Modern Warfare Season 2 has been out for a few days now, so we ask the question: is it any good?
First, the update was absolutely massive. On PC, where I play Modern Warfare, it was a whopping 94gb (thank god for automatic updates), 51gb on PS4, and 68gb on Xbox One. The first thing I thought of when I saw the size of the update was that the much-discussed Battle Royale was finally added to the game. If I hadn’t read the patch notes before getting a chance to play the game, I might have still thought that was the case.
Modern Warfare has a habit of kicking off its seasons with a cinematic; in season 1, the cinematic showcased the new operators Mara and Nikto. This cinematic didn’t just show off the new operator Simon ‘Ghost’ Riley, it teased a Battle Royale. It shows coalition soldiers going through an airport when one of them gets taken out. After in-game operator Wyatt kills the assailant, he says: “gas is closing in, we need to exfil now.” Then Ghost rappels down over the dead body and tells Captain Price that something is wrong in Verdansk, “they’re targeting their own.” The camera then pans out and shows soldiers parachuting out of a plane into a warzone. In the distance, we see a ring of green gas closing in.
If that doesn’t scream Battle Royale, I don’t know what does. The Battle Royale isn’t in the game yet, but it’s pretty much confirmed that we’ll see it in the next few weeks. The main menu has a ‘classified’ section, which will undoubtedly be the Battle Royale. The game modes in Modern Warfare, like 6v6 and 32v32, have become a bit stale for me now. While the gunplay and mechanics of the game feel great, Modern Warfare needs something new to shake things up. I think a Battle Royale will help the game’s longevity, and I’m really excited to see it.
As for the new operator, Ghost is cool. What else is there to say? A member of Task Force 141, he was a fan favorite in Modern Warfare 2. While he was a good character, the most memorable thing about him is his skull imprinted balaclava. And I don’t know if we’ll ever forget his brutal death at the hands of General Shephard at the end of MW2. While shaking up the design a little, the skull balaclava is still there; he wouldn’t be Ghost without it. He has some different variants in Modern Warfare, which are necessary at this point if you want to stand out. Because he looks so cool, and he’s available at the very beginning of the battle pass, every lobby is full of people playing as Ghost. That’s the only downside to an otherwise awesome operator.
The Battle Pass
This battle pass is much stronger than the previous season’s. Because it’s cosmetic only, it’s subjective what you like and what you don’t, but I think the quality of items is much higher here. It offers a set of gorgeous ivory weapons. There are also some other attractive weapon variants, operator skins, and Task Force 141 items for some classic Modern Warfare nostalgia.
Included in the free tiers of the battle pass are new weapons, the Grau 556 assault rifle, and the Striker 45. The Striker, more commonly known as the UMP45, is an SMG that is designed for longer range engagements. It falls short of the other SMGs, but it doesn’t really matter because you’re using the classic UMP. The Grau, however, has quickly become one of my favorite weapons in the game. It feels very similar to the Kilo 141 and the M13, but it sounds fantastic and has some unique attachments. It’s able to drop people from range effectively and can hold its own at close range too. While I love the new weapons, I wish we had received a new sniper or DMR. We got a new assault rifle in the last season, and the number of snipers somewhat lacks in this installment.
Rust from Modern Warfare 2 has also returned. When I think of Rust, it brings me back to the MW2 days of quick-scoping matches against friends, so it was exciting to see it return. This updated version has remained very faithful to the original, but it’s held back by a deep-rooted problem in Modern Warfare: spawns. It’s a small map, so there’s a high chance you’ll spawn in an inconvenient place. I’ve died several times in a row without having a chance to move because I’ve spawned in a high traffic area. This problem still exists in Shipment, so it’s unlikely this will be sorted any time soon.
The other new map, Atlas Superstore, is decent but I haven’t had much chance to play it. Nor have I managed to find many lobbies of the new gunfight maps. I don’t get much chance to play these days, so I feel Infinity Ward should have made dedicated playlists for the new maps or temporarily upped the opportunities to play them so that players would get a chance to try them out.
Infinity Ward also reworked the perks in the game, such as moving Overkill into the second perk slot. This is absolutely a change for the better, but it hasn’t changed the gameplay very much.
Overall, this is a solid update held back by the problems deeply rooted in Modern Warfare’s multiplayer. The new maps are decent, the weapons are great, and we have a really strong battle pass. I’m also highly anticipating the Battle Royale, which will (hopefully) be coming soon. But as with every new season, it felt fresh for a couple of days but now feels like I’m back in the meat grinder of Modern Warfare, with its brutal skill-based matchmaking and repetitive gameplay.
Have you been playing season 2 of Modern Warfare? What do you think of it? Let us know down in the comments!
Liam Mackay is a Scottish journalist who mostly plays RPGs and shooters. His gaming career started with the Bob The Builder game for the PS1 and he can now be found listening to film scores and raving about The Witcher and Fable 2.