It’s that time of the year again people. The leaves are falling and the BULLETS ARE FLYING! I have been playing the Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare II Open Beta on Xbox Series X this weekend and as a COD lifer, I have to say this very well might be my favorite COD MP since COD: WW2. COD Vanguard MP was okay but it constantly felt like something was missing.
I think a large factor for me was that COD: WW2 from the MP HQ HUB to the map layouts was absolutely amazing. And in my opinion, it was the best rendition of a COD: WW2 experience. But that was then, and this is now. We are back in modern combat and man does it feel great!
Right off the bat, the new MW2 MP layout looks more streamlined. We have the top menu list with Play, Weapons, Operators, Challenges, and Store. The new lower ribbon menu layout has all the game modes. I love the easy front and center navigation system.
Hover over any of the MP game modes and you will see a big center image of the mode along with the description. As of this writing, I’m on my way to level 14 and spent a good amount of time in each of the modes provided but man oh man I already have my new favorites.
3rd person mode is back! For those unaware COD had 3rd person mode back in MW3 but it was only for private matches. This here is a brand-new build from the ground up 3rd person experience that feels smooth as butter. It’s a beautiful sight (literally) to see your operator in full running around and taking cover behind objects. When it’s time to spray some bullets, you are instantly put into first-person once you pull the left trigger to aim down the sight.
The argument some within the COD community have with 3rd person view is that it doesn’t provide you with a “truly immersive experience”. I have no issues whatsoever with it as a fan of Tom Clancy’s The Division franchise which is completely 3rd person. The truth is both gameplay styles have a give and take.
First-person provides a better FOV, especially for enemies at long distances, however, your peripheral is limited. 3rd person provides great peripheral with limited depth view, but with the added transition to first person when looking down your sight, this truly feels like having the best of both worlds. Either way, it was awesome playing hardpoint and seeing the map from a new perspective.
The 2nd mode which I sunk hours playing and will return to doing so after this write-up is Invasion. This is a 20 v 20 ground war-style mode with the goal to reach 1000 points before the other team. Points can be earned by performing various tasks on the battlefield. A cool addition to this mode is the addition of AI enemies, similar to Star Wars Battlefront 2 MP. From my interactions, they move like human players meaning they will take cover from fire, and peek over objects and corners to take shots. You will also obtain XP for killing AI enemies. Below is a list of how points can be earned in this mode.
1 Point: Eliminating a Combatant
2 Points: Shooting down an enemy UAV or Counter-UAV
3 Points: Shooting down a VTOL Jet, Support Helo, or Chopper Gunner
5 Points: Eliminating an Operator, shooting down an enemy Gunship, or destroying an Operator-owned or occupied vehicle.
Two other new additions are Knock Out and Prisoner Rescue. Knock Out is a variation of capturing the flag with the flag replaced with a bag of cash and having no respawns during a best of 5 matches. Prisoner Rescue requires you to rescue prisoners by finding and then carrying them to a safe target.
You have the ability to revive downed teammates. You can accidentally kill the prisoners which will also cause the mission to fail. I plan to put in more time in these modes in the final release but from the time spent, there is definitely a lot of fun to be had.
In regards to the performance in all these and other included modes, I had zero connection or crashing issues. Occasionally I would die and see my weapon hover in the air or bounce around like a beach ball. A teammate did have the game crash once. Overall, all the gameplay and audio were solid with no dips in performance and felt polished which is great news since we are weeks away from launch.
This preview was written based on a beta code of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II for the Xbox Series X provided by Activision.