Now that my review for its campaign portion is out, lets dive right into the one mode most people will play – multiplayer. After spending the weekend grinding gunsmith levels, nearly hitting my first prestige and completing daily challenges, I’ve come to the realization that no matter how much good Infinity Ward does, it’ll always be marred by several things: server issues, ghost bullets and respawn misplacements.
Map Designs and Modes
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is host to a slew of newly designed maps and interesting modes including co-op; no sorry, there’s no Zombies. There’s six core 6v6 maps and five Ground War/Invasion maps: Zarqua Hydroelectric, Crown Raceway, Breenberg Hotel, Farm 18, Santa Seña, Mercados Las Almas, El Asilo, Taraq, and Embassy. Two of those are also available in Ground War/Invasion plus Sariff Bay, Sa’id and Guijarro. All are uniquely designed with some interesting elements; Farm 18 focuses on tight quarters with many routes to maneuver for example, while Zarqua Hydroelectric focuses on the wide lanes with underwater paths – a map I fancy the most of them all; I love that I’m able to dive into a pocket of water only to appear on the other side of a field to out flank players – too bad it’s the only map with water in it.
TDM, Kill Confirm, Hardpoint and more makes a return, though Hardcore variants are entirely missing for some reason. Ground War and Invasion are the grand-scale maps designed for 32v32. Invasion has you enter a large map filled with players and NPCs in an attempt to invade while the other defends. To win, you have to eliminate all players. Overtime, vehicles will become available for the invading force – it’s an exhilarating game mode that suffers from balancing issues – if you have a group of players than can constantly get killstreaks, it will turn the tide of the entire game. Ground War is even bigger as you’re tasked to take sectors of maps against players. Vehicles are available immediately, and with this Battlefield-level game mode, you will find yourself with much more enjoyment as this one is a bit more balance without consistent land sliding results – even with killstreaks carpeting the map, as long as you have an anti-air vehicle or rockets to counter chopper gunners, you will have a fighting chance.
Last but not least is the new co-op mode, designed to be objective based which is a neat addition to the overall package. This mode will give players cutscenes and briefing videos almost at the caliber of the single player campaign. For completionist like myself, all collectibles are obtained within this mode and there’s also star-ratings too, which needs to be met in order to obtain all achievements/platinum trophy. It’s intense and focused so if you play with rushers, your experience may be ruined, so co-op accordingly!
There’s so much to love about MW2’s multiplayer – given that the tech has had some significant changes regarding overall movements, recoil control, iron sight placement and more. Several big factors that most streamers are raging about is how bunny hopping and slide cancelling has been removed almost entirely; B-Hopping would gradually slow your character down when attempting to hop again and trying to slide cancel would stop your character in place, requiring you to let go of your joystick and using it once more to move.
Now, there are some macro’s “pro players” are attempting to bypass, but I don’t think double-tapping ADS or pressing Y,Y,B,A,Y seem efficient for players who are constantly trying to rush into combat. This is an excellent thing, as it mitigates players who play for TikTok clips, spending hours on end while everyone else deals with everyday life – which overall, would bring balance to the ecosystem making it…. fun to play! Don’t get me wrong, I think having movement is a great thing – it’s still there – but in MW2, it seems to be designed for survivability rather than getting multi-kills using macros/Cronus Zen. Sure, this game is more focused on landing your shots – and with SBMM, trust they will be landing their shots – but it’s much more rewarding to be in that level of gunfight absent of players constantly zip-lining around you just to one tap.
Cheaters are also running amok, especially since cross-play is enabled. Red box players plague MP and it doesn’t seem like the new 2-factor authentication is holding them back. I’m constantly in lobbies where players are snapping to me during tac-sprinting through a lane. A problem I fear will be present for a long while.
Speaking of SBMM – it’s atrocious. I play usually in the 1.8KD-range, there’s no reason I should be stacked with 3.5KD players on a constant basis. On top of it all, it took less than a day for players to literally master the maps with head-glitching and vector-shots. It’s an asinine experience to consistently take half a step out of a cover and dying in less than a quarter of a second, especially when coupled with one of the worst spawns in recent history. I will never understand why I’m consistently spawned with a team that hasn’t been flipped yet – additionally, a large portion of players has had sever server-side issues where the game would freeze mid combat. Worst of all, ghost bullets has been a major issue for me since launch; I can’t tell you the number of times I would be on a streak or have a drop on someone where my bullets would not affect the players. This is after maxing a weapon and tuning it to have a lot less recoil on the barrel. This has soured my MP experience – even if it’s expected considering launch week, I just wonder how developers still haven’t found a way to circumvent these issues.
Weapon Tuning to Perfection
Gunsmith has had major reworking since MW 2019 – progression has been improved to reduce grinding individual guns within the same class-type. That means if you’re using an AR and unlock all the sights for example, it’ll also be available for other AR’s as well. Additionally, when you max a weapon, you will unlock Tuning, where you can go to individual attachments and further tune it beyond what’s capable; if you want to have a lot less recoil, you can tune the barrel in such a way, at the cost of damage of course. Additionally, some weapons are locked through requirements rather than leveling. That means you no longer have to be level 52 to unlock a Desert Eagle, you just have to use a specific type of pistol until you unlock that variant. I’m sold on Gunsmith 2.0 and I look forward to further refinement from Infinity Ward.
And for those that are camo enthusiast, you’ll be happy to know that unlocking gold camo is easier than ever; all it requires you to do is challenges like mount kills, double kills, ADS kills and so on. No longer are the days where you would need to do individual challenges for each specific camo you unlock – just for a gold camo to then do it all over again for a diamond.
Overall, Modern Warfare 2 baseline MP experience has meaningful evolution that benefits players in the long run – one I hope IW doubles down and avoid nudging for toxic, gatekeeping vocal minority. It still needs major tuning with SBMM as well as server-size issues and cheaters – an issue that affected my perspective and will plague players experiences until it’s resolved.
REVIEW SCORE: 7.5/10
Check out the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Campaign Review HERE