This weekend, Call of Duty fans (more specifically PlayStation CoD fans) got their hands on the Modern Warfare 2 “open” beta — provided they’ve pre-ordered the game. The beta itself comes on the coattails of a Call of Duty “Next” event that aired last Saturday and publisher Infinity Ward showed off what’s coming to Call of Duty soon, specifically the Modern Warfare II remake.
It’s honestly a little disappointing that at the time of publication, the MW2 beta has a limited palette of its own. The general expectation is that players will get to play the new Warzone at some point during the 10-day beta, but for now, Infinity Ward is only giving players access to the new Gunsmith as well as the Quickplay mode. This includes returning modes that have been staples in Infinity Ward’s COD offerings, Team Deathmatch and Domination, as well as new modes Prison Rescue (pictured below) and Knockout.
However, right off the bat, there’s a bit of brevity in the way the maps look. They’re a bit brighter than some of the previous CoDs and therefore feel less congested (which was a regular complaint about maps) in IW’s Modern Warfare remake. There seem to be fewer places to camp, which I’m sure will make many players happy so they aren’t surprised (although this was still prevalent in the games I played).
From its build, the visuals look bright and crisp which makes for a much smoother gaming experience than the previous couple of Call of Duty games. There is no rendering texture or anything. Also, the much-awaited Field of View slider has been added to the latest entry in the shooter franchise for both PC and console players. For those unaware, it allows players to be fully aware of their surroundings. Speaking of, the third person view is back too, which is a breath of fresh air for those who really want to see their character while playing.
But not everything is positive as there seem to be some major changes in the overall movement. Traversal felt clunky and almost sluggish at times, especially with slide cancellation removed. Tactical spring is back in its place, with players once again able to “dolphin dive,” a way for players to run in dire conditions and dive behind cover. This makes the normal running and gunfighting experience of COD play out a little differently than it was before. Additionally, the kill time seems to be slightly faster, like the Valorant Fast which makes being aware all the more important. A second part of not paying attention can easily end with your death.
With regards to the franchise’s servers, the MW2 beta also stutters at times and continues to have network-related problems similar to those that have plagued Warzone since its initial release. There’s also a weird bug where the enemy team’s nameplate doesn’t appear on them at all, making their identification a bit difficult. Plus, the mini-map doesn’t show where enemies are shooting from, making it very difficult to strategize.
Overall, it appears that Infinity Ward is listening to critics and fans alike (for better and for worse). It feels a lot more like the original Call of Duty than it has in years. It feels based on skill and reflexes, and isn’t based on fancy upgrades or anything like that (similar tone to the CoD games released after Advanced Warfare). MW2 also implements a more objective-based multiplayer mode as seen in games such as Rainbow Six Sieges. It’s a very welcome change, as it makes Modern Warfare 2 feel more current, while also adding variety.
As revealed in the “Next” stream, Gunsmith brings further changes to the gun economy, aside from the general arrival of new gun options. Notably, the remake will introduce a new gunslinger. A more personal and realistic experience than what’s available in the 2019 Modern Warfare remake, Gunsmith 2.0 will have players grinding down the weapon platform while it features a variety of guns (or family of weapons). For example, in the footage we saw, players were using the body of a gun with multiple lethal attachments that were leveled and unlocked accordingly.
From there, the player can use those attachments on another gun without having to repeat that grind (provided it’s in the same family). Some gun families will include an SMG or light machine gun, while others may include a sniper rifle as well. So, it is up to the players what is and what is not worth leveling up. To be honest, it feels close to the weapon customization options available in Escape From Tarkov, where every single thing under the sun can be modified on any gun. It’s not necessarily a bad thing though, and certainly helps shake things up a bit.
Overall, I came away from the MW2 beta feeling largely positive about it. I expect Infinity Ward to potentially change the beta offering, especially considering that the beta is still out for a full week, even if it’s unlikely. It would be smart for them to give us a taste of Warzone because that seems to be where the most attention is. You can find other relevant articles below, including a guide on how to get exclusive rewards from the beta, as well as how to play the Prisoner Rescue game mode.