Call Of Duty Modern Warfare 2: Gun Guy Goes Gaming

I’ve fallen back in love with Call of Duty. Kind of. I thoroughly enjoyed Cold War, and after hearing nothing but rave reviews from friends, I grabbed Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2. I did not enjoy forking over $70, but I did it anyway. Admittedly after playing the game for a month, I feel like I got my money’s worth. MW2 is not a direct remake of the MW2 from yesteryear but a sequel to the Modern Warfare reboot from 2019. Although, all the characters from the OG MW2 do make an appearance.

COD MW2 graphics
From the 1st level, the graphics gripped me.

Off the bat, the game is graphically beautiful. The characters look outstanding, as do the environments. Plus, the guns look real, which is always a nice touch. Ghost’s cringeworthy mask and Soap’s faux hawk are on full display and look stunning. The voice acting is also superb, with characters like Laswell, Price, and Graves standing out the most.

cod mw2 ghost cover image
Ghost returns for Modern Warfare 2.

The story is a typical COD story. It’s just an excuse to move from set piece to set piece and kill everything in front of you. From the Mexican countryside to a fish hatchery in Spain and even an American border town, it’s just beautiful and runs smoothly without any frame rate issues, even when things are popping off.

I played a lot of COD 4 in 2007 or so, and I loved it. I’ve played a bit of MW2 and realized it’s a reboot for both, not only the franchise but for my interest in it.

Modern Warfare 2 — The Campaign

This is a 1st-person shooter that rides the line between the typical fast-moving COD design and a more realistic feel. The campaign has you traveling to exotic locations and killing bad guys left and right. It’s a constantly evolving campaign, and no two levels feel the same. It never bogs itself down with repetition.

COD MW2 pistol red dots
Pistol red dots are common in this game.

Most of the time, this works. The stealth missions are thrilling, as is the sniper mission. I enjoyed getting back into the AC-130 and utterly destroying enemy forces. I always loved that mission in the OG COD MW, and I love it even more in COD Modern Warfare 2. Most of the time, this works, but sometimes it doesn’t hit just right. For example, a car chase mission drags its feet and takes too long to finish. One mission has you watching surveillance cameras and directing an ally, and I found it dull.

The action is world-class. The campaign especially provides a decent amount of challenge with a variety of enemies tossed at you throughout each mission. It often pays to be clever, and there is more than one way to skin a cat in Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2.

You get to use a wide variety of gadgets and gizmos on top of modern guns with high-tech optics that keep the game moving at a brisk pace.

That Dang Tank

One of the final levels has you fighting a tank on foot. You attempt to throw C4 or shoot it with the rare RPG. It’s a boss battle essentially, and it was a big downside to the campaign. Oftentimes it felt like luck played a bigger role than skill in this mission, especially since several times, the mission would start, and I’d die before I even had a chance to move. The end of the level didn’t even deliver any satisfaction beyond the level finally being over.

Digging Into the Multiplayer

I haven’t played multiplayer much, and I typically don’t enjoy multiplayer games, but I gave it a try. I found it surprisingly addictive. Don’t get me wrong, I suck at it, but I enjoy it. The time to kill is quick, and it makes you play with a bit more caution and skill. The usual modes like Team Deathmatch make an appearance, but those didn’t draw me in.

I really enjoy Ground War, a mode where you and your team seize control points and hold them until a team reaches 250. Invasion is another mode where it’s basically a 20 vs. 20 team deathmatch with enemy A.I. bots dumped in for good measure.

Multiplayer allows for tons of customization for your guns too. The customization is off the chain, and so is the weapon selection. Unlocking different weapons and gadgets never feels like a grind. The guns feel balanced, too, which is rare for a video game.

COD MW2 weird gun
There are some weird configurations you can build and find.

The Guns

Of course, we have to talk guns. There are tons of them, and each has the ability to be widely customized and configured by the end user during multiplayer. You can have up to five attachments, but you have more than five attachment slots. You’ll have to be picky about what you use on each gun.

Most of the guns are the high-speed video-game-adored weapons you are used to. We have the M4 and AK series, the Mossberg 590, and various flavors of the AUG. On top of that, we have oddballs like a FightLite MCR clone and super modern weapons like the Honey Badger and SIG MPX.

COD Modern Warfare 2 ghillie suits
All Ghillied Up is a fun run, but I prefer the original.

On the flip side, some feel odd in a game that calls itself Modern Warfare. Why are our high-speed operators still guns like the M14 EBR and SIG P220, and why are Browning over/under shotguns so common with our high-speed terrorists?

COD Modern Warfare 2 night vision
The night vision sections look sweet…but why are we still using the M14?

In terms of accessories, the gun takes a modern stance. We have a thermal red dot that’s very much inspired by the Steiner CQT. Also, red dots on handguns are common and nice to see. Don’t forget realistic P-MAGs in the M4s. There are too many accessories to list, and most are nice. We still have that one very persistent airsoft-grade red dot making an appearance, but it’s a COD tradition at this point.

Blasting Away

What I really like is that the guns all feel different and satisfying. Assault rifles are often select fire and good general-purpose tools. Shotguns are punching and powerful. SMGs are buzzsaws with hardly any recoil. The massive capacity of machine guns makes you want to lay down copious amounts of fire. Even the handguns are fun.

A Return to Form

I do not regret spending $70 on COD Modern Warfare 2. It’s well worth it. It packs a ton of content. I loved the campaign and might grab the 2019 COD MW reboot now just to try it out. I’ve been playing for a month and feel like I’ve barely cracked the game open.

Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine Gunner and a lifelong firearms enthusiast. Now that his days of working a 240B like Charlie Parker on the sax are over he's a regular guy who likes to shoot, write, and find ways to combine the two. He holds an NRA certification as a Basic Pistol Instructor and is probably most likely the world's Okayest firearm instructor. He is a simplicisist when it comes to talking about himself in the 3rd person and a self-professed tactical hipster. Hit him up on Instagram, @travis.l.pike, with story ideas.

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