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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Developer(s) Infinity Ward
Publisher(s) Activision
Engine IW 4.0[1]
Released November 10, 2009 (Worldwide)
Genre(s) First-person shooter
Mode(s) Single-player, online multiplayer, two-person co-op
Ratings ESRB: M
Platform(s) PC, Xbox 360, Playstation 3
Media DVD-ROM, Blu-Ray Disc
Input methods Gamepad, keyboard and mouse
"The shooter to end all shooters—Modern Warfare 2."
Adam Sessler, co-host of X-Play

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, also referred to as simply Modern Warfare 2 and referred to during early development as Call of Duty 6, is the sequel to Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. It was developed by Infinity Ward, and was released on November 10, 2009, the United States Marine Corps 234th birthday and one day before Veteran's Day, and Remembrance Day. It was officially announced by Activision Blizzard on March 26, 2009,[2] after being prematurely revealed on December 8, 2008.[3]

After its release, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 grossed $310,000,000 in its first twenty-four hours in the US, UK and Australia, becoming the highest first-day grossing product ever. It went on to make $550,000,000 in the first five days of its release, making it the biggest video game money maker in all of entertainment history.




Although Modern Warfare 2 runs on a different game engine, the gameplay is similar to the previous two games, similar enough for players of these two games to feel right at home. There are a few new additions to gameplay, mainly in multiplayer, which will be covered later in the article. See Infinity Ward Game Engine Mechanics for more information.

Single player

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 continues five years after the events of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.



"This is for the record."
Captain Price

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is set five years after the conclusion of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Despite the efforts of the Marines and the SAS, the Ultranationalists seize control of Russia and enshrine Imran Zakhaev, the deceased leader of the Ultranationalists, a hero and martyr. Meanwhile, Vladimir Makarov, one of Zakhaev's former lieutenants, begins a reign of terror against Europe by staging numerous terror attacks. The game begins in Afghanistan, where US Army Ranger Private Allen of 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment participates in an operation to retake an Afghan city from local militia. Impressed, General Shepherd recruits Allen as a CIA operative and places him in Makarov's organization as an undercover operative. Meanwhile, Soap and Roach infiltrate a Russian airbase to recover an American ACS module. Allen then participates with Makarov in a terrorist attack on a Russian airport. However, Makarov is somehow aware that Allen is an undercover CIA agent, and kills Allen before fleeing the airport. The terrorist attack was made to look as if done by Americans as Makarov and his squad speak English and use NATO weapons (i.e. M4A1 and M240). Allen's body is left behind for the Russians to find, which will be identified as American.

Angered by what they believe is an American-supported terrorist attack, Russia initiates a surprise invasion of the United States East Coast. The 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment is called upon to defend Virginia and Washington D.C. from the Russian attack. Meanwhile, Task Force 141 now shifts their attention to Makarov. They go to Rio de Janeiro to investigate an alleged contact of Makarov, Alejandro Rojas. After capturing and interrogating Rojas, the Task Force discovers that one of Makarov's most hated enemies, known as Prisoner 627, is being held in a Russian prison. However, the Russian invasion of the US has cut off aerial support for Task Force 141, leaving them stranded in Brazil. Nikolai is enlisted by Soap to extract Task Force 141 from Rio de Janeiro. Nikolai, piloting a Pave Low, manages to rescue Task Force 141 from the Favela gangs.

Soap believes that breaking Prisoner 627 from the Russian prison will draw Makarov out. General Shepherd orders Task Force 141 to link up with the 6th Fleet to lead a counterattack against the Russians near the Bering Strait. With assistance from the Navy SEALs, Marines, and American Navy, Task Force 141 break through oil rigs being used as SAM (Surface to Air Missiles) platforms and storm The Gulag to free Prisoner 627, who is revealed to be Captain Price. After a close escape involving a Pave Low and SPIE Rig, Price agrees to join Task Force 141 and help them track down Makarov. Price believes that something extreme must be done to end the war in the US. Task Force 141 temporarily goes rogue, infiltrating a Russian submarine base. Price then hijacks a Russian nuclear submarine and launches an ICBM at Washington D.C. However, Price programs the warhead to explode in the upper atmosphere, which destroys the International Space Station but spares Washington and creates a electromagnetic pulse.

The electromagnetic pulse cripples both the US and Russian forces in the city. Helicopters and other aircraft crash to earth, and Sergeant Foley and his squad discover that the Air Force has orders to carpet bomb Washington, D.C., as the US military believes that the city has been lost to Russian control. The only way to abort the operation is to set off green flares on the roof of the White House, which is still occupied by Russian forces, to signal that the friendly American forces have control of the city. Foley and his squad fight their way to the roof the White House and manage to set off their flares just as the bombers arrive, while green flares on the roofs of other D.C. landmarks signifies that the city remains firmly in American hands. Foley and the rest of the Rangers vow to take the fight to the Russians, burning down their capital just as they did to Washington.

However, Makarov is still on the loose. General Shepherd informs Task Force 141 that Makarov has two possible safe havens and orders them to split up and to secure both locations simultaneously. Soap and Price go to the aircraft scrapyards in Afghanistan, whilst Roach and Ghost raid Makarov's safehouse in the Caucasus Mountains. It is revealed to be a trap, but Task Force 141 fights their way through the safehouse and obtain vital intelligence to put an end to him for good. However, General Shepherd betrays them and kills both Ghost and Roach. He intends to take advantage of the crisis to become an American war hero and secure the support of the American population. Price and Soap manage to escape Shepherd's ambush, fighting both a new enemy, known as Shadow Company, and the last of the Ultranationalist forces at the same time, in the middle of a two-way battlefield. They convince Makarov to reveal Shepherd's location to them. In Afghanistan, Soap and Price decide to take revenge on him in one final, bloody suicide mission. They attack his base there, but he escapes on a boat. They chase him on a boat down an Afghan river and through some caves, guarded by OpFor, who are also engaging Shadow Company. Price shoots down the helicopter Shepherd tried to escape in, but he and Soap fall down a waterfall. The heavily wounded Soap stumbles through the crash site and chases Shepherd, attempting to stab him. The attempt fails and Shepherd stabs Soap. Shepherd eventually prepares to execute Soap, but Price tackles Shepherd at the last second. As Soap lays dying, Shepherd and Price fight. By ripping the knife out of his own chest, Soap manages to kill Shepherd with a knife throw to the head. Nikolai then arrives to extract them. Price warns Nikolai that they will be international fugitives for what they've done, but Nikolai insists he knows a safe place to take them. The game ends with this cliff hanger.

Campaign missions

Act I

  • S.S.D.D. — Help train the Afghan National Army and run the training course for General Shepherd.
  • Team Player — Assault an Afghan town after the bridge is destroyed by OpFor soldiers.
  • Cliffhanger — Infiltrate a Russian mountain base with Capt. MacTavish and recover a downed ACS module.
  • No Russian — Assault a Russian airport with Vladimir Makarov while undercover.
  • Takedown — Engage in a running fire-fight throughout Rio de Janeiro to capture an arms dealer named Rojas.

Act II

  • Wolverines! — Locate and protect codename Raptor during the beginning of the Russian invasion of America.
  • The Hornet's Nest — Fight through the Brazilian Militia defences and escape the favela.
  • Exodus — Crush Russian forces in the suburbs and retrieve the HVI from the panic room.
  • The Only Easy Day...Was Yesterday — Infiltrate an oil-rig, rescue hostages, and clear the way to the Gulag.
  • The Gulag — Assault a Russian Gulag and rescue Prisoner #627.
  • Of Their Own Accord — Assault Russian positions at the Department of Commerce, and protect the evacuation site at the Washington Monument.


  • Contingency — Evade enemy patrols, crush Russian defences at the sub base, and help Cpt. Price secure a nuclear submarine.
  • Second Sun — Dodge falling debris, and push through remaining Russian forces to Whiskey Hotel.
  • Whiskey Hotel — Assault the White House, clear out Russian forces, and get to the roof to wave off friendly fighters.
  • Loose Ends — Search for Makarov at a safehouse on the Georgian/Russian border, and capture Makarov's Operations Playbook.
  • The Enemy Of My Enemy — Let Shepherd's and Makarov's men kill each other and link up with Captain Price to escape the Boneyard with Nikolai.
  • Just Like Old Times — Search the Afghan cave network for Shepherd.
  • Endgame — Chase and kill Shepherd through the rivers with Price.


  • Museum — See dioramas of every level, location, and event in the storyline in a museum. Every weapon featured in game is also found here, and the player is able to pick up any of them. An Ammo Box Care Package is available in the 2 rooms the weapons are found in. A red bell in the 2 rooms with NPCs calls all the characters featured in the dioramas in the individual rooms to action, and they all try to kill the player. A third room features vehicles used, but are not animated like the characters in the other two rooms.


Task Force 141

U.S. Army Rangers

Central Intelligence Agency

Other Allied characters

Russian Federation


  • Vladimir Makarov is the new leader of the Ultranationalists.
  • Viktor is one of the terrorists in "No Russian".
  • Anatoly is one of the terrorists in "No Russian".
  • Lev is one of the terrorists in "No Russian".
  • Kiril is one of the terrorists in "No Russian".

Brazilian Militia



Main article: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Achievements And Trophies

The game features 50 achievements and 51 trophies worth a total of 1000 gamerscore.

Special Ops

Main article: Special Ops
The first Spec Ops level in the Alpha category: The Pit

A new Special Ops mode includes one and two player cooperative play. Special Ops mode includes several fast-paced action missions similar to Mile High Club which are more difficult than normal campaign missions and are not related to the main storyline. It picks out certain parts of the single player campaign that "work well with co-op". Missions are unlocked by earning stars, which are acquired by playing levels at certain difficulties. Regular difficulty earns one star, hardened earns two, and veteran earns three. Missions are divided into five groups, named Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, and Echo - the last being the hardest. Within the groups there are types of missions such as "Breach and Clear" and "Elimination". There are special enemy types, such as those using riot shields, even the Special Ops exclusive Juggernaut, wearing heavy bomb squad armor.


Multiplayer is similar to the previous two games on Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. However, multiplayer on the PC is very different from previous games. The PC version no longer has dedicated server support, which has led to outrage among PC gamers. They once enjoyed multiplayer matches with up to 64 people, very strong connections, and user-made maps and mods, but are now limited to the same options as console players.


The basic gameplay stays the same from Call of Duty 4 and Call of Duty: World at War. A few changes have been made;

  • The HUD is now much more sleek and easy to read on a smaller TV than the HUD from Call of Duty 4.
  • Blood will now cover the screen when the player is injured. This effect will eventually go away and it is still possible to see through the blood.
  • Create-A-Class, while still unlocked at level 4, has a few changes;
    • There is a new slot called "Equipment" where the player can choose from a Claymore, C4, Throwing Knife and Semtex among others instead of a Frag Grenade.
    • Secondary Weapons now consist of Shotguns, Machine pistols and Launchers and Handguns, instead of just pistols in the previous games.
    • Likewise with the HUD the Create-A-Class interface has been re-done from the previous games and is now much more sleek and user-friendly.
  • In addition to player created classes there are five preset classes.
  • In-game Host Migration has been implemented - if the host of a multiplayer game leaves, the game will automatically pause for a few seconds to choose a new host, and then the game will resume.
  • Idle sway for ACOG scopes has been eliminated for all non-sniper rifle weapons.


Main article: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 ranks

The ranking system works in the same way as the previous two games. As the player plays matches, they will gain XP. Once the player reaches a certain enough XP, the player will level up. There are now a total of 70 levels in Modern Warfare 2, as opposed to 55 in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and 65 in Call of Duty: 'World at War. There are also 10 levels of prestige, just like in the other two games. As in World at War, the player can unlock a total of 5 extra custom class slots by the 9th prestige.


There are a few new additions to the playlists.

Former Playlists

Possible Future Playlists

Weapon list

This is a list of all weapons that are featured in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. In multiplayer, the weapon class system has been completely revamped from the version in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.

Primary weapons in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. They range from Assault Rifles, Sub Machine Guns, Light Machine Guns and Sniper Rifles.
Secondary weapons in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. They range from Pistols, Machine Pistols, Shotguns and Rocket Launchers

Weapon attachments

Weapons attachments return in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, but some weapon attachments are now unlocked through the use of other attachments, such as getting 20 kills looking through the ACOG Scope to unlock the Thermal Scope or 60 kills looking down the RDS to unlock the Holographic Sight. Enemies throughout the campaign will now carry weapons with different attachments.


Main article: Perks
Perks from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

Players can choose one perk from each of the three main tiers and one Death Streak perk for a single class loadout. Three kill streaks can also be chosen, but these are not class-specific.

Pro perks are upgraded versions of existing perks that are unlocked by fulfilling certain requirements with the original. All perks have Pro versions and all are unlocked by the Pro IV challenge for that specific perk. Note that a Pro V challenge exists, but the only reward for completion is a large amount XP. Pro VI challenges unlock Emblems for players to use in their Callsigns. Pro perks include the benefits of the original version while adding new benefits. There are less Perks than in Call of Duty 4 due to the addition of Pro Perks, as well as the removal of many weaker Perks.

Perks of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Tier 1 Perks Marathon · Sleight of Hand · Scavenger · Bling · One Man Army
Tier 2 Perks Stopping Power · Lightweight · Hardline · Cold-Blooded · Danger Close
Tier 3 Perks Commando · Ninja · SitRep · Steady Aim · Scrambler · Last Stand
Kill Streak Perks 3: UAV Recon · 4: Care Package · 4: Counter-UAV · 5: Sentry Gun · 5: Predator Missile · 6: Precision Airstrike · 7: Harrier Strike · 7: Attack Helicopter · 8: Emergency Airdrop · 9: Pave Low · 9: Stealth Bomber · 11: AC-130 · 11: Chopper Gunner · 15: EMP · 25: Tactical Nuke
Death Streak Perks Copycat · Painkiller · Martyrdom · Final Stand


  • Afghan: A large desert level. The level has a large crashed cargo airplane in the center with a cave system in the mountain next to it, along with a large hill. Across from the cave system is a man made concrete bunker and a poppy field.
  • Derail: An artic map featuring a small town and train loading station on each end with a creek running underneath a trainwreck in the center.
  • Estate: Wooded level surrounding an estate and nearby power station. The level is sloped downward with the estate at the top.
  • Favela: A shanty town level based off of the slums of Rio De Janeiro. The level has a slope throughout the map, along with several story buildings most of which are rooftop accessible.
  • Highrise: A level taking place on the rooftop of an unfinished construction site. There are two office buildings on each side with a below level tunnel leading to each base. There are heli-pads, cranes, and other smaller structures accessible to the player.
  • Invasion: A middle eastern town with a diner, bank, and garage. Lots of street to street fighting.
  • Karachi: Large, compact city located in Karachi, Pakistan with mostly mid-range combat.
  • Quarry: A large level taking place in a rock excavation site. There several buildings and water tanks surrounding a two-story central structure accessible from a cat walk or ground level.
  • Rundown: A rural town separated in two by a ravine crossed by several bridges.
  • Rust : A small, fairly open oil derrick in the middle of the desert. Lots of open ground with some cover and a tower in the center. It is the small oil derrick seen in the background at the end of Endgame.
  • Scrapyard: An airplane scrapyard, based on the campaign level The Enemy Of My Enemy.
  • Skidrow: A series of apartments, stores, and diners in a small, abandoned American town. Lots of straight-up firefights as well as some elements of long-range combat such as multi-level buildings.
  • Sub Base: A snowy submarine base with office buildings, barracks, hangars, and docks located in Russia, based off of the Campaign level Contingency.
  • Terminal: An airplane terminal, based off of the Single Player level No Russian.
  • Underpass: In the rain under the remains of an underpass. Mostly long range fighting to close range fighting (sniping and sniper-hunting).
  • Wasteland: An open grassy level taking place near the Chernobyl Nuclear reactors, clearly visible in the background. There is nothing but open cover except for a bunker in the center of the map accessible from either side. Based off of the Call of Duty map Brecourt and loosely based off of the Call of Duty 4 level All Ghillied Up.

Streak Rewards

Deathstreak rewards

Death Streaks are the opposite of Kill Streaks: these give the player certain rewards for being killed a certain amount of times in a row without getting a kill. Once the Death Streak activates, it remains active until the user gets a kill, no matter how many times the user dies until they get that kill. Once the user gets a kill, the Death Streak will still be active for that life, but will then deactivate upon their next respawn. Only one can be equipped to a class. Unlike Perks, Death Streaks do not have Pro versions.

  • Start - 4 deaths - Copycat: Copy the loadout (Weapons, Perks, and Attachments) of the enemy that killed you last.
  • Lv. 6 - 3 deaths - Painkiller: Triples health for ten seconds after respawn.
  • Lv. 27 - 4 deaths - Martyrdom: Drop a live grenade when killed.
  • Lv. 39 - 4 deaths - Final Stand: Crawl around on the ground with any weapon. If no damage is taken while in Final Stand, the player will stand back up and continue fighting.

Killstreak rewards

Players can select three Killstreak Rewards at a time. A player's killstreak loadout cannot be changed from class to class; instead, one loadout will be used for all classes. Killstreaks now stack (getting a higher killstreak no longer gets rid of the lower unused one, but it will not be available until after the current killstreak is used).

  • 3 - UAV: Deploys a UAV to scan the map and reveal enemy locations. Now able to be shot down.
  • 4 - Care Package: "Air drop a random killstreak or ammo". Deploys by throwing a red smoke grenade obtained after getting a 4 killstreak. The care package can be picked up by anyone once it hits the ground, including the enemy team. The Care Package can also kill, if it lands on a player.
  • 4 - Counter-UAV: Blocks an enemy UAV and disables their radar for the duration. This can also be shot down.
  • 5 - Sentry Gun: Allows the player to deploy an automated M5 Minigun Turret. The gun automatically fires at enemies in its line of sight, but it can be destroyed by enemy fire. Once deployed, the player who placed it can pick it back up and redeploy it somewhere else.
  • 5 - Predator Missile: Fires one controllable missile at a designated target area. User is vulnerable during use.
  • 6 - Precision Airstrike: Initiates an airstrike on a targeted area much like the Airstrike in Call of Duty 4. However, the user can now control the direction the airstrike comes from.
  • 7 - Harrier Strike: Deploys a small airstrike followed by a hovering harrier that will attack enemy players for a short time.
  • 7 - Attack Helicopter: Deploys a Hind (for Spetsnaz, Militia and OpFor teams) or a Cobra armed with one minigun to attack enemy players.
  • 8 - Emergency Airdrop: Deploys a Cargo plane that drops four care packages.
  • 9 - Pave Low: Deploys a Sikorsky MH-53 armed with two gun turrets.The Pave Low also has one flare defense against guided missles.
  • 9 - Stealth Bomber: Deploys a B2 Spirit that is invisible on the enemies radar. The bomber drops a large carpet bomb.
  • 11 - Chopper Gunner: Deploys a AH-64 Apache attack helicopter that the player controls. User is vulnerable during use.
  • 11 - AC-130: Deploys an AC-130 gunship that the player controls. User is vulnerable during use. The AC-130 has 2 flare defenses against guided missles.
  • 15 - EMP: Deploys an Electromagnetic pulse that destroys enemy killstreaks and disables the enemies' HUD, radar and any other device that uses electronics (various attachments, C4, Claymores, Semtex, etc.) Enemies also cannot use any of their killstreaks while the EMP is active. The EMP also give the enemie's screens a bit of a grainy look to it.
  • 25 - Tactical Nuke: Calls in a nuclear weapon that detonates after 10 seconds, killing every player in the match and ending it in favor of the bomb user's team.


Main article: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Accolades

Accolades are awards earned in game and given after a match.


Main article: Callsigns

Callsigns are multiplayer nametags that appear on screen when a player achieves a kill, secures a command post, and other things.


Main article: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 challenges

Challenges remain largely unchanged from the previous game.


Local splitscreen

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 also features local splitscreen on a single console, similarly to previous installments of Call of Duty. Up to four players can play on a single console. Local splitscreen features all of the same game modes and custom settings as online private matches, and for the first time allows players to unlock things and customize their classes just like in the online modes. One of the offline multiplayer settings enables players to play with everything that they have unlocked online, but playing offline will not earn them XP for their online account, nor will anything they do offline affect any of their online leaderboard stats. 

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