Impressions From the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Multiplayer Open Beta
Taking a look at Modern Warfare 2's suite of multiplayer options
Call of Duty is a series that has always impressed me with its bombastic and energetic single-player campaigns. While I usually play the story modes to completion, I don't normally check out the multiplayer, which is normally the bread and butter that first-person shooter fans eat up.
But after playing the open beta this past weekend, I might give the multiplayer mode a fair shake this time.
While you have your standard modes like Team Deathmatch and Domination, there are even modes like Invasion and 3rd-person Mosh Pit that will surely make this iteration one of the most memorable entries in the series.
Overhauled Weapon Customization
Before I get into the multiplayer modes that were offered in the beta for MW2, I want to talk a bit about the included Gunsmith system that comes included.
With Gunsmith, you can customize your primary weapon to your heart's content. You can equip different attachments like grips, under-barrels, scopes, stocks, and barrels among other parts to increase your particular stats like reload speed and accuracy as you rank up after every given match.
I appreciate how you can choose which gun you want to use that suits your particular play style. After you level up a couple of times, you will then gain the ability to create custom loadouts to see which weapons would work best for you in any given mode that you happen to play. This even applies to choosing which perk packages you want to use by selecting which set you want to apply, such as Assault, Deadeye, and Support that you can earn through kills.
Creative, Engaging Maps
While I was playing through the open beta, there were certain maps that I felt suited best for a particular mode. For example, Breenbergh Hotel works well for tight close-quarters modes like Team Deathmatch and Domination where you have a good range of medium and close-range combat in wide open areas that make combat tense and frenetic.
Other maps like Farm 18 work well for sniper players by placing themselves on top of buildings or by hiding out in cover in modes like Hardpoint. Along with having tight-knit corners like training areas that make you get up close and personal with your enemies.
The rest of the 6 maps available in the beta work best for large-scale modes like Ground War and Invasion. Sariff Bay and Sa'id were used to great effect within these modes as they give you more leeway in how you want to approach a given combat situation, whether you want to enter a vehicle like a tank or a helicopter to make quick work and eliminate as many players as possible. While the ground vehicles seem to be quite easier to destroy, I didn't really get a good grasp on them to see how they handle to make me decide if I like them or not but they are a fun addition to use if you want to rack up some easy kills.
Diverse, Entertaining Modes
While you do have your typical modes like Team Deathmatch and Domination that are present in the beta, there are a couple of modes that shake up the formula for new and returning fans.
With Ground War, you have two teams trying to gain control over the various objectives scattered around the various maps that support it. While it certainly seems similar to larger-scale modes seen in Battlefield, to me it felt like a breath of fresh air that has been needed for Call of Duty as a whole.
In contrast, you have Invasion which is essentially Team Deathmatch with two teams of 32 players swarming each other with the assistance of AI-controlled bots. Having the computer hostiles within gave me feelings of nostalgia for the Titanfall franchise as its Attrition mode featured AI bots that could be killed for points that applied to your team score.
Just seeing the bots pop right up on the map and charge away with their war cries made me chuckle with joy as I respawned on the map. I even got a multi-count killstreak just from shooting the bots and other players as they were climbing up the ladder. I had my shotgun on hand as I was blasting them away which in turn led me to unlock my stealth bomber killstreak at 7 kills where I achieved a mega streak. Just those moments that I experienced in the beta made me feel like Invasion will become one of my favorite modes in Modern Warfare II.
Other modes that I played include Knock Out where you have to either eliminate the opposing team or hold a package to earn the most amount of points to win. While there are no respawns, your team can revive you if you get downed. I will admit that I didn't get the chance to play modes like Search and Destroy and Prisoner Rescue, though that one is self-explanatory.
Overall I enjoyed my time playing the open beta for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II. As someone who enjoyed the highs and lows of this franchise, I'm usually playing the single-player campaigns more than the multiplayer itself. But once I spent time with the beta, I felt like I can appreciate a few online sessions of Call of Duty again.
I haven't spent extensive time with the multiplayer of a Call of Duty title since Advanced Warfare. But maybe Modern Warfare II would get me back into the swing of things and allow me to appreciate the multiplayer for once. There's less than a month to wait before I find out for sure!
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