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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II (2022) Review

Modern Warfare II

Back in 2009, the sequel to the best selling Call of Duty game in franchise history was released: Call of Duty Modern Warfare II. It not only released amid Infinity Ward losing key developers, but it also went on to introduce and improve on the already great Call of Duty 4 multiplayer formula.

Now in 2022, Call of Duty Modern Warfare II released and set out to do more of the same as it did 13 years ago. A Warzone 2.0 update, more gadgets, weapons, and maps in multiplayer, and a sequel to Modern Warfare (2019) which introduced improvements to the IW engine, should be able to pack a punch for the price tag that follows. Find out more in our review of Call of Duty Modern Warfare II!

Call of Duty Modern Warfare II
Developer: Infinity Ward
Publisher: Activision Blizzard
Platforms: Microsoft Windows (Reviewed), PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One
Release Date: October 28, 2022
Players: 1-64 (online)
Price: $69.99 USD 

If you’re familiar with the twists in Modern Warfare 2 (2009) then you can somewhat expect the same but to a lesser degree. Ghost, Gaz, and Captain Price with the help of Mexican Special Forces, are tracking down missiles that are from America but end up being used and smuggled by the cartel.

Finding leads, betrayals, and action sequences fill the pretty decent story mode. There’s still great set pieces including blowing up bridges with BTRs and chases through the wilderness.

One mission still uses the AC-130 gunship to bring back that nostalgic feeling of playing again in 2009. Moments like these are cool, but ultimately the story feels a little bland and not even from the shooting galleries we’re all used to.

Obviously when it comes to FPS games, you shouldn’t expect too much to change. This time around guns feel better to use than before, however, depending on what you play will dictate how you feel about it. During multiplayer, the main focus for many, you will feel the TTK, or time-to-kill, is very quick but movement seems to be slowed down. 

Playing normal games of TDM, Hardpoint, Headquarters, etc. are fine but multiple issues besides movement hindered my fun. At the time of writing, snipers with flinch (or lack thereof) and the controversial skill based matchmaking all hit at once, and for the gameplay it turns out to be not so great.

Modern Warfare II adds in new mechanics to the single player portion such as jumping to ledges in the mountains and swimming, which has a renewed focus that moves into Warzone 2.0 (unreleased at the time of writing) as well. Another quick taste you can get right now before Warzone 2.0 drops is the co-op mode that showcases different scenarios and gives star ratings for your completions. 

This is where things get a bit dicey, and that’s the graphics. When they work, they are some of the best looking visuals to date. These include walking through Amsterdam and the opening scene with the canyons, but those fleeting scenes are just that.

The game has a ton of bugs when it comes to graphics and this was across multiple play sessions. When playing single player, bullet impact on walls was replaced with glitched, missing texture images and my multiplayer lobby screen also glitched to look like it was dipped in LSD.

I’ll tell you more at the end but this should have been ironed out before launch, especially given the single player was released a week before the full game.

A big step up is the audio for people that listen to footsteps in multiplayer. The other areas of audio are still good, but again, glitched out audio creeps in every so often and even reloading into the mission if you die causes some audio cuts and stutters.

It’s a generally mixed bag, if you want to care about all of these audio improvements. Explosions and the big set pieces all sound great, don’t get me wrong though.

There are rare moments that you may hear the audio cut out during gameplay, but the audio stutters are eternal. In fact, you may never hear the same things I experienced unless you are playing it on PC, which I have heard has caused more than one issue.

Far be it for me to say Modern Warfare II (2022) is awful, it’s pretty good. It actually reminds me of Modern Warfare 2 (2009)’s launch and multiple issues after it came out from Javelin glitches, care package glitches, the “rock”, and so on. Infinity Ward could have handled this game with better care and more thorough polishing.

It still feels unfinished and rushed, but that’s not to say Modern Warfare II (2022) is not fun; it most certainly is. The graphic glitches, sound glitches, and the sometimes questionable gun and movement balancing make this really hard to recommend.

That’s because in addition to those things, this game is a full, new $69.99 USD. Buyer beware and not, this game isn’t ready for the prime time yet, and it might take for Warzone 2.0 to drop for it to be.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II (2022) was reviewed on PC using a copy provided by Activision. You can find additional information about Niche Gamer’s review/ethics policy hereCall of Duty: Modern Warfare II (2022) is now available across Windows PC (via Battle.net and Steam), Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 5.

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The Verdict: 6

The Good

  • Graphics, when they aren't glitches, look amazing
  • Sound design is improved vastly
  • Cutscenes are expertly crafted
  • Story is decent

The Bad

  • Glitches everywhere
  • Weapon balancing and movement in multiplayer is not so good
  • Audio sometimes cuts out

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