I played some of the Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 leaked beta on PS5 Friday and came away with pretty mixed feelings, though my impressions are still forming.
I’ll have a more detailed impressions piece up next week after I’ve played on PC—my platform of choice, naturally—because I want to give the beta a fair shake. I’m all thumbs when it comes to controllers and first-person shooters. I’m not a fan. Keyboard and mouse, all the way.
Still, either way, you spin it, inputs aside, I do have one cross-platform concern that I’m pretty worried about.
In the Modern Warfare 2 leaked beta, enemy nameplates simply don’t appear. While you’ll notice your own teammates have blue nameplates above their heads in a match, the red nameplates that normally distinguish foe from a friend are simply gone. I’m not sure if this is intentional or a bug, but I hate it.
In the past, red nameplates over enemies’ heads made it easier to distinguish who you were supposed to shoot at, especially in darker or busier spaces. I’m very used to this system and it throws me off in a hectic match when I see someone without a nameplate at all. (This isn’t as big of a deal in a battle royale when you’re generally moving around in a squad and anyone else you see is a bogie).
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What makes this worse, however, is that there are some areas in the game’s maps that are darker than others or busier and more colorful and enemy players simply disappear into these spots. Dark hallways, high perches, shadowy corners, foliage. Without nameplates, this game runs the risk of turning into a total camp-fest. Without nameplates, Modern Warfare 2 leaked more aggressive play styles that face a distinct disadvantage.
Modern Warfare 2 leaked Beta
The beta’s TTK (time-to-kill) is also quite fast, making it much more likely that whoever shoots first wins. If you can’t see enemy players until it’s too late, disengaging or outshooting them becomes that much trickier. All this leads to is one thing: Frustration. And then more frustration.
Modern Warfare 2 leaked It’s hard to tell who the enemy is in a hectic multiplayer match and nameplates were one way to cue you in quicker, especially in low-visibility. Removing this from the game will have major consequences on the game’s flow, making it less intuitive, less acceptable, and, quite frankly, less fun.
Unless that is, you’re a camper. Modern Warfare 2 leaked, I think camping has its time and place, don’t get me wrong, but this makes the strategy too powerful and throws off the game balance. It seems like a wholly unnecessary change and at this point, I’m just hoping it’s either a bug or Infinity Ward will come to their senses and change it back to the way it was in previous games.
Oh, and while you’re at it, can you please revert to the previous mini-map that shows red dots when enemies are firing non-silenced weapons? That would be great.