Home > Review > Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 Review

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 Review

Is this new reboot sequel worth your time? Here's my review.

For me, COD games have always been about the multiplayer experience. I don’t dislike the campaigns, they are like fun action movies for me to take a break from the multiplayer. But that was not true for the original COD 4 Modern Warfare (2007). The captivating campaign and the ingenious multiplayer were one of the best things to ever happen in the history of COD. Yes, the love for that still lives on in me. But there was something missing in the 2019’s reboot. Now I realize it was the main characters and the story arc from the original Trilogy. Modern Warfare II promises to bring that experience back to us. Does it live up to the hype? And how good is the multiplayer now? There’s a lot to dissect here. So today we will take a look at both these aspects of the game in our Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 review.

advertisement
advertisement

COD Modern Warfare 2 Single Player Campaign Review

COD Modern Warfare 2 Single Player Campaign Review

Let me cut to the chase. Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 should have been the first game in the reboot. It is having everything fans would expect from a reboot. Better graphics, astonishing 3D directional audio, enhanced AI, lot more elements bring back the memories of the old days when the campaign was fantastic. So let me try to give a breakdown of the best things about the story in our Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 single-player campaign review.

Setting

COD Modern Warfare 2 Campaign Setting

advertisement
advertisement

As teased at the end of 2019’s Modern Warfare, Captain Price managed to bring together “Task Force 141”. If you have played the previous MW2, then all your favorite characters return again as unit members in Modern Warfare II. So, the Task Force 141 operatives are Johnny “Soap” MacTavish, Simon “Ghost” Riley, and Kyle “Gaz” Garrick. All led together by Captain Price, Kate Laswell, & General Shepherd.

Aside from Task Force 141, you will also play as the Mexican Special Forces unit “Los Vaqueros”. You will meet their leader, Colonel Alejandro Vargas, and his second-in-command, Rodolfo Parra. Build as a new character from the ground up for MW II to take full advantage of the IW 9 game engine, Alejandro is one of the best realistic-looking characters in video games to date. All the cutscenes featuring Alejandro in the game have become one of my favorite things to watch repeatedly again & again due to the uncanny realistic eyes.

advertisement
advertisement

Throughout the story, you will meet many characters you are already familiar with. Even though Alex is missing in this campaign, Farah Karim is back. You might remember her as one of the playable characters from the prequel. But there In MW II, she is a minor character, and has only 1 mission where she will be assisting Captain Price’s special unit. The same mission will also bring everyone’s favorite Russian “Nikolai” back too. Now you are familiar with the character, let’s get into the story of MWII.

Call of Duty Modern Warfare II Story

advertisement
advertisement

Call of Duty Modern Warfare II is not a direct continuation of the prequel. So if you are a fan of the previous Modern Warfare Trilogy, and skipped the 2019 reboot, still you can pick up the new MWII and enjoy the game. And as a fan of the previous trilogy, I believe this should have the first game in the reboot (with minor adjustments to include events 2019 game for story).

Every bit of this new campaign feels like a COD game all were waiting for. But considering how much loved 2019’s MW, it is a relief knowing that both of these games exist in the universe now. And it is fair to say, Call of Duty Modern Warfare II successfully retrieves the essence of the previous trilogy and will let you recall high action packed delightful nostalgic moments from them.

Story Synopsis

The story Modern Warfare II is set in motion when General Shepherd assigns Task Force 141 & Graves’ “Shadow Company” to take out General Ghorbrani, Commander of Iran’s Quds Force. Major Hassan Zyani takes up the main antagonist role by joining the insurgent terrorist group Al-Qatala. You learn that Major Hassan Zyani has control of three stolen American ballistic missiles, that could destroy major American cities. So, the story revolves around how Task Force 141 & Los Vaqueros come together to take down Hassan Zyani. If I do into any more details, I will be spoiling the game plot for your experience. So, I will stop at this basic synopsis.

Maps

COD Modern Warfare 2 Maps

The campaign feels like an international expedition across the Americas, Europe, and Asia. It is not overwhelming owing to enough time to take in views of Amsterdam, & even lets you explore Warzone 2’s map Al Mazrah in this campaign. There are levels involving US/Mexico Border, and a fictional Mexico region called Las Almas, which were well-detailed and work towards making your story immersion more impressive. The variety in the map, from the arid Caucasus terrain of Urzikstan to the humid oceanic climate of Spain kept the phasing well between the levels.

Gameplay

COD Modern Warfare 2 Gameplay

Spend a few hours in the game, and you will quickly realize it is a well-refined FPS game the series needed. The new freshening lake on game mechanisms from using AC-130’s display as a gunship gunner, to point and click experience through a CCTV like playing stealth-focused Commandos games. The famous night-vision goggle-based missions are back, but the true highlight for me was playing the mission “Dark Water” on “Realism” difficulty. This single level tells you how MWII managed to bring the best of the previous trilogy into the modern new age. Before I explain it in detail, check out the gameplay reveal by the official channel:

If you have played the trilogy, you will recognize the first half of the level resembling the 9th mission of 2009’s Modern Warfare 2 called “The Only Easy Day… Was Yesterday”. The first part of the mission also takes place on an oil rig, then as you can see in the clip above, quickly takes the fight to a nearby cargo ship. This will remind you of the famous 2nd mission in COD 4 Modern Warfare, “Crew Expendable”. If you were playing multiplayer, then it will also bring you memories of the “Wet Work” map which is the same ship in the story mode.

But there is a vast difference in gameplay this time. You see even though the mission takes place in the same kind of storm, the shaking of ships and cargo containers was limited by the technology of the time. Now unlike the previous games, the cargo container moves across the map matching the physics of the ship’s motion. You can even get skilled if you get stuck between two. The entire experience is out of this world if you were a fan of the original trilogy. And for new players, it is a technical marvel in COD standards.

Apart from this, the gunplay is awe-inspiring, the gun sounds are cool, the enemies react to gameplay, and finally, there is this surprising guerrilla warfare session in the game. There is an entire mission to teach you how to craft items and survive a Mexican town taken over by your enemies. And all the knowledge you acquire is not gone to waste later, there is an important level in a game where you are to use your crafting knowledge to survive. You have to be quick and plan out your attacks to survive till the end of the story. It is a wild, thrilling experience to get to the end.

Graphics

call of duty modern warfare 2 graphics

Since the release of the ninth generation of video game consoles, like Sony’s PlayStation 5 & Microsoft’s Xbox Series X/S, just 2 other COD games got released. They are Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, and Call of Duty: Vanguard. Considering Vanguard is built on IW 8, an enhanced version of the previous Modern Warfare engine, and Black Ops Cold War is built on a customized version of IW 3, the true capabilities of the series were missing till now.

So Infinity Ward’s improvements to the new game can be felt all across the game. From the motion capture of characters in cutscenes to the breathtaking water simulation system in the canals of Amsterdam, the game is aesthetically magnificent. Playing on our RTX 4090 test unit, Modern Warfare II felt the campaign felt like the best-looking game the series released till now.

Verdict

Just because the Modern Warfare II campaign is around 6-7 hours, doesn’t mean it is lacking anything at all. It is one of the most action-packed linear fun I ever had in a story after the 2019 reboot. Even though it is not a technological marvel as compared to 2007’s Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and 2009’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, the new reboot tries to stay grounded on realism and easily manages to excel at it.

But if COD games are among your favorite series, then Modern Warfare II will offer you new locations, new enemy types (shielded enemies), new weapons, new skills, and abilities (crafting for guerrilla warfare) to go along with it. There are moments you will find yourself enjoying playing Modern Warfare II more than the 2019’s version. But still, 2019’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare had a better campaign arc. So overall as per our Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 Review, we suggest you pick this up if you are a fan of the series and want to play more of the Modern Warfare reboot till the next game in the series comes out in the future.