The second season for 'Call of Duty: Modern Warfare' pushed live on Tuesday afternoon, reintroducing one of the franchise's all-time favourite soldiers as a playable character.
Simon "Ghost" Riley is back and will be available to anyone who purchases the Season 2 pass for 1 000 Call of Duty Points. Also reintroduced in the game's latest content update will be fan-favourite, tight quarters multiplayer map Rust, along with Zharkov Boneyard, which will be playable in the game's Ground War mode.
Two new weapons - the GRAU 5.56 assault rifle and Striker 45 sub machine gun - will also be unlockable through gameplay. A "classified" weapon has also been teased for later in the season, along with two other new operators, named Talon and Mace (who also looks suspiciously like Ghost.
White face paint on black masks is all the rage this season, apparently). Other new multiplayer maps (Atlas Superstore) and Bazaar (specific to the game's gunfight mode) are already playable, with another map (Khandor Hideout) advertised to be available later in the season.
Season 2 will also introduce multiplayer playlists specific to the game's esports circuit, the Call of Duty League, which began play at the end of January. Gunfight tournaments - play tested as a limited time mode during Season 1 - will make a return in Season 2. Infinity Ward also advertised its popular Infected mode would be coming to the 50-on-50 Ground War mode later in the season.
Ghost will be unlocked immediately with the purchase of the Season 2 battle pass. The Talon and Mace characters will be available for purchase via the in-game store.
As in Season 1, the new weapons will be unlockable at tiers 15 (GAU 5.56) and 31 (Striker 45).
Other items obtainable in the battlepass include new weapon blueprints (such as a slick gold-plated MK2 skin), added operator skins (including some streetwear threads), and XP bonuses. The battlepass will also again include the opportunity for players to earn up to 1 300 Call of Duty points by completing all tiers.
This is the second installment of Modern Warfare's battlepass mechanism, a Fortnite-like rewards mechanism that parcels out new content for players as they amass playing time and experience points in the game. The first battlepass included another new character, Mara, while a second, Nikto, was available in the in-game story as part of a $24 (about R350) bundle.
The first battlepass was widely seen by the Call of Duty community as a good deal. Completing all 100 tiers gave players 12 new character skins, two new weapons, 21 new crafting blueprints/skins and the equivalent of $13 in in-game currency.
That was in addition to a collection of emblems, stickers and weapon charms that have traditionally been greeted with far less enthusiasm from players. Even those who did not purchase the battle pass could still obtain the two new weapons (the RAM-7 assault rifle and Holger-26 light machine gun) by leveling up far enough on the tiers.
Previous 'Call of Duty' games had come under fire for incorporating a player reward system that relied on randomly assigned loot boxes, which required players to spend significant amounts of money to assure themselves of a desired character skin or weapon, some of which were among the most powerful in the game.
The latter issue led some to criticize game publisher Activision for using a pay-to-win dynamic, one of the more frowned upon practices by game developers and something that has led to lawsuits and potential legislation in both Europe and the United States.
The content comes at a non-monetary cost, too. Some players are reporting the update comes in around 70 GBs, depending on the platform.