  It is titled “3rd Person Moshpit” and allows you to play Team Deathmatch, Domination, and Hardpoint in 3rd person.  The maps for this mode range from small to large with two teams of six.  It is definitely a different way to play Call of Duty and one I had a lot of fun trying out.  It took me a little while to get used to it since I never really thought I would play a Call of Duty game that way but I liked it and I hope it is an option in all future Call of Duty titles.

If you have been a fan of the hardcore mode in previous Call of Duty titles you will notice that it seems to be absent from Modern Warfare II.  It is still there, they just changed the name for some reason.  Hardcore mode is now known as “Tier 1” and is pretty much what you expect.  The modes available to play in Tier 1 are the usual fare including Team Deathmatch, Free-for-All, Kill Confirmed, Domination, and more.  There are daily challenges you can try to complete such as getting two operator kills while at low health or getting five operator headshots with SMGs.  If you have Double XP tokens you can use those here as well to level either yourself or your weapon up more efficiently.  You will also receive a 10% boost if you have the battle pass.

The battle pass this year is laid out in sectors.  For starters, you have these tokens.  You can earn tokens by playing the game or buying them with real-world money.  If you choose to go the real-world money route, you have to buy Call of Duty points.  Once you do that you can buy battle tokens with them.  Once you have some tokens you can pick an active sector on the map.  When you do that you will initially have four items to potentially buy with your battle tokens.  Once all four of those items are bought, you will gain access to the high-value item in that particular sector.  This could range from a new weapon blueprint to a new operator, to a new vehicle, and more.  Each sector seems to follow this path of having four rewards and then unlocking the high-value reward once you complete the initial four that are available.  It is an interesting system and one I personally like a lot.  I can see how some might prefer the old way of doing things here but for me, I enjoy the choices I have and the fact that I can upgrade the way I want.  I get to pick how and when I get certain perks or rewards and really enjoyed that level of control.  Keep in mind though that any battle tokens you earn in season one will not be transferable to season two so you don’t really want to sit on them for too long.  For those who like to plan out how they progress in the game though, you should enjoy being able to plot your course to unlock what is most important to you before you get to the items you might not ever use.

The Modern Warfare II multiplayer suite also features a cooperative mode.  This is where you can work together with someone else to achieve a common objective.  You will get rewards based on your performance with every mission having a unique reward if you can get three stars.  There is a weekly progression system here too where you can level up and unlock stronger abilities.  There are three different ways you can choose to approach this either going with Recon, Assault, or Medic.  As you progress through these missions you are going to want to keep an eye out for additional data and other items.  It somewhat made me feel like how I did when I would track down collectibles in prior Call of Duty campaigns.

In addition to all of that, there is also the free-to-play Warzone 2 that is also available.  There is Warzone 2.0 DMZ which is in beta and then the Warzone 2.0 Battle Royale which is what most people play.  Warzone 2.0 takes place in Al Mazrah, a metropolitan area within the Republic of Adal.  Warzone 2.0 features a new mode (the aforementioned DMZ), a new Gulag, new weapons and vehicles, and some new gameplay features such as aquatic combat, proximity chat, interrogation, and the ability to play in the third-person.  By now, everyone should know how a battle royale game works.  You have to outlast everyone else in the game until you are the last person standing.  There are 18 major points of interest on the map that you can use to try and strategize and make sure you survive as long as possible.  There is also a new backpack system this time around.  In Battle Royale, there will be supply boxes that will have items that you can collect.  When a player dies on the battlefield, they will drop their Primary Weapon and their backpack which contains the rest of their content, which you can access through a loot menu.

If you are someone who really likes to customize their setup, you will also want to spend some time with the Gunsmith feature.  I enjoyed customizing my loadout and picking how I wanted my gun to behave, for the most part.  I started with an M4 as my primary weapon   I equipped the SX Lonewolf Optic, Hightower 20” Barrel, the Echoline GS-X muzzle, and more  You only get five modification slots so you are going to have to select what you really want.  You can also choose how you want it to look choosing what camo you want, what charm you want to use, the decal that is on your weapon, and more.  It is pretty nice although there is one aspect that I can see people disliking.  The way that you gain access to upgraded items for your weapons can be a bit of a pain.  For example, if I want to equip the Slimline Pro Optic for my M4, I have to make sure the Lachmann Sub gun is at Level 11 first.  That is pretty annoying since I didn’t really want to use the Lachmann Sub but I am being forced to if I want to use this upgrade with my M4.  It would have been nice if we could have just concentrated on leveling up the weapons we want to use and then not have to worry about the other weapons in the game.

As a package, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II has a lot to offer.  The campaign is a lot of fun and the ending hints at what we can expect in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III.  The multiplayer suite offers a lot of different options and modes for you to choose from, including a new third-person mode that you should try out.  It can be a lot of fun doing the cooperative missions with someone else as well.  Then of course we have Warzone which can be a really fun Battle Royale mode if you are into that type of thing.  The gameplay in each of these modes was really smooth and the game overall ran great for me.  There are a few issues like the user interface and gun leveling like I just mentioned but otherwise, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II offers a lot for fans and I can see myself playing it for a long time.  If you are a fan of the Call of Duty series or just of this genre in general, be sure to give this one a chance.

Score: 9.5/10

Originally posted on Gaming Target

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