Swimming in Call of Duty dates all the way back to World at War in 2008. 14 years later, after several iterations, Modern Warfare 2 will “redefine water” and before long it will be in Warzone as well.
During an early access preview event, attended by Charlie Intel, Game Director Jack O’Hara admitted the previous implementation of water was “not the best we could’ve done, so we sat down to talk about how to use it in this project.”
CoD Black Ops: 3 first introduced swimming during a Multiplayer match. Black Ops 4 and Cold War also included the feature in a light capacity, but O’Hara emphasized that Modern Warfare 2 aims to “use water in combat spaces in a meaningful way” – and the changes will impact numerous modes, including battle royale.
Water and swimming will be key features in Modern Warfare 2 Singleplayer, Multiplayer, and will eventually impact Warzone with integration.
Swimming returns in Modern Warfare 2, coming to Warzone
This will be the first time we see swimming in a CoD battle royale since Blackout during Black Ops 4.
O’Hara said that it was “hard to make a Warzone map where you jump into the water and die all the time,” explaining the thinking behind the decision.
Infinity Ward wanted to focus on visual fidelity when developing Modern Warfare 2’s seas and rivers. Everything underwater will reflect on the surface above, waves have distortion based on a server-side system, and swimming, caustics, refraction, light, and collision are all client-side for a realistic swimming experience.
There are shipwrecks, rivers with currents, clean and dirty water, and rapids, all in an effort to make the world seem alive.
Only Pistols, throwing knives, and mele can be used underwater. You can aim down sights and switch back to a primary weapon on the surface but not underwater. Equipment such as the land mine will float on the water with the waves and can destroy boats.
A diving mechanic allows players to escape engagements and there are other traversal maneuvers in the water.
Boats react to the waves and water does not clip through the bottom of the boat. O’Hara said “in service to make vehicles shine and have everything look really natural and feel really natural.
O’Hara set the bar high for Modern Warfare 2 stating, that we “wanted it to look amazing, and the best water you have seen in Call of Duty.”
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