The second weekend of the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 multiplayer beta is officially live, and this final test period brings together PlayStation, Xbox, and PC players to battle it out across the maps and modes from the first weekend. end exclusive to PlayStation, but it also includes the new addition of Ground War.
The second weekend of the Modern Warfare 2 beta includes Team Deathmatch, Domination, Knockout, Prisoner Rescue, Third Person Mode, and Ground War. Be sure to read our initial impressions of the Modern Warfare 2 beta to learn all about the maps, new objective modes, and changes to Gunsmith functionality. Third-person mode was added at the end of the first weekend, so we’ll discuss that with our early thoughts on Ground War.
Third-person mode returns
Third-person mode, which previously featured in the first Modern Warfare 2, returns as a separate playlist with mixed respawn modes. This mode’s return for the reboot gives players a different way to experience Call of Duty multiplayer, and it should be a welcome addition for those who prefer third-person shooters.
Personally, I find the transition to third-person perspective to be a bit awkward in Modern Warfare 2. You don’t stay in third-person all the time, as the perspective changes and zooms to first-person when aiming down sights. It would feel more like a true third-person mode if we had an over-the-shoulder perspective to aim instead. Any gamers like me who get motion sickness easily might want to be wary of the particular playlist, as the transition between zooming in and out can feel a bit too heavy. Motion sickness has definitely crept up on me here. Of course, I can often be quite sensitive to movement, so this is something that probably won’t affect the majority of players.
All in all, this could be a fun change for some players. It also offers a better look at character models, which will likely have fancy operator skins in the store post-launch. This means that players who are not very susceptible to motion sickness will be able to better enjoy the expensive skins they purchase.
A little taste of Ground War
The standard Ground War for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 will be 32v32 matches, but currently the only Ground War option for the beta is the game’s new Invasion mode. This mode includes a scaled down 20v20 version of the Ground War maps Sarrif Bay and Sa’id.
Sarrif Bay is described as a 32v32 map set in a large harbor, with plenty of combat opportunities on land, sea, and air. However, Invasion eliminates water combat zones. You can see the docks, but there are no boats to take for a test drive. In Invasion, you mainly fight in the streets and buildings of the port city.
The part of Sa’id used for Invasion resembles that of Sarrif Bay with an urban environment with a lot of verticality. Some rooftops are close and some have bridges to keep moving across building rooftops, but lots of action also takes place on the streets with vehicular combat. Like Invasion on Sarrif Bay, this experience does not include boats or any water combat. There is some water around the edge of the map, so technically players can go swimming, but so far it seems like a mode with no boats or real water combat opportunities.
Invasion Mode is a large-scale deathmatch played alongside Modern Warfare 2’s new advanced AI. Friendly AI teammates are marked on the minimap as circles, while human teammates appear as of triangles, and other enemy AI and human players are highlighted in red on the minimap.
In this mode, vehicles are available and each team will start with AI soldiers. Eliminated players will earn team points, and the team with the most points will win the match when time runs out.
Players earn points for their team by doing the following:
- 1 point: Elimination of an AI enemy
- 2 Points: Shoot down an enemy drone or counter-drone
- 3 points: Shoot down a VTOL Jet, Support Helicopter, or Chopper Gunner
- 5 points: Eliminate a human player, shoot down an enemy gunship, or destroy a vehicle owned or occupied by a player
Over time, the match escalates. Additional elements are added to combat like armored soldiers and killstreak drops, so there’s a real sense of progression in the action, ensuring matches don’t feel too long. I also appreciate that removing enemy streaks or vehicles contributes to Invasion’s score, but overall I feel like this mode is too focused on bot-farming. Modern Warfare’s new “Advanced AI” moves and reacts a little smarter than NPCs in the past, as I watched them scramble for cover and look around in a slightly more aware state, but they’re still visibly bots in the real heat of the action. This will be a good mode for players who are just starting to dip their toes into the Call of Duty franchise, or as a less competitive mode for players who are just looking to upgrade their weapons in large scale matches, without the pressure of capture the objective points found in the traditional objective mode of ground warfare.
That said, it’s still a good taste of what to expect with Ground War. Modern Warfare 2’s new gear and movement mechanics are best demonstrated on large-scale maps. There are more opportunities to snag or cling to ledges, including shooting a pistol while suspended. There are more killstreaks and opportunities to use rocket launchers, and it has all that chaotic gameplay one would expect from Call of Duty’s Ground War. Hopefully the standard Ground War mode will be added later in the weekend so players can go out for boating adventures.
Here are all the Modern Warfare 2 changes that Infinity Ward discussed after the first weekend. This includes the now-implemented fixes for map exploits and improved visibility during gunfights, but other changes may not roll out until launch. Visibility in gunfights is definitely an improvement over the first weekend, as there are far fewer muzzle flashes and smoke effects blocking the sight of the targeted player.
This second weekend of the beta is currently only available to those on Xbox and PC who have pre-ordered Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, while it’s an open beta for everyone on PlayStation.
For the final days of the beta from September 24-26, anyone will be able to jump in, regardless of their platform or if they pre-ordered the game. However, Xbox Live Gold is required to play the Modern beta. Warfare 2 on Xbox, but PS Plus is not necessary for those on PlayStation.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is set to release on October 28 on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC.
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