The game is based on the IW 4.0 engine, which is said to be a generation more advanced than the proprietary engine used by the original Modern Warfare game, accommodating for larger worlds, enhanced graphic detail, more efficient rendering, improved physics and A.I.
When we first played the previous Modern Warfare game back in 2007, we remember being impressed by the player animations and lighting used throughout the levels. Combined with the intelligent A.I, depth of field and dynamic bullet penetration, Call of Duty 4 was truly state of the art. You might recall this was around the same time of the original Crysis release, but unlike that game CoD 4: Modern Warfare played rather well using typical gaming systems.
Since then there's been a marked shift on the way PC developers look at hardware requirements -- let's not forget Call of Duty is also an extremely popular game in the Xbox and PS3 platforms, breaking pre-order records both online and in retail stores.
With that in mind we expect Modern Warfare 2 to be just as hardware friendly as its predecessor despite the numerous engine enhancements. In our graphics card performance evaluation we'll be testing a large range of previous and current generation GPUs, both mainstream and high-end chips from the GeForce 9600GT and Radeon 3000 series, to the recently launched Radeon HD 5000 GPUs, dual GPU cards from Nvidia and ATI, and even a Radeon HD 5770 Crossfire setup to make up for a total of 19 different GPU configurations.
Needless to say, this should give you a perfect picture of how your current or prospective system will perform in Modern Warfare 2.