Another year, another fresh Call of Duty release for players to sink their teeth into as they enter gruelling shootouts online or battle through a robust single player campaign. This time around it’s Infinity Ward’s turn at the reins, with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II continuing their reboot that started back in 2019. And you know what? It’s the best entry that the much-loved series has seen in years.
Check out some screenshots down below:
As expected, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II brings with it an action-packed single player campaign to play through as well as a multiplayer suite made up of varying game modes. Both options are of a very high quality this year too, so you’re in for a treat whichever you prefer.
The single player campaign sees the return of Task Force 141 following their exploits in 2019’s Modern Warfare reboot, with the team once again embarking on a globe-trotting mission as they fight to protect the US from a terrorist threat. It’s familiar territory as far as the storytelling is concerned with plenty of thrills, spills, and plot twists to uncover. There are some levels which incorporate some unique mechanics that change up the formula a little, but for the most part it simply follows the traditional Call of Duty blueprint.
Not that it matters given the top quality of the missions themselves. Players will explore a vast array of locales as they look to gun down their enemies, with some simply breath-taking sights to be seen as you blast your way across the world. The set pieces within these levels are outstanding too, with a real sense of danger and chaos felt as you see the destruction of each battle unravel around you. Of course, there are levels which tone down the action and slow the pace down too, but these all feel satisfyingly intense given the pressure it puts on the player to remain silent.
I guess it’s easy to say that, much like the storytelling, it’s more of the same as far as the campaign is concerned from a design perspective, but it’s so damn good you won’t mind. I found that the pacing was a lot more streamlined though, with plenty of chunkier missions joined by bite-sized romps that could be completed in less than ten minutes. Whilst these might not be as fleshed out as the more traditional levels, they still showed off some epic set pieces that help the story develop at a quicker pace.
“Whilst the game doesn’t stray too far from the tried-and-tested formula in most aspects of its design, it’s also the most refreshing that the series has been for some time.”
When it comes to the multiplayer offerings, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II has everything players could hope for from the series. There is a rich selection of game modes, some fantastic maps that have quickly established themselves as new favourites, as well as plenty of unlockables to keep players invested for a long, long time. The series has always been known for having a content-rich multiplayer experience and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II certainlyfollows that standard.
If I’m being honest, I’ve always been a sucker for the traditional game modes when playing Call of Duty multiplayer. Team Deathmatch and Free-For-All have always been my preferred options, with the frantic and quick-paced nature making them easy to drop in and out of. And yes, they’re still a blast to play now – so much so that I’ve already spent a ton of hours in each.
However, I’ve found some of the new game modes equally addictive. Knock Out is a 6 vs 6 mode with no respawns, with players battling it out to carry a bag of cash. You win by either being the last team standing or holding the bag of cash at the end of the round. It’s a surprisingly tactical mode, especially when you’re the one holding the cash, whilst the lack of respawns means there are heavy stakes whether you’re attacking the bag carrier or simply trying to defend it for yourself. Meanwhile, Prisoner Rescue sees one team of six defending some hostages and another team of six trying to extract them. Points are rewarded for rescuing a hostage for the attacking team, or rewarded by still having them captive in the defending team. The first team to hit 500 points wins, with the lack of respawns ensuring you’ve got to plan accordingly if you hope to succeed. As a long-time Rainbow Six Siege fan, this game mode ticked all the right boxes for me, with it offering a similar experience to that found in Ubisoft’s beloved shooter. Everything felt a lot quicker packed and action-packed here though, with the Call of Duty twist making it even more fun to play through.
Of course, you’ve still got the likes of Hardpoint, Headquarters, Domination, and Search and Destroy to play through too, so plenty of fan favourites make a welcome return. Meanwhile, those after something a bit more manic on a larger scale will DEFINITELY be interested in the 32 vs 32 Ground War, which makes for some insanely fun showdowns. Whilst I’ll be the first to admit that it’s the mode I seemed to die the most on, there’s something so satisfying about it that I just found myself constantly drawn in.
Check out some screenshots down below:
Between the great selection of maps and the fantastic game modes, it’s hard to complain about this year’s multiplayer offering. However, it is worth noting that unlockables and the Gunsmith have been revamped this year, making it a bit more streamlined when adding attachments to your weaponry. Attachments are more widely shared between different weapon types too, which is ideal for players who like to stick to one category of weapon. It’s a neat change that’ll make life easier for newcomers, though hardcore players who really liked to refine their loadout might miss the freedom that was offered to them in previous entries.
I’ve got a lot of love for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II, with both the single player and multiplayer offering impressing me a LOT. It is a shame that it doesn’t quite nail the co-op aspect though, with the Spec Ops lacking the addictive satisfaction found across the Zombies mode found in other entries. Whilst it is fun to work with a friend to complete some missions, it lacks that unique flair and sense of replayability found when battling the undead.
It’s a minor nit-pick in what is otherwise an excellent game though, with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II offering one of the most refined and enjoyable releases we’ve seen in the series in some time. Heck, I haven’t even touched upon the fact you can play in third-person, which doesn’t only change the way the game feels to play but is also a hell of a lot of fun. Whilst the game doesn’t stray too far from the tried-and-tested formula in most aspects of its design, it’s also the most refreshing that the series has been for some time.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II Review
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II is excellent, with both the single-player campaign and multiplayer offering plenty of rewarding thrills and spills. The campaign is a real treat thanks to its chaotic set-pieces and slick variety of levels, whilst the multiplayer offers a satisfying sense of progress as well as some well-designed maps and addictive game modes. It also looks stunning throughout, whilst the third-person mode offers an excitingly fresh way to experience all of the action.
I did have some minor qualms with the lack of pizzazz within the Spec Ops mode and the new Gunsmith changes won’t be for everyone, but this is still the best that the series has been in some time. With the promise of more content to hit in the future, players are going to have a REALLY good time with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II over the next year.
Developer: Infinity Ward
Platform(s): PlayStation 5 (Reviewed), PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PC