Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 - Xbox 360

Game Description: Picking up where Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare left off, Infinity Ward's high intensity military first-person shooter will push players to their limits. As part of Task Force 141, players will traverse harsh and varying terrains across the globe as they attempt to suppress and eliminate the surging Russian Ultranationalist threat.
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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Multiplayer Hands-On Preview

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Multiplayer Hands-On Preview

By Brian Leahy - Posted Sep 16, 2009

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

Last night, Infinity Ward and Activision invited members of the press out to a sound stage in Hollywood to play Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 multiplayer for the first time. The developers are adding so much to the game that it’s initially staggering, but after a few rounds, you realize that this is a totally different theater of war than Call of Duty 4 and it’s time to figure out the differences.

There are some major game changers in effect for MW2 and Infinity Ward seems to have taken player feedback to heart. Secondary weapons now include pistols, machine pistols, shotguns, and launchers. No longer will players have to give up their precious primary weapon slot to field a shotgun or lose a perk to grab a rocket launcher. The change also gives a lot of versatility to snipers giving them the option of grabbing a fully-automatic pistol or shotgun for close range conflict.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

Killstreaks have undergone a bit of a change. Your set of three rewards can be customized, but I was not able to play enough to unlock any additional rewards to select in my build. The default setup is a UAV at three kills, Care Package at four, and a Predator Missile at five. The Care Package drops a box on the map where you pop a smoke grenade. The box can contain ammo or any killstreak reward, including those you haven’t unlocked yet. Anyone can pick it up, including the other team. The Predator Missile flies in from straight-above the map while you control the trajectory of the missile with a laptop, but you’re still vulnerable while using it. Aim it into large groups of enemies for great justice! It’s a devastating attack that caught most players off-guard during our demo, but there’s ample warning to find cover or spread out. Other killstreak rewards include:

Counter-UAV (four kills) – A counter-intelligence reward that blocks the entire enemy team’s UAV for a period of time.

Sentry Gun (five kills) – A placeable turret that will automatically fire at enemies that enter its field of view. Can be shot and destroyed by the enemy team.

Precision Airstrike (six kills) – The new and improved airstrike. The same amount of ordinance is used from Call of Duty 4, but the bomber’s trajectory can be set so players can bomb an open street that would otherwise be covered if the bombs dropped from a set direction.

Attack Helictoper (seven kills) – The classic Call of Duty 4 chopper.

Pave Low Chopper (nine kills) – A better chopper.

AC130 Gunship (eleven kills) – Control an AC130 gunship from a laptop a la Call of Duty 4’s campaign. Switch between weapons to maximize your killing. It lasts for a long time and is so much fun to use. It also takes quite of bit of skill, since all of the gunship’s weapons have differing amounts of zoom and lead time before striking.

call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

Remember, only three of these can be active for any player at a time, but the care package allows for some randomization. It’s a great feeling when you get an AC130 gunship out of a four killstreak care package. Additionally, you’ll get to choose one Deathstreak reward. These activate when you die a certain amount of times in a row without scoring a kill. The two I tried were Copycat (4 deaths) and Pain Killer (3 deaths). Copycat allows you to copy the weapon and perk loadout of the person that killed you. It’s a great way to preview some unlocks you might not have yet. Pain Killer gives you a significant boost to your health for around 10 seconds after you spawn. This is useful for escaping some spawn camping situations.

Perks are more useful overall and I had trouble choosing between them, especially during such a short play session. In Call of Duty 4, experienced players chose from a few perks that were much better than the other options. In MW2, the choices seem more useful and specific, allowing for some better class differentiation. One example could be the classic “Stopping Power” perk versus the new “Hard Line.” Do you take the Call of Duty 4 staple of “Stopping Power” to increase your damage or do you want your killstreak rewards to kick in at one kill less than required? Kill faster or get a UAV after two kills?

Each perk has a “Pro” level that is unlocked by completing perk-specific challenges. During my playtime, I was able to unlock the pro version of the aforementioned “Hard Line” perk. Instead of making killstreaks kick in at two less kills, it actually makes your deathstreaks go off one death earlier. I’m told that the other pro perks will be similarly different. They’ll be related to the vanilla perk, but not just a straight increase of power.

Players will also be gaining experience for a lot of things, and quickly. 100 experience per kill is the new baseline, up from 10 in Call of Duty 4. You’ll also earn point bonuses on top of that depending on how you drop an enemy. Score a headshot? That’s an extra 50 points. Do it from long range? You just grabbed another 50. Did you stop him short of a killstreak? Boom, 100 more points! I was able to hit level 12 after roughly six matches at the event. The new level cap is set to 70 and unlocks occur at almost every level. Infinity Ward wasn’t talking about MW2’s Prestige Mode yet, but it is in the game.

I was able to play on three different maps: High Rise, Favela, and Afghan in Team Deathmatch, Domination, Demolition, and Capture the Flag.

 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 - CTF Flag Runner Gameplay


First, the maps:

High Rise – A square map on top of a large building, which is under construction. Teams spawn in to opposite buildings for some indoor cover, which opens onto the open rooftop. The rooftop has three levels of elevation. The top point is a helipad, which has a chopper for some cover, but it is mostly exposed. Under the ground level, there are some stairways leading to tunnels for navigating the map without too much exposure. Overall, an extremely fun map for all game types, but my team fell victim to some nasty spawn-camping during a game of Domination.

Favela – A tight set of run-down buildings offering a lot of twisting alleys, windows, and places to duck in for some quick cover. The left and right of the map have good sight lines cross-map for snipers, but they won’t find much luck anywhere else on the map. It’s the map in the “Flag Runner” video that Infinity Ward released (shown above). My least favorite of the three maps, but still very enjoyable for Domination and CTF.

Afghan – Think Crash from Call of Duty 4, but super-sized. This desert battlefield centers around a large, downed plane that has cracked into two segments offering some good cover. Surrounding the plane are some caves, bunkers, and cliffs. This is the map seen at the end of the “Flag Runner” video where fourzerotwo gets knifed in the back. Of the three maps played, this was easily my favorite. It’s large enough to get some cohesive strategies going and perfect for nine-versus-nine Ground War.

Now, the gametypes: 

Team Deathmatch – Self-explanatory.

Domination – Returning from Call of Duty 4, unchanged. Capture up to three points on the map to gain points over time.

Demolition – A new and improved version of Call of Duty 4’s Sabotage mode. Everyone on the attacking team has a set of explosives and these can be set on two bomb points simultaneously. The attacking team tries to bomb both points before the round ends. Successfully blowing up one point extends the time limit. The countdown timer on the explosives is around 45 seconds to give the defense a chance.

Capture the Flag – Standard CTF, but capturing the enemy flag requires your flag to be at home. Picking up a flag is done automatically by standing over it for around a second. Returning a downed flag is just as fast. Flag carriers will appear on your HUD as periodically updating waypoints, showing the carrier’s position as of a few seconds ago.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

I haven’t touched on the actual gameplay, because it’s still the smooth, polished experience you know and love from Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. The difference, however, is that this feels like a completely new game and not just a pack of guns, perks, and maps.

Feel free to post your questions below and I’ll try to answer them as best I can.

Comments are Closed

  • dj_inkd92

    i dont like the care package.. dumb idea

    Posted: September 20, 2009 4:28 PM
  • JaShatta

    Modern Warfare 2 no question about how big of an title this is. I am a big fan of COD titles all over and they sure did surprise me when they came out with COD4 Modern Warfare 2. I do hope they don't forget that the classic world war version are needed as well and not just the new shooter experience we getting from them. I asked for a couple of stuff like the secondary weapons shot gun etc.... I see thats added i am wondering what about silencer on my sniper rifle is that available please i need a answer on this question

    Posted: September 20, 2009 3:16 PM
  • Vyxxer

    did that video show him THROWING a knife? thats the most kickass thing i can think of, throwing knifes in the game would be awsome. i wonder what the weopn atachments are, in the campain he has a gun with a radar ON the gun.

    Posted: September 20, 2009 12:30 PM
  • OldCrustySock

    Is the multiplayer better than modern warfare 2?

    Posted: September 20, 2009 10:10 AM
  • XikillsuckersX

    How come i haven't heard anything about a cover system it's ludicrist if it does not have one, you should be able to look around corners and take cover behing most objects just like the cover system for quantum of solace and gears of war.It makes no sense if they do not add that important feature to a great game like this it will only make it that much better.

    Posted: September 20, 2009 5:40 AM
  • mooseman247

    Can't wait.

    Posted: September 20, 2009 2:37 AM
  • Ruscle


    Posted: September 19, 2009 7:56 PM
  • RidleyMarcus84

    The graphics and stuff are much better than th 1st Modern Warfare

    Posted: September 19, 2009 6:53 PM
  • bigquint2021

    This is going to be EPIC!!!

    Posted: September 19, 2009 5:14 PM
  • kane419

    I'm gonna have way to many perks to choose from. Tough Decisions.

    Posted: September 19, 2009 4:14 PM
  • killer_cow

    finally we can get quality multiplayer instead of the broken MP on WaW

    Posted: September 19, 2009 3:21 PM
  • woot117

    really G4. a completely new game. that seems hard to grasp for me seeing as the gameplay is identical to the first 5.

    Posted: September 19, 2009 11:45 AM
  • God0fallgods

    Can't wait for this game. My favorite game is easily Modern Warfare 1 so i'm getting the Prestige Edition from gamestop. MW2 FTW!!!!!!

    Posted: September 19, 2009 7:29 AM
  • LightningxA

    Is this Halo or Modern Warfare, No skill at all run and gun same game new maps. It looks like Operation Flashpoint here i come.

    Posted: September 19, 2009 7:15 AM
  • XXXSpartan118XXX

    getting this game. And to all those complaning about the shotty as a secondary so what. The shotty was overused in the first one. If you quick enough to spot a guy with one scream, aim and fire!!!

    Posted: September 19, 2009 7:04 AM
  • bugereater


    Posted: September 19, 2009 6:37 AM
  • xxshooterxx

    i think that this game is gona be the best game ever made....and ps3 is the best btw

    Posted: September 17, 2009 5:49 PM
  • DarknellStealth

    This is one of the most insane games of the year!!!! So when is Killzone 2 coming out?

    Posted: September 17, 2009 3:30 PM
  • diablo305

    I feel like cartman did when he was waiting for the launch of the wii.sleepless nights just thinking of the crazy mayhem and hilarity that will ensue when this can of worms called modern warfare 2 comes out.

    Posted: September 17, 2009 2:41 PM
  • partyboy8967

    looks absolutly amazing but shotgun as a 2nd gun seems kinda stupid

    Posted: September 17, 2009 2:29 PM