Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is having itself a reveal week. Yesterday, Activision debuted a brand new trailer and introduced that Call of Duty can be returning to Steam this 12 months at a brand new value of $70. Today, we bought a hearty chunk of marketing campaign gameplay courtesy of the Summer Game Fest showcase.

The gameplay picks up on a mission referred to as Dark Water, as Soap, Price, and the remainder of the struggle gang infiltrate an oil rig someplace on the Atlantic coast with a mission to cease a nuclear missile launch. Sound acquainted? That was the takeaway of workers author Morgan Park and senior editor Rich Stanton, two individuals who like CoD campaigns however are nervous Modern Warfare 2 is simply retreading previous floor. 

Morgan Park, Staff Writer: Yea, so… that positive appeared like some Call of Duty, huh? 

Rich Stanton, Senior Editor: Call of Duty, as a singleplayer expertise, feels fully performed out at this level.

Morgan Park: I nonetheless like a very good CoD marketing campaign, but when Modern Warfare 2 goes to be loads of this, then I’d must agree. CoD has a behavior of repeating itself, however this oil rig mission was a number of the most generic marketing campaign fluff I’ve seen shortly. I am unable to consider a single factor that occurred in these seven-ish minutes that I have never carried out a billion instances up to now 20 calls of obligation.

Rich Stanton: We’re in an age where the ‘basic’ video games appear destined to be remade each 10-15 years, and Call of Duty has chosen this bizarre route of more-or-less straight remaking video games that are not all that previous. I’m not likely positive where these ‘remakes’ fall both, as a result of it seems like they’re so frightened of altering one thing beloved that they do not ever push the envelope.

Morgan Park: Yea, it does come throughout like Infinity Ward has some packing containers to tick that hold this again from feeling new. Why make it look a lot just like the intro mission to Call of Duty 4? Maybe the purpose is to really feel nostalgia for video games which might be pushing 15 years previous, however what I bought as a substitute was “ah, we’re doing this again.”

And what’s bizarre is that, similar to the 2019 Modern Warfare, this Modern Warfare 2 is not precisely a “remake.” It’s taking previous characters like Soap, Price, and Ghost and utilizing them for a unique story that is likely to be related, however definitely not equivalent to the unique 2009 game. It’s complicated to sustain with (partially as a result of Activision opted to make use of the identical precise title because the previous game). It’s a unique story, but in addition appears to reference the unique? Today’s oil rig mission shares a putting resemblance to the “The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday” mission from MW2 (2009). 

Rich Stanton: I vividly bear in mind the unique Modern Warfare’s arrival, as a result of it was like nothing that had come earlier than it by way of its hard-nosed take a look at army actuality. People keep in mind that AC-130 gunship mission as a result of it was so deeply uncomfortable and appeared to be bringing one thing to gentle in regards to the horrors of recent battle. I’m not saying it was essentially a deep or profound take a look at army tradition, basically this world view nonetheless has good guys and dangerous guys, nevertheless it did really feel fairly stunning.

Morgan Park: Remember whenever you get nuked? That was fairly tousled.

Rich Stanton: Modern Warfare as you realize begins with you as a dictator who’s about to be publicly executed. At the top of that introduction my jaw was on the ground, and I used to be hooked. No game had carried out one thing like that.

CoD’s fashionable success can arguably be traced again to what the Modern Warfare trilogy did for it, together with the multiplayer aspect, and ever since these it is felt just like the sequence has been caught within the template they set. They’re wonderful video games however of their time, and I’m unsure Activision has the potential (or even perhaps the need) to flee that. Certainly I doubt a recent Activision studio can be given free reign to go after the army industrial advanced like Infinity Ward as soon as did.

Morgan Park: Yea, I believe it is vital to keep in mind that Activision has caught to its template as a result of lots of people would get mad if it did not. Lots of people need that familiarity. That doesn’t suggest each 6-hour marketing campaign it places out must really feel precisely just like the final one, although. 

In truth, that is what I favored a lot in regards to the 2019 Modern Warfare marketing campaign. It had some fairly cool twists on previous CoD favorites, just like the Highway of Death sniper mission that (whereas shamelessly rewriting the historical past of an precise American struggle crime) was principally the pure evolution of “All Ghillied Up”. This oil rig mission, however, simply felt like a retread. We’re nonetheless hiding behind storage containers, stacking up on doorways for a breach, and performing canned melee takedowns on guards.

Rich Stanton: I suppose that is the factor: what number of instances are you able to play one among these items earlier than it simply seems like being an AK-toting hamster on a wheel. The self-referentiality you discuss above is cool nevertheless it’s additionally a symptom of the bigger drawback, that these video games are being developed on such an unprecedented manufacturing line and have a selected set of necessities to meet. 

There’s additionally this aspect where Call of Duty’s a lot larger now than the campaigns. Its greatest money-spinner by far is now Warzone, and probably Warzone 2 will proceed that development. What started as a singleplayer-focused sequence has largely been consumed by the multiplayer aspect and you’re feeling that is where all of the useful resource goes. It’s such large enterprise now that you simply really feel Activision would not need it to go too near controversy anymore: in truth it is extra bound-up with the US army and the gun business than ever earlier than.

Morgan Park: Apparently Infinity Ward is attempting to tone again its edgier tendencies with this marketing campaign. I’m all for not having to observe game devs justify tasteless inventive choices within the title of enjoyable playable struggle.

But you are right, Rich. For as a lot money and time Activision pumps into these campaigns, at this level they’re virtually solely there to chop a number of trailers with. Six hours of fairly good shootin’ to get gamers primed for the factor they truly play CoD for: multiplayer. That’s the chunk of this game that we nonetheless know nothing about, and as you point out, the standalone Warzone sequel will most likely be a a lot larger game than MW2 itself. Maybe Activision was right to skip the marketing campaign in 2018’s Black Ops 4. If this mission is probably the most unique factor to come back out of Modern Warfare 2, it is time for CoD campaigns to take a break.