Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Final Hands-On

One of the biggest games of the year launches next month, and in preparation, we met up with Infinity Ward's Robert Bowling for a final hands-on.

While Modern Warfare 2 may depict the harsh reality of urban conflict, Activision chose the penthouse suite of one of London's swankiest hotels to give us a final hands-on with the game. While the irony may have been lost on the publisher, the demo at least gave us the chance to see a brand-new level from the single-player game, as well as play an objective-based co-op level from the Special Ops mode. During this time, developer Infinity Ward's Robert Bowling answered our questions about multiplayer progression, cinematic influences, and using the game's Special Edition night-vision goggles for nefarious means.

The single-player demo took place at the end of the game's first act. You're on the hunt for an arms dealer, and after finding some marked shell casings, you're led to the dealer's right-hand man in Rio de Janeiro. The level opens as you're tailing a van. The van stops, and the dealer's confidant murders everyone in it. He then opens fire on your van--killing the driver as you and Soap MacTavish jump out and start a chase. We watched as Bowling ran after the suspect and then took him down by shooting him in the leg, allowing you and MacTavish to take him in for questioning.

After a short break, you take the victim to a quiet location, where MacTavish and a member of his squadron start interrogating him--using electricity "convince" him to talk. While MacTavish extracts the information he requires, he gives you instructions on where to head to find the man in charge of the operation. You enter Rio's slum with the Christ the Redeemer statue overlooking it, and you encounter resistance from the arms dealer's militia. The problem is that the slum is also populated with civilians, and Bowling would periodically fire into the air to make them disperse.

The slum section was a classic Call of Duty set piece, with a seemingly endless supply of thugs to dispatch as you progress. The difference was in small details--your character will knock out an old clip using the new one when using certain weapons, and when you're injured, blood fills the screen more than it did before. This was a ferocious section filled with rocket-launcher fire and dog attacks, and it came to a head when MacTavish dived out of a window to catch the subject.

Alongside the single-player story and competitive multiplayer, there will be a third option in MW2's main menu: the Special Ops mode. This section offers around 25 co-op scenarios, which can be played by one or two people either locally or online. Bowling gave us an introduction to the mode, playing a level that took place at a house in a remote location. The mission was to pick off 40 enemies in as short a time as possible. He started off with the sniper rifle--pushing the left stick in to hold his breath and then firing into the skulls of far-away assailants. He then moved into the house, planting claymore traps for enemies who chased him, and he then took out a few more enemies that were taking refuge there. He then knifed out the windows and took up a new sniper position, and he was able to spot enemies by looking out for reflections of light in sniper rifle scopes. By the time he'd finished--about five minutes later--he'd taken out all 40 people without dying, including the heavily armed Juggernauts, which appear only in the Special Ops mode and take three sniper rifle shots or more to kill.

With that impressive demo out of the way, we were finally offered a chance to play for ourselves in another level set in the Brazilian slum. The map was laid out in nearly the same way as we'd seen in the single-player game, but that didn't make it any easier for us and our video producer to beat. The addition of innocent civilians makes it more difficult, because you can kill only six of them before failing the mission. There was a lot to like about the co-op mode: each player can select an independent difficulty level, and you can revive the other player if he's killed by holding X for a few seconds (on the Xbox 360 version we played). That said, we were saddened to learn that there are no leaderboards, so you can't try to beat your friends' times--although Bowling admitted this could be added in an update.

It looks like there will be plenty of variety in the co-op Spec Ops mode, including racing snow mobiles and diffusing bombs. More and more co-op missions are opened up by playing through the story mode, so there will be an incentive to finish the already fantastic-looking single-player game. It's a cliche, but if you loved Modern Warfare, you're sure to enjoy Modern Warfare 2. We'll see you all on the online servers come November 10.

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Discussion

484 comments
TheRealUser101
TheRealUser101

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (abbreviated as Call of Duty: MW3 or simply MW3) is a sequel to Infinity Ward's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. MW3 will immediately follow the events of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, where the Russians continue their invasion of the USA.

English-Lion
English-Lion

xbox360!!! is crap!!!!!!!!! PS3 is the best!

undead39
undead39

this game is sweet i play this game all the time on pc and my xbox360!!!

SpectreUK
SpectreUK

Great pc game doesnt need dedicated servers just the bugs fixing in the IWNET, look @ the large numbers playing daily map after map that speaks for itself ...to infinityward and beyond.

big_mr_a
big_mr_a

good game but i think modern warfare 1 was better but the end of this one was really epic

mike999444
mike999444

I can't wait to get back home and spend a good 24hours straight playing this game.

JPowers1
JPowers1

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

JPowers1
JPowers1

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

evaneself
evaneself

After the shocking announcement from fourzerotwo that there will be no dedicated servers for Infinity Ward's Modern Warfare 2 (also on PS3, Xbox 360) PC version, among other things, a barrage of petitions popped up on the IW forums. Unfortunately, it seems that the petitions are falling on deaf ears as IW has closed down two of the largest petitions. These two petitions reportedly averaged around 250-300 pages in length, carrying several thousand signature each. Shut down in the dead of the night, gamers woke up to find that the said pages for the petitions now state "The topic you requested does not exist." TriggerPappy, a community member, then contacted a moderator and was told, nay, promised, that no other petitions will be closed. Unfortunately though, the damage has already been done. If you still want to join the petition, though, there's still one left standing, although it's not located in the IW forums. As of this writing, there are 200.000 signatures on it.

saints-50
saints-50

One of the first things I thought about this game was... "Wait a minute haven't i played this five times before?"

rodsergio2004
rodsergio2004

I am so sick of all these lazy ass people that work for a once premier gaming website. How can they justify not having a review for this game yet. It makes no sense. Greg Kavasin would never have allowed this.

Sea666
Sea666

What makes the sequel of yet another fps "one of the biggest games of the year"? Boooooring!

formerroadie
formerroadie

What the heck is up with Gamespot's inability to keep up with IGN? I mean you come here and there isn't even an image of MW2 on the front page with some sort of story for the launch. WHAT THE HECK?! I'm no fanboy or anything but it seems that the game that may sell more than any other game should get coverage on the day of its launch.

C4nnon
C4nnon

Campaign Mode is great! but the multiplayer for pc isn't the greatest on steam.

DFWisely
DFWisely

just review it already, what is it with gamespots lateness on all its reviews

birdman4
birdman4

haha sweet now the pervert in me can feel more safe about my purchase. Horray!

evaneself
evaneself

Hwwwwwwooooooooooo Steam! Always hit the game experience.

tomcrole
tomcrole

mm wird the reviews very late or is that to do with the way gamespot review game any one no whats going on?

dono14
dono14

7 minutes untill midnight realease woooooooooo!!!!!!!!!

russell452
russell452

every aspect of this game is setting up to be outstanding. i haven't been this excited about a game release maybe ever. cant wait to go pick it up 2nite.

JB2B
JB2B

I cant wait. I'm also very happy with the special ops and the fact that split-screen is available. Playing with a friend on the same console for me is much more fun than playing alone in a room screaming through a head-set.

newton911
newton911

my girlfriends brother in-law pre-ordered this game on-line, he was told that it would arrive on the 10th, it infact arrived last friday!!! i have played this game and it is in fact the greatest game i have ever played!! this aside i am disgusted by disregard that this retailer has for the release dates set by infinity ward! appauling but.... a MUST buy!!!!

chugachea
chugachea

Lmao that thing about the fans wanting to be perverts with the goggles was hilarious

karlpenlington
karlpenlington

i am very pissed off my ps3 is broke i very much want to play this game so much so that i will sell my soul for the game and my PS3 back

wesley705
wesley705

@ sgtblizzard i never post........but........the mouse is unbelievably better if you have the sensitivity set correctly for you or if you just know what your doing

GamerJedi29
GamerJedi29

To bad you dont get to play as SOAP you just get to play with SOAP. By the way SOAP from the first game is the guy with you on the mountain from the E3 demo

The_Consequence
The_Consequence

I'm curious, is the gore in MW2 like what Treyarch put in WAW?

grim0187
grim0187

The more I learn, the more I love.

sgtblizzard
sgtblizzard

@sliperywhenwet6 no matter how good of anti cheating system u have, hackers can still get around it, and the part about the mouse having steady aming, it really doesnt, becuz the mouse can be sooo touchy and jerk around the screen.

ipanda
ipanda

and guess what zakhaev becomes a hero of russia according to the first cut scenes

ipanda
ipanda

i just played a round of special ops and the first two missions, i even got the achievement for doing the training level under 30 seconds, the game is amazing and im happy they addded a glock 18 full auto just like i asked for on twitter

ali-ali-1411
ali-ali-1411

it's the best FPS ever you diggggggggggg!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ninapuss
Ninapuss

Ben99... if you lived in Japan, as I do, you'd perhaps have appreciated the flame-thrower in WaW. But yes, COD4 is a lot of fun, especially when the USMC get nuked... but "better game"? That's a matter of opinion. My only gripe was it's a bit short on single player satisfaction and the storyline was a bit infantile. I hope this latest offering will give the solo player more to do... as it seems it might from the chatter so far. Still, I'm kind of hoping there'll be a COD7 set entirely on Guadalcanal... see, I'm an old fashioned girl!

captive411
captive411

Ben99. WaW doesn't count as in this line. Try COD4 Modern Warfare - its a much better game and I'm sure its closer to this one.

_Ben99_
_Ben99_

I hated COD series when I first played it in WAW , it was aweful but given how much hype this game's been having. I think I might give it a second shot. Now I'm gonna go and play Gears Of War

valttu
valttu

@ Yossi1007 The name of the game is Call Of Duty Modern Warfare 2. But in the two collectors editions it's only Modern Warfare 2 in the box art... I think...

Yossi1007
Yossi1007

SO THE NAME IN THE END IS MW2 OR COD6 MW2 OR COD MW2? I HOPE THE COVER IS RIGHT AND ITS COD MW2 NOT JUST MW2

mikemaj82
mikemaj82

sorry I don't enjoy sitting in front of a 22" monitor in a desk chair playing games lol.

sliperywhenwet6
sliperywhenwet6

i am sure with the amount of petition sigs they'll update not late after release, giving the pc version ded-sevs. its too late to add them now, since its already shipping. i am happy its using steam community since its so easy to meet people and add them while ur still playing.

sliperywhenwet6
sliperywhenwet6

@sgtblizzard i like pc for several reasons. hackers shouldnt be much a problem with VAC(valve anti cheat) which is wat this one has. it stops people from haking. ps3, personaly i think has terrible controls, as well as 360. mouse gives u more precision aiming

sliperywhenwet6
sliperywhenwet6

@hippie_9000 i agree, i am pissed aout no ded-sevs. i am still buying it, since it looks so epic. in fact i preordered for pc. i am sure that with the massive amount of petition sigs already there, there should be an update not long after release, adding dedicated servers to it. or at least i hope.

Gammet25
Gammet25

sigh i was looking forward so much for this game on the pc, but after the dedicated server thing. I just don't know

hippie_9000
hippie_9000

All PC Users please understand that there will not be any dedicated servers for MW2. And any former PC gamers, please show your support for the petition to try and leave PC servers different from consoles. (Go to infinityward.com under MW2 pc forums) This truly is an great game coming out and IW should try and not jump on the greed bandwagon. Just try...

Ganon4Prez
Ganon4Prez

MW2!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But I have a wii..... COD4!?

sgtblizzard
sgtblizzard

***yoooomannnn***, the problem with switching to PC, is that there are hackers, and i dont like hackers so i think im getting this for PS3.