Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
It feels pretty useless to write a review for a game that in the first 24 hours after release alone already sold 5 million copies in the US and the UK. It’s therefore up to me to convince those last two people that Modern Warfare 2 is worth getting. Joe Schmuck, here we go.
Some days before the launch of the game, Activision got heaps of criticism. They brought down the multiplayer from 18vs18 to 9vs9, dedicated servers were dropped, the price got uplifted with a couple of euros and Modern Warfare 2 seemed to only get in the news due to “questionable” scenes which even got the game banned in certain countries. Activision did want to listen to the gamer, and they seem to have offices that are well-isolated with 100 euro bills, but all in all did release a good game.
The start screen is divided into three categories; the new Spec Ops part, Singleplayer and Multiplayer. In Singleplayer you take on various roles, just like in Call of Duty 4. One time you’ll be on American soil as Joseph Allen, while a minute later you’re doing a sniper mission in Rio De Janeiro under the lead of Sanderson. Changing characters has its advantages and disadvantages. It gives the game the necessary variation and a permanent feeling of action and chaos. However, this goes at the expense of an emotional bond with your character and makes it nothing more than one level after the other, without a structured storyline. The singleplayer on “hard” difficulty can be finished in seven hours which is of course way too short, but you can count on seven hours of fireworks. Just like with its predecessor the various types of missions are put together without any problems and you’ll have sniper parts, chaotic shootouts and vehicle levels while travelling from Russia to America with some stops in between like the Brazilian favelas.
The game can’t be any more straightforward but games like Uncharted 2 have already proven that this is the best way towards a film-like and intense experience. In my opinion there are too many on-rails segments and the game is a bit too scripted, but don’t let that ruin the fun. Modern Warfare 2’s singleplayer is identical to that of its predecessor and luckily this is just the appetizer of the three-course-meal in Call of Duty.
For now we’ll skip the main dish and start with the dessert, aka Spec Ops. Alone or with two (including split-screen support, hallelujah) you need to finish some missions with as keyword variation. In total there are 23 different ones, varying from sneaking, knife and sniper missions to defending checkpoints and so on. 69 stars can be earnt here and Spec Ops feels really arcade which I personally liked a lot. The support of only two players was an excellent choice of Infinity Ward.
The main dish, the backbone, the foundations of Modern Warfare 1 and 2 are of course the competitive multiplayer. Two years ago Infinity Ward set a new standard in this area and the collecting of XP for unlocking extras was extremely addictive and Modern Warfare 2 goes deeper into that. New perks, weapons, killstreaks, deathstreaks, challenges, accolades, callsigns make for a new drive in collecting. No longer does every player have the same killstreaks and perks as there’s simply five times as many as before. Some examples are the constant sprinting or the possibility to mount two extras on your weapon. The killstreaks now go up to 25 with as end result a Tactical Nuke which makes you win the game. Just like the perks-offering the weapons arsenal has been vastly expanded. These small changes make for a pretty remarkable change in the way the game is played. Everyone is a bit more drawn back as they’ve got somewhat overpowered killstreaks in the back of their mind.
Just about any weapons category from Call of Duty 4 has been expanded with two or three new weapons where you can also choose from ten extras. Different grenades have been added, just like the incredibly sexy throwing knife and the Riot Shield. Two years ago the multiplayer was extremely good and Infinity Ward manages to continue this line up to the millimeter. No doubt we’ll have to wait until Modern Warfare 3 to see a better multiplayer than this one.
Now that the most important things have been said we can start on the graphics and sound. MW2 uses the same engine as its predecessor but with some small adjustments. Graphically everything looks very nice and detailed and it can be seen as one of the most beautiful multiplatform games up to now. Next to that none other than top composer Hans Zimmer worked on the soundtrack and you notice it. Music not only has a supportive role, it makes for a beautiful whole just like the graphical detail.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 in my opinion doesn’t manage to live up to the impressive hype, but just barely, as it doesn’t amaze like part 1. Of course the game is good, but the flaws in the singleplayer bothered me. The multiplay on the other hand contains more depth, more possibilities for customizing, a lot more killstreaks/deathstreaks, varied maps, and so on. Joe Schmuck, quickly go to the store and get this game!