Modern Warfare 2 - Multiplayer hands-on

Has Infinity Ward outdone everyone…again?

CoD4’s red dot sight, grenade launcher, and suppressor are still here, but there’s so much more. Attachments no longer refer to just physical objects and properties, they can refer to skills too. Akimbo (dual wielding) and Rapid Fire are a whole lot cooler than “Digital Camo.” Other new attachments include a heartbeat sensor, thermal scope, and tactical knife.


Above: The heartbeat sensor displays the rough location of nearby enemies

In other news, sniper rifles can now be fitted with suppressors. “Run and gun” players may not like the change, but sneaky bastards like myself are all over it. Shotguns are now suppressible too.


SPECIAL GRENADES AND EQUIPMENT

Your special grenade slot isn’t just for grenades any more. In order to add a little more variety to the gameplay, and give advanced players an option other than grenade spamming, Infinity Ward has introduced some pretty exciting new weapons. Among them are Symtex sticky grenades, throwing knives, a blast shield (a face mask which offers extra protection), and my personal favorite, “Tactical Insertion.” Tactical Insertion equips you with a special marker which you can throw anywhere. As long as it isn’t destroyed by an enemy, you’ll respawn wherever you left the marker. There’s nothing like appearing behind the guy who just knifed you in the back...REVENGE!


RIOT SHIELDS

If you need a change from the usual strategy, try replacing your primary weapon with a riot shield. It’s bullet proof up to a point, and makesyou a pretty damnmenacing opponent. You can’t shoot and hold the shield at the same time, but you can bash people’s heads in,and when you’re using your secondary weapon, the shield is stowed on your back, giving your ass a little extra protection. Combine this with a blast shield, and your enemies will have a hell of a time knocking you down.


Above: A teammate with a riot shield defends his flag carrier

It should also be noted here that, in team and objective based matches, you won’t be penalized for focusing on tasks other than scoring kills. Distracting enemies withyour riot shield will be rewarded, as will shooting down a helicopter, killing an enemy flag carrier, and anything else you do to help your team.


CALLSIGNS

We've covered that Modern Warfare 2 rewards players for every action they take, but who cares how many points you get if no one else sees all your hard work?

Aha! That's why we have callsigns, which are essentially big customizable plaques which pop up when youscore akill or perform a commendable action. Callsigns include a title, which is a string of letters (in this case "My name is"), an insignia (that ghostly fellow), a background, and, of course, your gamertag and rank. The titles, insignia, and backgrounds are all unlockable, and there are hundredsof themunlock. You can unlock them by leveling up, or by completing certain prerequisites. For example, we unlocked the “Accident Prone” insignia, presumably from falling off too many ledges.

On the next page…Three multiplayer maps explained!