Activision will let you pay to make your Call of Duty guns sound like 2009

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(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

There are few artifacts of videogame culture that can teleport me to a specific time and place more powerfully than the sound of the MP5 from Modern Warfare 2. For months in 2009, the prickly whine of an MP5 followed (ideally) by the chime of a 3-killstreak UAV meant that I was in my happy place—getting a few matches in after school, probably sipping an energy drink I bought with quarters.

I was the perfect age to become a Call of Duty obsessive and still associate the series with some of my fondest memories of gaming, which is why I'm not surprised that, 14 years later, Activision is bottling up that nostalgia and selling it back to me with Season 3 Reloaded's "Throwback Audio Pack."

"The ultimate taste of nostalgia is coming with Season 03 Reloaded," reads today's blog post outlining everything coming in the May 10 midseason update. The cosmetic bundle will come with two weapon blueprints: the “Good ’Ol Days” Assault Rifle and the “Lachmann Classic” SMG, both of which are fitted with "familiar attachments and retro-fitted audio from that Call of Duty era."

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(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

Weirdly, Activision isn't being upfront about which guns these blueprints apply to, but one of them is obvious by the name: the Lachmann Classic SMG likely refers to Modern Warfare 2 (2023)'s version of the MP5. It makes sense that the first throwback audio pack covers one of the most iconic guns in the series, and as a lifelong MP5 enjoyer I am curious to hear its shrill, pneumatic nailgun-like sound FX recreated in a newer game (I couldn't find a clean showcase video for the classic MP5, so that link actually shows the MP5K).

As for the "Good 'Ol Days" blueprint, all we know is that it's an assault rifle. There are a few good candidates from classic MW2 this could be (the M4 is safe bet), but my best guess is the ACR. The ACR is probably the most iconic gun to originate from MW2—I remember seeing it in every match because it hit hard and had zero recoil, plus it's got that boxy, modular design that FPS games were obsessed with in the early 2010s. Infinity Ward just recently brought back the ACR in Season 3 (called the ISO Hemlock now), so the timing is right.

Rounding out what will probably be a $15-$20 bundle is a classic Soap operator skin and a "Hacked" emblem that may be a cheeky reference to how Modern Warfare 2 players used to "hack" their way into unlocking all emblems and titles.

The Throwback Audio pack isn't Infinity Ward's only nostalgia play going on in Call of Duty. Activision recently sold a "Classic Ghost" bundle that includes an ISO Hemlock blueprint meant to mimic the old ACR look. Season 3 Reloaded is also bringing back Faceoff, the 3v3 mode that first appeared in 2011's Modern Warfare 3. Whereas the original mode only had two small maps to face off on (Rust and Shipment), the 2023 version will feature all current Gunfight maps. Also on the way is a new 6v6 map, the Giant Infection mode, and episode 3 of the co-op raid.

On the Warzone side, battle royale is going ranked. The beta for ranked mode kicks off on May 10 with a scoring structure that YouTuber JGod says is somewhat similar to Apex Legends ranked.

Call of Duty is also getting another celebrity operator skin: NBA legend Kevin Durant this time around. If you fancy wearing the face of a famous basketball player while virtually killing folks, the Durant skin also comes with the "Reap This" assault rifle and "Easy Money" sniper rifle. 

Morgan Park
Staff Writer

Morgan has been writing for PC Gamer since 2018, first as a freelancer and currently as a staff writer. He has also appeared on Polygon, Kotaku, Fanbyte, and PCGamesN. Before freelancing, he spent most of high school and all of college writing at small gaming sites that didn't pay him. He's very happy to have a real job now. Morgan is a beat writer following the latest and greatest shooters and the communities that play them. He also writes general news, reviews, features, the occasional guide, and bad jokes in Slack. Twist his arm, and he'll even write about a boring strategy game. Please don't, though.