Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 review: A much more grounded game

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2's key art.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 continues the story from the 2019 reboot of the Modern Warfare series. (Image: Activision)

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 2022, not to be confused with Modern Warfare 2 that was released in 2009 (yes they have the same name), is a continuation to 2019's Modern Warfare remake.

The Call of Duty series has been an annual affair for Activision since 2005, that one game released every single year, for the past seventeen years.

However, Modern Warfare 2 is the last in this annual release cycle, as Activision is looking to break the chain in 2023 with the Call of Duty series.

So how does the last entry into a series of annual releases play? Is there enough to sustain the fanbase for a whole two years till the next title releases?

Modern Warfare 2019 was a pretty good game. The campaign's story brought back beloved characters like Captain Price from the original 2007 Modern Warfare series, and also attempted to tell a gritty story that wasn't present in a Call of Duty game since the Black Ops series.

Not only that, Modern Warfare 2019 was also the base of Activision's hit battle royale, Warzone, a free-to-play battle royale that took elements from the multiplayer mechanics of Modern Warfare and made it its own entity.

A screenshot of the game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
At the core, it really doesn't look that much different from Call of Duty games of the past. (Screenshot: Activision)

Modern Warfare 2 2022 builds on the foundation that was already set with the 2019 remake.

Gameplay in the campaign and multiplayer mode is even more grounded than it was in 2019, with Activision removing the capability to slide-cancel (you were able to jump after sliding previously and still keep your sliding momentum), but adding the ability to dive into a prone position instead from a sprint.

Gunplay feels much more balanced this time around. Two weeks into the game and there are still no obvious candidates for an 'overpowered' gun which can laser you down no matter the range.

The feedback of guns feel great, most of them take some skill to control the recoil and bullet spread (unless if you are using a controller, more on that later).

Let's take a look at the individual modes.


Without any spoilers, the campaign tries a lot of new concepts in Modern Warfare 2. From the backpack system to the crafting system, there are many great ideas in the campaign that I wish were explored a little further or implemented in other portions of the game like the multiplayer mode.

The backpack system allows you to pick and choose a couple of useful items to use from it, like swapping from a flash grenade to a smoke grenade, and is a great idea to keep the gameplay fresh for Call of Duty. Past Call of Duty games never had this mechanic, which is akin to Apex Legend's backpack.

The freedom to be able to play around and improvise with what you have in your backpack makes combat much more interesting.

Maybe this system will make an appearance in the upcoming revamp of Warzone 2.0, to make it in line with something like Apex Legends or PUBG.

The crafting system is also a great addition to the Call of Duty gameplay, but sees no use outside of two campaign missions.

It is quite a bummer that it isn't used or explored further, as it does exemplify the 'guerrilla warfare' aspect of the game.

But in general, while the campaign isn't as gritty as the one in 2019, it is still a fun ride nonetheless. Nothing stands out like a sore thumb, yet nothing deserves a standing ovation either.


It is still your run-of-the-mill Call of Duty multiplayer mode. Tried and true modes like Team Deathmatch, Free-For-All and Domination are back with new maps.

Because of the more grounded gameplay, you have less players performing fast-paced crazy movements that you will struggle to fire at.

This in turn promotes camping even more, but even then, the game provides you with alternatives to flush out campers like the Drill Charge.

The Drill Charge is perhaps the best thing to be added into a Call of Duty game in a while. It is a grenade-like device that can drill through walls and explode at the opposite end of where you threw it from.

This is a godsend when you know that there is someone camping on the other side of the wall, but do not want to take the risk of peeking them. The Drill Charge will force the the camper out of their position, or they will die if it explodes.

Perhaps the most fun mode added to the multiplayer is Invasion, a 20 vs 20 Team Deathmatch game mode that is set on a large-scale map, with the addition of AI-controlled players and vehicles.

It does feel like a 40 vs 40 mode at times due to the addition of the AI players, and is a blast to play because of the chaos that ensues.

It is also a great way to increase your XP levels as well, by farming the AI players (if you know where to wait for them to spawn).

The progression system for the weapons are a little of a mixed bag, though.

Instead of unlocking weapons and using them regularly to unlock their attachments, Modern Warfare 2 introduces a system where you will need to use multiple different guns to unlock certain kind of attachments that will then be shared amongst those type of guns.

A screenshot of the game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
The gun progression system is much more complicated than it needs to be. (Screenshot: Activision)

While this is understandably to promote a variety of weapon usage, it is downright confusing and sometimes frustrating. If I am someone who is comfortable with sniping, why am I forced to use a shotgun to unlock a sniper rifle part?

Moving along, the multiplayer portion supports cross-play between PlayStation, Xbox and PC players.

But the thing that really takes the cake is the aim-assist for controller users in this mode. It doesn't matter if you are playing on a PC or a console, if you are using a controller, you have the benefit of enabling the aim-assist system.

The aim-assist is so aim-bot like it's not even funny. Your crosshairs instantly lock on to your enemy if your gun crosshair is anywhere within the vicinity of them.

To put this into perspective, right now, I play Modern Warfare 2 better with a controller than using a mouse and keyboard. And I am a pure mouse-and-keyboard kind of guy.

I seriously hope this gets patched out soon, because it does feel like it's a little overboard compared to other FPS titles like Apex Legends or Overwatch, especially considering Modern Warfare 2 isn't as fast paced as those games.


The Spec-Ops mode are co-op missions that continue the main campaign's story mode.

Gameplay-wise, it is your run-of-the-mill co-op mode for up to two people. Nothing much to see here except a fun time with your friend.


I think Modern Warfare 2 is a great refresh for the series, and a good foundation for Warzone 2.0, especially if they decide to implement the backpack system.

Coupled with the slower and more methodical gunplay, it is definitely a better experience than the typical run and gun shooters that the Call of Duty series are usually known for.

Hopefully the aim-assist gets fixed in future patches, though. I know Activision has finally implemented a good anti-cheat system for this title, but why will I need a cheat or a hack anyway when there is already a built-in aim-bot in the game?

Rating: 7/10

Dominic loves tech and games. When he is not busy getting bodied in games or watercooling anything he sees, he does some pro wrestling.

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