Last night I was shown a pre-recorded presentation in which various developers at Infinity Ward spoke enthusiastically about this year’s upcoming shooter Modern Warfare 2 and the various changes it makes to 2019’s largely successful Modern Warfare soft reboot. I can’t bring you hands-on impressions of the multiplayer, unfortunately (with the lifting of this evening’s embargo there will be plenty of videos featuring multiplayer impressions for you to check out), but I can write about something Infinity Ward repeatedly discussed during its presentation: its fancy new water tech.
We’ve been here before. I remember flying to the US to preview Infinity Ward’s ill-fated Call of Duty: Ghosts, widely considered one of the worst Call of Duty games ever made, and seeing “advanced” fish AI during an underwater level. Of course, the fish had no meaningful bearing on Call of Duty’s gameplay. Water in Modern Warfare 2, however, will, Infinity Ward insists.
I was shown pre-alpha gameplay footage of the Amsterdam-set campaign mission Wet Work, which did a good job of showing off Modern Warfare 2’s new water. I’m not aware of all the video games ever to have done water well (the games that spring to mind are The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker and Sea of Thieves), but to be fair to Infinity Ward, Modern Warfare 2’s water looks wonderful. Captain Price and co bob about as waves ebb and flow. Swimming makes little splashes. There’s a foam simulation. Boats produce a wake. You can do stealth takedowns from the water, if you swim quietly towards an enemy who’s standing on a platform above you. Drag them down then Call of Duty stab for the win.