A free weekend to coincide with the first major Season 1 update.
Infographic saying there is a free weekend for Modern Warfare 2 multiplayer with text indicating three maps and four game modes to try

Activision announces a free weekend for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2's multiplayer component. This free weekend will begin on Thursday, December 15 and will run through until December 19. This weekend provides everyone with access to the game's competitive multiplayer, but with some limitations.

It seems like the free weekend only offers access to just three of the game's multiplayer maps and four game modes. The maps are Shipment, Farm18, and El Asilo. The modes include Team Deathmatch, Kill Confirmed, Domination, and Hardpoint. All modes can be played in first-person or third-person. I am honestly surprised they aren't offering up a look at the Ground War game mode. Ground War being the larger, Battlefield-esque game mode that features infantry and vehicular combat. I can only assume that this would have ballooned the install size for the free weekend.

This free weekend announcement for Modern Warfare 2 comes right alongside the launch of the Season 01 Reloaded update. This massive update adds in a Rocket League-esque limited-time mode, added in a new weapon (Chimera), a new competitive multiplayer map (Shipment), and includes all sorts of tweaks, fixes, balance adjustments, and more to the already existing content. This update includes changes for every single major game mode in Modern Warfare 2. The update notes are very lengthy.

Screenshot showing two special military operators holding automatic weapons

Perhaps the biggest addition in Season 01 Reloaded is the introduction of Modern Warfare 2's first cooperative raid. The raid, Atomgrad, will task three players with aiding Price, Farah, and Gaz "uncover the secrets held within a highly fortified enemy facility." This raid event continues the story of Modern Warfare 2's main campaign and should probably not be played until you have finished the story. Completion of the raid will unlock a new Operator to use along with a harder difficulty. Hidden Intel in the raid will also unlock additional cosmetic item rewards.

In a truly annoying twist, there is a restriction on how you can access the raid in the first place.

Accessing a Raid requires a Raid Assignment, which can be earned through the following method(s):
  • Complete a specific Daily Challenge either in Multiplayer or Special Ops.
  • Place within the top 20 in any Warzone 2.0 Battle Royale Playlist.
  • In DMZ, use the final extract helicopter with at least $30,000 in Cash.‚Äč
If you accomplish any of these, you and your squadmates will get access to the Atomgrad raid for a total of one week. After which you will probably have to complete another assignment to re-gain access. I get the why they're doing this (to force players to try other modes) but it is still incredibly annoying to restrict access to content this way.

If you don't care about the new raid, there is one more bonus for you: A Double XP and Double Weapon XP event happening throughout this weekend. Like the free weekend period, this double XP event will start on December 15 at 10AM (PT) and end on December 19 at 10AM (PT). PlayStation owners can enjoy the double XP bonuses right now.