Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 may be a massive hit due to its multiplayer and a popular campaign release, but its Spec Ops mode seems to be an afterthought in the eyes of many players. While to two-player nature of the mode guarantees that it will always be niche, and some gamers play Call of Duty purely for its multiplayer, the Spec Ops mode does have some strengths. In particular, its first Defender mission is a blast.
Defender is the closest thing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 has to a traditional Survival mode, and is basically a combination between that style of gameplay and the Sniper Fi mission from the original MW2’s Spec Ops. Though it lacks the unique gimmicks of other Spec Ops missions, and its difficulty could use some tweaking in future iterations, the first Defender experience is enjoyable.
How Defender Works in Modern Warfare 2
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 players loading up a Defender mission will find themselves surrounded by AI allies. Though these allies will not be intimidating by any means, they do keep the various enemies busy, and more reinforcements can be purchased from a shop. This shop includes armor and various killstreaks, allowing players to gear up between waves like Survival.
However, unlike the Survival mode from Modern Warfare 2019 and older games, players have to defend specific areas around the map. If these three marked zofnes are left alone for too long, enemies will plant bombs, which players will have to defuse quickly if they do not want to fail. Managing three sites with two players and some AI is a fun concept, especially when daily challenges come into play that ask players to stop any bombs from being planted. Unfortunately, Defender’s debut level is a cakewalk.
How Future Defender Missions Can Stand Out
Though other Spec Ops missions like High Ground and Denied Area are challenging because they demand coordination and mastery of unique mechanics, Defender missions are a breeze. Players do not need to drive or sneak through areas that are already full of enemy groups, as they can instead camp the spawn points and destroy helicopters or trucks before the enemies even exit them. Likewise, enemies like suicide bombers are not nearly as common as they should be.
With the next Defender mission, Infinity Ward needs to up the difficulty a bit. Though it should be careful not to make the mission so hard that it is unfun, it is not nearly as challenging as Spec Ops’ other offerings. Upping the spawn rate for unique enemies like the Juggernauts and the foes strapped with bomb vests could make a difference, and the armored enemies that are featured heavily in DMZ could also be worth adding more of. Additionally, upping the number of enemies in each wave could be beneficial, as the waves are currently so short that resupplying in between them is usually unnecessary.
Future Defender missions should also include only the most unique locations from Al Mazrah. While Mt. Zaya and its Observatory is a good starting point, some other fun options exist, such as the crashed boat in Sawah Village, the Caves, and the Quarry. Highrise, which is found in Al Mazrah City, would be another stellar choice, as each of its two buildings and the open area in the center could have a defense point. With the core concept of Defender missions working well, some difficulty tweaks and fun new locations are all that are needed for it to shine.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is available now on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.
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