Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II Campaign Review
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II's Campaign is a stellar return to form for the series, offering plenty of epic moments and memorable characters.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II's single-player campaign is one of the most immersive and exciting first-person shooter experiences to date. I enjoyed Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War's psychological twists, and Vanguard's return to a WWII setting, but Modern Warfare II is in a class all its own in comparison. The game takes you on an epic journey through countries across the globe from America to Mexico the Middle East and more as you fight against terror threats. Playing as members of Task Force 141 you are working to stop a massive global conflict from breaking out. MWII features intense gun battles, cinematic set pieces, and memorable characters, this is one FPS campaign that you shouldn't pass up. Let's get those boots on the ground and explore why Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II's campaign is far and away one of the best in the franchise.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II Campaign Details
Platform(s): Xbox One, Xbox Series S|X, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5 and PC
Reviewed on: Xbox Series X
Developer(s): Infinity Ward
Genre: Action/First-Person Shooter
ESRB Rating: M for Mature
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II Campaign Story
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II follows a group of elite soldiers as they battle an escalating terrorist threat across the globe. The story unfolds over 17 missions across multiple settings that offer plenty of variety, more than I can remember from another other game in the franchise. You are part of Task Force 141 playing as Soap, Gaz, or new characters like the Mexican special forces Colonel Alejandro Vargas. As part of this elite team, you are in pursuit of weapons that have fallen into the wrong hands. As you put more and more of the pieces together you start to uncover a seedy, deeper plot.
"As you put more and more of the pieces together you start to uncover a seedy, deeper plot."
Featuring pulse-pounding action and thrilling plot twists, the campaign takes you on a whirlwind journey through iconic locations from around the world, putting you front and centre with some intense battles. Whether you're fighting your way through open areas, or dense urban landscapes, there's no shortage of action to be found in this experience. It carries many of the modern action military shooter tropes but does so in a way that feels fresh and new. Once the credits roll, be sure to stick around for a hidden scene at the end which offers a look at where Modern Warfare is headed next.
" It carries many of the modern action military shooter tropes but does so in a way that feels fresh and new."
Greater gameplay variety
If you're looking for an immersive FPS experience, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II has it in spades. With intense gun battles, stealth sniper missions, close-quarters urban combat and explosive car chase sequences there is a ton of variety. I must admit, it was hard to put the controller down, I wanted to press through the 7+ hour campaign just to see what came next. Not only was the story engaging, but the variety in gameplay kept me locked-in. MWII didn't forget its roots with fresh takes on classic missions like "All Ghillied Up" the sniper mission from 2007's Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.
Not only did it bring back some iconic missions, it vastly improved upon player agency within them. For example, in the past, with most sniper missions, if you are caught by an enemy, it's an instant, "game over." In Modern Warfare II even in a stealth/sniper mission if you are caught, or decide to go in for close-quarters combat, the level design allows for that. If you're a fan of intense gun fights, or simply enjoy well-designed FPS campaigns that take you on a journey, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II is worth checking out.
"If you're a fan of intense gun fights, or simply enjoy well-designed FPS campaigns that take you on a journey, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II is worth checking out."
Feel the battlefield with the PS5's DualSense
One of the clear standout performers when it comes to the Modern Warfare II experience is the PS5's DualSense controller. It makes a big difference with immersion from resistance in a trigger pull to the thumps and jarring explosions of enemy engagements. The DualSense truly puts the feeling of the battlefield in your hands, whether the resistance of a sniper rifle trigger pulling back or feeling the explosion from an RPG blast.
"The DualSense truly puts the feeling of the battlefield in your hands, whether the resistance of a sniper rifle trigger pulling back or feeling the explosion from an RPG blast."
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II Graphics and Performance
The graphics in Modern Warfare II are truly stunning, with a level of realism that makes it the best-looking game in the history of the franchise. I was able to play through the campaign experience both on the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5. Regardless of the console, I had no issues with performance and both consoles were able to run locked-in at a pretty much perfect 60fps. The game ran perfectly on my Xbox Series X without any performance issues to speak of. You'll experience smooth gameplay and fast load times on the Series X, barely enough time to read the battlefield quotes after being KIA. The performance is top-notch, with no lag or choppiness even during the most intense battles.
"The performance is top-notch, with no lag or choppiness even during the most intense battles."
Performance Mode on the PS5 and Xbox Series X
Playing in MWII's performance mode with cranks up the action to 120fps you start to see the Series X pull away a little more in performance with the PS5 dropping a few frames here and there. Overall, the title is a technical showcase on both consoles and you won't be disappointed with the quality of the game no matter which version you opt for. Both versions look great, with the Xbox Series X taking a slight lead in visuals but the PS5 running at a smoother frame rate. This is especially true during more intense gunfights where you can see the difference between the two consoles.
Environments and overall detail
Environmental lighting, textures, and character models are impeccably detailed, creating an immersive and visually stunning world. Many missions stand out when it comes to being a graphical showcase, but one mission set in Amsterdam is unbelievable offering a shot-for-shot hyperrealistic recreation of parts of the city. Not only does it look great, but the music, sound effects and voice acting are top-notch too. The whole experience feels polished and special with an attention to detail that's commendable at every turn.
"The whole experience feels polished and special with an attention to detail that's commendable at every turn."
MWII's audio and sound design: get ready to go loud
The sound design in Modern Warfare 2 is incredible, from character voiceover work to environmental soundscapes to firearms and vehicles, it remains at the top of its class. The sound fx are handled extremely well whether you're on a quiet stealth mission or being overrun by waves of enemies. The 3D spatial audio is amazing, allowing you to pinpoint gunshots and footsteps which really adds to the immersion factor. If you're an audiophile, then getting your hands on a good headset is a must with MWII as it's one of the most immersive FPS and audio experiences on the market today. The voice acting and character performances are particularly great as well, from the urgency of your COs to the grit and determination of your squadmates, the acting helps sell the high-stakes plot.
Final thoughts on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II Campaign
Overall, Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare II is a great campaign experience. If you're looking for the best in FPS action, this game delivers an intense and engaging story that really draws you into its world but makes sure to provide plenty of variety and exciting gameplay scenarios along the way. From the remix of the classic "All Ghillied Up" mission, to chaotic battles on an oil rig, the campaign keeps up a steady stream of jaw-dropping visuals and moments. I highly recommend checking out MWII if you're looking for one of the best single-player campaigns to arrive this year.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II Campaign PROS:
+ Incredible graphics and performance on both the Xbox Series X and PS5
+ Immersive environmental detail and sound design that really draws you in
+ Fast-paced, adrenaline-pumping action throughout the entire campaign
+DualSense controller on the PS5 adds an extra level of immersion to gameplay
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II Campaign CONS:
- Some minor frame rate drops or choppiness when the action gets especially intense on the PS5.
- At times the AI can feel a little robotic and repetitive in their behaviour
Overall Rating: 34/40 (85%)
A copy of the game was provided by Activision for the purpose of this review.
About the Author - Matthew "Dapper Tux" Rondina
Matthew has been involved in all things gaming since the 8-bit era. He is a veteran of the video game and tech industry who has been passionate about technology and gaming for over 20 years. Along with being the Managing Editor of dappertux.com, he has bylines with Best Buy, Cineplex Entertainment, Mobile Syrup and Walmart. Follow Matthew’s gaming + tech adventures on twitter, Instagram and join in on the fun!
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