Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II debut trailer is gritty as all heck

Activision and Infinity Ward have revealed the first trailer for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II, alongside a handful of gameplay details.

First up, let’s take a look at the trailer. Though it’s not direct gameplay footage, there’s a decent look at some of the locales and characters who’ll be taking center stage in the story. A big emphasis is on showing all the classic Modern Warfare characters back together. It’s Price! And Soap! And Ghost! And new Gaz! There also appear to be a few nostalgic nods to the history of the franchise in the locations, too, with a container ship being the most direct and obvious callback.

The other striking thing about the trailer is just how much Infinity Ward seems to be embracing grittiness. Basically every scene is dark, cloudy, or dusty, or rainy, or on fire, or sometimes a bunch of those at the same time. Seriously, can’t Task Force 141 just get one clean, uncomplicated mission in direct sunlight?

As for the story details? At the moment, all we know for certain is that the game explores the fallout of the U.S. killing a foreign general, leading to a threat of retaliation. There’s also a mention in the trailer of 141 working closely with Mexican special forces, and a scene that seems to imply the bad guys have acquired a weapon from either the Russians or a malefactor inside the U.S. government or military. So not a ton to go off of, but that would track with earlier rumors that the game would involve Latin American drug cartels.

As for gameplay details, those are trickling out following the lifting of an embargo. Here are some of some of the biggest takeaways, which we’ve compiled from a few different sources:

  • The game will support three modes—single-player, multiplayer, and co-op—on both last-gen and current-gen consoles, as well as PC.
  • Expanded movement options include hanging from ledges and peaking over the top with your sidearm, dolphin diving (which joins, not replaces, sliding), rappelling down buildings, and swimming underwater.
  • Gunsmith is back and expanded, with some unlockable attachments shared between guns that use the same weapon platform.
  • Ground War is back, meaning vehicles will be a bigger part of the game. You’ll be able to lean out of windows and climb on top of moving vehicles. Vehicles will also take more granular damage, and you’ll be able to repair them by taking them to gas stations.
  • AI systems have been overhauled with the goal of making enemy soldiers more interesting to fight. This may factor into some multiplayer or Warzone modes, as well, though that’s not clear.
  • Infinity Ward showed off two new multiplayer modes. First is Knockout, which involves grabbing a package that spawns in the map and holding it when the timer runs out, with no respawns. Second is Prisoner Rescue, which is an attack-defend mode about rescuing and escorting prisoners to safety, akin to hostage mode in Counter-Strike or Rainbow Six Siege.

All in all, it sounds like Infinity Ward is giving a decent overhaul to gameplay befitting this game’s status as the basis for the next iteration of Warzone, the free-to-play battle royale game. Should be interesting to see all this in action in the months to come.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II releases October 28th on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PC.

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