The second weekend of the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Multiplayer Beta is now officially available, with the final test period bringing together PlayStation, Xbox and PC players to fight in maps and modes from the first weekend exclusive to PlayStation, but also includes the new Ground War expansion pack.
The second weekend of the Modern Warfare 2 beta includes Team Deathmatch, Domination, Knockout, Prisoner Rescue, Third-Player, and Ground War. Read our first Modern Warfare 2 beta impressions to learn all about maps, new objective modes, and changes to the Gunsmith function. Third person mode was added towards the end of the first weekend, so we’ll cover it along with our initial thoughts on Ground War.
Third person mode returns
The third-person mode previously featured in the original Modern Warfare 2 returns as a separate playlist with mixed respawn modes. Returning this mode to a reboot gives players a different way to experience Call of Duty multiplayer, and should be a welcome addition for those who prefer third-person shooters.
Personally, I find the transition to third person perspective a bit awkward in Modern Warfare 2. You don’t stay in third person all the time as perspective shifts and zooms in to first person when aiming. It would be more like a true third-person mode if we had the perspective over our aiming shoulder instead. Any gamer like me who is easily sick with motion sickness may want to be careful about a particular playlist as the transition between zooming in and out might seem a little too big. Motion sickness has definitely crept up on me here. Of course, I can be quite sensitive to movement a lot, so that’s something that probably won’t affect most players.
Overall, this can be a fun change for some players. It also offers a better look at character models that are likely to have fancy operator skins in the store when launched. This means that players who are not very sensitive to motion sickness will be able to better use the expensive skins they purchase.
A little flavor of Ground War
Standard Ground Warfare in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 will be played in 32v32 matches, but currently the only Ground War beta option in the game’s new Invasion mode. This mode includes a scaled down version of the 20 by 20 Ground War Sarrif Bay and Sa’id maps.
Sarrif Bay is described as a 32v32 map set in a large harbor, with many options for land, sea and air combat. However, the Invasion cuts the fighting areas in the water. You can see the docks, but no boats for a test drive. In Invasion, you mainly fight in the streets and buildings of the port city.
The Sa’id portion used for the Invasion is similar in nature to Sarrif Bay with a city location with plenty of verticality. Some rooftops are close and others have bridges that allow you to navigate over the rooftops of the buildings, but a lot of the action also takes place in streets with car fights. Like the Invasion of Sarrif Bay, this experience does not include boats or any combat on the water. There is some water on the edge of the map so technically players can go swimming, but so far it feels like a boatless mode and no real combat options on the water.
Invasion mode is a large-scale deathmatch played alongside the new advanced artificial intelligence Modern Warfare 2. Friendly AI allies are marked as circles on the minimap, while teammates are marked as triangles and additional AI enemies and human players are highlighted on the the minimap in red.
Vehicles are available in this mode and each team will start with AI troops. Eliminating players will earn team points and the team with the most points will win the match after the timer runs out.
Players earn points for their team by doing the following:
- 1st point: Eliminate the AI enemy
- 2 points: shoot down an enemy UAV or Counter-UAV
- 3 Points: Destroying a VTOL Jet, Support Helicopter or Chopper Gunner
- 5 points: Eliminate the human player, shoot down an enemy battleship, or destroy a player’s owned or occupied vehicle
The match escalates over time. Extra elements such as Armored Troopers and Killstreak Drops are added to the fights so you can feel the real progress in the action so matches won’t be too long. I also appreciate that eliminating a series of enemies or vehicles affects your score in Invasion, but overall I find this mode too focused on the bot farm. Modern Warfare’s new “advanced AI” moves and reacts a bit more intelligently than NPCs in the past as I watched them rush to hide and look around in a slightly more conscious state, but are still noticeably bots in the real heat of the action. This will be a good mode for players just starting to immerse themselves in the Call of Duty franchise, or as a less competitive mode for players who just want to upgrade their weapons in large-scale matches, without the pressure of scoring a goal points found in the traditional Ground Objective Mode War.
With that said, it’s still a decent foretaste of what to expect from Ground War. The new gear and movement mechanics in Modern Warfare 2 are more visible on large maps. There are more options for covering or hanging off shelves, including firing a pistol while hanging. There are more killstreaks and rocket launcher opportunities, and it has all the chaotic gameplay you’d expect from Call of Duty’s Ground War. Hopefully, the standard Ground War mode will be added later this weekend, allowing players to embark on their boating adventure.
Here are all the changes to Modern Warfare 2 that Totem Infinity covered after the first weekend. This includes fixes for map exploits now deployed and improved visibility during shootouts, but other changes may not be implemented prior to launch. Visibility in shootouts is definitely better than at the weekend, as there are far fewer muzzle flashes and smoke effects blocking the view of the targeted player.
This second beta weekend is currently only available to those on Xbox and PC who pre-ordered Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, while it’s open beta to everyone on PlayStation.
Anyone can join the final beta days, from September 24 to September 26, regardless of the platform and whether they pre-ordered the game. However, Xbox Live Gold is needed to play the Modern Warfare 2 beta on Xbox, but PS Plus is not needed for PlayStation.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is due out on October 28 for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X | S and PC.
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