Modern Warfare 2 - Multiplayer hands-on

We're able to talk about three of the multiplayer maps: Afghan, a desert map, Highrise, a skyscraper, and Favela, a shanty town in Rio de Janeiro. I largely played objective-based matches like capture-the-flag, which all three maps were great for. Each map has a lot of great features, and we'll definitely be giving them a more in-depth look later. Until then, I'll leave you with some basic descriptions of what you can expect.


Afghan is a rocky desert map, the centerpiece of which is the ruins of a downed jumbo jet. The open central area, which contains the aeronautic set piece, is great for snipers as it’s overlooked by several high cliffs and bunkers. At the northern and southern ends, the passages become more confined in caves and on ledges, and the fighting gets more intense.

At one point, my team and I were backed into our base, where we were defending the last of two bomb sites. Enemy flanks were approaching from three directions – a cave in front, and two narrow passages to the left and right. They dropped a sentry gun into the mouth of the cave, and that wreaked havoc on us for a few seconds until someone managed to hit it with a grenade.

We separated into two groups to cover the two side passages, and everyone contributed to the defense of cave. I decided to switch to a riot shield, which turned out to be pretty effective. I was able to stand in narrow passages and block the enemy advances while bashing them with my shield. Meanwhile, my teammates were able to pick them off with ease as they piled up in front of me. After a minute of non-stop fighting, time finally ran out, and we won the match.


The term “favela” means shanty town, which, you guessed it, is what this is. The best way to conceptually divide this map is into two sections – the high ground and the low. The high ground is on the rooftops, which provide little cover but offer faster travel and a broad view of the larger streets and objective sites. The low ground is great for making escapes, as you can disappear around corners faster than your pursuer can rattle off bullets, though you must always be weary of the marksmen who lurk above.


This map’s uncharacteristic modern urban setting is very welcome. The map is comprised of the roof of an unfinished skyscraper (complete with helipad), two interior office spaces at the northern and southern ends, and a passageway which connects the two sides.

The offices are great for crouching around in - I was able to shotgun blast quite a few guys through cubicle dividers (papers and blood went everywhere, it was great). The rooftop exterior, however, is a dangerous place, and you can easily be forced into narrow passageways. It does offer a series of suspended metal beams which can be used to climb up to an excellent sniping roost. Finally, the passage below is exposed in the middle of the map, but is otherwise covered. If you’re lucky, you can use it to sprint all the way from one side of the map to the other without being noticed, and launch a surprise attack from behind your enemy.

That’s all for now, but don’t be a stranger - we have more previews, an in-depth review, and extensive strategy features to come. Modern Warfare 2 is out November 10th.

Sep 15, 2009


  • TheJabberwock - October 18, 2009 6:41 p.m.

    Who thinks that as soon as this comes out, someone will make a riot sheild tank? (eight guys facing out horizontialy, with one or two guys looking up, to stop explosives from blowing up inside the "tank")
  • InsomniacJack - October 3, 2009 9:56 a.m.

    i cant wait for this it looks mint but i also want to get uncharted and the new fallout 3 dlc and i cant decide what to get coz im pretty skint
  • JClouse - September 26, 2009 11:41 p.m.

    If I had no other responsibilities, I would go to my grandma's house, take a bottle of Valium, and sleep every day, all day, until 11.10 (J/K, of course<---to any silly kids reading this) :)
  • MrTedO - September 26, 2009 9:15 p.m.

    Blackout1881 if you don't want the new stuff they are coming out with and it seems "over whelming" and just an "expansion" don't get MW2 and just stick playing COD4. I mean I'm glad they stuck with the same core game play because it worked, and it worked good. If it isn't broke don't fix it so I'm glad they didn't completely redo the core game play or MW2 might not be as amazing as it is going to be.
  • TH3Capta1n170 - September 24, 2009 7:23 p.m.

    DUDE ur are so lucky!! but this a a great article i read everything!!! thanks for filling us with some info about MW2 cant wait for it to com out!!!
  • bron1417 - September 23, 2009 11:50 p.m.

    multiplayer looks sexy right now
  • Tazz57 - September 23, 2009 5:56 a.m.

    looks good can't wait to get my hands on it this article just made the wait seem longer
  • Dalibor - September 23, 2009 2:31 a.m.

    Hopefully the silenced snipers are balanced out somehow. Otherwise it wouldn't be fun getting sniped & having no clue where the shot came from. That shield is going to be awesome to use. Haha I can already picture 3 guys going at it with shields.
  • crazyqazqaz - September 20, 2009 6:31 a.m.

    EXCLAMATION MARK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • FETALJUICE - September 19, 2009 11:59 p.m.

    Silenced snipers? I hope that those silencers deteriorate with each shot taken till it breaks. It would make the game more balanced. Other than that, all of the new stuff being crammed in this game is amazing!! I can't wait for this to come out!
  • DannyRabone - September 19, 2009 9:31 a.m.

    really really amazing :D can't wait !!!
  • GOWKING - September 18, 2009 8:20 p.m.

    this is my number two on my wanted list 1st is halo 3 odst
  • infern0 - September 18, 2009 3:37 p.m.

    I got really bored of the first one but mw2 looks good I noticed maps look a bit bigger thats pretty welcome for us pc players but mw2 looks alot better than the first I despised mw1 it seemed every player was a LMG spammer or a grenade spammer it looks like I will be picking this up but I will wait abit due to my feelings on the first also I cant shake the whole dual deagles and silenced shotguns thing WHAT THE HELL infinity ward that make me face palm
  • infected123 - September 17, 2009 4:44 p.m.

    i wish their was a a game with the perks and stuff of call of duty and the map customising of halo.
  • key0blade - September 17, 2009 2:38 p.m.

  • yaboysupadave - September 17, 2009 12:58 p.m.

    shotgun with a silencer awesome did they release anything about the party system, cod waw that was probably the best thing about it besides having more than one map pack, but we know now why we got only one in cod 4. They were busy the mwf2. Also anything about prestige levels sounds likes there is tons of unlockables probably take longer than 10 days to cap top prestige. last question is any body gonna do anything about party chat cheaters especially being a hardcore snd guy i hate it. Awesome Article keep it up
  • Samael - September 17, 2009 6:13 a.m.

    @GamesRadarPaulRyan Oh...Paul's back. That's cool I suppose.
  • ParagonFury - September 17, 2009 4:46 a.m. nice as this all sounds, I'm thinking this is a bit too much. No other developer has ever, EVER balanced a game with this much customization to the point where after the first couple months there isn't a set hierarchy of "Best, Good, Bad, Useless". Hell, in COD4 they couldn't even do it.
  • Valntyne - September 17, 2009 12:24 a.m.

    Well, for what I see my social life is going down the shitter..., but goddamn i'm gonna enjoy it!!! Nov can't come soon enough!!!
  • damunsta - September 17, 2009 12:09 a.m.

    oh my god this game looks amazing congrats to infinity ward for keeping the series fresh.

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