Modern Warfare 2 Assessment

All Modern Warfare 2 must be is a good shooter, and it delivers. This is the Call of Duty expertise, deconstructed, reconsidered, and obsessively optimized over 15 uninterrupted years of iteration. I know once I’m taking part in a Black Ops game because it has offbeat arcade modes and the latest iteration of Nuketown. I know I’m enjoying a Modern Warfare game because the shooting is so finely tuned that I need to take my Gunsmith build out to dinner. Infinity Ward has formally mastered the moment gratification of aiming down sights and deleting targets.

That goes a protracted way, though some of Modern Warfare 2’s biggest swings, reminiscent of revamped progression and a style-bending campaign, are less elegant. It also suffers from an obtuse UI, fits of crashes, weird bugs, and the unexplained absence of basic features like stat tracking. However altogether, it’s a superb yr for Call of Duty.


I said in 2019’s CoD overview that Modern Warfare “sets the bar high for first-person gun feel.” Consider Modern Warfare 2 the new bar. Ballistics are as soon as again physically simulated (not hitscan), however you would not know it from enjoying on common 6v6 maps. On area maps with brief sightlines, guns behave like lasers that instantly tag targets. Jump into a sixty four-player Ground War match and the identical weapons accommodate to firefights spanning whole city blocks, requiring players to lead shots and account for bullet drop. It is kind of wild how versatile and seamless the system is—even in the newest Battlefield, a series that’s dealt in simulated ballistics for 20 years, weapons are a little too slow up close.

Modern Warfare 2’s silky physics compare favorably when you’ve been taking part in Vanguard for the previous year, or even higher should you’ve stuck with Cold War for the final two. I by no means quite received over Cold War’s noticeably sluggish hit detection; it’d take around 5-7 frames for point-blank shots to register in my tests. Under similarly unscientific testing conditions (me counting frames in replays recorded at 60 fps), MW2’s latency is a far less noticeable 2-3 frames. It’s not clear to me precisely what number of factors are at play here. It may very well be that Treyarch’s weapons appear slower because they are slower by design, but regardless, Infinity Ward’s interpretation is better.

As a counterbalance to Modern Warfare 2’s wicked-quick ballistics and time-to-kill, Infinity Ward has pumped the brakes on operators themselves. When it comes to movement, this is by far the slowest CoD in current memory. Established traversal techniques like slide canceling and bunnyhopping, much to the dismay of CoD’s loudest fans(opens in new tab), have been deliberately abolished. The minimap, breaking with 15 years of tradition, not highlights enemies as red dots whenever a shot is fired. Traditionalists will inform you these tweaks are bad for the series—that they “lower the skill hole” or encourage dishonorable camping—but this paints an incomplete picture.

By gluing our boots more firmly to the ground, Call of Duty has finally created the area to be a more methodical, dare I say tactical, FPS. For the primary time in years, it is actually a greater concept to tread lightly, hold angles, and listen for footsteps than full-dash down every straightaway and bunnyhop around corners. And permit me to formally debunk the camping paranoia—sure, at some point a man named I_Just-Shot-Ya will set up on top of a building and look by a scope for the whole thing of your match, but to this point this is not any more widespread than we’re already used to. In actual fact, the arrival of my new favorite throwable, the Drill Cost, makes it simpler than ever(opens in new tab) to dislodge a comfortable camper.

My only gripe is that Modern Warfare 2 doesn’t go far enough. The omnipresence of the UAV means that I still spend way too much time glancing on the map for red dots. The specter of sudden destruction at the hands of overpowered stealth bombers, chopper gunners, and miniature tank drones stays constant. I would Ctrl+A+Delete all killstreaks from the game if it have been as much as me, although I reckon a move that monumental would create an offended mob outside Activision.

The Basilisk, in both dimension and stature, delivers on the promise of hand cannon, and it’s cool that I could’ve told you that had I only heard it fired from half a mile away. We think of Call of Duty as arcadey and unsophisticated, but MW2 disrupts that reputation. Infinity Ward demonstrates its care for fidelity and intricacy. Particular person bullets in Modern Warfare 2 snap downrange and send rippled, gradually-waning shockwaves through the air. It is not just about whether or not the guns look cool and make loud sounds (though each apply here)—MW2 cares just as much in regards to the routine actions that get FPSes from A to B. Reload animations bask in tacticool mastery with trendy yet efficient magazine swaps that’d get the John Wick stamp of approval.

That Basilisk revolver has three different reloads depending on how many rounds are left within the chamber, including a definite animation for reloading spent casings without changing all six. Sound effects are what tie it all together: Within the clip above, I counted eight unique scrapes, clicks, and metallic clangs for just one reload animation. I wonder how many of these 88 compressed gigabytes on my SSD are raw audio.

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