Modern Warfare 2's hardcore mode finally returns next month, but fans are upset it took this long

Call of Duty MW2 reveal
(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)
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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2's hyper-intense hardcore mode is set to stage a return in the game's upcoming season 2 update, scheduled for February 15. In a tweet posted yesterday, Infinity Ward confirmed the return of the much-missed mode in a sparse tweet, announcing "No HUD? No problem. Hardcore is back!" before encouraging players to keep an eye on the studio's blog (opens in new tab) for more season 2 details in the future.

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Hardcore mode is exactly what it sounds like: A variant of Modern Warfare's multiplayer that cuts out all that namby-pamby nonsense like 'a HUD' and makes bullets act like bullets—killing your enemies and friends stone-dead with only a shot or two. It's certainly not for everyone, but it's irreplaceable for players who like to live an inch from death at all times. It's been a staple of the series for some time now, but it wasn't included when MW2 released last October.

Modern Warfare 2 players have lamented that fact ever since, and the game's Tier 1 mode—which was intended as a kind of substitute for hardcore—hasn't satisfied many of them either (opens in new tab). The mode's continued absence has only exacerbated a feeling among some members of the community that Infinity Ward has been neglecting MW2 in favour of Warzone 2 (opens in new tab), Call of Duty's chaotic and popular battle royale mode.

No wonder, then, that even the community's largely-positive response to this news has an acerbic edge to it. For many, this is a mode that should have been in the game from the start, rather than something that came after a long litany of fan complaints. One Reddit user, FlowKom (opens in new tab), summed up the general tenor of the community's response with their comment: "ATTENTION: base feature from EVERY previous game finally back after 3 months!!!!!" while another user joked (opens in new tab) that the season 2 update just reverted the game back to the standard set by 2019's Modern Warfare and Warzone 1.

That's not to say fan reaction has been negative—even the most scathing comments are generally glad that hardcore is back—but rather that for many this is too little, too late. It'll take a lot more work on Infinity Ward's part to convince its loudest fans that it still cares about Modern Warfare 2. 

Joshua Wolens
News Writer

One of Josh's first memories is of playing Quake 2 on the family computer when he was much too young to be doing that, and he's been irreparably game-brained ever since. His writing has been featured in Vice, Fanbyte, and the Financial Times. He'll play pretty much anything, and has written far too much on everything from visual novels to Assassin's Creed. His most profound loves are for CRPGs, immersive sims, and any game whose ambition outstrips its budget. He thinks you're all far too mean about Deus Ex: Invisible War.