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Friday, September 30, 2022

CoD Modern Warfare 2: Our 7 first gameplay insights from the beta

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After the first beta weekend, we summarise what we liked and what we didn”t like. What is the multiplayer of CoD MW2 like? Here”s our very first verdict!

We jumped into the fray for you during the first beta weekend of CoD Modern Warfare 2 and tried out the multiplayer for ourselves for the first time.

Although it”s still too early to judge, we have listed seven important points that immediately caught our attention. What is your impression of the beta? Write us your experiences, worries and positive experiences in the comments under the article.

1. The sound is fantastic (and tactical!)

Acoustically, both 2019”s Vanguard and Modern Warfare were really strong, but 2022”s Modern Warfare 2 kicks it up a notch. This is due to the sound engine, which Infinity Ward developed from scratch and which is noticeable from the first second of beta: shots and reloading sounds are rich and extremely realistic, the explosions have bass and force.

But the sounds of footsteps are even more noticeable: finally we can tell whether someone is in front of, behind, above or below us just from the sounds. For example, if enemies on the floor above us are sprinting wildly, we can locate them amazingly precisely by their footsteps.

This generally makes us less dependent on the minimap or other UI elements and makes listening a new tactical tool in our arsenal. If you listen carefully on a regular basis, you can gain an advantage like in Hunt Showdown or Rainbow Six Siege.

2. The 6vs6 map design is much better

So far we have been able to test the three 6vs6 maps Farm18, Breenberg Hotel and Mercado Las Almas extensively – and they are all convincing so far. Infinity Ward finally finds a very good middle ground between the classic and clearly readable (but often boring) 3-lane design of the past and the complexity and almost labyrinthine nesting of Modern Warfare 2019.

(What we''ve seen of MW2''s maps so far makes us feel very positive.)
(What we”ve seen of MW2”s maps so far makes us feel very positive.)

After only a few beta rounds, we have a good idea of the layout of the maps, yet there are still shortcuts or other subtleties to be discovered here and there. However, the flow of the game is clearly in the foreground: The running routes are clear, cover is sensibly placed.

In addition, there is visual variety: maps have strong and striking colours without being too colourful or exaggerated, the grey-brown mud of the predecessor finally gets more character.

3. The new game modes are totally exciting

In the beta of Modern Warfare 2 we have played the two new variants Knockout and Prisoner Rescue so far – and both surprised us positively! Because both offer a very pleasant change of pace compared to the fast run&gun in Domination, Team Deathmatch & Co. and deliberately shift down a gear. Both modes are built around mission objectives and do without automatic respawns. Whoever dies is out – unless our teammates rush to our aid and get us back on our feet.

(So far, Search & Destroy (pictured), TDM, Domination, Knock Out and Prisoner Rescue were playable in the beta.)
(So far, Search & Destroy (pictured), TDM, Domination, Knock Out and Prisoner Rescue were playable in the beta.)

This creates an exciting race: Should I rather help my comrade up or guard these two dead opponents? Should we secure the Giesel or rather lie in wait for the liberators at the extraction point?

Suddenly CoD raises strategic questions here that we would otherwise rather have located in Rainbow Six or Counter-Strike. Of course, this in no way makes MW2 a genuine tactical shooter, but the recipe works surprisingly well and enriches the repertoire of modes immensely. Here you can see how we did in one of our first rounds of hostage rescue:

4. The new perk system is unnecessarily complicated

Perks, the passive bonuses on your character in CoD”s multiplayer, have been completely overhauled with MW2. And judging by the beta, not necessarily for the better! You can read about how the new system works in detail in our overview of all the perks and streaks in Modern Warfare 2.

This much should be said here: The fact that the third (Bonus Perk) and fourth (Ultimate Perk) only activate over time in the course of the match feels unwieldy and wrong. This is because essential upgrades like Ghost remain locked at the start of a round, leaving us defenceless and without any antidote to an early UAV drone.

(The Ultimate Perks at a glance (from top left: High Alert, Ghost, Hardline, Overclock, Survivor, Bird''s Eye).)
(The Ultimate Perks at a glance (from top left: High Alert, Ghost, Hardline, Overclock, Survivor, Bird”s Eye).)

In addition, the system is confusing because in the heat of the moment it is easy to forget which perks are actually active and which are not. For example, I have the Fast Hands perk for quicker reloads in my luggage, but it only kicks in after two-thirds of the match and really reduces my reload time – by the time I have adjusted to the new timing, the round is almost over again. Another disadvantage: If we enter a round in progress, we are automatically at a disadvantage because everyone else has long been running around with their full perks while we still have to recharge.

5. The Gunsmith 2.0 reduces Grind

Levelling up weapons already feels very satisfying in the beta and significantly reduces the grind on new weapon models. The reason for this is quite simple: if we have played the M4 enough to unlock the M16, for example, heaps of attachments from the M4 are taken over directly – because both weapons belong to the same family.
We don”t have to tediously start from scratch with every gun as before, but after a short time we already have a solid collection of grips, sights & Co. at the start, which we can screw on everywhere. This makes trying out and experimenting with the weapons much more pleasant than in previous CoD parts.

6. scorestreaks & killstreaks work together

Modern Warfare 2 answers the eternal CoD question “Killstreaks or Scorestreaks?” with an unironic and courageous “yes” and hits the mark. The beta already shows very well what this looks like: In the menu, we simply select at the touch of a button whether we want to collect the powerful rewards such as missile attacks or air strikes either for series of kills or for points that we receive when completing mission objectives.

So those who like to play for team victory and don”t have quite as much aiming water in their blood can still summon an attack helicopter to their aid with a little skill. At the same time, the classic system is retained for all those who like to hunt for new shooting records.

And the compromise works: In the beta, both systems work about equally well. CoD MW2 thus opens up to significantly more play styles and finally gives us players full control over how we want to earn Streaks.

7. TTK is a little too fast

MW2 resembles Modern Warfare from 2019 is many ways and that”s no surprise per se of course. The very short TTK is also back – so you die after only a few hits and shootouts are usually decided after a few moments. In the beta of MW2, however, the TTK sometimes still feels a bit too fast, we often had the feeling that we had only been hit once and our character landed directly with his face in the grass.

(The TTK in MW2 is extremely fast and almost every shot is over in the blink of an eye.)
(The TTK in MW2 is extremely fast and almost every shot is over in the blink of an eye.)

The killcam gives the all-clear in such cases: The opponent has hit us with at least three bullets. But nevertheless, a feeling of helplessness remains – often we simply have no chance to fight back in MW2.

A minimal adjustment of the time to kill could possibly be enough to defuse such situations, which are perceived as unfair. Despite all the criticism, we must also note that Modern Warfare 2 basically improves on the recipe of its predecessor in terms of weapon behaviour. And there the gunplay was already top-notch.

Editor”s verdict

The beta of Modern Warfare 2 is a lot of fun and I could hardly wait to get started the next day. And I take that as a very good sign for the shooter. The bottom line is that little is being reinvented here, but rather the basic framework of Modern Warfare is being built upon.

Most of the innovations work well and feel sensible: The new Gunsmith, the flow on the maps, the varied modes. In a few places, however, the changes don”t seem very well thought out: Why throw an absolutely perfectly functioning perk system out the window and replace it with a confusing unlock system?

What I have absolutely no problem with, on the other hand, is the much-criticised minimap. As in Vanguard and Modern Warfare, players are not shown there as red dots when they fire without a silencer. But to be honest: I”ve managed very well with that for the last few years. And hey, now I can locate players by their steps, which is just so much cooler!

Age: 31 Origin: Sweden Hobbies: gaming, football, skiing Profession: Online editor, entertainer

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