During today’s Call of Duty: The Next Live stream, Activision revealed a ton of new information regarding the next phase of Call of Duty, which launches this fall. It begins October 28 with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II, the next major line entry in the franchise, but may culminate on November 16, when Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0 will be free for all. Today gave us a look at what to expect when these experiences arrive later this year, as well as a glimpse at a mobile version of Warzone coming next year.
We already got an overview of what to expect from Modern Warfare II in June when we traveled to Infinity Ward to get the game (you can read our full impressions here). Information released from today’s event focused largely on the multiplayer offerings from this year’s Call of Duty games. Modern Warfare II and Warzone 2.0 will both use the same engine, which was specifically developed for current generation consoles. Both experiences will also implement new advances in AI, including locating your teammates, enemy types, NPCs, and civilian movement that dynamically react to your actions.
This year also marks advancements in technology that were first introduced with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare in 2019. The result are improved navigation and AI models, a material system that allows for better photogrammetry, a new hybrid tile-based streaming system, and new rendering systems. For water and underwater, better volumetric lighting of the world, 4K HDR, and a new GPU architecture pipeline.
Modern Warfare II
Even more modern than before
For Modern Warfare II specifically, the new gunsmith allows you to switch between weapons in a much smoother way and continues to upgrade its customization options. Players can also take advantage of new gameplay features while playing matches, including swimming and fighting on water, tactical running, dolphin diving, cover and edge hanging for strategic purposes. The car game also receives a range of upgrades, including improved destruction and more action-oriented maneuvers such as bending out of windows, parking on the roof of the car, and destroying environments.
Outside of basic competitive multiplayer, you can also battle it out in third-person playlists and special player co-op missions. After launch, Modern Warfare II players can expect a new experience: raids, bringing 3v3 matches with an emphasis on team communication and coordination beyond anything featured in the series up to this point.
Infinity Ward and Activision also use Ricochet Anti-Cheat, a compact and standardized system to prevent cheaters from infiltrating your matches. This system is integrated into the trial, which means that Ricochet’s anti-fraud team will have more power to ensure a level playing field.
The emergence of a new war zone
After Call of Duty: Warzone exploded as one of the most popular battle royale titles on the market in 2020, surpassing the 100 million player mark in mid-2021, Activision is looking to up the ante with what it calls Warzone 2.0. This improved, free-for-all experience builds on the successes of the original Warzone, completely revamping many components of that game in what Activision calls “the most ambitious release in Call of Duty history.” Since the engine is unified with Modern Warfare II, many of the developments in Modern Warfare II, including the Ricochet Anti-Cheat System, have taken the leap into Warzone 2.0.
Warzone 2.0 is set in a fictional region of Western Asia called The Farm. At launch, players can explore DMZ, the new Sandbox experience for Warzone 2.0. This new iteration also introduces a new circuit mechanism, with multiple circuits emerging to alter end-game scenarios. Players will also interact with a new artificial intelligence faction that is bringing the farm world to life, offering more realistic combat scenarios and higher stakes in combat encounters.
Meanwhile, Gulag, where players engage in 2v2 battles and loot weapons in an effort to redeploy, receives its 2.0 version, providing players with more surprises and options. Finally, the experience has been rounded out with more social features, allowing the community to connect in an easier and more seamless way.
On top of that, Activision has announced that mobile operators will be able to enter Warzone anytime, anywhere with Warzone Mobile, a new experience coming to iOS and Android next year. This new version of Warzone gives players Battle Royale content on the go with familiar players, weapons, locations and Warzone battles for up to 120 players live in a mobile match.
Warzone Mobile is designed specifically for iOS and Android devices to provide a powerful mobile gaming experience, including mobile-oriented playlists, events, and content. Players can also look forward to deep control customization. With new technology unifying the Call of Duty experience, players in Modern Warfare II, Warzone 2.0, and Warzone Mobile can enjoy a shared social experience, cross-advance shared battle card, and more.
Call of Duty: Warzone Mobile is being developed by multiple studios, including teams from Activision Shanghai, Beenox, Digital Legends, and Solid State Studios. Pre-registration is now available for Warzone Mobile on Google Play. Call of Duty: Warzone Mobile is coming to iOS and Android devices in 2023.
If you want to get your hands on the multiplayer pool in Modern Warfare II, you can do so with the powerful open beta. Modern Warfare II’s open beta will be free across all platforms, with those who pre-order the game getting early access. Early Access begins September 16 on PlayStation and September 22 on Xbox and PC. The beta will open to everyone on PlayStation on September 18 and on Xbox and PC on September 24. Additionally, those who pre-order the digital edition of Modern Warfare II will be able to access the campaign a week in advance.
During the weekend beta, players can participate in game modes such as Team Deathmatch, Domination, Knockout, Prisoner Rescue, and Invasion. The beta will expand beyond traditional 6v6 matches, offering large-scale 32v32 ground war matches. Players can expect this on maps such as Sariff Bay (32v32), Valderas Museum, Farm 18 and Mercado Las Almas.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II launches on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC via Battle.net and Steam on October 28. Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0 is coming to those same platforms on November 16 Call of Duty: Warzone Mobile is coming to iOS and Android in 2023.