Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II (XSX) Review

The Call is still Strong

It’s that time of year again folks; you know when the leaves start to turn, the Vegas Raiders are losing, and Activision is once again dropping a new iteration of its long running Call of Duty series. Coming back from Vanguard’s WW2 setting sees this year’s Modern Warfare 2 being a sequel to the original Modern Warfare from 2019, which shouldn’t be confused with Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare for which the 2019 version was based on.

MSRP: $69.99
Platforms: Xbox (reviewed), PlayStation, PC
Price I’d Pay: $69.99

Confused yet? Wacky naming notwithstanding the Call of Duty series has always delivered on a playable ‘Michael Bay’ type experience and Modern Warfare 2 continues that tradition. But more than just the usual bang-bang, shoot-shoot that we typically see the developers at Infinity Ward have done the unthinkable and opened the campaign in a Call of Duty allowing players to choose their own approach on many missions. Players will go on the usually “ghillie suit” sniping missions that have become legendary in the series but then the developers will flip the script and players will find themselves having to sneak around an environment crafting items that they find to escape. Or driving a tank causing mayhem along the way, this year’s game has done well about keeping this fresh and really changing up the game every few missions over the course of the campaign.

One of the new features is the ability to have a backpack on each mission that works as a mobile armory. The ability to be able to carry multiple types of grenades is a God send, especially with the game being less linear. Now players will find they have multiple approaches to completing objectives. Having the option to breach a door with C4 or explore an environment and find a higher vantage point to possible clear the enemy from an adjoining rooftop is a nice change. The more each player explores the more they will get out of these missions in particular; the game by no mean forces you to look around 100% but just being able to play your way is a nice touch. New mechanics aside the overall narrative isn’t bad, but it’s not great. There are more interpersonal relationships that get explored which helps to flesh out these characters but other than that expect summer popcorn movie fare.

Most folks (usually myself included) come to Call of Duty for the multiplayer, and I am happy to say that if you are not a FaZe clan’r or some other whiny E-sport team then you will find the best Call of Duty multiplayer that we have seen in years. Bolstered by some new games modes like Invasion; which sees players fighting other players as well as AI soldiers in a grand battle of attrition to see who can get 2000 points first Even Prisoner Rescue takes the usual run and gun approach of CoD and slows it down to mimic a sort of Rainbow Six clone. Requiring one team to defend two hostages while the other must rescue them, oh and there’s no respawns; I prefer it more than Siege personally. Gunplay and TTK both feel tight, of course there will be some weapons that need tweaked but overall multiplayer is a blast to play and it honestly hasn’t been for a while.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, not to be confused with the sequel to Call of Duty 4, Modern Warfare 2 is a great package. The roughly 8-hour campaign throws more twists and turns at the players than a day at an amusement park. It was a joy to not have to clear one corridor of enemies after another for the entirety of its run. Not to mention the stellar graphics on the campaign mode, combine all that with what is arguably the best Call of Duty multiplayer experience we have had in years, and you end up with a recipe for success that Infinity Ward is all too familiar with cooking up.

Review copy of game provided by publisher.

  • Some of the campaign’s missions add a welcome change
  • All of the missions that allow players to choose their path is awesome
  • Overall narrative is just alright
  • Campers in multiplayer, but that much like War never changes
Written by
Terrence spends his time going where no one has gone before mostly. But when not planning to take over the galaxy, he spends his time raising Chocobo and trying to figure out just how the sarlaac could pull Boba Fett’s ship with its engines firing FULL BLAST into it’s maw with relative ease; yet it struggled with Han Solo who was gripping *checks notes* SAND!