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i played the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II multiplayer for quite a few hours this weekend, making my way up to 15 in the first beta for the game on the PlayStation 5 console. Made for the next generation, it’s one of the best looking Call of Duty games yet.
I was impressed with the gameplay for the multiplayer, which debuts on October 28 alongside the single-player campaign for Modern Warfare II. The basic gameplay of multiplayer, pitting six human players against six others in infantry combat, is solid.
You can see some of my multiplayer rounds in the videos embedded in this story. In the beginning I was really having trouble staying in the game and I thought there was something different about this year’s title. But in the end, when I raised my gun a bit, I was able to even out the score a bit.
We haven’t seen some of the deeper gameplay improvements like underwater combat or vehicle chase battles yet, but the next-gen graphics on the PS5 were quite vibrant and detailed. And after figuring out what was causing my initial network problems (the PS5 occasionally forgets it’s wired to the Internet), I haven’t seen a single instance where the boosted graphics caused my machine to crawl on the network front. Instead, it worked quite well. I only had occasional crashes, but overall I was quite happy with the game’s network performance.
With the revamped Gunsmith customization platform, it will give people a lot of reason to upgrade their weapons for the debut of Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0 on November 16. The nice thing about the Gunsmith is that you can quickly edit it and change gear during the very short time between matches. One of the great things is that the delay between matches is quite short. So this Call of Duty will not waste your time compared to previous titles.
I mainly played Domination and Team Deathmatch on three maps: Farm 18 in a secret location, Mercado Las Almas in Mexico and Breenbergh Hotel in a vacated center of Amsterdam. I also played some rounds of Hostage Rescue at the Valderas Museum in Spain and in Breenbergh, as well as Knockout. In both modes you get one life. But teammates can breathe new life into each other.
For this entire beta test, the gameplay was all about the core infantry battles in the game with 6v6 battles.
I was fooled a few times by the decoy, who quickly inflates and draws fire from other players and exposes their locations. If you hit the decoy, the air will run out and you have to wonder where the real shooter is.
Luckily, with relatively weak guns that weren’t leveled, I never ran into the giant armored soldier you see in the trailers.
Everything in these levels was about infantry combat, so we haven’t seen any of the more complicated scenarios where you see stealth, amphibious assaults, AI and vehicle warfare. I could slide and do a dolphin dive after a tactical sprint, but I didn’t see a cloak. I could hang from a ledge and peek over the edge before jumping over a wall. That’s a handy mechanic.
On each map I could find the spots where I could expect enemies to run and where I could camp and shoot away with my light machine gun. I played with both an LMG and an assault rifle. While it was hard to get the draw in close combat with the LMG, I eventually got used to it and found its power to take out enemies at long range. That’s how I usually play. Can’t wait to try out the sniper rifles, which weren’t available in this beta.
The Mercado has a nice long track in the middle which would be great for sniping or full powered LMGs which I didn’t have. Farm 18 also has some long rooftop sightlines, while of course the hotel looked more like a close-up map.
Another beta test is coming on September 22 with Xbox and PC players coming on board to test the game one more time. I hope to see some bigger battles that will determine if this Call of Duty game goes beyond the basics.
Later we will see large scale Ground War Battle maps that will contain 32v32. The graphics in this beta certainly looked better. Modern Warfare II features a physically-based material system that enables state-of-the-art photogrammetry, a new hybrid tile-based streaming system, a new PBR water and underwater rendering system, world volumetric lighting, 4K HDR and more, as well as a new GPU geometry pipeline. But let’s hope there’s more to it than just pretty pictures.
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