The Call of Duty series is one of the most successful game franchises of all time. However, I haven’t really been following the series since 2011’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. In fact, the closest I’ve come to the series is Call of Duty: Mobile. I guess I’m not a big fan of the increasing focus on the multiplayer aspect of the game.
Come 2019, the reboot of the Modern Warfare series piqued my interest. With the release of Modern Warfare 2, I figured it would be a good time to step back into Call of Duty and catch up with some old friends.
Let me cut to the chase. The game looks absolutely stunning. The way the light works indoors and how it diffuses through the foliage is remarkable. I played the game on Xbox Series X and it looked amazing, especially with HDR on. The little details like the weapons, the way the water flows, the dust, etc. are all great.
There are two levels in the game, which is really my opinion here. One is set in Amsterdam, where the city is vibrant, charming and full of life. And another is set in the fictional Mexican city of Las Almas, where you have houses and shops that have been hastily abandoned, leading to fear and panic.
Gun play and gameplay
Call of Duty is known for offering top notch gunplay and Modern Warfare 2 is no different. The guns in the game, especially the sniper rifles and shotguns, look powerful. However, assault rifles and SMGs are considered interchangeable if you ask me.
The game also offers several tweaks to straight shooting to mix things up. Of course, there are points where you need to use stealth to complete objectives. There are also points where players can craft and use better weapons and tools.
While playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, there were times when I was hit with the nostalgia hammer and transported back 10-15 years. While it sounds great, it’s also very predictable and feels like some of the setpieces are lifted straight from older games. There’s the AC130 gunship mission we saw in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare’s ‘Death from Above’. There’s also a retread of the ‘All Gilded Up’ mission, complete with you standing still while enemies move around you.
The main story seems to yo-yo all over the place. Beware of minor spoilers. At one point you’re hunting for missiles, then you’re hunting a cartel boss, and then there’s a part about drugs and how the terrorists and the cartel work together. Fox News and Rush Limbaugh seem to have written the story for the game. Heck, there’s even a point where you can climb Trump’s wall and enter the US. Spoilers end. It’s borderline xenophobic, but it’s very ‘Call of Duty’ if you get my drift. Let me boil it down for you: if any NPC doesn’t speak English, shoot them.
I mean, there’s probably a very scary moment early on where you’re shooting RPGs at a downed helicopter and killing an enemy. You kill him and enter the room, a woman will be crying over the (now dead) enemy and in her rage, she will take his gun to shoot you. It is a great moment to reflect on the true victims of war and how hatred breeds hatred. But no, you shoot her and move on to the next target.
Activision seems to be taking pointers from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The main characters “Hey guys! Check it out! This is <పాత్ర పేరును చొప్పించు>!”
The game isn’t at 120fps all the time, but it’s still passable. On the Xbox Series X, frame rates dropped below 80fps when there was a lot going on on the screen.
Also worth noting that I saw a bunch of bugs while playing. The most common seemed to be with collision detection. There are instances where characters collide with vehicles. Sometimes an enemy will drop down and clip the walls. There was also a time when a dead enemy continued to turn his head back and forth.
The most annoying of these bugs was in the ‘Violence and Timing’ mission, where after reaching a certain point, the game refused to go any further. The only way to continue is to restart the mission.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 offers a thrilling story with plenty of guns and explosions to keep you interested. However, the game follows familiar lines and the bugs can be quite annoying. If you haven’t had a chance to experience the old Modern Warfare trilogy or want a taste of explosive action, you might like this one. But if you’re hoping for a deeply engaging story, this isn’t the game you should be looking at.
Rating: 3.5 / 5
- Excellent graphics
- Top notch gunplay
- An underwhelming story
- Reuse of old set-pieces