Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II features include enhanced Gunsmith, better enemy AI, improved water physics and graphics

This ain't your daddy's MW2.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II is coming, and it’s finally been officially revealed to the world ahead of its release on Oct. 28. A special closed-door presentation by Activision and Infinity Ward showed off the game’s new trailer as well as gameplay from the campaign and a deep dive from several developers on the game’s new features.

Infinity Ward game director Jack O’Hara took the stage to show off the new and improved Gunsmith, which is made to “give players more power and control” and a “broader range of function” with “grounded military technology.”

The current version of the Gunsmith that was shown was not final, but it looked very similar to the one in 2019’s Modern Warfare or Warzone, albeit with several key improvements.

Individual attachments can be tuned in the new Gunsmith, offering meaningful adjustments that don’t compromise balance, according to Infinity Ward. The developer called it “a game within a game,” showing off a screengrab of the Gunsmith depicting a submachine gun barrel that could be tweaked to be heavier for more recoil control or lighter to offer faster ADS speed.

“There’s definitely trade-offs, you can’t just crank it on one side or you’ll end up with too many negatives on the other side,” O’Hara said.

A new feature of the Gunsmith showed a new method of unlocking guns called “Platforms.” It allows players to use an initial version of a gun and then unlock a “family tree” of guns within that Platform. An example shown was a base M4, but as you level up, you unlock an M16 or other similar guns in the tree.

One of the other new improvements revealed in the presentation is an overhaul to how water looks and works in the game, with several technological tweaks being made to basically make it look incredibly pretty and function as realistically as possible, whether you’re in a vehicle or swimming. Water looks to be a key component in both campaign and multiplayer.

Lastly, studio animation director Mark Grigsby joined O’Hara to detail improvements to enemy AI in the game. The developers used helmet cam footage from airsoft games as inspiration for improvements to how characters move throughout the environment, constantly checking corners as a real soldier would. The animations are just a part of the improved AI that will be used in both the campaign and even Warzone 2, according to the developers.

The other main takeaway from the presentation is the gameplay footage shown was impressive. Infinity Ward’s passion for the product is palpable and the game looks quite formidable graphically. Modern Warfare II will be available on Oct. 28.

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