Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II (2022 video game)

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II is a 2022 first-person shooter game developed by Infinity Ward and published by Activision. It is a sequel to the 2019 reboot, and serves as the nineteenth installment in the overall Call of Duty series. +more It was released on October 28, 2022, for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5, Windows, and Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S.

Like its predecessor, the game takes place in a realistic and modern setting. The campaign follows British SAS forces as they team up with various other countries' military members to locate a terrorist. +more Running on a new version of the IW engine, multiplayer mode supports cross-platform multiplayer and will feature a free-to-play battle royale mode, Warzone 2. 0, a follow-up to the original Warzone. It is expected to be first game in the mainline Call of Duty series with a two-year content life cycle, with the next Call of Duty title expected to release in 2024. Modern Warfare II received generally favorable reviews from critics.

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Gameplay

Modern Warfare II introduces several design improvements and changes to the series gameplay, such as advanced AI systems in the campaign and co-op modes, water physics, swimming mechanics, and a overhauled vehicle system. New gameplay features and movement tactics include dive to prone, mantle, and ledge hang along with the removal of slide canceling. +more New vehicle gameplay features include leaning out of vehicle windows, mantling onto a vehicle roof, and hijacking. The levelling and Gunsmith system has been revamped, allowing players to fine-tune specific attachments to suit their playstyles. It also offers weapon platforms that branch progression to reduce repetitiveness, as well as featuring a firing range for practice.

Modern Warfare II multiplayer features several new game modes: Knockout, in which two teams attempt to capture a package with limited lives; and Prisoner Rescue, in which an attacking team attempts to extract a hostage while a defending team prevents them by fortifying defenses around the hostage. Third person game modes were confirmed in September. +more The cooperative Special Ops mode is also confirmed to return, featuring two-player missions, with an additional 3-player activity called Raids set to release post-launch.

Plot

Characters and settings

Modern Warfare II is an indirect continuation of the 2019 reboot entry, with the campaign taking place in late 2022. The central protagonists of the game are Task Force 141, a joint multi-national special operations unit formed by SAS Captain John Price (Barry Sloane), comprising: Sergeant Kyle "Gaz" Garrick (Elliot Knight), Lieutenant Simon "Ghost" Riley (Samuel Roukin), and Sergeant John "Soap" MacTavish (Neil Ellice). +more Throughout the course of the story, Task Force 141 is supported by several allies: CIA Station Chief Kate Laswell (Rya Kihlstedt), Russian private military company leader "Nikolai" (Stefan Kapičić), Urzikstan Liberation Force Commander Farah Karim (Claudia Doumit), Mexican Special Forces Colonel Alejandro Vargas (Alain Mesa) and Sergeant Major Rodolfo "Rudy" Parra (Bayardo De Murguia), Shadow Company PMC Commander Phillip Graves (Warren Kole), and United States Army General Shepherd (Glenn Morshower). The primary antagonist of Modern Warfare II is Major Hassan Zyani (Ibrahim Renno), an Iranian Quds Force officer who is allied with the Urzik terrorist organization Al-Qatala, and is supported by the Las Almas Cartel. The cartel is controlled by sicaria Valeria Garza (María Elisa Camargo), who hides her identity using the alias "El Sin Nombre" (lit. The Nameless).

The game takes place in both real and fictional locations, such as Amsterdam, Chicago, Urzikstan, and the new United Republic of Adal (URA), the capital of which, Al Mazrah, serves as a major locale within the campaign and multiplayer modes, as well as the new map for the free-to-play Warzone 2. +more0. The game's plot is partly based on real-life events, like the assassination of Qasem Soleimani.

Synopsis

In July 2022, Task Force 141 has been working under the command of General Shepherd conducting surgical strikes against Russian-backed Iranian forces. When a missile strike assassinates Iranian general Ghorbrani during an arms deal in Al Mazrah, his second-in-command, Quds Force Major Hassan Zyani, assumes the mantle of leadership and becomes involved in funding terrorist activity over several months. +more His activities draw the attention of Shepherd and CIA Station Chief Kate Laswell, ordering the deployment of MARSOC Marines led by Lieutenant Simon "Ghost" Riley and Sergeant John "Soap" MacTavish to apprehend Hassan in Al Mazrah. Hassan has already fled the area, with Ghost and Soap discovering that he was in possession of an American-made ballistic missile.

To continue their pursuit of Hassan, Laswell, Captain John Price, and Sergeant Kyle "Gaz" Garrick pursue one of Hassan's couriers in Amsterdam, learning that Hassan has allied with the Las Almas cartel and is being sheltered in Mexico. After a failed attempt to apprehend Hassan in US-Mexican border, Mexican Special Forces Colonel Alejandro Vargas and his second-in-command Sergeant Major Rodolfo "Rudy" Parra participate in a joint operation with Ghost, Soap, and Shadow Company to capture Hassan. +more Although successful, they are forced to release him from captivity to avoid political fallout while placing a tracking device on his cell phone.

Hassan's traced phone call leads Price, Laswell, and Gaz to Spain to raid a Las Almas-owned fishing hatchery, where they discover that Las Almas possessed Russian-made GPS devices to use for the stolen missiles. Laswell is captured by Al-Qatala forces, prompting Price and Gaz to save her in Urzikstan, with the aid of their old allies "Nikolai" and Farah Karim. +more Meanwhile, Vargas and Soap infiltrate a Las Almas meeting to identify their leader, El Sin Nombre, revealed to be Vargas's former teammate Valeria Garza. Valeria makes a deal with Shadow Company by revealing the location of the missiles. A raid led by Ghost, Shadow Company Commander Phillip Graves, Soap, and Vargas has the joint task force assault an abandoned oil derrick and cargo tanker to prevent a missile launch. Despite the successful mission, Graves and Shadow Company betray Vargas and Task Force 141 by taking over the former's base of operations and detaining his men under Shepherd's order. Graves captures and imprisons Vargas while Ghost and Soap flee to safety. With help from Parra, Laswell, Price, and Gaz, Ghost and Soap launch a prison break to free Vargas and his soldiers.

During extraction, Laswell reveals that in August, Shepherd and Graves were responsible for a botched and illegal transportation mission, that was supposed to transport ballistic missiles to American allies in the Middle East and the URA against the Russians but were ambushed by Russian PMCs that led to the three ballistic missiles being stolen in the first place and covered it up. Price confronts Shepherd over the revelations, promising to pursue him when Hassan and Graves are eliminated. +more Task Force 141 and their Mexican Special Forces allies succeed in killing Graves and learn from Valeria that Hassan is in Chicago, intending to fire the remaining missile onto Washington, D. C. . The team successfully thwarts the plot and kills Hassan.

In the aftermath of the mission, Shepherd has gone into hiding, while Laswell informs Task Force 141 of the leader of Russian Ultranationalists responsible for Shepherd's botched operation, whom Price identifies as Vladimir Makarov. Meanwhile, a Russian terrorist cell prepares to hijack a plane after receiving a text from Makarov, telling them not to speak Russian during their mission.

Development

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II is developed by Infinity Ward alongside a new version of the battle royale title Call of Duty: Warzone, later revealed to be titled Warzone 2. +more0, with both games using a new version of the IW engine, and will be under a single cross-game launcher known as Call of Duty HQ. The new upgraded engine features a physically based material system, a new hybrid tile-based streaming system, a new PBR decal rendering system, world volumetric lighting, 4K HDR, as well as a new GPU geometry pipeline. The game features Activision's proprietary Ricochet Anti-Cheat at launch.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II is expected to be first game in the mainline Call of Duty series with a 2-year content life cycle, with the next Call of Duty title expected to release in 2024.

Marketing

Reveal

In February 2022, Activision confirmed that a sequel to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare would be released in 2022, alongside a new iteration of the free-to-play battle royale title Call of Duty: Warzone. The game's title, Modern Warfare II, and logo were revealed on social media in April 2022. +more A month later, Activision released another teaser, which featured the key arts of the main characters of the game, as well as a release date of October 28, 2022. On June 2, 2022, a live-action trailer was released, on the same day, Steam responded to a tweet from the official Call of Duty Twitter account, strongly suggesting the game would be released on Microsoft Windows via the Steam platform, in addition to Battle. net. The first trailer for the game was released on June 8, showcasing gameplay from the campaign mode, as well as confirming the game's release on Steam, Battle. net, and the eighth and ninth generation consoles. Modern Warfare II marks the first time since 2017's Call of Duty: WWII that a Call of Duty title released on the Steam platform. In September 2022, Activision held the "Call of Duty Next" showcase where they revealed a multiplayer gameplay trailer, details on the Spec Ops mode, Call of Duty: Warzone 2. 0, and the DMZ extraction game mode.

Release

The multiplayer beta for Modern Warfare II started for PlayStation 4/5 players from September 16, and for Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One and PC on September 22. The beta officially ended on September 26 at 3pm EDT across all platforms before the launch on October 28, 2022. +more Pre-orders of all editions grant "early" access to the open multiplayer beta. The Vault Edition grants access to a "Red Team 141" operator pack, a "FJX Cinder Weapon Vault" pack, plus access to the Battle Pass of a Season for Modern Warfare II (dependent on the time of purchase), and double XP tokens. In addition, the Vault Edition also includes the "Ghost Legacy Pack", which grants 12 Ghost operator skins and 10 weapon blueprints for the M4A1 assault rifle for use in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Call of Duty: Warzone. Unlike the previous cross-gen titles, Modern Warfare II offers no standard editions for the eighth generation consoles, but only a cross-gen edition for all platforms, in addition to the Vault Edition. Pre-ordering also granted early access to the campaign a week earlier on October 20.

Reception

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II received "generally favorable" reviews, according to review aggregator Metacritic.

The Guardian gave the game 4 out of 5 stars, writing: "In our era of coldly distanced technological combat, of armoured police vehicles on city streets, of protests bloodily subdued, we might ask why such violent delights as Modern Warfare still have a place on the entertainment calendar. It's something I've pondered over the many hours I've spent thoroughly enjoying this ludicrous game. +more It is something I will perhaps go on to think through in the many, many hours to come. ".

In a mostly positive review of the campaign, GameSpot wrote, "I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed the freedom to tackle scenarios in my own way, including all the carjacking. The variety of locations from mission to mission also ensured there was never a dull moment. +more My time with Modern Warfare 2 and Task Force 141 was a blast, and truly feels like Infinity Ward created this campaign as a greatest hits list for the series. My surprise enjoyment of the added open-world set pieces and new maneuverability gives me hope that these elements of freedom may become more of a staple for the franchise, and that's a future for Call of Duty that I can get behind", but also noted that "unfortunately, the package as a whole feels lacking and gun customization is overly complex. ".

Sales

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II became the fastest-selling Call of Duty game of all time. The game also earned $800million in physical sales in its first three days of release, beating the series' previous record-holder Modern Warfare 3, released in 2011. +more In the United Kingdom, Modern Warfare II became the best-selling game in its release week. In Japan, the PlayStation 4 version of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II sold 24,371 physical copies within its first week of release, making it the second bestselling retail game of the week in the country. The PlayStation 5 version sold 17,710 physical copies in Japan throughout the same week, placing it at number six on the all-format video games sales chart.

Notes