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Modern Warfare 2 launch: diamond icons for better enemy visibility, shorter footstep audio range and more

Infinity Ward has revealed all the major changes made from the Modern Warfare 2 beta to the game's launch.

We're mere hours away from the big moment Call of Duty fans have been excitedly anticipating since the Modern Warfare 2 beta wrapped up last month. To celebrate the impending launch, Infinity Ward has outlined all the high-level changes made based on beta feedback.

Those of us who took part in the beta should already know that some tweaks arrived between the beta's two weekends, so today's list is in the same vein - and does actually touch on similar subjects.

While you wait for multiplayer, you should definitely play the campaign.

In a blog post, the developer revealed several changes that should make many people happy. The majority are a response to various sticking points from the beta.

Enemy visibility was undoubtedly the biggest issue in the beta. Infinity Ward is not bringing back name tags, but it's adding diamond icons that appear above enemy heads to make them easier to distinguish from friendlies. The launch version also brings updated lighting that should further improve enemy visibility.

Footstep audio is yet another major item, and the developer has lowered the range enemy footsteps can be heard even further, meaning enemies will have to be closer before you can hear them. Teammate footsteps should also be quieter now.

Towards the end of the beta, players realised that the Dead Silence field upgrade had an unusually loud activation sound, which sort of negated its effect if it was triggered closer to enemies. That sound effect now has a "drastically" shorter range.

The beta saw the return of third-person mode to Call of Duty, but players immediately took issue with one particular change. When aiming down sights, the camera switches to a standard first-person aiming, making the whole thing a little redundant.

The launch version of Modern Warfare 2 will remove that, making it so aiming will simply zoom in the screen without changing the third-person POV. This goes for all low-zoom optics - but ACOGs and higher, as well as hybrid and thermal optics, will go into first-person when aiming.

Don't mind me, just holding an angle.

Although the blog post doesn't mention specifics, it says that movement mechanics such as sliding, ledge hanging, and diving have been "further refined," and the developer removed certain movement exploits, too.

A combination of bugs and poor flow gave everyone a terrible impression of the Modern Warfare 2 UI during the beta. This is something the developer has been working on hard since, and it should now be more straightforward to navigate the menus, and more seamless to access/customise loadouts.

Finally, as promised, Infinity Ward confirmed that the launch build of the game will include tweaks to make lobby disbandment between matches less common.

Modern Warfare 2 multiplayer, alongside the rest of the game, all go live in a few hours. If you were banking on changing your console's region to New Zealand to play early, you may want to hold off on that.

You can look forward to more multiplayer coverage from us going forward. Until the full game goes live, why not check out our campaign review?

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