The series’ naming conventions have become a little confusing in recent years, so when we tell you that ‘Modern Warfare 2’ is coming out later this year, you may think “hang on, didn’t that already release in 2009?!”
You’d be right, but since then we’ve had the 2019 reboot of CoD’s Modern Warfare subset, which presented an entirely new game from the series’ popular trilogy of near-future shooters.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II is the sequel to that reboot. Still, don’t get it confused with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Campaign Remastered, which came out in 2020.
Still with us? Good. Here’s everything you need to know about Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II (2022).
What is Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II?
Infinity Ward’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II is a first-person shooter that is a direct sequel to the 2019 reboot. It will be the 19th instalment in the Call of Duty franchise overall.
Its single-player campaign will continue on from the 2019 reboot, and includes returning characters as well as new ones.
Set in 2022, Captain John Price from the first game has founded elite multinational counter-terrorist unit Task Force 141 alongside returning characters Gaz, Soap, Ghost, and Farah.
After a US missile strike kills a foreign general, 141 is dispatched to contain the situation and prevent future escalation, all while fighting the terrorist group Al-Qatala and the drug cartel Las Alamas.
The campaign promises a world-spanning adventure with missions in Europe, Asia and the Americas, and returns to the massive shootouts, skyscraper infiltrations and stealth raids that Call of Duty’s campaigns are known for, rather than the self-serious tone of 2019’s Modern Warfare.
What’s new in the game?
Modern Warfare II introduces a slew of new features to Call of Duty’s gameplay franchise, including an improved AI system in the campaign and multiplayer modes, improved water physics and swimming mechanics, and a redesigned vehicle system.
With vehicles, you can now lean out of windows to shoot - even as the driver - and can climb up to the roof to blow off enemy vehicles’ tyres, impairing the driver’s ability to manoeuvre.
“Improved water physics” may not sound like much of a game changer, but the developers have been assuring games journalists that the upgrade will have a meaningful bearing on Modern Warfare II’s gameplay.
Characters bob around as waves ebb and flow, and if you swim quietly towards an enemy standing on a platform above you, you can conduct stealth takedowns from the water.
Because the in-game water realistically refracts light and becomes murkier as you swim deeper, visibility is something you’ll have to take into account as you swim.
Infinity Ward have also managed to mimic how water slows a bullet’s speed, which means you’ll cause less damage if you shoot someone from underwater, or while they’re underwater.
While submerged, there are few limitations: you can only use handguns and melee weapons, though as you emerge you can aim down sights with any weapon, moving with the water to take shots.
Items also interact with water correctly, with grenades and other objects demonstrating proper buoyancy and even flowing with the current.
Swimming is a good way to get away from enemies or evade capture, and can also be used for stealth; how this plays into Modern Warfare II’s multiplayer could be rather intriguing indeed.
What’s new in multiplayer?
Speaking of multiplayer, in addition to all the usual returning modes, Modern Warfare II’s online component includes several new game modes.
These include Knockout, in which two teams compete to capture a package with only a limited number of lives, and Prisoner Rescue, in which an attacking team attempts to extract a hostage while a defending team prevents them by fortifying defences.
Modern Warfare II is being developed alongside a new version of Call of Duty: Warzone, the series’ answer to gaming’s free-to-play battle royale model.
Dubbed Warzone 2.0, it’s a shared experience with the base game - one of the challenges the original Warzone faced was combining aspects from Call of Duty games set in different time periods and used different underlying tech - and is described by Activision as an “extension” of the Modern Warfare 2 universe.
Modern Warfare II will also contain an "evolved" version of Special Ops, the tactical co-op mode that debuted in prior Modern Warfare games.
When can I play it?
The release date for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II is 28 October 2022, with the Warzone 2.0 component following "later this year."
It will be available for PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and PC via Battle.net and Steam.
Where is the best place to pre-order it?
At the time of writing, the best place we could find to pre-order a physical copy of the game was Base.com, which is offering Modern Warfare II for £59.85.
However, as more retailers start listing pre-orders online closer to the final release date, we’ll likely see that price come down somewhat.
For digital versions of the game, you can pre-order or pre-purchase Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II on the PlayStation Store, Microsoft Store, Battle.net PC, and Steam PC.