MW2 Multiplayer Review: Unintelligent, Unreliable, and Unwanted

If you’d ask me to sum up the Modern Warfare 2 multiplayer offering in three words, those would be the ones I’d choose. It’s unintelligent, unreliable, and unwanted. It’s an unfortunate fact to take on board, but the high expectations we had in place for the MW2 multiplayer platform have been effectively dashed to pieces. This could have been the greatest Call of Duty title in over a decade, but ultimately, it’s a broken platform that seems more interested in punishing the player than offering a clean experience.

From the moment the multiplayer offering went live, fans were left baffled by the overwhelming count of senseless changes that had taken place. There are entire portions of the platform totally missing, there’s an SBMM engine that is brutally insufferable, and there’s a bizarre imbalance present across most of the game that just makes it feel strange to play. From complex unlock paths to an unintuitive perk system, and from pointless attachments to uninspiring maps, there are many issues at hand that need addressing.

Let’s see if I can find anything positive to cover in this comprehensive MW2 multiplayer review.

It’s Okay… When It Works

mw2 multiplayer review

Once you get past the bugs, how is the ultimate experience? (Image Credit: Captured In-Game)

As a classic first-person shooter title, Modern Warfare 2 is just about bang average. It’s a no-frills experience that offers run-and-gun action at the most fundamental level, and that’s essentially the full scope of the title. If you’re able to navigate around the bugs, crashes, scan-and-repair nightmares, party connection problems, and frame rate issues, then hopefully, you’ll be relatively content exploring what has been delivered.

At the moment, I’m playing Modern Warfare 2 on PC, and it has been a somewhat tragic and harrowing experience thus far. From endlessly tweaking my settings to dealing with incessant scan-and-repair cycles, I’ve had a substantially miserable time with the multiplayer platform since it went live. There’s a strange imbalance present with Modern Warfare 2 on PC, and it never seems to run as it should, with frame rate drops being a common cause of concern across the player base at large.

Unfortunately, if you probe beyond the most basic level imaginable, you’ll discover how much of an ill-conceived afterthought MW2’s multiplayer really seems to be. On the surface, it’s a somewhat fast-paced shooter, placing players in uninspiring, run-of-the-mill maps to do battle against their opponents while wielding a range of modern weapons. That’s as positive a description as I can give this game, but be prepared – from here on out, we’ll be discussing the rampant issues plaguing the platform.

We’re Stuck With This For Two Years

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It feels unnecessarily complex at times, particularly when unlocking weapons. (Image Credit: Captured In-Game)

As I’ve played the Modern Warfare 2 multiplayer modes, I’ve been keeping a note of all the issues that I notice creeping across the platform. However, most of what I’m recording is being actively mirrored by many people online – including the best Call of Duty players in the business. There’s often something subjective about the acceptance of any game, but it seems that the majority of these issues cropping up on the platform are being universally identified and despised.

And do you know what? There are so many issues that, if I were to break them all down, we’d be here all day. So, instead, I’ll throw out a catch-all list of bullet points that perfectly highlights everything wrong with Modern Warfare 2’s multiplayer platform.

  • There’s content missing at launch that really should be there.
    • Unfortunately, there are no hardcore playlists present in Modern Warfare 2, no ranked modes, a lack of leaderboards, missing crossplay options, and players seeking a battle pass will also have to wait almost three weeks to get one.
  • It features an SBMM engine that is unbelievably punishing.
    • We tested the SBMM in Modern Warfare 2, and it truly is a blocker to an enjoyable experience. It seems that, following one good match, you’ll be punished by being thrown into a tougher lobby almost immediately. There are concerns that SBMM will ruin Modern Warfare 2.
  • It’s unnecessarily complex, particularly weapon unlock paths.
    • Let’s say you want to unlock the ‘Lachmann Sub’. This will require you to unlock a weapon at a certain level, use that weapon to unlock another weapon, and then use that weapon to unlock the Lachmann Sub. For attachments, certain devices can only be unlocked by using super-specific weapons that the player may not feel comfortable using.
  • The maps are uninspiring, poorly built, and totally forgettable.
    • At the moment, players are eagerly awaiting the return of classic Call of Duty maps, because, at the moment, the base maps feel unintuitive and frustrating. From the navigation options to the paths and from the spawn sites to the rotations, too many maps feel clunky and ill-thought-out.
  • There’s something wrong with gadgets, attachments, and the weapons themselves.
    • From flashbangs that’ll blind you no matter where you look to attachments that ultimately mean absolutely nothing, there are plenty of issues with the loadout aspect of Modern Warfare 2. There’s a freaky imbalance present that makes SMGs more or less unusable, and the time-to-kill mechanics seem wildly unbalanced and unpredictable.

It’s a tragic fact, but these are only the top issues that are present on the platform – there are many more that we could address.

Is Modern Warfare 2 Worth Buying?

mw2 mp reviews

There’s nothing inspiring about MW2’s maps (Image Credit: Captured In-Game)

If you’re a casual gamer, you’re going to have a miserable experience playing Modern Warfare 2. For those that can only play a few games a week, being punished by the SBMM engine makes for a heartbreaking session, pointlessly pitting players against cracked competitors the moment they do well. As usual, the community contributes towards the game in an overwhelmingly negative way, and in the short time that I’ve played, I’ve witnessed countless occurrences of the typical toxicity present in modern Call of Duty multiplayer titles.

For players that are easily riled by an irritating platform, Modern Warfare 2 is not worth buying. At the moment, it’s a camp-fest of a title, with every player seemingly hell-bent on boosting to complete ‘camo challenges’, jamming themselves into dark corners to land that last back-shot or to secure those final mounted kills. There’s a much more severe skill curve present in gaming these days, and it seems that everyone jumping on Modern Warfare 2 is desperately seeking world domination.

As the title of this MW2 multiplayer reveal suggests, the platform is, for the most part, unintelligent, unreliable, and unwanted. There may come a time when all the bugs are patched out, but at the moment, it’s a relatively broken platform plagued by countless issues. There’s a total lack of any clan mechanics (again), the perk system feels unintuitive and detrimental to a simple experience, animations can be somewhat skewed, and there’s just not enough meat on the bones of the game to warrant the full cost right now.

mw2 multiplayer review review

Is this MW2 or Netflix? With the rail system that the UI boasts, it feels like a streaming platform. (Image Credit: Captured In-Game)

With a UI that feels stripped from a streaming service and AI that feels dumb as rocks, Modern Warfare 2’s multiplayer just feels like a cheap afterthought. Of course, all the juicy content drops with the launch of Call of Duty: Warzone 2, which is a fact that speaks volumes. If you’re willing to part ways with your hard-earned cash, you’ll be rewarded with a Call of Duty title that is at best a bang-average shooter.

That’s as positive as I can be about this game at the moment. Let’s see how two years of Modern Warfare 2 go when the Call of Duty League kicks off in December.

If you’re interested in finding out about the Modern Warfare 2 campaign, check out the in-depth review we’ve compiled for it.