There’s a prevailing narrative among Call of Duty fans that the standard, 6v6 Call of Duty doesn’t get as much attention (opens in new tab) from Activision as its free-to-play battle royale cousin, Warzone 2. While Warzone players enjoy map updates, franchise crossover modes, and frequent balancing changes, those playing Call of Duty the old fashioned way (and pay $70 to do so) settle for the occasional new map, gun, and playlist update.
For once, it’s traditional 6v6 Call of Duty getting more love on patch day. Modern Warfare 2’s Season 2 Reloaded patch (opens in new tab), out today, is packing a new “core” multiplayer map, the next episode of MW2’s co-op raid, a new DMR based on the M4, and the second drop of party modes to lighten the mood after a night of ranked.
Here’s the rundown:
- New map: Himmelmatt Expo
- New gun: Tempus Torrent Marksman Rifle (also usable in Warzone)
- Atomgrad co-op raid episode 2
- Party modes: One in the Chamber, All or Nothing, Drop Zone
- Warzone anniversary camos
- Path of the Ronin event camo challenges
- Party queue feature
Activision surprised Modern Warfare 2 players last month when, in a likely bid to soothe complaints about the premium side of CoD, announced that a 6v6 map would arrive in season 2 ahead of schedule.
“The @InfinityWard MP team has decided to move the map up, as it’s already play testing well and tracking ahead of schedule,” the Call of Duty Twitter account tweeted (opens in new tab) at the time.
That map is today’s Himmelmatt Expo, a modernist mountainside chalet drenched in blues, browns, and grays. You can tell it’s a realistic expo hall built for business-trips-that-are-actually-vacations because among the meeting rooms and reception desks are a bar, restaurant, and pool. Guess they’ll have to add bullet holes and RPG craters to the brochure.
If a single new map doesn’t do it for ya, maybe you’ll have fun with the Tempus Torrent marksman rifle, a single-fire shooter joining the existing M4 gun tree. It’s got a 20-round base magazine and a reportedly fast fire rate, a winning combo for a DMR hoping to compete with full-auto rifles, but Activision says you’ll need to contend with a “noticeable kick up and to the left.”
Luckily, you’ll probably be able to kit up the Tempus with full attachments immediately. As an M4 platform gun, most grips, sights, and stocks unlocked for those guns carry over to this one. Typically new CoD guns can only be unlocked on the battle pass at first, but since this one’s arriving in the middle of a season, you’ll need to score 25 double kills with marksman rifles (or buy a Tempus cosmetic bundle in the store to get it early). That’s a pretty steep challenge! Marksman rifles aren’t the snappiest guns in the first place, so multikills might be a struggle, but with a little luck and a good camping spot you can pull it off in an afternoon or two.
Those party modes sound pretty fun, too. All or Nothing starts everyone with an empty pistol and throwing knives. Earn perks by scoring kills, “starting with the Scavenger Perk to allow for ammo pickups.”
Drop Zone sounds like Headquarters with care package drops, which is meh, but I’m most excited for the return of a Blacks Ops classic: One in the Chamber. Rules are simple: bullets are a one-hit kill, and everyone has one bullet. Kills grant a new bullet (including melee). Some Call of Duty traditions feel out of date and tired (like killstreaks), but party modes never go out of style.
In the footnotes of today’s patch is a new social feature that seems tremendously useful. With “party queue,” you can join a friend’s party while they’re still in an ongoing match and then automatically join them in matchmaking once it’s over. It’s never fun to refresh the social tab until the “join party” button is finally available, so this is a win. Overwatch 2 has had this feature for a long time, except in that game you can spectate your friend’s match while you wait, so get on that Activision.