Everything You Need To Know About ‘Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare II’ And ‘Warzone 2’

Activision and Infinity Ward unveiled Modern Warfare II today, the 2022 entry for the long-running and best-selling Call Of Duty franchise. The game had already been announced and we’ve seen a handful of live-action teasers prior to today’s worldwide reveal, but today was our first look at the new first-person shooter in action.

I attended a preview event at Infinity Ward last week where I watched the trailer, several of the single-player campaign missions, attended a presentation by Infinity Ward’s lead developers and even got some hands-on time with five different multiplayer maps and several different modes—though impressions on multiplayer will have to wait.

We learned some about the upcoming Warzone 2 as well—a wholly new game that will exist alongside the current Warzone. The only thing we didn’t cover was the upcoming Modern Warfare 2 cooperative mode, which leakers have claimed will be something akin to Escape From Tarkov—a hardcore PvPvE scavenger FPS that is unlike anything we’ve seen before in Call Of Duty.

Read on to learn everything we know about Modern Warfare 2, Warzone 2 and the new era of Call Of Duty.

I also discuss the game and my impressions of the campaign in the video below:

The Campaign Looks Good, And Won’t Be As Grim As MW 2019

One thing that Infinity Ward Co-Studio Head and Creative Director, Patrick Kelly, really emphasized about Modern Warfare II is its shift in tone from Modern Warfare 2019.

Whereas Modern Warfare took a somewhat grittier tone—with a handful of missions that are somewhat uncomfortable to play—Modern Warfare II is taking a lighter tone, emphasizing action and adventure. The world has certainly gotten a little more bleak since 2019. War in Ukraine, a global pandemic and rising inflation all make life feel a lot more grim than it did just a few years ago. The tonal change is meant to offset that to some degree, and to make the campaign more fun.

It’s also more colorful, at least from what I saw. The last Modern Warfare was a grey/brown experience, and multiplayer and even Warzone could feel a bit washed out and colorless. When Black Ops Cold War came out, the color palette seemed positively brilliant in comparison.

Modern Warfare II is brighter and more colorful than Modern Warfare 2019 but it’s not quite as poppy as Cold War. Graphically, however, the game looks spectacular. The missions I watched (recorded on a PlayStation 5) were at once stunning to look at and incredibly varied.

The game picks up after Captain Price and CIA chief Kate Laswell met at the end of the last game and started discussing operatives for Task Force 141, a spec ops team tasked with globetrotting missions to take down terrorists and other baddies. The principal characters in Modern Warfare II include:

  • Captain John Price
  • Sergeant Kyle “Gaz” Garrick
  • Lieutenant Simon “Ghost” Riley
  • Sergeant John “Soap” MacTavish
  • CIA Station Chief Kate Laswell
  • Colonel Alejandro Vargas
  • Corporal Phillip Graves

Vargas is a Mexican Special Ops colonel based loosely off a real person whose identity remains a secret. Infinity Ward did a great deal of consulting with Mexican special forces for this game.

Campaign Missions Previewed

This was a hands-off preview, but we got to see a pretty good chunk of several missions, including:


a nighttime mission set in a Middle Eastern outpost of some sort where an Apache helicopter crashes. Your squad has to secure several buildings on the way to the crash site where you hope to rescue survivors.

The detail was great in this mission. You could see the lit-up smoke pluming off the downed helicopter, and even well into the mission, the chopper’s blades were still spinning slowly. I also noticed how crisp and deep the sound effects were during this mission. Gunfire especially has real boom to it.

Wet Work

Set in Amsterdam (a location for Cold War also), the portion of this mission that I previewed was largely stealth. It was also largely aquatic based. Infinity Ward has gone to great lengths to add water and swimming to the game (in every mode, no less) and this was a swimming showcase.

The player was tasked with taking out a series of guards before boarding a ship, and if spotted they could dive deep under the water to get away. The water graphics are some of the best I’ve seen, with realistic wave simulation and other cool tricks. For instance, you can shoot underwater but your bullets will be slowed down and do less damage.


This mission takes place in nighttime Chicago and involves rappelling down a skyscraper with the lights of the Windy City as your glimmering backdrop. The building is all windows, and you can rappel either ‘toe down’ or ‘toe up’ as you descend. The advantage to ‘toe up’ is that you’re upside down and you can spot enemies the moment you get to a lower floor. The disadvantage? You’re upside down and disoriented.


The final mission we previewed (at least that we’re allowed to talk about) is a great big chase scene in the desert that could have been plucked straight out of Uncharted 3. You can drive any vehicle in the mission, so you’re not locked down to just one car like in many past Call Of Duty driving missions. You can climb out on to your vehicle’s roof and leap to other vehicles as well.

Modern Warfare 2 And Warzone 2 Are A Hard Reset

Modern Warfare II launches on October 28th, 2022 and Warzone 2 comes out sometime later this year. The games will be directly linked to one another, but not to any past Call Of Duty entry. Right now, we have Modern Warfare 2019, Black Ops Cold War and Vanguard all linked to Warzone but all three games run on different engines and their shared-launcher experience is buggy and antiquated.

Modern Warfare II and Warzone 2 wipe the slate clean. You will not be able to carry over any of the content you purchased in any of these past games. No skins from the previous last three years, no guns, no nothing. The two games will be built on the same engine and will represent a hard reset for the franchise, ushering in a ‘new era of Call of Duty.’

The Next Era Of Call Of Duty Is A Unified Game Engine

What this means remains to be seen in a lot of ways. Modern Warfare II still looks a lot like Modern Warfare 2019 but you can see bits and pieces of Cold War and Vanguard in there as well.

This is because going forward, all Call Of Duty titles will be built using the same engine. The new Call of Duty engine was built using tech from Infinity Ward, Treyarch and Sledgehammer as well as other COD studios and will be used in the next Black Ops as well as Sledgehammer’s next game, whatever that may be.

This has advantages for an incorporated Warzone experience, but I have to admit I am a little worried about the games feeling too similar going forward. While Infinity Ward emphasized that Treyarch games would still have that unique Treyarch feel, a unified engine raises a lot of questions.

Meanwhile, all three of the last mainline games plus Warzone will continue to operate as a separate entity entirely, so you don’t have to give up any of these games any time soon and continue playing the first Warzone if you don’t feel like going next-gen (or if you just want variety). It’s unclear if the next Treyarch game will integrate directly into Warzone 2 as well, or if we’ll get a Blackout 2—which I’d love to see.

Both Games Are Coming To Steam

Another bit of good news: Both Modern Warfare II and Warzone 2 will be coming to both Battle.net and Steam this year, and cross-play will exist across all platforms including PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Steam and Battle.net.

I don’t really have a problem with Battle.net, but I’m an old-school Steam gamer (since it launched with just a handful of games, I’ve been on Steam) and I am 100% in favor of migrating over when these come out in October.

Warzone Is Coming To Mobile

We know very little about this yet—some leaked Verdansk footage has been spotted in the wild—but it looks like a pretty straightforward mobile port of the original Warzone.

There Will Be Swimming And Improved AI

As I noted above, swimming and water play a much bigger—and not just superficial—role in all three game modes. Multiplayer’s Ground War maps are all pieces of the big Warzone 2 map, and some of these will have water areas since Warzone 2 will have lots of water. I’m not sure if normal 6v6 maps will have water, however.

Whatever the new co-op mode is, it will also have water and swimming.

All modes will also feature bots, though exactly how these are integrated into MP and Warzone 2 remains to be seen. Infinity Ward showed off the improvements made to UI and bot behavior, and what they showed us was definitely impressive. There’s an entirely new set of behaviors and animations for bots actively on the lookout for players.

That being said, much is promised in the video game business when it comes to AI and typically much less is delivered. I’ll withhold judgment for now.

Gunsmith Is Getting More Detailed

The Gunsmith mechanic that has been around for the past three Call Of Duty games makes a return for Modern Warfare 2, but this time around it’s got a lot more tinkering options.

The big change is ‘tuning’ of attachments, which let’s you customize each of your gun’s attachments, not just which ones you equip. Like normal attachment picks, tuning comes with a cost-benefit tradeoff, so raising one stat will likely lower another.

Gunfight Is Coming Back—But Not Right Away

Gunfight was not discussed during the presentation but I asked and they Infinity Ward confirmed that yes, the 2v2 (or 3v3) mode would return but not right away. It’s unclear how long players will have to wait for this mode to return, but hopefully not too long.

After all, Gunfight remains one of the best innovations in Call Of Duty ever, a true test of skill in short, compact rounds on smaller maps. I’ve said this before, but I would buy a game that was all Gunfight, with permanent 1v1, 2v2 and 3v3 options, lots of maps and a tournament mode.

Lots Of New Gear, Guns, MP Modes and More

Along with all of this, there’s plenty of new stuff coming to Modern Warfare II to keep things interesting. Some of this includes:

New Gear

  • A new tac camera to get the bead on enemies
  • A new Drill Charge grenade that bores through walls and then spits the grenade out on the other side
  • The DDOS which EMPs nearby vehicles and equipment
  • A decoy grenade that pops up an inflatable soldier

New MP Modes

  • Prisoner Rescue—a no-respawn mode where you have to rescue (or defend) two prisoners.
  • Knockout—another no-respawn mode where you have to capture a ball and whichever team is holding it by the time the clock runs out wins.

New Vehicles

These include a Heli-transport vehicle that can turn into a hovering base where you can toss down Trophy Systems and set up an aerial fortress to rain hell down on your enemies. There will also be amphibious vehicles and more. You can do more stuff with and to these vehicles as well, including shoot out vehicle tires, blow off their doors and so forth.

Infinity Ward didn’t discuss the new guns or Killstreaks, but we definitely saw a number of these in MP and you’ll just have to wait for the Beta to find out more!

Speaking of which, pre-ordering gets you early access to the beta this summer, but you should also consider subscribing to my YouTube channel where I routinely hand out Call Of Duty beta codes, COD Point codes and more!

Final Thoughts

All told, I’m very excited for Modern Warfare II though obviously just seeing missions played by someone else can only tell me so much about the game. I did play MP but I’m not allowed to share impressions yet, so stay tuned for that at a later date.

I also didn’t see Warzone 2 in action, though I played a couple Ground War maps that are pieces of the larger battle royale map. And, of course, not even a glimpse of co-op yet, so there’s lots more we don’t know and will have to wait on before the October launch date.

Still, I like the direction this game is headed and it looks like a true follow-up to Modern Warfare 2019 in terms of gameplay, story, and overall feel, with better graphics and more colorful design.

I’m definitely feeling optimistic, even if my cynical side wonders whether this is really a “new era” of Call Of Duty, or more of an incremental step forward. I also wonder how it will perform on last-gen consoles, and hope that starting next year, Treyarch will release on current-gen only.

Update: The reveal trailer just dropped. Watch it here.

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