Jan 7th, 2023, 09:00 AM

Modern Warfare 2 has Finally Brought Change to Call of Duty Gameplay

By Zion Raeburn
Screenshot of Modern Warfare Home Menu
After years of Call of Duty being considered a “rinse and repeat” game, the new game offers surprises.

Modern Warfare 2 (MW2) is the best Call of Duty (COD) to be released in recent years. This has been one of the most anticipated games of the year since it was announced in February 2022. Within two weeks of the release in October MW2 made $1 billion in revenue, showing the level of excitement fans had for this game..

MW2 has brand new features that change actual gameplay, including strict skill-based matchmaking. Based on performance and statistics, the game pairs players with other players in the same skill range. It allows for players that play competitively to be separated from the players that want to play casually, which keeps the game competitive or relaxed based on what one is looking for. This new feature does, however, have some mixed reviews from the community.

I spoke with several fellow gamers about their thoughts on the new changes to the game. Andres Rodriguez, a University of Southern California student studying engineering, is an avid gamer in his free time. He said, “Skill-based matchmaking makes sense in theory but makes it impossible to play alone for fun. Eventually you end up in a lobby with a team that is way better than you and you just spend the game dying.” While this situation has been known to happen, it still gives players a chance to learn and sharpen their skills. 

Another longtime COD fan Bruno Vipulis, a San Diego State alumnus, has a similar feeling about skill-based matchmaking. Bruno said, “I think the skill-based matchmaking has leveled the playing field and gives new players a chance to learn and enjoy the game fully. However it gets so annoying playing against the elite level PC players that just dominate the game.” PC players are players who play on a monitor and use a mouse and keyboard to play as opposed to the traditional console and controller, and are known for having elite movement in first person shooter games like COD.

The introduction of the “GunSmith”, which is a new system of unlocking weapons and attachments that go with them, has been widely unpopular amongst the COD community. Weapon Classes in Call of Duty used to be organized by weapon types: assault rifles, submachine guns, light machine guns, etc. Now weapons have what is called a “weapon track” which is significantly more complex. Players have to use every gun in the game to unlock other attachments for guns outside of the category. It is as confusing as it sounds. Bruno Vipulis said that he did not like the new gunsmith at all, "I think the system of unlocking new guns by upgrading other guns is simply doing too much.” 

Screenshot of Call of Duty Weapon Track


Andrew Kim, a bartender in Washington, D.C. and COD fanatic believes that the gunsmith feature is fine. "I think with the advancements in technology they are trying to make things more complex. I do miss the simplicity of the old system but it’s nice to see a change for once.” MW2 was released with intent to be a long-term video game. Activision, the studio that produced the game, stated that there will be no new Call of Duty for the next two years. This could explain why there has been so much put into this game; there are 52 weapons to unlock and play with, giving players plenty of time to try everything. I asked players if they believe Activision succeeded in creating a long term game. Billy Schuttman, a guitarist and COD player from Miami, Florida said, “Depending on the updates that come out, They are definitely going to have to add new game modes and maps to keep me playing the game.” Bruno Vipulis believes that MW2 this game can be a fun long- term game, saying. He stated, “The addition of Warzone 2.0 created a pathway for this game to be a long term game.”

Screenshot of Warzone 2.0 Home Screen

I think this is one of the best Call of Duty games to come out in recent years with some minor flaws such as the gunsmith system. Call of Duty fans have been complaining for years about the game never really changing and with the newest addition to the franchise fans finally see the changes they asked for. MW2 is supposed to be a long term game so players will have a lot of time to get after the numerous challenges and achievements available to them and adapt their play style to fit the new wave of Call of Duty. There is potential that this game may have changed the way we play Call of Duty forever. Outside of that it is overall very enjoyable to play and brought back the competitiveness of the game.