Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 reboot preview

After processing the Call of Duty NEXT event, it was time to jump into the Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 Open beta. We also got our hands dirty and it feels like more focused and refined gameplay from the previous Modern Warfare (2019).

Here are our first impressions and some new things we noticed in our hands-on preview:

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2
Developer: Infinity Ward
Publisher: Activision
Platforms: Windows PC, PlayStation 4 (Preview), PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
Release date: October 28, 2022
Players: 1
Price: $59.99

Since this is a multiplayer beta, the focus is on the multiple game modes available to play. Team Deathmatch, Prisoner Rescue, and Knock Out were a few that were playable on 4 different maps during playtime.

Some maps feel familiar like Farm 18, while others feel new and take advantage of new tactical gameplay elements like Mercado Las Almas, a market with nearby neighborhoods via alleyways and a few small tunnels.

Many maps have corridors more than open spaces for combat, at least in the maps chosen for the beta. The maps also seem to have removed doors from certain areas, so gameplay flows a bit better as a result.

The pacing feels a bit odd at first and takes a while to adjust to, along with the relatively fast time to kill (TTK). All the same mounting mechanics return and lots of fan favorite weapons like the M4, which for me is a must have. There are new things sprinkled in and even new systems implemented to stop camping, like earning perks.

When you read “earning perks” that means you can still equip them for your loadouts, but through gameplay like capturing objectives or getting kills in Team Deathmatch, you can earn them for actual use. This is an attempt to control camping by disadvantaging players who don’t play objectives or sit in one place.

Other changes in modern warfare 2 include killstreaks, which are usually only in Infinity Ward Call of Duty titles, but these can now be toggled to become scores for your preferred playstyle.

Weapons have the same customization you’re used to in newer builds, the biggest difference is in the weapons themselves and how they feel and sound. However, there is one addition that I think made this a bit more tactical.

When holding a primary weapon, switching to your pistol sidearm displays a new animation that moves your primary weapon slightly to make room for the pistol. It’s a small animation change, but it shows that this isn’t just a copy-and-paste game from years past.

Graphically it’s fine but older consoles like the PS4 I played on have started to show their age with the new improvements. As it will only come to the PC after it goes live, I can leave some leeway with what I saw during play sessions. Keep in mind that this beta is still unpolished, so all of this may change and be fixed as there are some graphical glitches.

Disabling per-object and in-world motion blur has made viewing easier and if you’re on PC, historically it will save performance.

Even being on base PlayStation 4, the graphics of modern warfare 2 are not this bad, but it shows. Most of the time when loading into a session, the textures are a blurry mess for the initial intro cinematic of the boots on the ground and the same goes for the distant objects.

Shadow quality is fine and detailed, almost nothing is lost, but highlights tend to be blurry, probably due to saving performance, as there were dropped frames in extreme situations. Every frame counts in Call of Duty and the slightest latency can make the difference.

A minor note is that the sound effects for weapons have more bass than previous entries from what I could hear and the footsteps are noticeably louder when using something like Dead Silence and the surround sound picks up very good directions.

Capturing Flags in Domination has the same sound effects as MW 2019, so nothing new on that front is here, perhaps for parity between that game and the revamped Warzone 2.0 experience.

Ultimately, you can have fun with this beta to get a feel for the new mechanics and start learning the cards before it launches in October. The full game is available for everyone on October 28 with the special Vault edition giving access to the single-player campaign a week earlier.

Expect more multiplayer maps to be in South America, where the main game takes place. It was a small preview of what we played and I hope you will have time to experience it for yourself.

The Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 reboot is scheduled for October 28, 2022 on Windows PC (via Battle.net and Steam), Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.

About Dorie Castro

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