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Behind the Lines: The Art of MW2

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MW2 Artbook Cover

Behind the Lines: The Art of MW2 is an art book included in the Prestige, Veteran, and Hardened editions of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. The book shows various concept art, such as scrapped levels and the evidence of major storyline changes throughout development.


The artbook was released in the Hardened edition of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 with the game manual and disc. It was also released with the Prestige and Veteran editions along with Night-Vision Goggles/Soap ice climbing statue and the game manual and disc. The artbook shows the reader how Infinity Ward dealt with graphics, texture streaming, and other aspects of the game.



The following content are exact quotes from Behind the Lines: The Art of MW2:
  • Picking up after the events of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Modern Warfare 2 needed a strong and charismatic villain to fill in the void after Zakhaev's death. Makarov is younger and more sophisticated than his predecessor; a razor sharp personality with unbridled ambition and little restraint.
  • For the game's first stealth mission, we had to come up with a look that was both tactical and functional for the precarious climb up the icy cliff. We originally wanted Captain Price as your climbing partner but the story began to flourish when we decided to cast John "Soap" MacTavish instead, the protagonist from Modern Warfare.
  • Sgt. Foley plays a key role as your squad leader in the Rangers campaigns. We fitted him with a non-standard Delta Force-style combat helmet to help him better stand out in the squad. In creating the characters, we drew on previous experience and research, adding as much realistic equipment and gadgets as appropriate.
  • We've always loved the idea of playing as a Navy SEAL. This early concept inspired one of our favorite levels, "The Only Easy Day... Was Yesterday".

Conceptual ArtEdit

The following content are exact quotes from Behind the Lines: The Art of MW2:
  • We were exploring large-scale environments on U.S. soil. We also wanted to raise the number of destructible objects in a scene. A lot of these concepts were used to zero in on what types of props we could use for destruction while also conveying a sense of grandeur for Modern Warfare 2.
  • Glass shattering concept with the Juggernaut character thrown in for added drama. Breakable glass turned out to be one of the coolest things to destroy while playing.
  • The Gulag was one of the most conceptualized parts of the game. It serves as a pivotal moment in the game's story.
  • We wanted to raise the stakes by bringing the battle to the U.S. Washington DC provided lots of emotive environments, including the haunting statues of the Korean War Memorial.
  • Concepts for "Cliffhanger", one of the most challenging levels to create in terms of meeting our stringent visual standards.
  • We are always aiming for the perfect chase sequence. These are a couple of ideas we were experimenting with early on in the project.
  • Concepts painted over in-game screenshots were used to help inspire the design team. The ghettos of Brazil proved to be a vibrant and richly detailed location for new environments.
  • The Favela climb provided an interesting twist on vertical layered combat, We were allowed opportunities for new enemy behaviors such as jumping from rooftop to rooftop and firing from behind closed doors and shutters.
  • Paint overs of war taken to America's suburbs.
  • This is a concept for one of our multiplayer levels. These levels do not always need to follow the game's single player story so the concepts can be varied in their approach and design. The goal is always to create a unique and interesting place for the players to enjoy.


The following content are exact quotes from Behind the Lines: The Art of MW2:
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2's enemies are much more worthier adversaries than ever before. We wanted the player to be fearful of enemy armor. The imposing BTR-80 was a perfect vehicle for attacking the player, deploying enemy troops, and even parachuting onto U.S. soil.


The following content are exact quotes from Behind the Lines: The Art of MW2:
  • Reinventing the way we make weapons was a challenge, but with a few alterations to our pipeline, we managed to dramatically improve the detail of our guns. This also allowed us to implement more customizable attachments and camouflage schemes.
  • Sometimes we know things exist but are so top secret that we have to rely on a little bit of good old fashioned creativity. Though if partly fictional, we still aim to make things feel grounded in reality. The sentry gun is a team favorite followed by the portable UAV control and sticky grenade.

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