Following what feels like years of rumors, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is releasing on October 28th for Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5, and PC. There’s quite a lot to look forward to, whether it’s the campaign, revamped Gunsmith, Special Ops, or multiplayer. But this being Call of Duty means plenty to be concerned about, especially following the recent beta. Check out our ten biggest concerns here.
The original games were full of action movie homages, insane plot twists, and much more. It could be fun, though painfully short, and truly felt like Call of Duty had jumped the shark. Could the current Modern Warfare 2’s campaign follow suit? It’s hard to say but judging by the various teasers, there’s still a gritty modern shooter vibe as opposed to outright cheese. We’ll see how it ultimately pans out at launch.
Special Ops is making a comeback and offers asymmetrical missions for two players. It sounds good until you realize that no gameplay or details have been provided yet. Also, given how lackluster Special Ops was in Modern Warfare (2019), we’re skeptical whether the sequel will be better.
Map design, especially in multiplayer, will always be a hit-or-miss affair. Some players will adore maps based on their playstyles, and others will not. Some maps are better suited to larger numbers of players and feel awful in 6v6 (like Hotel and Museum). You also have issues with spawns ruining the overall flow of a match. Not every map can be Shipment or Shoothouse, and there are still more to come, but certain things need to be tweaked ahead of launch.
Remember how annoyingly loud footstep audio was in Modern Warfare (2019)? Well, good news – the sequel has the same issue in spades. Even after adjustments for the second beta weekend, footstep audio still seems too loud. Why does it matter? The lack of the classic mini-map and Dead Silence being a Field Upgrade instead of a Perk means that some enemies can wait around corners and kill you simply by listening to the sound of your footsteps. It may discourage rushing but, in conjunction with everything else, encourages camping that much more. Further adjustments should be forthcoming, but given how long it took to get the previous game right, it may take some time.
In general, skill-based matchmaking or SBMM isn’t a bad thing since it helps to protect less-skilled players from constantly getting stomped. The more-skilled players will face tough competition, but that’s the point. The problem arises when SBMM skews insanely towards one end for a player after just a few victories. An average player could have a comfy two or three games, then suddenly find themselves battling a squad of pros and getting stomped.
This was the pattern in the previous game and most Call of Duty games over the years. Judging by the recent beta, it seems to have carried over to Modern Warfare 2. It becomes all the more annoying when connection quality is affected, to the point where you seem to die instantly while enemies soak up the damage. If that weren’t enough, you still can’t stay in the same lobby after a match. Found a nicely balanced lobby? Too bad because the game needs to find new opponents to stomp you.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2019 had some issues with installation space, to put it kindly. At launch, it required a whopping 175 GB on PC. Consoles weren’t much better, with the Xbox versions demanding roughly 97 GB of space. The hefty patches only made things worse, and it wasn’t long before even 250 GB SSDs couldn’t contain it on PC. The other culprit was Warzone and multiplayer being integrated into the same game. While it was possible to install select components on consoles, PC users had no such luck. The developer has confirmed that Warzone 2.0 will be a separate download from Modern Warfare 2, but you should still beware of the massive amount of space that the campaign and multiplayer will require.
Bugs and Glitches
Call of Duty has always had its share of bugs, crashes and glitches, but these have seemingly increased since the new generation consoles launched. Despite Modern Warfare 2 running on the new unified Call of Duty engine, those issues are still happening. Look no further than the recent multiplayer beta which is causing crashes on Xbox platforms. Yes, it’s a beta, and the developer is working on a fix. It may not end up utterly broken at launch, but other bugs and glitches seem a given.
Muzzle smoke opacity, muzzle flash visibility, being unable to distinguish between friendlies and enemies – it wouldn’t be a Call of Duty title without some visibility issues. The developer is aware of the issues from the beta and seemingly provided some improvements for its second weekend. Unfortunately, there are still complaints about visibility, with enemies at range being tough to spot. Perhaps nameplates above enemy heads will be added, or perhaps not. Time will tell, but it’s only one way to mitigate the overarching problem.
You’d think that getting into a match would be the simplest thing in the world, never mind navigating Gunsmith, a pivotal part of the customization experience. However, the UI in the beta has very little positive to write home about. Instead of a menu with modes arranged in rows, they’re arranged column-wise, which means you have to scroll from left to right to reach your desired playlist. All that space in the middle is for, well, nothing unless you count pretty background images. The Gunsmith menu is also tough to navigate, requiring multiple button presses to reach an option. Also, not showing deaths on the Scoreboard during a match and only afterwards? Even Overwatch 2 doesn’t do that.
Somehow, the mini-map has been a point of contention for the franchise over the years. Call of Duty: Vanguard made changes which weren’t received very well, and Modern Warfare 2 continues in that fashion. The mini-map will only show enemy player dots if you have a UAV active. Otherwise, you’ll need to rely on your ears and follow the sound of gunfire.
In its community update post addressing the same, the developer said, “The design reason for this is that we do not want to punish players for firing their weapons. We also want players to actively search out the origin of a gunshot versus just traveling directly to where the dot is on the mini-map.” It sounds all well and good, but with the current footstep audio, specific maps and modes, and so on, camping is all the more favorable now.
You could argue that UAVs are active 24/7 anyway, so it shouldn’t matter, but it still feels like fixing something that wasn’t broken. The developer is still gathering feedback on the same, so we’ll see if this makes it to launch, but beta players are less than thrilled about the change.