Fri. Dec 2nd, 2022

Call of Duty has a lot of problems. Even in the past seven days, documents have been released that show the series’ close ties to the US military, suggesting the game is a big military-industrial psy op designed to salvage the image of the US war machine and encourage military recruitment. his ranks. As if that weren’t enough, the single-player portions of the games often whitewash US war crimes and portray other nation-states as aggressors to make the yoke of US imperialist oppression look… well, less oppressive.

Modern Warfare 2 really changed the fate of Call of Duty.

So to say I’m a “guilty CoD player” is putting it mildly. Working at this job means I feel obligated to play new games in the series every year – how else are we supposed to benefit from all these great clicks? – and the older I get, the more I see the discrepancies between what is shoved in my eyes and what is actually happening. I won’t go into details here, but when critical and as part of the propaganda, Call of Duty is mesmerizing.

But that’s a discussion for another time. We’re here to talk about multiplayer; boots on the ground, shooting with instant respawn, killing streaks and chaos. This is the Call of Duty formula, and Modern Warfare 2 does it with aplomb. After spending over 50 hours in multiplayer alone, I can confidently say the following: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 it’s the best multiplayer the series has seen since the Xbox 360.

Sounds hyperbolic, right? I mean it, with every ounce of my being. Along with some really smart decisions with its Battle Pass and some stellar map design, Modern Warfare 2 just underlines the pace, direction, and design of its multiplayer mode.

Even the battle pass is good. How did they do it?

Guns, first of all, are good. Fate is good. You can get a feel for the heft, heft, and thrust of both large and small arms, and even after a couple of ammo magazines, you can start to adjust to how they fire – thanks to how well implemented the Infinity Ward arsenal is. Every blow, every concussion, every millimeter of recoil; it’s all readable, all configurable for players who want to know what they’re doing.

Then there are the cards. I won’t get into the details here – for a more in-depth look, you can just follow the link above – but the map design lends itself to the tighter, more rhythmic flow that this Call of Duty seems to trade. Whether you’re a slow, steady player with your mines, claymores, and scopes, or a fast, hard-hitting, two-gun amphetamine junkie, there’s a way to play this game… and a place for you in the inner circle. -drawn, well-designed cards.

I even love the little changes that have been made to weapon development and The Gunsmith, as well as how you get control of your weapons. Instead of just equipping a starting assault rifle and using it until your trigger finger is jammed from all the recoil, you need to explore other options to get the best parts for your favorite. Having to use marksman rifles or submachine guns to unlock better stocks or barrels is inspiring – and I think a lot of players have had “light bulb moments” with gear and playstyles thanks to this forced rotation.

Sierra Crossing multiplayer map in Modern Warfare 2

Based on a terrible event, but a great map: the Call of Duty paradox.

Call of Duty was once considered the benchmark for first-person shooters. Challenged only by Battlefield (RIP), CoD games have run rampant in the genre – indeed, second only to FIFA on the charts. After a failed launch and (disappointing aftermath of intensive care) Vanguard in 2021, Call of Duty is back and remains as compelling as ever. And what a good time; it’s doubtful the series could have weathered the shock of another 40% drop in sales from last year.

This foreshadows the future; When Activision and Microsoft publicly started holding hands earlier this year, stories began to circulate about a number of Activision’s “high-ranking employees” – apparently the publisher’s senior management was considering changing the release schedule for the Call of Duty series and moving away from the game’s current setting as an annual franchise. . Considering the game has been released every year since 2005, that’s a good thing.

This means we may see more Modern Warfare 2 and less Black Ops 4 or Vanguard. While some of the blame for past failures can be placed on Treyarch or Sledgehammer, there is also some pressure on Activision; Giving three studios three years to make three blockbusters, repeated to the point of disgust, will never work. Something had to give in, and perhaps give developers a breather and free other in-house Activision studios (Toys For Bob, Beenox, Demonware, High Moon Studios, Radical Entertainment, and Vicarious Visions) from the Call of Duty salt mines. the right choice all the time.

Official screenshot of Modern Warfare 2 (2022) multiplayer.

High octane action while you listen to xXScottXx bong rips into the mic? It’s 2005 again, baby.

Longer development timelines, more thoughtful approaches to completing released games, and stronger support from Xbox Game Studios could all lead to the next Call of Duty – and the ones that eventually follow – being brand-worthy titles. just like Modern Warfare 2.

For now, however, forgive me as I’m putting the other three games I have away for review and picking up my Kastov-762 again; there’s a Hardpoint with my name on it, and I have some Battle Pass Tokens to earn.