Call of Duty (COD) Modern Warfare II is on the horizon and after playing through its latest Beta, we can safely say that it brings in the big guns with a slew of new modes, mechanics and upgrade systems.
The Modern Warfare II Beta had a total of six Modes and while many of them are well-known to fans of the series, there are three new ones on the list. For this article, we’ll be focusing specifically on the new content that you can expect in the full game.
In knockdown, your goal is to eliminate the opposing team of players or hold the package (a bag of Cash placed in the middle of the map) until the time runs out. There are no respawns but Teammates can revive each other.
The gameplay loop for this mode is very fast, but also surprisingly tactical. There is a heavy emphasis on team play; the use of Equipment, Field Upgrades, Killstreaks, and defensive tactics You really need to coordinate what your teammates are doing and think on your feet to both hold on to the package and shoot the other team.
Here you have to locate a number of hostages, get them out alive and defend them at all costs so that the other team doesn’t take them back. Once again, no respawns but Team revives are enabled.
Each team has prisoners to protect, held close to their spawn area. The hostages are impervious to enemy weaponry, but they’re immobile. This means that your team has to find the enemy hostage and carry them back to your extraction point. Points are awarded for every prisoner prevented from being extracted (Defenders) or for every prisoner extracted or held at the end of the round (Attackers), or if the defenders are neutralized.
Escort missions are never the most fun, but this one was surprisingly intense. It’s basically a more complex game of capturing the flag and keeping the prisoners safe can be pretty challenging. Of the three new modes, this one was probably my favorite, just because I’m a sucker for that chase or be chased dynamic.
Invasion (Ground War)
The final new mode is Invasion (Ground War). This is a massive and chaotic battle with a mix of players and AI fighting alongside each other or against each other depending on the match. You earn points by eliminating the AI and human enemies with Loadout items, vehicles, Killstreaks, and UAV or Counter-UAV assistance.
The goal is straightforward: eliminate or be eliminated and the team with the most points in the end wins. The fighting is pure chaos and involves more troops than any previous Ground War experience. It’s a fun free for all mode with just how large the scale and carnage are.
A More Realistic Modern Warfare
One notable thing about Modern Warefare II is that it attempts to make the game more realistic which can be seen in the updated mechanics. A good example of this is sliding. In the previous game when you were sliding, you still could aim and cancel in the middle. Unfortunately, you are not able to do that anymore in this game. Instead, the mechanic has been replaced with a sort of bunny hop allowing you to pop out of a slide in order to shoot. Older fans may not like this change but I thought it made for an interesting form of balancing
When you reload, you also cannot do other actions like changing weapons, running, or sliding. If you attempt to do these, the reload animation will be interrupted, and you’ll have to do it again. This encourages players to use secondary weapons and think more strategically about when they do reload.
The only new more realistic mechanic I really had an issue with was the excessive recoil and muzzle smoke which made it very hard to see the enemy when you aim, especially for new players without any attachments to their weapons. It’s particularly annoying when using an assault rifle, like the M16, or AK. Hopefully, they’ll tone this down for the full release or later updates.
In the previous game, if you want to get a new gun, you need to increase your level. Once you get said new gun, you need to increase your weapon level to get the specific new receivers and other attachments.
In this game, when you now unlock a weapon, you’re actually unlocking a category of weapons like assault rifles or snipers. With each category, you can change the receiver to three or four different models.
For example, leveling up the M4 assault rifle version unlocks the FTAC Recon (the battle rifle version) and the 556 Icarus (the LMG version). These in turn unlock the M16 (assault rifle with burst fire) and FSS Hurricane (SMG version) respectively. I quite like this system simply because it reduces grinding. You get new guns a lot faster without having to worry about your personal level as much.
The new Modern Warfare II perk system is a little different than what we’ve seen in previous titles. It still has many of the perks we know and love but the way they activate and how they’re used have been changed.
In this game, you get Perk Packages that grant you two base perks, one Bonus, and one Ultimate. You get the option to create five custom Perk Packages but there will also be pre-made Packages for you to try out.
The two base perks you get will work as usual. You choose what they both are and they last throughout the game. However, the Bonus and Ultimate work a little differently. The Bonus perk is given during the game. It’s earned every four minutes and the Ultimate perk is earned every eight minutes.
That being said, you can get them a little quicker since the timers will speed up as you increase your score. This can be done by killing the enemy, getting assists, completing objectives, and more. For every ten points, you get, one second gets shaved off the timer, so the more you kill and play the quicker you can activate the Bonus and Ultimate perks.
I can understand why the developers would want to make the extra perks this way, as it means players can continue to get new ones at a regular pace which in turn keeps the match fresh and lively. You may be struggling in battle only for a new perk to come in and give you a little more of an edge in the match.
There was one new map in the beta but it was a good new addition. It contained a lot of corners and small rooms that players can hide in and get some stealth kills in (I fell prey to a lot of these). COD games have always had fast player vs player kill options but in this map. you really have to be careful or you’ll get a bullet through the back of the head. It’s a cool idea that’ll not only challenge new players but perhaps some veterans as well.
Overall, when looking at the beta, I’m pretty satisfied with the direction that Modern Warfare II is taking. The new modes are well-made additions and the new upgrade and leveling systems feel more streamlined and easier to progress through. Accessing new guns is less of a grind and gives you more options on how you want to play and shoot.
The level design, guns, and sound effects maintain the original game’s high quality while adding in these meaningful new additions. The more realistic mechanics may not be for everyone but I thought they added some interesting nuance to combat that will give fans new and old something new to consider when in a match. Now they just need to fix that muzzle smoke.
Overall, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II is back and if the beta is anything to go by, it feels just as fun to play as the original back in 2009.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II will launch on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC on the 28th of October.