Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
- Modern Warfare 2 this year has some great moments, beautiful cinematics, and some moreish multiplayer. But it’s a cowardly retconning the original’s story.
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is a game that combines explosive Brosnan-era Bond action, high-octane set-pieces, and Michael Bay-style spectacle. It’s now available on next-generation hardware.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2022). Review
- Publisher: Activision
- Developer: Infinity Ward
- Platform: Played with Xbox Series X
- Availability Available now on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S
Modern Warfare 2 was a huge cultural success. It was a significant reflection of the culture at the time. It was a dark reflection of the west’s shared mindspace in the late 2000s, playing up jingoism, melodrama, and a general post-9/11-esque fear about America’s vulnerability to surprise attack. It was also possible to argue – although not all people agree with it – that could be interpreted as an anti-imperialist message. This is due to its story of ultra-nationalists encouraging invasions and warlord commander-in-chief taking the entire world along for the ride.
- Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 Xbox beta Tested + Ground War PlayStation5 Analysis
- This might seem a bit generous, but it was still something, some bits of direction, tone, or theme to hold onto. Even though they created impossible tension in a game that still made use of contemporary wars as a playground for the players, there was at least some tension and something to chew on. This was evident in the 2019 Modern Warfare retcons. It seemed like they were trying to find something that isn’t “war is evil”, even if it wasn’t always succeeding. Both had undeniable spectacle. This has been the series’ safety net when its sometimes haphazard storytelling fails. There are many stories across more media than games about big explosions and cool guns, as well as good guys doing it. They will be more than welcome if they are abstract and entertaining.
- Modern Warfare 2 2022 is a game that doesn’t take things out of their context. It’s also entertaining enough to make it difficult to forget them. The multiplayer is a great game, with some excellent missions. It’s still a brain-teasing shooter, but it’s still a very compelling game. The narrative isn’t clear, the tone is off-putting, and it’s not possible to save the series with the failsafe bombast.Call of Duty wants Sicario to marry them (I don’t think it understands what Sicario is all about).
- The good stuff is still there – and there’s plenty of it! Modern Warfare 2’s cutscenes look amazing. They are arguably the best-looking game of all time, and they have some real moments of character. There’s some effort to differentiate one Gruff Tactical Man and another, as well as dissimilar protagonists from different Call of Dutys. Valeria Garza (Maria Elisa Camargo), the wicked villain, has a lot of chemistry with Alejandro Vargas (Alain Mesa), a fellow newcomer and world’s most gravellyist voice-owner. Radio banter between old favorites Ghost, Price, and Soap borders on being flirtatious. The delivery is excellent and, dare I say this, there are some truly funny lines (“Get us tea”) – shame it wasn’t followed up by “Fuckin Brits”, a character who is… Scottish.
- There are some truly brilliant missions amongst all the chatter. You will be lobbing knives at Amsterdam’s guards below the water level. This mission is short but very effective. It relies on the darkly therapeutic pleasures of wearing all black and slowly attaching silencers to guns. Dark Water, which continues the aquatic theme, sees you sneak onto an oil well being used as a missile platform and then make your way through a battering hurricane, avoiding crashing waves and storage containers. This acts as cover, but can also threaten to squash you and your enemies as you move towards the bridge.
- It is a proper second-act finale. It clearly resembles the original MW2 oil rig mission (though it lacks the Bond-inspired title: Yesterday was the Only Easy Day). There are also other highs. You can rescue a prisoner by stealing the CCTV system. Ghost, one the game’s returning heroes, is given instructions to remotely move from one piece of cover to another. C4 is planted on parked cars for a lovely reward as you make your way out.
- This is evidently influenced by Metal Gear Solid’s high camera angle and dashes between covers, but also Cyberpunk 2077 where you can point one camera at another in order to magically change your perspective. The obvious influence of Naughty Dog is evident with Uncharted inspiring a long-winded car chase mission in Violence and Timing. Meanwhile, The Last of Us’ scavenge craft-hide cycle of Alone or Countdown is the core of Alone.
- These missions are, at best, a novelty, and at worst, a complete nightmare, unlike other stealthier missions. Violence and Timing will see you climb an interminable convoy, dodging traffic and enemy fire, while jumping from one vehicle to the next. However, it feels strangely flat due to how many times you must go through the cycle of shoot enemies then drive up to a new car and repeat. It feels slow because of this. Compare it to Cliffhanger, a classic MW2 mission that saw you fly through the trees in a hypersonic snowmobile and escape a mountain base. This mission, which opens with you shooting bad guys from pickup trucks and hanging upside-down from your helicopter, feels strangely unoriginal.It was difficult to understand why this mission began so well, but ended up feeling like a chore.
- Contrast that with how absurd and fluid these past missions were. These were action movie set-pieces in a caricature, and a diamond concentration of an entire era’s absurdity. Modern Warfare 2’s innovations feel more like another concentration, a concentration on the up itself/unsure about itself axis that so much triple-A blockbuster seem to be caught on today.
- Modern Warfare 2 aims to be a prestige stealth title in both Alone or Countdown. There are some nice touches, with Alone reducing you to nothing and spinning your head with horror-inspired jump scares such as barking dogs and silhouettes of mannequins in the torchlight. It then turns into a hunt for fan blades, bits of rope, and other items to make wedges to open doors and smoke bombs for striking guards. There are also a few other bits and bobs that would be brilliant if they were in a game with more stealth and wider paths.Uuuuuuuughhhhhhhh.
- You get these mixed things instead that make the game seem unsecure. A Call of Duty map with heavily armored enemies will kill you quickly, while you search for candle wax. Then you’ll wonder why you can’t just shoot an gun . This game’s stealth is often a Hitman knockoff. It lacks the essential element of comedy. These are the bits that you remember: the dressing up, the carrying people around with suitcases, and the fun of poisoning the punch. Call of Duty’s best moments are when it takes Call of Duty’s mechanics (shooting guns, throwing knives) and uses them in new ways. It’s at its worst when it borrows mechanics from other places without adapting to the new form.
- There are still positives, though – Call of Duty is still a great game! The multiplayer is the best, despite the snarkiness of the hardcore. It’s one of the most enjoyable aspects of Call of Duty. The problem is with a minor tweak to the minimap. This means that you will only appear when someone shoots a UAV. It makes silencers, which were supposed to prevent you from showing up on the map when you fired your gun, redundant. Old stealth-focused perks also have been removed. It’s more realistic technically, forcing you not to focus on the screen and listen for gunshots. Although I understand the frustration of the hardcore, silencers can be fun and there are other ways to disable them if they become too powerful. Another complaint is a slightly clunky UI. It has been improved since beta, but it’s still dense and knotted. However, I get a strange satisfaction from grinding through weapons to unlock some fabled item like an MP5.It’s a great laugh. It’s very silly. Big fan.
- Ground War is closer to a Battlefield-style mode. There are loads of vehicles to drive, points and even squadmates to grab from the start. Although it’s chaotic and vast, anyone who has ever tried to resist the urge to shout “PTFO” in Battlefield chat knows that shooters have a primal desire to participate in large Battlefield-style battles, even without actually doing Battlefield stuff. This mode provides the perfect balance between the vastness and the vague feeling of something strategic happening around them. However, they also want to run around mindlessly while doing so.
- Invasion is the real winner. It is 32v32 in size and is huge. However, it also includes the constant arrival of bot squads dropped by helicopter at different stages. You effectively play a game tug-of-war above the front line. It’s a huge team deathmatch that is based on progress, something I can’t explain, despite my best efforts. It doesn’t even try to tell you how to win this mode or incentivise you. The bots are also comically stupid.
- Who cares? It’s all about the fun. For example, I am a poor sniper but find my way here regularly. There are two maps, Sa’id Bay and Sa’id, which are ideal for this purpose and almost identical in form – long “sniper alley road” on one side, densely populated in the middle, and a vehicle road on the right. This makes it a great training ground. Santa Sena border crossing is a fun and explosive way to cover. It’s a former highway traffic jam that can be used as a bridge. All the big maps are great.
- Many of the smaller ones are equally as good in their own way. Zarwa Hydroelectric is a 6v6 map that I love. It’s a collection of low ruins, lit by a sunset at the golden hour, and spread across marshy waters. It’s great for take-and-hold modes such as Domination, with its many side routes you can explore by swimming under secret tunnels or along quiet beaches. Crown Raceway is a simple, but fun concept – a sort of Formula 1 pitlane – and Mercado Las Almas’s half-opened doors and narrow alleys bring a bit of Counter Strike to your mind. Breenbergh Hotel, a replica of Amsterdam’s Conservatorium Hotel has been criticized for its inclusion in a game that encourages violence.CoD is running out of death screen quotations – scrolling through an Instagram inspirational quote feed run by grindset influencers when you’re dying is like scrolling through a list of death screen quotes.
- This is a good reminder of how awful Modern Warfare 2’s tone has been – and how it permeates much more than the main story. The game begins with the US assassination a Ghorbrani-based Iranian general. You play as the missle that hits his head. You’ll be fighting hundreds of Mexican Army soldiers because they’re “paid-off by the cartel”. Then, you’ll break through the border wall and run through Americans’ gardens. After pointing your gun at them, you’ll almost get shot by cops who make fun of you for “all looking the same”. It can act as a direct commentator at times, and it will take it back at other times. This game, as others have stated better than me , loves to suggest it’s thinking about what you do. It never has been.
- This absence-mindedness can be seen everywhere. It inspires the non-Arabic shop signs that display multiplayer maps, as well as the tone-deaf spins on current events. This may seem absurd for a Call of Duty title. What can we expect from a series that promotes pro-military propaganda, official gun licensing, and other such things? Ghost, Price and Soap have a good time over the mic. It’s not just a game equivalent to the Join the Army ads in the UK. Here, military service is all about ski holidays and cheeky banter, giving young men a place they belong. It doesn’t have to be this way.Modern Warfare 2 in a quote.
It doesn’t take a lot to have everyone pondering about war and where no second passes without someone talking about violence. However, the conclusion is that bad guys are just bad. But good guys live in a sophisticated moral gray area where it is possible to tell right from wrong. Or, where generals can do terrible things as long their “intentions are good” – that’s a real line! Retconned the openly evil general Shepherd from Modern Warfare 2!
It is possible to make something with a stance. Better yet, you could make something that demonstrates a stance in a coherent and mature manner. You could also make something that tells a boring story but isn’t so glum and polite, as Call of Duty would like it to be.
It feels strangely weak without the exaggerated bombast that is supposed to add levity or distract from it all. It’s a game that is both visually stunning and incredibly addictive. The multiplayer is lager-and crisps, which aims to keep you hooked for the next year. It’s also afraid of you too closely looking at it.
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