Modern Warfare 2 first impressions - Room for improvement

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Image showing Modern Warfare 2 beta skin and Captain Price
Credit: Activision

The Modern Warfare 2 beta is coming to a close. Just like the previous titles, the beta gives players their first chance to play an early build of the game before its full launch later in the year. The beta also gives developers a great opportunity to gain feedback from a player base that wants a Call of Duty title to contain elements that suit their style of play.

With the majority of the player base being a casual audience, it’s clear Infinity Ward has angled Modern Warfare 2’s reboot to ensure most players have an enjoyable experience, arguably at the expense of those looking for a more competitive angle.

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As opinions from all corners of the community continue to fly around, I dropped into the beta across the two weekends. After racking up several hours of gameplay, here are my thoughts on the current state of multiplayer.

Table of Contents

Time to kill is too fast

One topic of conversation that continues to stir debate is the time to kill (TTK). Whether it was an assault rifle or a submachine gun, it was extremely easy to score a kill with four or fewer bullets hitting the target. The fast TTK gave me no chance to contend with other players in the heat of battle. By the time I managed to aim down sights (ADS), the fight was already over.

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In addition to the fast TTK in Modern Warfare 2, the laser-like hip-fire accuracy added to the problem. With ADS time preventing players from snapping onto a target in the blink of an eye, it’s much easier to spray a target.

For Hardcore modes, the current TTK is perfect. For core modes, though, the current speed must change. A slower TTK ensures both players involved in a gunfight have a chance of winning through other means such as clever movement mechanics rather than equipping a gun that fires the fastest.

Image showing Modern Warfare 2 player holding sniper rifle
Credit: Activision

Loud footstep audio

Listening out for nearby footsteps is a crucial part of any shooter title and in the case of Modern Warfare 2, footstep audio is too loud resulting in a slower pace of play. Instead of encouraging a fast and flowing style of play, many are resorting to sitting in a corner with their headset cranked up to maximum volume waiting for someone attempting to inject some pace to hurtle around a corner. Why sprint around for kills when you can score just as many by staying in one area?

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If footstep audio isn’t toned down in the full multiplayer build, the chances of players rushing around the map will remove any kind of fast-paced action Call of Duty is famous for. Even with options to silence footsteps, players are still alerted to their location through an unnecessary sound cue.

Despite calls to turn down the footstep audio in Modern Warfare 2, it appears Infinity Ward is sticking to its guns for the time being. I’m not a fan of loud footsteps as it prevents the run-and-gun style of play several players use to get the upper hand. Let’s hope the developers are able to strike some kind of balance with a few adjustments.

Dead Silence isn't silent

Speaking of silent footsteps, Dead Silence returns as a field upgrade instead of a perk in Modern Warfare 2. The ability to silence your footsteps makes it much easier to sneak behind enemy lines but in the case of Infinity Ward’s latest multiplayer, players have the ability to hear when someone has activated it.

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The whole idea of Dead Silence is to add an element of stealth to the game. Although the footsteps are silent, the sound cue that alerts players to their location is a hugely annoying feature that doesn’t need to be there. If it’s not broken, then why try and change it?

Image showing Modern Warfare 2 players in building
Credit: Activision

The mini-map debate

Dots or no dots? That is the main question when it comes to Modern Warfare 2 multiplayer. Previous games see players fire an unsuppressed weapon and a red dot appearing on the mini-map but this time around, the dots only appear when the Birds’-Eye perk is active or a UAV is airborne.

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This isn’t a new change as it’s the same mini-map model that featured in Vanguard but it renders suppressors useless if gunfire will not appear on the mini-map regardless of attachment choice. I think it’s about time red dots make a regular return to the game. If you don’t want to appear, then there are plenty of suppressors to choose from in the Gunsmith.

Is Modern Warfare 2 multiplayer good?

All the ingredients are there for Modern Warfare 2 multiplayer to set a high bar. However, if Infinity Ward doesn’t listen to player feedback, there’s a high possibility of the next game cycle being one of frustration. With the full game launching on October 28, there isn’t much time for the developer to implement any changes meaning Modern Warfare 2 has the chance to miss the mark similarly to how Vanguard did.

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For more, check out our guides showcasing the best Modern Warfare 2 sniper rifle alongside all the Modern Warfare 2 maps on their way to multiplayer