Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II review (PS5)

Almost like clockwork, another Call of Duty is here to lure in a loyal army of players. As another remake in the franchise, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II impresses without surprising – here’s our take on the PlayStation 5 version.

Developed by Infinity Ward, the latest entry in the Call of Duty series follows in the footsteps of the 2019 game by heading back to the hugely successful trilogy that was released by the studio over a decade ago – but remade with modern tech for a truly gorgeous next/current gen experience that is hard to match in terms of visual fidelity.

Familiar names and faces like Captain John Price, Johnny “Soap” MacTavish and Simon “Ghost” Riley all return in the game’s campaign, which for players who were around for the original will feel like a refresher course with a ton of polish and a few tweaks here and there. Set pieces and scripted story events feel very Hollywood-like in their cinematic approach, though the plot also brings back memories of the controversies surrounding its subject matter, where you go undercover and commit terrible deeds.

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We thought the campaign was a blast to play, not in the least because the environments they take place in generally look amazing – almost photorealistic when you stop to take in the sights in a few locations, like downtown Amsterdam. There’s a good bit of diversity to mission, objectives and gameplay types as you switch between members of the team in between missions, and while the similarities with the original game are easy to spot there are enough differences to make it interesting for veterans of the series as well. One of the missions even introduces crafting mechanics in scenes where you have to make do with limited resources and resort to guerilla warfare, which gets brought to life with plenty of atmosphere in both visuals and audio.

Warzone 2.0 is set to be released in a few weeks, but all the usual suspects return in the game’s multiplayer portion with all the modes that fans have grown to enjoy. While we generally consider the game’s story campaign to be the main attraction, it’s here that the bulk of the players will be drawn to, especially in the long term.

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While many will be waiting for the release of Warzone 2.0, we enjoyed a lot of rounds in the game’s quick play mode, which features a number of shorter formats that are fun to jump into – Search and Destroy being a favorite of ours. We also enjoyed Ground War quite a bit though, though that’s a bigger mode with larger maps in which you have to complete several objectives. If you enjoy the normal single player experience, that’s a big plus, and in most cases you get to drive vehicles as well. It’s somewhat comparable to Battlefield Conquest mode, though less daunting and more welcoming to those not regularly engaging with multiplayer games.

What also stands out is how polished Modern Warfare II is. Despite its gorgeous visuals, the performance (on a PS5) is rock solid and it has great DualSense support, which together do a lot to craft an immersive blockbuster-like experience. That’s especially true for the single player campaign, though we still wish they’d release that as a standalone package with an add-on for the multiplayer portion (or vice versa) to suit all player types. Players who enjoy both the single and multiplayer portion of Call of Duty will be happiest with this one, as besides stellar production values it also features some of the best gunplay you can find.

Score: 8.3/10

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