Call of Duty MW2 Beta kicked off last weekend with little to no network disruption. Here we get a taste of Gunsmith 2.0 and how its been revamped, new animation to movement and gameplay, ironsight rework, perk packages, game modes and more. For the most part, a lot of the core DNA that makes COD special is present so you’ll jump right in with ease, but progression feels much better when coupled with the new additions mentioned above.

MW2’s presentation is absolutely top notch with its physical based rendering, animation and visual affects. It’s a couple steps above what we saw with Modern Warfare back in 2019 and it’s still in beta. When scanning a hallway, you’ll see your squadmates tilt the gun accordingly when peaking corners, swapping a two handed weapon for your pistol wouldn’t stick to your back but rather hang off your chest with the attached strap, physics involved. Its these kind of elements that really brings the player closer to the immersion.

Sound has been entirely upgraded as gunshots come alot closer to what you’d expect to hear in person – very reminiscent to my shooting range visits. When bullet bounces you can tell of the directions, same with footsteps, chips and breakables. I’ve heard complaints that footsteps are too loud, I personally disagree – if anything I have a hard time hearing direction and leveling of footsteps in every other COD game whereas it’s done exceedingly well here. MW2 seem to have put extra emphasis into working on that – though I fear they may cater to the complaints in reducing the sound….I hope not.

As good as the presentation is, there’s still some bugs that needs fixin’ of course – wrist appear to be broken when in lobby, intro sequence would have cloth physics flapping uncontrollably, wheels would penatrate the interior of a vehicle and so on. But it’s nowhere near a distracting and seem to be limited to the lobby and menu of the game.

We were limited to a couple game modes – and I for some reason couldn’t try 3rd person mode, I’m pretty sure I was glitched out. TDM and Domination makes an expected return alongside a couple new modes, one called Prisoner Rescue and Knockout. Prisoner Rescue, you’ll need to locate the hostage and get them out alive, with limited lives enabled. You can easily assume how that mode plays put 99% of the time….

They go for the kill. Always.

In Knockout you’ll have to defend a package and defeat the opposing team. These new modes haven’t been truly tested by players because 100% of the lobbies I join ignore the objectives – which is a shame because….the playerbase seem to just play COD in such a way making the whole experience a lot less tactical. Combine it all with these “cracked” movement of bunny hoppers and it’s a bit of a joke.

MW2 Beta brought 4 new maps and only one I actually hate, Farm 18. I cannot stand the MGS4 Online-inspired map because for every angle, every positioning, every distance, there’s always someone occupying a lane with snapshot players that completely lock on to me. It’s far too consistent and often times I’m farmed right after I respawn (pun intended).

Valderas Museum is very good mid to long range map with an excellent catwalk choke point. Mercado Las Almas is a great map that blends corridor battle and open zones very well, and Breenbergh Hotel is just….OK. Overall the maps are good.

Next is the introduction of Gunsmith 2.0; before, you’ll rank up normally and unlock weapons accordingly, and then you’d have to use that weapon to unlock the rest of the attachments. It’s a tried and true method that kept the franchise running but it’s an exhausting one. With Gunsmith 2.0, a weapon type progression system is introduced where if you use an AR you love, unlock all attachments for that weapon, all AR types moving forward will also have those attachments without even firing a bullet. This eliminates the grind of reunlocking mundane attachments for newer guns. It was a bit glitchy for me, and can be a tiny bit confusing but it works and seems to be the best path yet for COD.

My entire time with MW2 Beta has been mostly positive, but there’s been a lot of strange encounters with players that seem far too skilled for me to face, or suspicious entirely. SBMM seems to be activated but needs some insane ironing for sure, and again for the most part the game seems to be functional and network balanced. Respawns is still an issue with this game, but at least the birds eye view before zooming back into battle is usefull.

With Gunsmith 2.0 explored, maps experienced and presentation beholden, let’s look forward to the second weekend of the Beta with Crossplay enabled.

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