Review: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
By already becoming the best selling launch title of all time, breaking every record for let alone a video game release, but any form of entertainment, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 has left a profound impact on the video game industry. As the highest and best selling franchise in video game history, Modern Warfare 2 marks the sixth installment in the lineage of the best FPS and online multiplayer games our beloved video game industry has to offer. While it’s obvious that Modern Warfare 2 has probably been the most highly anticipated game of the season, it has truly lived up to most of its’ expectations. There were however a few slight downfalls in its production, but its nothing to stop us gamers for becoming quick addicts to this new hot game release.
We of course had to purchase the Prestige Edition of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, complete with lots of cool extras, most notably the limited edition Night Vision goggles. We must say these were pretty cool looking goggles, which took us about 20 minutes to pear out of its box. While they can only see up to 50 feet, they are definitely a cool little memento for the Call of Duty series. Also included in the Prestige Edition is a hard cover metal case, with a limited edition art book and of course the game itself.
Upon inserting the game, the first thing we were asked to do was fine tune the picture on our screen. We’ve never seen this on any other video game before; We are sure that this was part of Infinity Ward’s plan to make sure the Call of Duty experience was as perfect as possible on everyone’s television screen. Besides adjusting the brightness, you are also asked to set the height and width of the screen to make sure to maximize your gameplay experience.
As with all Call of Duty games, basic training promptly stars to get you used to the controls and any changes in the game. You are first instructed to show the new army cadets how to fire your gun, and how to use grenades – pretty simple if you have played any other games in the series. Once completed, you are asked to run across the base camp you are located in, disturbing your fellow soldiers in a basketball game, as you then end up at the training course. The course is decently fun, and worth a couple tries as you may need to unlock the Hardened difficulty if that’s your cup of tea. For beginners of this came, we strongly recommend the normal game mode as the Hardened difficulty is much more challenging. Once you get up to Veteran mode, you best know the game in and out. This is probably as realistic as any shooter game gets – one shot one kill.
During initial setup, you are also asked if you want to skip several missions that be disturbing to some viewers. Maybe the developers were trying to stir up some controversy here, as some of these optional missions will truly be disturbing to any lighthearted individuals. The game clearly states that there are no achievements and trophies for these missions, so feel free to skip them if you are the anti-violence type. The first of these missions includes you joining the villains, in an attempt to swell into their organization for some information as you gain their trust. The initial missions opens you up in a mall setting, in which you are instructed to slay down slews of innocent civilians. By acting as a terrorist, you may feel uncomfortable at first, but please remember this is only a video game. In any case you will be open for a big surprise at the end of this chapter that we don’t want to spoil.
Graphically and visually, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is nothing but superb. The gameplay gunfights, sceneries and mission strategies are probably the best we’ve seen on any realistic FPS to date. It’s easy to tell that Infinity Ward and Activision aimed to take the best elements of all the Call of Duty series to collaborate into the best game of the franchise. While we loved the older Call of Duty series that took us back to the lines of battle in the past wars of our world, we find the Modern Warfare series much more appealing for several reasons, mainly due to the lack of limitations. While the other games in the series sought to emulate past wars, weaponry and mission gameplay, the Modern Warfare series has looked towards the future of combat. With tons of weapons to chose from, a plethora of combat missions, special modes, and the use of advanced technology, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 truly puts you on the front line of Modern Warfare.
The storyline and game setting is probably the weakest point of this game. If you are truly a die-hard fan of the Call of Duty series, you will probably easily enjoy the games storyline. For those not accustomed to Call of Duty’s gameplay and stories, you may find yourself completely lost. The campaigns and missions seem to jump around a little bit, and a lot is left unexplained. Between each mission, you will find yourself jumping around from one European nation to another, with short stints of radio sessions from your commanders. Even more so, we also felt that the campaign mode was relatively on the short side. Each mission will only take about 20-30 minutes to complete, while the entire campaign mode will only last around 5 hours or so. While this is decently sufficient, we would have loved to see the campaign reach 10 hours of gameplay.
The missions themselves are filled with lots of surprises and fun gameplay. The storyline will definitely take some twists and turns as you run through the missions. You may find yourself running from house to house avoiding sniper fire, and in the next mission be snowmobiling down a terraneous mountain while trying to shoot down cohorts on your treacherous ride. Of course you will also experience those ever-fun assault missions as well as those stealthy sniper missions. The array of combat and vehicular gameplay in this new installment of Call of Duty makes for some incredible fun and realism into the face of battle.
Besides the campaign modes, Modern Warfare 2 offers several fun new extras that add incredible replay value to the game. Special Ops mode is comprised of 5 different sets of short missions, each with different death-defying objectives. Comprised of Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta and Echo, each set of missions includes 5 missions for a total of 25 Special Ops missions. You must achieve stars on each mission to unlock the next set of missions. Completing them on Hardened and Veteran difficulty will earn you more stars to help you expedite the unlocking process, although in reality it make actually take you longer due to the difficulty. The Special Ops missions are especially fun with a partner, so be sure to grab a relative or friend to experience the fun together.
Lastly, the final and probably most notable element of the game is the Online Multiplayer mode. This is where Modern Warfare’s replay value goes through the roof, as it has quickly become the most popular and most played online FPS there is. As popular as Halo was back in the day, as aforementioned, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 offers the realism that is unrivaled in many other FPS games. With probably the most enormous gun and weapon selection we’ve seen on any game, and with a strong collection of stages and modes to battle it out on, Modern Warfare 2 takes it to the next level with online play. As with all other online games, a strong ranking system is involved which helps match you up to players of similar skill and abilities. As stated in our previous post a few weeks ago, there was a debacle over the use of Infinity Ward’s servers as players themselves are unable to host their own LAN parties over the net. While this has been downplayed somewhat, the new system seems to be working just fine for the moment. Regardless, gamers and Call of Duty addicts alike will continue playing to achieve higher rankings to boast their talents and skills. You can unlock a cool array of abilities, guns, skins and skills as you increase your rank from game to game. Even if you die a lot, you will gain some experience which will allow you to advance the ranks ever-slowly. For example, once you accomplish 200 headshots (which is sure to take a while), you will receive a cool skin to attach to your gun. This should surely intimidate any ‘Call of Dutier’ who is in your way.
In conclusion this game is nothing but superb. Although the campaign may have some slight downfalls in it’s production, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is well worth the purchase. While the campaign mode will provide tons of fun and action, the replay value remains really high with the addition of the Special Ops mode and the extraordinary online play. While the Xbox360 and Playstation3 versions are excellent, you will definitely notice better graphics on a PC if you have a high-end graphics card that supports any absurd resolutions and anti-aliasing. Although the Xbox360 and Playstation3 both offer 1080p output, PC’s still have the edge here in regards to the visuals. We observed the difference closely, and while it definitely wont ‘Wow’ you, there is a noticeable difference. Many true hardcore PC games also prefer mouse/keyboard combo over the console controllers. While the efficiency of the console controllers have improved dramatically over the years, many still feel that aiming with the mouse/keyboard offer for a much better experience. Of course whichever console or computer you are using to play on, all others have the same advantage/disadvantage playing with you, as there is no cross platform for the multiplayer sessions.