Can Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 Campaign reach the heights of its 2019 predecessor or that's one too big of a mountain to climb?
What you need to know
- What is it? A military-themed first-person shooter.
- Reviewed on: PlayStation 5
- Developer: Infinity Ward
- Publisher: Activision
- Release date: October 28, 2022
- Available on: PC, PS5, PS4, XSX/S, Xbox One
Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 Campaign promises plenty of the usual and familiar spectacle in its opening hours but by the time it reached the underwhelming climax, I was bored to death by how uninspiring and safe it felt.
Make no mistake here, Modern Warfare 2 is not a terrible game, I would go as far as to say that it's good but only barely good. However, I had big expectations going into this one given that I'm quite fond of the Modern Warfare 2019's campaign and Modern Warfare series' set of characters so in the end I was properly disappointed. Always have your expectations in check, peeps.
Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 Campaign failed to deliver truly memorable moments even though it had the perfect set-up for a big bang. Captain Price, Ghost, Gaz and Soap, the beloved characters from the series are back and their respective actors did an incredible job, as expected, which is one of the positives of the campaign, but I feel that Infinity Ward let them down with a predictable narrative and missions that look and play awfully familiar.
Sniper stealth mission? Check. Container ship mission? Check. Gunship support mission? Check. And the list of "been there done that" missions goes on and on.
My interest for the actual story and what is eventually going to happen in the end progressively collapsed the more I played. After a strong start and a couple of missions which I found to be quite promising, including Kill or Capture and Borderline, it all goes downhill.
Even the Sniper stealth mission Recon by Fire akin to the iconic All Ghillied Up ends up being a disappointment and does not even come close to the original it's trying to imitate so openly. In All Ghillied up, you had a sense of going somewhere to do something meaningful.
You're trying to get through the radiation-soaked fields of Pripyat to find that perfect spot where you'll get that one chance to take down the bad guy. In Recon by Fire, I had a feeling that I was just shooting a group of bad guys after another group of bad guys and then another group of heavily armoured bad guys that won't die unless you deliver that super precise headshot. Yes, it's as annoying as it sounds.
While it sticks to what works and plays it safe most of the time, Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 does try to introduce new things such as dialogue options and crafting. In certain missions, the game will allow you to talk to other characters via radio or in person. You can ask them all sorts of questions like "What's your favourite weapon?" or be a cheeky bastard to Ghost about his mask.
It's a welcomed addition and it certainly helps players connect to their comrades in new ways. The dialogue menu is also used in critical situations where you must make decisions fast, otherwise, kaboom.
As for the crafting, I don't have a lot of positives to say about this new feature. While I was undecided on it after the Alone mission where you can craft smoke bombs, mines and tools to break door locks, I was left baffled when the game asked me to craft a weapon in a middle of a tense, nerve-racking moment where you have very little time to blow up a missile that is threatening to kill tens of thousands of people.
Imagine such a scenario in real life. What do you think would be the first thing on the mind of the Spec Ops soldier? Shall I blow this thing up and save these people and then silently take down an enemy and grab his weapon? Or perhaps I'll look for some duct tape and materials lying around and deal with the missile later? It's immersion-breaking and totally unnecessary and Infinity Ward could have designed different moments where crafting would be a better fit, like in Alone mission.
And while I have way too many gripes with Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2, there are some positives for sure. Traditionally, Call of Duty is visually striking and that can be said for Modern Warfare 2, which looks stunning at times, especially during the night. I was particularly impressed by the visuals during the Dark Water mission, which is a showcase for Infinity Ward's new water tech.
The sound design is also top-notch - Guns, grenades, vehicles, and explosions all sound great - but this is something that we always expect from Call of Duty and certainly where this shooter franchise excels.
Overall, as I said at the very beginning of this review, I don't think Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 is a bad game, it's just incredibly boring for a Call of Duty campaign. It's just not as memorable and won't stick with me for years as some other Call of Duty campaigns did.
Perhaps I should learn to keep my expectations in check from now on but even if I went in expecting nothing, I'd say Call of Duty is just an okay game that could be worth your time if you're a die-hard fan.
Review code provided by Activision.