Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is Infinity Ward’s sequel to 2019’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and its nearly ready to launch.
The Call of Duty release schedule has become fairly predictable for fans of the series, with the official confirmation of Modern Warfare 2 coming after months of reports, leaks and speculation. That said, 2023 is looking less certain, thanks to reports that the series could take a year off .
But we're not going to let that keep us from getting excited about 2022’s entry. Activision Blizzard claims that Modern Warfare 2 is going to be “the most advanced experience in franchise history” and, to add to the excitement, the upcoming Warzone 2.0 is being “built from the ground up” alongside it.
As expected, the game didn’t appear during Gamescom 2022 , Activision didn’t have a presence at the show at all. However, the publisher instead confirmed more Modern Warfare 2 details at a dedicated Call of Duty: Next presentation.
There’s a lot to look forward to but, in the meantime, keep reading for everything we’ve learned about Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 so far.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2: cut to the chase
- What is it? The next Call of Duty game
- When can I play it? October 28, 2022
- What can I play it on? PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 release date and platforms
Activision unveiled the release date in a rather bizarre video that followed a container ship decorated with a mural of series protagonist Ghost. You can watch the tantalizing, if relatively insubstantial, teaser below.
Modern Warfare 2’s release on PlayStation will come as a relief to many, following Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision . While there’s been no end of discussion regarding the future of Activision franchises, it looks like this particular series will stay multi-platform for the foreseeable future.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 beta
An open beta period launched for Modern Warfare 2 back in September 2022, running for two weeks before ending. While there’s often been multiple beta periods for Call of Duty games in the past, it would seem that there won’t be this time around. We’re only weeks away from launch, so it’s likely that the next time we’ll get to play is at launch.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 trailers
Multiplayer reveal trailer and Call of Duty: Next Presentation
Activision gave us a full Modern Warfare 2 multiplayer reveal during the Call of Duty Next presentation on September 16. As part of this same trailer, we also got our first real look at this at Warzone 2.0. You can watch this below, alongside the full Next presentation:
Oni Operator Trailer
Call of Duty Next didn’t stop at a Modern Warfare 2 multiplayer reveal. We also got a look at PlayStation exclusive operator Hiro “Oni” Watanabe, who’ll be available on day one if you pre-order via the PlayStation Store. Stocked with a high-level Weapon Blueprint, it was only a brief look but here’s what you need to know:
Gunsmith 2.0 reveal
Finally, our last big reveal in the Call of Duty Next presentation showcased Gunsmith 2.0, which promises new ways to customise your weapons in Modern Warfare 2. Full details below:
Summer Game Fest gameplay reveal
During Summer Game Fest 2022 , Activision provided a first public look at Modern Warfare 2’s campaign. Showing off a cargo ship level, this demonstration sees the player and a few Task Force 141 members on an infiltration mission. Not only did we get a clear look at Modern Warfare 2’s visuals, this also showcased a firefight and the level’s moving cover.
Worldwide reveal On June 8, Activision and Infinity Ward released the worldwide reveal trailer for Modern Warfare 2, showing Task Force 141 back in action and confirming that pre-ordering the game will gain players early access to the open beta.
Teaser reveal Activision released a brief cinematic teaser on June 2 ahead of the official June 8 worldwide reveal of Modern Warfare 2 with the tagline “the ultimate weapon is team”.
Will Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard impact the new Call of Duty?
Following the announcement of Microsoft’s planned $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard , there was uncertainty over what the takeover will mean for Call of Duty. The main question being: will future Call of Duty games come to PlayStation consoles? Good news for PlayStation players: it’s looking like they will for the foreseeable future.
In a blog post (opens in new tab) announcing the deal, Xbox head Phil Spencer said: “Activision Blizzard games are enjoyed on a variety of platforms and we plan to continue to support those communities moving forward”. This ambiguous statement didn’t exactly confirm whether or not current Activision Blizzard franchises, like Call of Duty, will become Xbox exclusives at a later date.
Spencer then tweeted (opens in new tab) that he had “good calls” with leaders at Sony and had confirmed Microsoft’s “intent to honor all existing agreements upon acquisition of Activision Blizzard” as well as the company’s “desire to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation”. “Sony is an important part of our industry, and we value our relationship,” Spencer wrote.
Had good calls this week with leaders at Sony. I confirmed our intent to honor all existing agreements upon acquisition of Activision Blizzard and our desire to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation. Sony is an important part of our industry, and we value our relationship. January 20, 2022
However, this didn’t exactly instill confidence among Call of Duty PlayStation players, as many worried about what these “existing agreements” are. After all, Spencer didn’t explicitly say future Call of Duty games will be on PlayStation.
In a report by Bloomberg (opens in new tab) , four anonymous insiders, who claim to have knowledge of the deal, told the outlet that the next three Call of Duty games are slated to release for PlayStation as well as Xbox consoles. The sources told Bloomberg that Activision had already committed to these releases before the acquisition and so Microsoft intends to honor it.
These three games are apparently the now-confirmed Modern Warfare 2 reboot (aka Call of Duty 2022), another Call of Duty game from Black Ops Cold War developer Treyarch ( potentially delayed to 2024 ) and Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0 (the next iteration of the popular battle royale spinoff).
Clearing things up even more, though, is a blog post published by Microsoft in February 2022 . That offers more clarification and addresses Call of Duty specifically, saying that it will stay on PlayStation even beyond these existing agreements.
The post states that, "to be clear, Microsoft will continue to make Call of Duty and other popular Activision Blizzard titles available on PlayStation through the term of any existing agreement with Activision.” Further to that, Microsoft “have committed to Sony that we will also make them available on PlayStation beyond the existing agreement and into the future so that Sony fans can continue to enjoy the games they love."
That seems like good news for the future of Call of Duty on PlayStation. In fact, Microsoft goes even further in the post to say: "We are also interested in taking similar steps to support Nintendo's successful platform. We believe this is the right thing for the industry, for gamers and for our business."
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 editions and pre-orders
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is now available for pre-order across all platforms ahead of its October 28 release date and there are a few editions to choose from.
It's worth noting that regardless of which edition you choose, if you pre-order Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, you will get early access to the game's open beta and the Final Judgement Bundle, with access to the Legendary "Deathknell" Operator Skin and the Legendary "Bloodthirsty" Weapon Blueprint for use in Vanguard and Warzone.
Digital pre-orders will also get you early access to the game's main campaign (opens in new tab) from October 20, a week before the game's full release.
We've detailed each edition and which benefits you get from it below:
Available on all platforms, the Vault Edition is the most comprehensive version of the game that you can buy. In addition to the game, in the Vault Edition players get:
- Red Team 141: four playable Multiplayer Operators — Ghost, Farah, Price, and Soap — each wearing a special masked outfit themed around the legendary mercenary Ghost on day one.
- FJX Cinder Weapon Vault: more details on this bonus are to be shared closer to the game's launch.
- Season 1 Battle Pass: access to the first season Battle Pass along with 50 free tier skips. If you pick up the Vault Edition after Season 1, then you get access to the current season instead, with the tier skips still included.
- Ghost Legacy Pack: a pack containing previously released Modern Warfare Bundle content celebrating Ghost that includes skins and weapon blueprints.
- In-Game Store Bonus: for those who purchase the Vault Edition through the in-game store in Warzone, Vanguard, Black Ops Cold War, or Modern Warfare, you'll get 10 hours of Double XP Tokens and 10 Hours of Double Weapon XP Tokens at launch.
- Cross-gen access
Standard PC and Cross-Gen Digital Edition
For Xbox and PlayStation players who want the option of upgrading from last-gen consoles to current-gen consoles within the same console family then there's the Cross-Gen Digital Edition.
According to Activision (opens in new tab) , as with the Vault Edition, the Cross-Gen Digital Edition "will give players access to the previous generation console version of Modern Warfare II (PlayStation 4 or Xbox One) and the current version (PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S)." Unlike the Vault Edition, you don't get the Battle Pass or any of those bonus packs and goodies thrown in.
For PC players, this is pretty much just the standard edition of the game and is the only other option outside of the Vault Edition.
Physical Console Edition
Finally, of course, there's the Physical Console Edition for those who prefer having a physical disc. There's a Cross-Gen Bundle for the Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One, a cross-gen version for PlayStation 4, and a solely next-generation version for PlayStation 5 which does not come with a PS4 version.
Activision states that copies at select, as yet undisclosed, retailers there will also be specially marked boxes that will include a unique Call of Duty Endowment bundle available for immediate use on October 28.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 gameplay
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 features brand new gunplay systems and mechanics. These were showcased in the recent beta, and they were fairly different when compared to the last game. Overall, movement is more weighty, and players can now dive from standing to prone. Multiplayer was sharp, and time to kill seemed lower.
Mantling and ledge movement have also been overhauled. You can now hang from ledges and peek using the left trigger. If you have a pistol equipped, you can even fire from this position.
According to a campaign preview from IGN (opens in new tab) , Modern Warfare 2 really goes in on some exciting new water mechanics and will feature water-centered levels. The preview describes one mission set almost entirely in water "as you have to swim around and stealthily take down enemies on the docks you're approaching" with only your knife available to you for quite some time.
The game's water effects have apparently been entirely redone, with water intended to be used by players for stealth and escape as the further players dive beneath the surface, the less visible they are. While it will be possible to fire pistols and use knives underwater, bullets will have less projectile speed meaning more shots will be required to kill.
IGN's preview also highlights a new AI system, which will make the teammates of those playing in single player feel more realistic than they have before.
In its preview, Polygon (opens in new tab) highlights improved driving in Modern Warfare 2 as well, citing "new maneuvering features, like the ability to quickly swap seats, and even stand on the roof of their car to hop into a fresh vehicle."
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is the first game in the series that's built on its new, unified engine (opens in new tab) which will be used across the franchise going forward, including in the upcoming Warzone 2.0. Co-developed by Infinity Ward, Treyarch, and Sledgehammer Games, the engine will keep all the Call of Duty studios working with the same tools.
There’s also a new third-person mode in Modern Warfare 2 for the first time in Call of Duty’s history. However, this doesn’t mean you can play the entire game out of first-person. While we only got a brief clip of this during Call of Duty Next, the game switches you back to first-person while aiming. Infinity Ward’s co-design director Joseph Cicot calls it “a modifier on our game”.
As far as multiplayer is concerned, As confirmed in the Call of Duty Next livestream, we got a full Modern Warfare 2 multiplayer reveal . Shedding more light on those modes, we got a fresh look at how it revamps the game's Gunsmith weapon customizer. However, we’d heard more before this event took place.
IGN (opens in new tab) has said that based on first impressions, it "seems just as good as the remake from 2019" and "brings back all the core basics that were great about 2019's and makes them better".
Alongside known modes like Team Deathmatch and Domination, there are two new modes confirmed: Knockout and Prisoner Rescue. Knockout is a round-based 6v6 mode that combines elements of Gunfight and core multiplayer. Players only have one life and while it's possible for teammates to revive one another, when everyone is dead, it's game over. The aim is for teams to fight for control of a package and whoever is holding it at the end of the game wins.
Prisoner Rescue, on the other hand, has been compared to Rainbow Siege Six. In this mode, teams are split into attack and defense, with attackers tasked with rescuing and extracting hostages while defenders must protect them. Victory can be achieved either through eliminating the other team or completing your objective. There’s also a new Invasion game mode, which puts players into a 20v20 match. However, you’ll get 20 additional reactive AI to help you.
The water elements from the main campaign spill over into the multiplayer, too, with hybrid vehicles that work on land and water as well as new equipment that will adjust to work with the new water mechanics too. One example given is a proximity mine that will be able to float on the surface of the water using a flotation device.
Multiplayer design director Geoff Smith also confirmed that Modern Warfare 2's 6v6 maps were refined, making for quicker matches. So far, we’re aware of several 6v6 maps — Farm 18, Valderas Museum, and Mercado Las Almas. There’s also the Formula 1-styled Marina Bay map, and a 32v32 Ground War map, Sarrif Bay.
Modern Warfare 2 setting
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2's campaign will see Task Force 141 and characters like Captain John Price, Sergeant Kyle "Gaz" Garrick, Lieutenant Simon "Ghost" Riley, Sergeant John "Soap" Mctavish and CIA Station Chief Kate Laswell return.
The main story picks up from Modern Warfare (2019) with Task Force 141 facing off against a global threat that will take players across the world in a wide-ranging campaign. Plot details are still scant right now but the action picks up after a US strike kills a foreign general with Task Force 141 tasked with neutralizing a retaliatory threat against the US. That involves working with some new allies, including Mexican Special Forces.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 news and rumors
Known leaker Ralph has claimed that Modern Warfare 2 is set to get plenty of remastered maps as a result of the game’s DLC expanding in response to the series skipping a 2023 release. “With Modern Warfare II’s DLC expanding into 2023, Infinity Ward plans to incorporate more remastered maps than previously intended: spanning across Call of Duty 4, MW2, and, MW3,” Ralph said on Twitter.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard reports of remastered maps. Four of Call of Duty 2022’s multiplayer maps were seemingly leaked by the ModernWarzone Twitter account – which has accurately leaked Call of Duty news before. The account tweeted out four rumored multiplayer maps from Modern Warfare 2 that are expected to return: Favela, Terminal, Quarry, and High Rise.
Farm 18 map tease
Activision has teased a new multiplayer map for Modern Warfare 2 . The video is brief and therefore doesn't go all out in terms of showing the map in any great detail. Instead, it features two members of the development team discussing it.
Called Farm 18, Geoffrey Smith, Modern Warfare 2’s multiplayer design director, tells us that the map takes inspiration from the Modern Warfare's Shoot House map. He says that the team thought of "hidden training facilities" and chose to use an "industrial cement factory." The “Shoot House-type situation” will be at the center of the map but Smith adds that those who want to “pull back and play in a different way” that’ll be possible too.
Ashley Thundercliff, a senior environment artist, adds that the team wanted to strike a balance between realism and fun gameplay, saying, “If we go too dense with the foliage, we have people hiding in the corners. If we don’t go dense enough, we don’t sell the narrative of the overgrowth."
Welcome to Farm 18. Location: [classified]. Shoothouse optional. #ModernWarfare2 #IntelDrops pic.twitter.com/OkZuuwjPXD August 11, 2022
No Zombies and no multiplayer destruction
Infinity Ward has confirmed that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 will not have a Zombies mode – which isn't entirely surprising given that tends to be more of a Black Ops thing – and nor will it have Call of Duty: Vanguard's destruction elements in multiplayer.
Speaking to VentureBeat (opens in new tab) , Multiplayer design director Geoffrey Smith said: "No. We're not doing destruction. We can't really afford it on a large scale across the map."
That's not to say, however, players won't still be able to have a damage impact, with Smith going on to explain that "it's better to phrase it as damage. Showing damage, showing wear, showing what's happened without actually popping out structural pieces." He does, however, add that "Single-player has some great destruction. We went crazy on that."
Logo revealed Activision Blizzard revealed the logo for 2022's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 in April 2022. On Twitter, the official Call of Duty account tweeted out to say that "the new era of Call of Duty is coming", with a brief clip unveiling the logo beneath. No further details than that accompanied the reveal but it does, at least, suggest more information is imminent.
The new era of Call of Duty is coming. #ModernWarfare2 pic.twitter.com/HMtv2S6Nlz April 28, 2022
Development is on track Activision Blizzard has confirmed (opens in new tab) that development is “proceeding well” and has claimed Call of Duty 2022 will be “the most advanced experience in franchise history”.
“Development on this year's premium and Warzone experiences, led by Infinity Ward, is proceeding very well,” the company’s first-quarter 2022 financial results state. “This year's Call of Duty is a sequel to 2019's Modern Warfare, the most successful Call of Duty title to date, and will be the most advanced experience in franchise history. The new free-to-play Warzone experience, which is built from the ground-up alongside the premium game, features groundbreaking innovations to be revealed later this year.”
No Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 reboot? According to known Call of Duty leaker Ralph, on Twitter, developer Infinity Ward is allegedly “not interested in bringing back any old titles post-MWII” and instead is “looking beyond”. In other words, we shouldn’t expect a Modern Warfare 3 reboot after this.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II intends to conclude the Rebooted Series pic.twitter.com/24dePBMRol January 26, 2022
The last Call of Duty until 2024? Activision is reportedly planning to give the Call of Duty franchise a break in 2023, meaning Call of Duty 2022 might well be the last in the series until 2024.
The decision to break from the annual release cycle is because last year's Call of Duty: Vanguard failed to meet Activision's expectations, Bloomberg (opens in new tab) reports. While Vanguard was the best-selling game of 2021 (opens in new tab) , its sales were still markedly lower (opens in new tab) than the previous year's Black Ops Cold War.
If these reports are accurate, it will make 2023 the first year without a new Call of Duty in almost two decades. Apparently, Activision will fill the gap with continued support for Call of Duty 2022 and its free-to-play spinoff Warzone.
Activision hasn't confirmed Bloomberg's reporting. Instead, saying in a statement it has "an exciting slate of premium and free-to-play Call of Duty experiences for this year, next year and beyond."
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