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Modern Warfare 2’s campaign eases off the bombast and takes inspiration from Naughty Dog

Call of Duty learns that quiet character moments are often more memorable than exploding bridges.

^Stay tuned for our review chat with loads and loads of gorgeous 1440p gameplay.

Modern Warfare II (2022)’s campaign takes place around two years after the events of the first game and barely follows up on them, choosing instead to carve its own path with the same set of characters and world state, which culminates in a surprisingly innovative set of missions which contain a lot of downtime full of quiet moments and introspection.

It also does a bunch of clever things with the gameplay: a memorable stealth section featuring an injured Soap has a very Naughty Dog feel about it. Sneaking around and hyper-realistic location, scavenging for crafting parts, deftly avoiding checkpoint after checkpoint of chattering guards.

There are plenty of callbacks to classic missions, but always with a surprising twist.

And let's not forget to mention that this game is absolutely gorgeous. As ever, Call of Duty represents a real snapshot of the medium in terms of what's possible to achieve with a linear game on an infinite budget: photorealism, almost. Certainly as close to that ideal as we have ever seen. The Amsterdam level went viral for a reason.

We might have seen the end of Moore's Law, but 3D artists are still finding ways to squeeze more and more intense realism out of today's GPUs.

So, it innovates in story and gameplay terms and excels on a technical level, while also finding time to be a classic Call of Duty campaign: there’s plenty of action set pieces, tense shootouts, and things getting blown up.

But this is a CoD that isn’t afraid to pull back, and for our money? It's all the better for it.

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Jim Trinca avatar

Jim Trinca

Video Producer

Jim is obsessed with Assassin’s Creed and Star Trek. He’s been in the games industry for over a decade, having been a freelance writer and video producer for loads of companies you’ve heard of (and loads that you haven’t). In his spare time he tends to an ungrateful cat.