Call of Duty, the brainchild of Infinity Ward design teams and published by Activision, is undoubtedly the king of online war-based MMO. With 19 major mainstream titles and several spin-offs, this series stands on its own and has since its inception. As of June 2022, Call of Duty titles had sold a whopping 425 million copies worldwide, and the trend shows no sign of slowing. With the new Call of Duty: Modern Warfare due to hit the shelves both digital and physical on October 28, 2022, fans are already rabidly purchasing their advanced copies, weapons packs/skins offered through the store, and the anticipation is real. Perhaps that is why Activision decided to push an Early Access Beta, letting fans test the game out last weekend, instead of the one-week early Beta in October that had been announced originally. It had its desired effect, drawing in millions of players and thousands upon thousands of dollars in hours. While no final total has been or probably ever will be reported, making those who were already excited rabid with anticipation for the full release, with several social media outlets further promoting or offering deals along with the title purchase.
So true to our fandom, my husband and I had to check out the Beta. It is fair to say Activision has been hard at work trying to make this title fun and far more accurate than previous titles in details and gun use, as well as offering some new, really cool items along the way. Upon loading up the game, one thing is clear, they spared no time or expense on upgrading the graphics, though it is clear there is still some work to do. Fingers floating through guns, the COD trademark broken wrist look when an operator holds his/her gun, and some disappearing detail making the character look unfinished, to name a few. However, it is a small and rather insignificant issue in the big picture of the whole. Maps are a very obvious point of visual upgrade, from shelves that you can actually read the boxes clearly to the clarity through scopes. It is a very well-done installment, even in Beta.
This installment also pays special attention to the sniping aspect that previous titles missed, including better sniping points hidden within maps to allow players who prefer the camping and kill method a better chance during gameplay. Whereas in other titles, it has been a taboo way to play, this title seems to recognize the true value of the sniper in a real war. It is built upon that to ensure each unit’s sniper could provide a valuable service to their team, with (while not necessarily minimal) much less risk to the player in discovery or accessibility before they can respond or move from position. It has very clear control when looking down the sights and much less bobbing to previous titles, even at level one! The arc for long shots is much more realistic as well, requiring far less trial and error than previous titles.
It offers a variety of different types of gameplay as COD always had, allowing the player to navigate their missions as they see fit or in the style of play they prefer. Such as Invasion, Mass War, mainstay such as team deathmatch/domination, and countless others, with promises of events down the line. It also offers a 3rd person view variation that is new to mainstream titles. Operators will bring fans back to some familiar faces, such as Anne, Daniel, and many more. The gun list is also fairly extensive at level one, though it has not been made clear if there was a larger opening weapons list for the beta trial or not. So some may not be as readily available when the game releases as it appears. That is just up to chance. One sad factor is none of the guns from Cold War or Vanguard appear to cross over. So purchased packs that are not specific to MW2 will not appear and you will have to purchase specifically to that title. (Sadness)
There are some cool new additions, such as inflatable decoys that, once thrown, release a soldier replica that comes in a variety of wartime positions, including standing or crouching. This allows them to be put behind boxes or trucks etc., looking like real players who hold very still. Another such item is the drill charge, a lethal one that can be thrown at solid surfaces and will drill through the wall, either forcing the player on the other side to retreat or be killed once it makes it through, continuing to drill through the player who failed to move. These are only two of many, but I would hate to ruin the surprise ☺!
Like any good title, it does have some major takeaways. Mostly in the form of NPC players found in Invasion and Mass War. Noticeable through their complete lack of awareness (rookie level bots) and the silly plays they choose to use in combat zones. For example, running across a heavy battle area while trying to use Aim Down Sight shots to take out opponents instead of hip shots as cover fire until reaching safety. It’s unclear if these are solely for the term of the Beta or if they will be found in play in the actual release, but I truly hope these rodeo clowns are removed to make room for more live players. The soundtrack is different and highly noticeable, leading many fans to plead for an original soundtrack package to be offered in-store or the soundtrack to be merged into both new and original. Another MAJOR takeaway in Beta stage is hacking. With so much work still being done and improvements being made, it has become a haven for the hacker to try and figure the system out early, and it is very clear in play.
It has also been suggested that the Beta will be reopened a few more times before the game’s actual release (fingers crossed). Should it become available and you have the time, I highly recommend any fan of the series take a moment and play the Beta before purchasing. Also, be sure to pay special attention to your control options if you find your gameplay is being affected, as some options are new or have been changed slightly. A field of view option allows the player to make a fuller field of view if necessary.
Please join us again next week as we look into former Call of Duty games and the splash they made at the time of their release. I intend to cover One call of duty game a week until the release on October 28, 2022. Please also take some time to check out some of the amazing content from our other contributors and see you again soon!