Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II

MWIII — Intel Drop: Modernizing Multiplayer Maps

MWIII — Intel Drop: Modernizing Multiplayer Maps

What’s your favorite Call of Duty Multiplayer map?

As Call of Duty nears its 20th anniversary, veteran fans could have over 100 potential answers to that question, and that’s not including the 16 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Multiplayer maps that debuted in 2009 — one of the greatest Day One Multiplayer offerings of all time.

Afghan. Derail. Estate. Favela. Karachi. Highrise. Invasion. Quarry. Rundown. Rust. Scrapyard. Skidrow. Sub Base. Terminal. Underpass. Wasteland.

As previously revealed, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare® III will launch with meticulously crafted, modernized versions of these 16 Core Modern Warfare 2 (2009) maps, constructed to maintain the authenticity and accuracy of the originals.

Sledgehammer Games’ Art Director Matt Abbott and Design Director Zach Hodson detail what that means in the latest Intel Drop:

As mentioned in the video above, Matt explains that the excitement at faithfully modernizing 16 seminal multiplayer maps was palpable, with the studio’s designers calling dibs on who brought each Modern Warfare 2 (2009) map back to life in Modern Warfare III. And his colleague Zach emphasized the importance of giving players a new way to experience these classic maps.

“We [asked], ‘What was good about the movement of older games? What was good about the gunplay of older games?’ And the same with the newer games,” Zach said. “So we tried to marry those things.”

Or, as Matt puts it simply, “How are we going to make the best versions of those maps that people have ever played? Because that’s what we want as fans.”

Multiplayer Maps: Then and Now

Fourteen years later, Sledgehammer Games and Infinity Ward have a wealth of game engine and design tech advancements at their disposal, such as variable-rate shading, and numerous runtime systems for better enemy visibility, to name a few.

These new, ever-advancing technological tools are vital in faithfully re-creating the Modern Warfare 2 (2009) classic maps just as fans remember them.

“There are places where the metrics of the level are adjusted to fit more modern gameplay,” Zach states, “but for the most part, it’s going to feel incredibly similar. The biggest changes are in a fidelity sense.”

In other words, those who played Favela, Terminal, or Scrapyard in 2009 may expect a wave of nostalgia as they encounter the visual updates, and more experienced veterans may appreciate the modernization updates for gameplay flow purposes.

One example is the vehicles lining the streets in various locations throughout the map pool; these are different models compared to the 2009 versions. As you explore these newly modernized maps, you’ll notice other areas have received touches that both improve gameplay and enhance scenic detail and visibility.

Buildings and other features may be a different color or material entirely, such as the old dirt-and-grass soccer pitch in Favela, which is now paved over with blue acrylic-coated blacktop.

And when it comes to lighting, this revision of the game engine truly shines.

The game’s in-game illumination techniques noticeably brighten Favela’s central alleyways, allowing players to see enemy Operators more clearly, rather than have targets blend into the shadows.

However, the most important changes to the 16 Multiplayer Maps aren’t how they look but how they ultimately play.

Because of technological advancements in Call of Duty’s animation and movement techniques over the past 14 years, Operators can Tactical Sprint and leap between rooftops, mantle, and navigate alleyways with Tac-Stance, giving players more confidence during these frenetic, close-quarters engagements.

Essentially, a “modernized” Modern Warfare 2 (2009) map means an authentic Multiplayer experience with learnings from the Call of Duty franchise’s rich history.

Memorable Map Areas Modernized for Modern Warfare III

Many other updates and features are coming to all the maps, though each still retains its authenticity and core design. To that end, all the Modern Warfare III launch maps were built from the ground up (rather than being taken from existing points of interest in Al Mazrah).

Prior to more Multiplayer map revelations at Call of Duty: Next on October 5, here’s a brief glimpse at some of the memorable areas contained within a few of the other Modern Warfare III launch maps. Sledgehammer Games’ careful and considerate modernization is set to offer the same maps you remember, but with a refreshing multiplayer experience:

Estate

The lake behind the boathouse is now accessible for wetworks. Operators can now maneuver in and under the water and can swim out to a platform overlooking the area. There’s also a greater military presence on the Estate grounds than there was before. While the original lodge offered a luxurious getaway, this one features intel posted on the wall and a tank sitting on the main road outside.

Skidrow

The bookshop is now a movie store, and the ceiling has been repaired; the lights are back on for greater visibility when passing through. Further lighting improvements to areas like the hallway and tunnel ensure that Operators are clearly visible against the environment.

Rust

Remember that open pipe jutting out in a corner that many a camper took roost in? It’s been replaced by a small building, keeping the fight out in the open. Also, be sure to take advantage of Rust’s verticality by climbing the center tower and the surrounding containers with greater agility than ever before.

Highrise

The standard office layout from 2009 has been updated for the new tenant, a company whose arcade machines, movie posters, and video game systems profess their love for entertainment. Though the occupants are different, both buildings retain their most notorious power positions. The crane still provides a killer view from the northern building, while those willing to scale the front of Actibase will be rewarded with an unmatched rooftop position.

20 Maps at Launch, All-New Core Maps Come to Live Seasons

As detailed in the Modern Warfare III Reveal blog, in addition to these 16 authentic modernizations of Modern Warfare 2 (2009) maps, Modern Warfare III Multiplayer will also include four massive environments comprising three brand-new Battle Maps — where Ground War and Invasion game modes will be fought against monumental backdrops. There will also be a gargantuan War map as Modern Warfare III marks the welcome return and evolution of the legendary War Mode.

Expect the flow of free post-launch content including Core 6v6 Maps and additional Multiplayer content to continue after launch. As previously stated, we’ll have over 12 all-new Core 6v6 Maps in our seasons, with three all-new 6v6 maps hitting in Season 01 and three all-new 6v6 maps hitting in Season 02, along with additional maps and modes throughout future seasons.

The Call of Duty community will experience a selection of modernized Modern Warfare 2 (2009) maps for themselves starting on October 5, where representatives from around the world will play Modern Warfare III Multiplayer as part of the Call of Duty®: Next franchise showcase.

You can watch Next live on the Official Call of Duty Twitch® Channel or the Call of Duty YouTube® Channel, with more details on the event to come later in September.

Ready Up: Preorder Now

Lock in your preorders now to receive immediate rewards in Call of Duty: Warzone and Modern Warfare II as well as for Modern Warfare III later in November.

Both physical and digital editions of the game can be preordered on your platform of choice, with all editions detailed in our preorder guide here.

For more details on everything coming to Modern Warfare III, read the full announcement and stay tuned for further intel.

Stay frosty.

© 2023 Activision Publishing, Inc. ACTIVISION, CALL OF DUTY, CALL OF DUTY WARZONE, and MODERN WARFARE are trademarks of Activision Publishing, Inc. All other trademarks and trade names are the property of their respective owners.

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