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The campaign pre-order perk for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is pretty good

Activision may have figured out how to get more people to play Call of Duty’s story

A soldier wearing a ghillie suit crouches in a field of grass in a still from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II Image: Infinity Ward/Activision
Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 officially launches on Oct. 28, but players who pre-order the game (digitally, that is) will get early access to the game’s single-player campaign for a week, Activision announced Tuesday. It’s an atypical move for the Call of Duty franchise, which usually dangles access to multiplayer beta tests and cosmetics as pre-order incentives.

Activision says that digital pre-orders for Modern Warfare 2 will grant “up to one week” of early access to the full campaign starting on Oct. 20. (The “up to” description of that availability factors in potential network outages and, presumably, how long it will actually take you to download this year’s Call of Duty, as these games are notoriously beefy in size.) It’s a strong incentive to get players to actually play the story-based side of Call of Duty, not just the competitive multiplayer component. According to achievement-tracking website True Achievements, typically less than a third of players will complete a Call of Duty campaign, but given a full week, that could change with Modern Warfare 2.

Other pre-order perks include open beta early access and the Final Judgement bundle, which includes access to the legendary-tier Deathknell operator skin and Bloodthirsty weapon blueprint for use in Call of Duty: Vanguard and Warzone.

Modern Warfare 2’s single-player campaign picks up where the events of 2019’s Modern Warfare left off. The globetrotting story follows Task Force 141, an elite international team of operatives that includes returning characters Captain John Price, Sergeant Kyle “Gaz” Garrick, Lieutenant Simon “Ghost” Riley, and Sergeant John “Soap” MacTavish, as well as a few new faces, like Colonel Alejandro Vargas and Corporal Phillip Graves.

In Polygon’s first look at the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 campaign, we noted that the sequel will be a bit more over-the-top and less grounded, in an attempt to provide a more “entertaining” blockbuster-style narrative.

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