Another year, another Call of Duty. This time around it’s the sequel to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare from 2019. I am starting to see a trend here. Anytime a Call of Duty game shows up with the subtitle Modern Warfare the franchise starts to push forward across all fronts, including visuals, sound, gameplay feel, animations, and tech. It’s worth noting that the team at Gaming Instincts is not big fans of cross-gen projects, since cross-gen limits potential innovative gameplay design, visuals, and performance.
Normally, cross-generation transition lasts roughly 2 to 2.5 years after a new generation of hardware has launched. Coming up on November 2022, it will be officially two years since both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X have been out on the market. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is now the second title to be a cross-generation Call of Duty game, and you know what, it looks way better than we expected it. Kudos to Infinity Ward for somehow managing to pull out some sort of coding wizardry here, because Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 looks insanely good for a cross-gen title, and here are the 10 reasons why.
Reason #10 – Superior Physics Tech
It seems that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 has upped its physics tech. I do not remember enemy bodies dropping down like this in previous titles. It looks more realistic and much more believable. While the previous games made improvements over the years, they have always felt a bit too ragdolly and unrealistic. I am not a tech guy, but it seems that Infinity Ward wanted to push physics further than ever before.
Reason #9 – Water Improvements
Speaking of physics, the water seems to be getting the same treatment. In the Dark Waters gameplay demo, Infinity Wards showcased how water affects the gameplay. We see one guy being pushed to the other side of the room because water broke through the small circular window. The player then takes advantage of that opportunity and shoots the enemy with a shotgun while they’re on the floor. Now, we all know that a lot of the Call of Duty campaigns are heavily scripted, so we have to wait and see how and if the water will truly be dynamic when it comes to gameplay. Either way, the tech is impressive.
Reason #8 – Highly Detailed Gun Models
The gun models look more detailed than ever before. I thought Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2019 guns looked great at the time, but once again Infinity Ward has gone up another level in this upcoming sequel. I couldn’t stop looking at how sexy those weapons looked in the gameplay demo. You can see every small intricate detail on all sides of the gun. When playing FPS games, the guns must look good and be fun to use because it’s what you are looking at from beginning to the end. Not only do these weapons look good, but the animations are smooth as hell. Don’t get me started on the audio either, audio production in most Call of Duty games is always stellar, and that’s no different in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Long story short, the weapons look, feel, and sound excellent.
Reason #7 – Old-school Level Design
The Dark Water level that was showcased reminded me of an old-school level design that is somewhat similar to the Oil Rig level from the original Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2. A bunch of military dudes on a ship during a stormy night. It’s like the perfect setting that you’d come and expect from a Call of Duty title. The new water physics, the new world volumetric lightning, and the rain and thunder effects complement the look and feel of such environments. I think demonstrating this specific level from the campaign was the right thing to do. The nighttime setting helped sell the reflections and show off the new lighting tech.
Reason #6 – Superb Audio Design
The sound design is on another level.
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Let’s have a quick listen-in on the audio effects (RECORD THIS)
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Everything from the gunshots, bullets hitting the metal, or water pouring through the window and washing away the soldier just sounds real and satisfying to your ears. Infinity Ward seemingly went above and beyond for the sound design of this game. The barrels exploding also pack a ton of good audio. It’s not surprising because Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2019 also had a great sound design. Whoever is responsible for all the audio stuff, massive kudos to the dev team, keep it up!
Reason #5 – The Crew Members and AI
The crew members seem to be an important aspect of this upcoming sequel. It’s nice to have teammates that are useful and aren’t just sitting there for the sake of being there or just to be used as plot armor. At the start of the demo, it’s cool to see how the crew communicates with each other and keeps each other safe. This makes it feel more cinematic and comes off as more authentic to what it’s like to be in a military squad. Call of Duty always had a lot of crew members’ moments, but there is something more pleasant here when it comes to the way it’s being implemented. I believe Infinity Ward did state on their official blog post that the AI got a massive upgrade as far as the tech goes, and you can tell just by watching. Hopefully, it’s here to stay and continue to be impactful to the gameplay in other single-player missions that the game has to offer.
Reason #4 – High-Res Textures
The textures seemed to receive an upgrade as well. They look like they are 4K textures, but it’s hard to tell without seeing the game in person on your TV screen. It would be nice if Infinity Ward could clarify some of the technical details. I am not an expert when it comes to the tech stuff, but everything in this demo looks a lot sleeker and super clean. In previous titles, you could see a crappy low-resolution texture from a mile away, and then when you’d get closer, it would be even worse. Just look at the interior walls of the ship or even the cargo containers, they look really good even when you get up close. It’s also worth noting that the version that’s being showcased here is running on the PlayStation 5, and you can tell by the button prompts that appear throughout the demo when the character gets near pickable items. I am very curious to see how different the Xbox Series X and S versions will look compared to the PlayStation 5. Either way, I am sure both machines will feel, look and play great.
Reason #3 – Character Models Upgraded
Guns seem to be not the only things that recieved model upgrades but the characters as well. The character models look cleaner, more realistic, and less derpy. Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War had decent models, but they had a bit of a blocky look to their faces. Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 seems to be fixing that issue and showcases more smoother-looking human faces than ever before. In this scene right here, you can easily tell how much better the characters and their faces look just based on their facial animations. The armor and the suits also have that same high level of intricate detail as the gun models do. Infinity Ward just went super duper with the modeling detail across the board, and that’s a big applause from me.
Reason #2 – New Engine on Steroids
On the official Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 blog, Infinity Ward has stated the following: “Modern Warfare II features a physically based material system allowing for state-of-the-art photogrammetry, a new hybrid tile-based streaming system, a new PBR decal rendering system, world volumetric lighting, 4K HDR, as well as a new GPU geometry pipeline. All of this is in service of a massive cinematic Campaign.” It states later that the engine is unified and will be used across both Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 and Warzone 2.0.
Basically, what it means is that both Warzone 2.0 and the paid game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 will be running on exact same technology and there won’t be any differences or setbacks. This is great because Warzone 2.0 on this engine sounds absolutely amazing to us.
Reason #1 – Shows a Bright Future
The best part about this entire showcase demo is what it means for the future of the Call of Duty franchise. Clearly, it’s showing the fans and the media a small glimpse of what we can expect from future Call of Duty titles as far as the direction and tech upgrades go. Infinity Ward stated that moving forward, every Call of Duty game across all three different studios will be using this upgraded engine that was originally released with Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2019.
In 2023, we won’t be getting a mainline Call of Duty game, according to many high-profile rumors. It will be the very first time in the history of the franchise that the company breaks the tradition of releasing a brand new entry into the franchise. This is most likely happening because of either the Microsoft deal with Activision Blizzard or perhaps some other reasons. Regardless, it’s safe to say that this is the last Call of Duty that will be forced to run on previous generation systems. The game that releases in 2024 will be a true balls to the walls next-gen Call of Duty title that utilizes only the new generation hardware.
Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 will be released on the PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, and PC on October 28th, 2022.