Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2: Game Review


Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is a globe-trotting affair, starting off in the Middle East, the fictional Al Mazrah, and on to beautiful Amsterdam, Mexico, and Chicago. All of this keeps missions interesting by providing a variety of locations and settings such as daytime, nighttime, stealth, or all-out gunfights. 

However, this year’s COD campaign is an unfortunate misfire that fails to live up to the standards set by not only its unforgettable 2009 namesake but also its 2019 predecessor. 

While the game is graphically impressive, and the gunplay is yet again state of the art, Modern Warfare 2’s campaign relies too much on echoing the victories of Call of Duty’s past rather than establishing its own goodwill. Let’s get into how Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 2022 pans out.


The six-hour campaign whisks you away from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare’s Middle Eastern frontlines and drops you into Mexico for the majority of its run. The addition of the Las Almas drug cartel takes you to Mexico and to the list of foes, a scenario similar to roles that you’ve seen everywhere from Ghost Recon: Wildlands to Bad Boys. 

The storyline is embroiled in a plot that involves an Iranian arms deal, stolen US missiles, and the interplay between multiple nations’ special forces. There is an ongoing saga between the Mexican Special Forces, headed by the fantastic Alejandro, and The Cartel, who are aiding the game’s antagonist, Hassan, who has stolen US missiles and plans to use them to attack US cities. 

Unfortunately, the quality of this story is a substantial step down from its predecessor, where Modern Warfare examined the human stories that emerged from military occupation and assessed the sacrifice of a piece of your own morality in order to protect the civilian world. Modern Warfare 2 is more interested in broader, shallower action. The result is paper-thin, gung-ho characters and a conclusion that can be predicted from barely 30 minutes in.


The mission design is admirably varied and often built upon a novel concept. Some of the missions are based on standardised templates and feel underwhelming and often quite static, although these are thankfully outnumbered by levels with a better purpose. Having said that, Modern Warfare 2 struggles to make anything quite as memorable as its predecessor.

The best mission to attempt is Alone, a stealth level in which you must escape a labyrinth-like town packed with guards. Starting completely unarmed, you gather materials and craft a variety of DIY tools – smoke bombs, lock-breaking gizmos, trip mines – and use them to work your way to the exit. 

This checks out all the buckets of an impressive Call of Duty mission but is frustratingly undermined by the fact that your character is injured and can only walk at a snail’s pace. It makes weaving between guard patrols a chore, and its 40-minute duration seems like a lifetime.

In another mission, there’s an unwieldy car chase that’s somehow an alternative to Uncharted 4’s showstopper, where you are jumping from vehicle to vehicle in a large convoy, after having a section hanging upside down by a rope off of a helicopter, whilst trying to stay alive and stave off enemies with only a handgun. 

There is also a brief-but-fun infiltration of a cartel boss’s mansion with a bit of a Hitman touch as your disguised soldier rubs shoulders with enemies.

In another one of the missions, you control a gunship, and you need to take out the enemies in an area with civilians while using whatever you have in your surroundings to take out enemies, but you cannot kill civilians. This mission is quite frustrating and challenging.

There’s an incredibly tense mission near the start of the game. Whilst controlling Gaz and supported by Price, your job is to infiltrate a base, armed with Sniper Rifles. The tension begins when enemies come towards you. You’re tasked with hiding your gun and lying in the long grass, blending in with your camo outfits.


Ghost, Price, and Soap are fantastic, well-written characters, and incredibly voiced by all, and each offers a different narrative to the missions they are involved in. The mocap, voicing, character details, and graphics are as good as any AAA game. The ghost might be the coolest character in gaming. 

If you’re unfamiliar, he’s the guy with a skull face mask that is never removed. Full of mystique and intrigue, Ghost acts as a mentor to Soap, his guidance over comms was always extremely welcome to the player, and they always appreciated his input, especially in the aforementioned “Alone” mission.


As ever, Call of Duty is clearly on the cutting edge of graphics technology, and the graphics look incredibly brilliant from practically every angle. While Mexico has plenty of lovely vistas, a brief visit to Amsterdam demonstrates Modern Warfare 2’s graphical artistry, thanks to the impeccable attention to detail and gorgeous lighting effects. 

From the detail of the world to the character design and visuals, it’s a fantastic representation of AAA current-gen graphics.


Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 has taken top-tier shooting to new heights. Weapon handling is precise and punchy, and the visual, physical, and particularly audio feedback is in a league most FPS games can only dream of. The sniper and assault rifles probably have the best look and feel, too. 

There’s a seemingly never-ending collection of weapons to pick from, each of which feels distinct in feedback and form. Although the mission designs rarely favour one type over another, different gun categories can feel interchangeable. But the gunplay is terrific, guns feel weighty and realistic.

The game isn’t perfect by any means. The biggest flaw is probably the checkpoint system. Normally, a good checkpoint is appreciated when a player dies, but Modern Warfare 2 has far too many, to the point where many times when you die, or maybe do something wrong, the game respawns right at the event again, right to be shot by the same enemy.

As a final note, Modern Warfare 2’s campaign is a little buggier than what you’d expect from a Call of Duty campaign. Performance is consistently slick, but the occasional texture pop-in on larger maps and ugly low-res textures on some elements like water is a bit disappointing.

Overall, it’s an enjoyable game and plays out like an 80s action movie. It’s never going to be the most sophisticated game, but do you want that? The mission variety is refreshing, the visuals are outstanding, and the characters are realistic and a key reason why this is a brilliant offering.