It’s been 3 years since the events of Modern Warfare – and with the iconic Task Force 141 fully assembled, they’re once again set out to face a global terrorist threat. With freedom to completing missions, a host of new mechanics and callbacks to the original, Modern Warfare 2 feels much more grounded, and reinvigorated in ways that makes it one of the best in the series. With Infinity Ward’s renew efforts in improving AI across the board and maneuvering tech, the game feels much more difficult than previous iterations and often times, not for the best.

Delta Homage

Modern Warfare 2 brings back familiar characters such as Captain Price, Ghost, Gaz and Soap with new additions such as Alejandro of the Mexican Special Forces. While this is a different story told from the original 2009 version, it does reintroduce Colonel Shepard. Kate Laswell also returns from the 2019 reboot and the PMC Shadow Company. Playing as members of Task Force 141, you are put to the test when a US air strike kills Al-Qatala leader General Ghorbrani – who’s successor, Hassan, vows revenge by teaming up with the Mexican cartel to smuggle missiles to target against the US; it falls upon Task Force 141 to stop them.

The campaign is a globe-trotting adventure that has you taking missions in places such as Chicago, Amsterdam, Mexico and even the fictional setting of Warzone 2’s map, Al Mazrah – which enhances each story beat given the variety of locations. The grounded nature of the campaign helps with immersing yourself with the team, making your interaction feel organic. Thus is further enhanced with dialogue options during missions – it’s one of the more excellent flairs that serves no overarching purpose to the story, however it is really nice to have the option in getting to know the team better. This approach not only deepens the element, but also brings light to side characters that can otherwise disappear in the noise.

Infinity Ward also managed to follow the Naughty Dog formula where enemy AI would react to your empty clips, reloading, flanking and even when you kill one of their men – you’ll hear them call out their name in shock – this is the level of immersion that blurs the line a little in having the AI feel much more alive.

Refining the Basics

Farah makes a return in one sequence as an ally – but given her excellence in MW 2019, it’s a shame to see that she wasn’t fleshed out more in MW2. However, Alejandro is one of the better additions to Task Force 141 as you quickly realize that he is willing to risk everything to protect his fictional city of Las Almas Mexico against the ever-growing corruption of the cartels. He is easily a character you start to care about due to his sense of duty and honor.

Infinity Ward does a stellar job of balancing nostalgia while giving players something new – one of the more memorable missions in all of Call of Duty is All Ghillied Up from 2007’s Modern Warfare – there is a rendition in MW2 that should bring joy to players, while also keeping you in suspense.

Modern Warfare 2 features 17 missions ranging from large scale action to stealth sequences. Each mission is designed much wider than previous Call of Duty games making the approach feel more open world than ever before. You will often have choices in mission which is a neat improvement. Some stealth sequence would have you freely explore the environment to scavenge and craft items to defend yourself. No doubt this is something implemented from Warzone mechanics, but it is welcoming and done in such a way that simply works. It’s vast, but mind you – but nothing in the scope of an open-world RPG for example.

Improved but Broken

Infinity Ward spent much of their time improving the tech behind AI. My experience with it during Modern Warfare 2 is entirely mixed as I spent my time playing the campaign through Veteran. The enemy AI is ruthless and unrelenting in this difficulty as they would constantly flank and do call out for others to push in all directions. This is coupled with IW famous aimbot issue where no matter the angle, enemies would laser focus you and one-tap. This hindered the pacing for me as I would constantly redo checkpoints to try to outsmart them – and every time I rebooted, they would do something new. This would have been a better experience if the enemies were given a script to miss shots sometimes.

Additionally, the companions AI are bricks. They would constantly stand still, often in the open, and never help during combat. This frustrated me to no end because when I’m pushed by 4 armored enemies plus ones with riot shields, I would die and restart to either try to outmaneuver or restart the mission just to have a better position before such encounter. Whatever improvements IW has made, it’s hard to tell at the moment until they spend time fixing these issues.

My time with Modern Warfare 2’s campaign was a blast – one I plan on replaying in the future just to experience it all over again. It truly feels that IW is heading in the right direction with its (mostly) improved AI, maneuverability functions for campaign and a more grounded approach in storytelling. This is a future I can stand by, and I hope IW fully utilizes this momentum.

REVIEW SCORE 8/10

Check out the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Multiplayer Review HERE

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