2022 has been a slow year for AAA gaming, with much of the industry's anticipated lineup delayed until next year. However, like clockwork, a new Call of Duty game has managed to make it, with long-time developer Infinity Ward back behind the iron sights for another venture into the murky world of Modern Warfare. 2019's Modern Warfare reboot was a bold reimagining of the series, with the game's underlying tech meaningfully upgraded for the first time since the original Xbox 360 version of Modern Warfare, and this year's game is an evolution of that effort. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 takes the groundwork laid by the last MW title and refines it to forge one of the best Call of Duty games in the last decade, and certainly Infinity Ward's finest CoD since, well, the old Modern Warfare 2.
First up, MW2's campaign mode. We'll keep this part brief because we already tackled it in our recent Hands On feature, but to put it simply this campaign is another fine effort from Infinity Ward. While it falls in line with most of the other Modern Warfare games out there, a stronger focus on stealth and espionage does mix things up a fair bit in this year's release. You'll still partake in your fair share of chaotically loud gunfights in far-flung locations across the globe, but the sneaky sneaks have been liberally peppered throughout MW2's campaign creating a slower paced, more intimate affair.
As we noted in our campaign hands on, this change of pace hasn't harmed the series' AAA presentation in the slightest. Modern Warfare 2 feels expensive, with lifelike cutscenes and motion capture combining with the series' signature gameplay, bringing things to life in a believable way. Sure, these aren't the most compelling characters in video game history (far from it), but Infinity Ward extracts a lot from a military squad of spec ops soldiers, to the point where we at least paid attention to what was going on most of the time. That's pretty high praise for a CoD campaign in our book, and MW2 is well worth a look, especially if last year's sloppy effort has deterred you from tackling campaign mode.