The time has arrived, it’s beta season for Call of Duty.
On September 15th, 2022, we got an exclusive look at what to expect when it came to the new CoD multiplayer, battle royal, and other game modes coming in the fall. It was probably the most exciting event to watch, and the most hyped I have been for a new Call of Duty game ever.
There were 200 of the biggest content creators from all over the world (with a lot of diversity there, representation matters) to test out the multiplayer and battle royale, live streaming to their communities to give their input and thoughts on the game. There is a lot riding on this game to show the direction in which the game will be moving towards. For the hardcore CoD fans, we have our fingers crossed and hope that we get a half-decent game at the official launch on October 28th, 2022. There was a lot of information to consume from the +5 hour event, but let’s go over some of the big stuff that we heard and watched during the CoD Next event.
When it came to the multiplayer, they had to decide what they were going to keep from the previous game of Modern Warfare 2019, what to get rid of, and how they keep an even balance to keep everyone that played the previous game happy for the sequel. MW 2019 wasn’t the greatest game, but it wasn’t a burning dumpster fire like some games (*cough* Vanguard *cough*).
When it came to the MP, they wanted to focus on player behaviors, not the way they play so they are focusing on three kinds of players: there are the ‘rushers’, who are the people that are aggressive and go into the battle head first, the ‘sentinels’, who are everyone’s favorite type of player, they play very defensive and love to camp in every nook and cranny of the map, and lastly, the ‘ stalkers’, who are very reactive, they see the play, plan out a method and execute with their plan or see where the play goes. They wanted to make sure to cater to those three main playstyles to make MW2 a better experience.
When it comes to mechanics and movement, there are few new things and few things that are “gone”. First off they have introduced ledge hanging. It’s an interesting mechanic and gives a different option for players when pushing buildings and windows. While hanging you can whip out your pistol and fire at the enemy unsuspectingly. They brought back a fan favorite that was introduced back in CoD: Black Ops 1, dolphin diving. I feel that it is pretty self-explanatory.
One thing they removed that has the community split 50/50 is slide canceling. It was introduced in MW 2019 and was one of the many ways to tell whether a person was sweaty or a bot. It was popular in Warzone for movement and rotation which made an impossible gun fight more possible to win. They haven’t fully removed it, but it’s definitely not the same as it used to be. A few of the CDL and Warzone pros have figured out the new way to slide cancel, but it requires too many actions per minute and will take a toll on your hands, controller, and especially your wallet. Master it at your own risk.
They’ve added a few new types of equipment to the arsenal in multiplayer: they’ve added drill charges, shock sticks, inflatable decoys (which are activated by either the person who put it down, or by the enemy getting too close and it auto deploys to a full-size character in the direction of the enemy player), DDOS system, tac camera (which can make for some interesting content on TikTok), and they updated the look of the heartbeat sensor (and for Warzone 2, it has a battery life so the campers and rats can’t keep spamming it in their corners).
They have created a whole new gunsmith to customize your guns (no more10 attachments in a sense like in Vanguard, thank f****** god). There are still 10 attachments, but you only need to choose 5 of them. It’s not the worst thing in the world, and I see a lot of people complain about that. You can now build guns better than you ever could before, and can unlock universal attachments (unlock attachments that are the same through guns that are in the same “family”). It will make for some interesting gun builds. You’ll be able to turn an AR into an SMG, an AR into a sniper, an SMG into an AR, the possibilities are endless. With the new weapon vault you can now change attachments on blueprints you get from the battle pass or the store and it won’t change the way the gun looks. That was the biggest pet peeve in the previous three CoD games. You would buy a sick blueprint from the store or get it in the battle pass, and you would change one attachment and it made the entire gun look weird.
When it comes to the maps and modes there is going to be a lot of new stuff, but we will still get some classic modes and nostalgic maps (later down the road). With the 6v6 maps, they are more straightforward and refined, fans can enjoy how quickly the maps play, and how diverse and color they will look and feel. One example they showed for a 6v6 map is a map called Mercado Las Almas. This map plays fast, especially down the middle. There will be battle maps, large maps (like Sarrif Bay), and ‘Ground War’ makes a return (a personal favorite). There is a new game mode called ‘Invasion’. It’s essentially a big war 20 v 20 TDM.
Along with actual players on the map, there will be 20 AI on each team. They made ‘Invasion’ specifically to show off the AI they have been working on. Something they brought up a lot was the fact that they will be introducing AI into the game, but reassured us that we won’t find them in game modes like Search and Domination. They are going to be very self-aware where they put the AI.
A new 6v6 mode they will be introducing is called Prisoner Rescue and Knockout. Prison Rescue is an attack and defend mode, round-based, and the defense have two prisoners spread out on the map. The defensive team has to work together to protect the two prisoners. The goal of the attackers is to get to those prisoners, escape and reach exfil. When you pick up the prisoners, you enter what’s called a wounded carry, where you will have only your pistol or fists, but your team gets a UAV ping, to see where the defenders are and prepare an escape plan to reach exfil. The defenders have to now rotate to exfil and try and reclaim their prisoner. It has big S&D energy.
There is also revive capability, which can make for some interesting games and intense comebacks. Knockout is the same as Prisoner Rescue in a sense, but the difference is, instead of a prisoner, there is a bag of cash the two teams are fighting over that is placed in the middle of the map. The player that picks up the bag will appear on the map, having them exposed. You either have to hold the bag for 60 seconds or eliminate the entire enemy team to win the round. You can also revive your teammates in this game mode too, to give you that advantage if you are in a tight pinch.
They are reintroducing a game mode that they previously had in the 2009 version of Modern Warfare 2: Third Person Mode. In 2009, you could unlock it at level 19, but in the 2022 version, it will be a playlist. It’s been a pet project of theirs, that they are very proud of and wanted to bring back and do. It’s always been available over the past few years, but now with MW2, it just makes sense to bring it back. They have improved the camera collision, especially when you are in corners, underwater and it really gives you the feeling that you are shooting your gun in the third person.
The last few things they did and didn’t cover for multiplayer was that another fan favorite, Spec Ops is coming back. It’s mainly focusing on two-player missions, one player on air support, and one on the ground.
For Playstation players, if you preorder the game digitally before October 27th, 2022, you get an exclusive skin called Oni with his own weapon blueprint and lore. He has a very interesting background story and can’t wait to see how he ties into the WZ2 storyline.
Lastly, they didn’t mention anything about camos. For the mastery camo grinders (like myself), no mention of the challenges, or what the ‘gold’, ‘silver’, mastery camo, or obsidian-like camo will look like. There were some leaks of XBOX players able to see mastery camos, but they were from MW 2019 and likely just placeholders. I highly doubt we are getting Damascus again for a mastery camo, but I wouldn’t put it past Activision / Infinity Ward.
All information is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to multiplayer, they said, and there will be more exciting game modes and information once the game is released at the end of October 2022.
We really didn’t get many details about the campaign at the event since they had released so much already beforehand in the previous months. It looks spectacular in the mini-minute videos they released and hope that it lives up to a worthy sequel to MW 2019.
For those that preordered MW2 on any system (whether it’s the base or the Vault Edition), you will have access to the campaign to play it a week early which is huge for the camo grinders. We get to play and enjoy the campaign a week early, get it done so that we can focus and grind hard on the mastery camo from day 1.
There was a lot of information given to us about WZ2, so I will try not to go crazy on it, but with the info we received from the event, WZ2 is going to be amazing… to a degree.
First off, the map is called ‘Al Mazrah’. It’s an interesting mix of geo, with an expansive desert setting with a blend of industrial areas, towns, city, and water. The one little jab that the devs had at the leakers is that the map looks much better than what they drew on Twitter.
The map has a lot of rocks, peaks, and caves making it the biggest BR map they have ever made. There is a lot of new POIs for us gamers to fall in love with and a few that long-time CoD fans will recognize: Fortress, Quarry (MW2 2009), Rohan Oil, Observatory (aka Dome, MW3), Ahkdar Village, Al Mazrah City, Marshlands, Airport (aka Terminal, MW2 2009, where the controversial mission “No Russian” took place), Sa’id City, Sawah Village (sunken town, lots of water), Taraq Village, and Hydroelectric to name a few. As you can see from this list, some POIs are more iconic than others and for sure will be hot drops at the launch of the map.
There will be a few things from multiplayer that will tie into the BR like the inflatable decoys, tactical cameras, slides (lack of slide canceling), swimming, and the updated heartbeat sensor like I mentioned above.
The vehicles in the game have new physics and handling. You can now shoot out tires, hang out the window and shoot (unless they are blown off), jump on the roof of the car while it’s moving and shoot. The different cars have different weights and feel to them, so they will all react differently to explosives and terrain depending on the car’s weight. Vehicles now have gas, so you need to know where your closest gas station is to fill up for gas or repair your tires (be careful of campers hiding there). There are mechanic kits around the map as well, so you can find those to fix your wheels. Hopefully, the gas prices in Al Mazrah aren’t too high so that people aren’t cutting the floors out of their cars and channeling their inner flintstones.
Warzone 2 is going to be all about fun. They are introducing proximity chat. There are a lot of pros and cons to this. For the casuals, it’s going to be great to get in the mind of your opponent and try to distract them as your team pinpoints their location.
For content creators, they are going to have a field day and the possibilities are going to be endless. The cons are going to be for the streamers. If they have prox chat on, they are going to have to deal with stream snipers, people yelling rude, distasteful things, and playing copyrighted music while they stream to name a few. It’s going to be fun and interesting to see how it plays out especially since most people that play are in XBOX parties, Playstation parties or Discord.
Looting is very very different. Think PUBG meets CoD. Do you need health? Hit up a bathroom. Need money, hit up a cash register or safe. Toolboxes have grenades, military crates have guns and other equipment. The location for most things that are lootable is reliable and will always spawn in the same space so you can create a routine when landing.
There will be a new multi-circle closer or a new circle mechanic. After the second circle, it splits into three smaller circles, which then close down two more times, before eventually, those three circles merge together as one and gradually get smaller and smaller as they used to before in WZ1. It’s going to be interesting for the flow of the game and how people will play the game. Maybe one time the split circle you are in has the entire lobby in it, or maybe has no one in it. Do you rotate out into the gas with a car and go to another circle or do you stay in the circle and fight it out?
Brand new gulag that is very interesting and confusing the first few times. It’s 2v2, you and a random person have to work together to either A) kill the other two players in the gulag or B) kill the AI (yes, there is AI in the gulag now), steal the key and escape unharmed. With proximity chat, you have to work together with your random teammate and escape.
Throughout the map, there are going to be Strongholds. These are protected by AI, and can impact how players get their weapons, or even better weapons and loot. They are reinforced buildings, and you can either choose to engage them to get cool rewards and potentially your loadout or wait for another team to begin it and come in at the last second to reap their rewards for yourself.
Lastly, they discussed how they worked on the water. Water has always been hard to make in video games, aquatic combat, and vehicles in the water. They wanted to introduce it in Verdansk in WZ1, but decided it wasn’t ready to be displayed. Instead, they chose to freeze the water near Dam and release the new mechanic in a later game. The details, the waves of the water, how the gun fires underwater, create unique ways for people to rotate from POIs or if you are the last person standing on your team, hide in the water to fool your enemies. Water is something they are very proud of. They have seen the memes that the community has made. “We love water”. You will also notice the field of depth in the water. The further away the enemy is, the harder it’s going to be able to see them. They also worked very hard with how things will interact with water like the vehicles and the weight of the vehicle when it sinks, instead of disappearing / blowing up in past games.
This announcement was more for the CoD leakers I feel, but they finally acknowledged that DMZ exists and confirmed what they had determined way back earlier this year.
It’s going to be an ‘Escape From Tarkov’ like mode, a rich sandbox that allows you to infiltrate Al Mazrah and define your own win conditions. You will be able to accomplish goals and extract with your goods. There will be AI on this map as well, and they are going to be very tough compared to the BR map. They WILL demand your respect. They ain’t going to be a walk in the park. You can choose your own mission with a team or you can decide to go rogue. You can go into mission loud or decide you want to be stealthy. You can choose to fight human players, or just avoid anyone bad altogether and just explore the map with all its beauty. They didn’t go into much more detail about DMZ but gave us enough information that we can get excited about.
To close it all out, they announced that the anti-cheat will launch with MW2 and WZ2 when it is released, there will be a ranked play and the rumors about Verdansk coming back were true, but in the form of Warzone mobile. They didn’t go into detail about what mode is getting a ranking system, but we are hoping that it’s both multiplayer and WZ2. When it came to Warzone mobile, there was some interesting information about how there will be cross-progression between PC, mobile, and console. How that will work, we will have to wait and see. If you own an android (ew, green bubbles), you will be able to pre-register your download in the Google Play Store to be able to play the game first next year with a mountain of rewards to go with it.
Overall, this was a great event that Call of Duty put on to get us hyped up for the next 2 years of MW2 and the future of CoD. We can’t get our hopes up too high, just because it is Activision of course, and they are pros at letting us down, year after year. Us as a fan base, all we ask is if Activision and Infinity Ward listen to the community, and take our suggestions seriously to make the game better. Not everything the community suggests will be a good idea to change or add to the game, but there will differently be some points brought up that will make the game more enjoyable for the casual fans, the hardcore fans, the sweaty fans, and everyone else in between. If they can’t figure out how to make MW2, WZ2 and DMZ the best they can be, then we will all be witness to the great decline and fall of Call of Duty in gaming and esports.