Player expectations are high for Activision and Infinity Ward’s upcoming Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II. With the game sharing a similar name to what some consider the best entry in the Call of Duty series, it undoubtedly has much to prove. At the recent Call of Duty Next event, however, Infinity Ward showed it’s rising to the challenge, adding meaningful options and innovations to the franchise’s formula.
Much like the 2010 Modern Warfare 2, this new title sets out to give you greater creativity to provide an extra edge, which means even more fun. The additional pieces appear in the form of various in-game tools that allow you to move, attack, and strategize in ways not seen in prior installments.
These new options are also amazingly balanced, keeping the entry barrier low but masterfully raising the high-level skill ceiling.
Move how you want
The defining word for Modern Warfare II is “choice.” You have so many options present that you can define your playstyle and gameplay across every mode. One of those options is movement and how it plays into every aspect of the game.
“In a broad view, these tools kind of make the game like a platformer,” Multiplayer Design Director Geoffrey Smith explains. “It adds this three-dimensionality to the combat that isn’t there in the previous games.”
Mantling has evolved, so you can use it in more ways than just getting around obstacles. Now it’s possible to hang from ledges where it was previously only feasible to jump right over or not be able to scale at all. This allows you to not only peek over at potential threats and survey the land but also pull out a one-handed weapon like a pistol and ward off or even finish off opponents.
Hanging isn’t the only new option present in the movement toolkit either. Actions out of tactical sprint have been expanded as well. You are no longer restricted to only a slide to mix up and evade enemies; you can also dive. The difference is in the ground covered and the position you’re left in. Whereas the slide keeps you to the ground, diving gives a bit of airtime and leaves you in the prone position. This tool comes into play in many areas, such as quick escapes, gunfights, and hiding. One remarkable instance witnessed during the initial gameplay reveal stream featured many players diving behind obstacles and even out of windows to avoid gunfire, explosions, and other opposition.
The biggest game-changer happens under the sea. You can swim above and underwater, with the option of nautical vehicles also being available. While riding a speedboat above the water is pretty sweet, diving with the fishes to avoid enemy fire is even sweeter. This is especially useful in larger maps and higher player count modes like Invasion, where water travel is a constant variable in the grand battle that spans the land, sea, and sky.
Unique tricks of the trade
Another significant expansion to how Modern Warfare II plays comes from all new lethal, tactical, and special equipment. These new weapons are the drill charge, shock stick, and inflatable decoy, and each adds a new variable to the fight that changes things up in fresh ways.
● Shock Stick: The shock stick is tactical gear that can be thrown on any surface. Once it sticks, it emits a lengthy electric shock that will slow down anyone approaching it. It also makes them lose control of their weapon.
● Drill Charge: The drill charge is a lethal grenade that bores its way into walls and explodes on the other side, ruining the visuals or downright putting down unsuspecting enemies in other rooms.
● Inflatable Decoy: The inflatable decoy is the cheekiest of all, popping up a balloon model soldier that can catch any opponent off guard.
Like the new movement options, these weapons expand what you can do in a match and makes room for even more creativity in play. While each can be used offensively, they can also be effective in evasion attempts, scare tactics to push away incoming opposition, or merely trolling enemies and friends alike.
Keeping it real and balanced
One of the main objectives of Infinity Ward, when it came to implementing these new options, was to bring even more authenticity and immersion to the Call of Duty series.
“These tools bring more realism into the game,” multiplayer design director Joe Cecot states. “If you’re a soldier climbing a ladder with a pistol, you’ll get that out and arm yourself. That’s why we wanted to add things like the ledge hang. You wouldn’t actually throw yourself over as we see in previous games. By giving players these choices, we not only make it more realistic, but we give them the ability to do the things they want to do instead of being forced to do something.”
But it’s not as simple as making the game as realistic as possible. Both Multiplayer Design Directors Cecot and Smith explained how a balance must be met to ensure that you keep enjoying the competitive experience.
Cecot emphasized the importance of the game feeling fluid and smooth. However, there also needs to be some weight to the soldier and weapon. It’s a constant battle for the team to make it as approachable yet skillful as possible.
This case is seen extensively with the attachment system in Modern Warfare II. You must monitor the assets you’re attaching to a gun when looking to reduce recoil, for example, but have to deal with the incurred negatives to utilize the positives. These hints of approachable realism make this title one of the most intriguing in the franchise, and the optional expansions make the player experience an easy cut above the rest.Fans can jump, mantle, dive, ledge grab, and more into the new world of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II when it releases on October 28. Learn more about weekend two of the Multiplayer Beta, running September 22 to 26 by checking out this PS Blog article.