Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Review
- Posted November 16th, 2009 at 11:11 EDT by Mike Harradence
- 68 Comments
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Modern Warfare 2 is an essential purchase regardless of your affiliation with the Call of Duty brand. In short, buy this game now. That is an order, soldier.
- The stunning visuals
- The gripping narrative and action-packed campaign
- The utterly brilliant Special Ops and Multiplayer modes
- The fact the main campaign mode is over too quickly
You would be hard pressed to find another franchise more firmly embedded on the public consciousness over the past few years than Call of Duty. Since the series’ emphatic leap from WWII-era first person combat to the more contemporary shenanigans faced in 2007’s Call of Duty 4, developer Infinity Ward has subjected the franchise to a much-needed shot in the arm, with Modern Warfare garnering universal acclaim, mountains of awards and racking up countless hours of play time on PSN and Xbox LIVE. Unsurprisingly, Modern Warfare 2’s unveiling earlier this year was met with prodigious applause among punters and industry folk alike, with launch celebrations falling on London’s swanky Leister Square this past Tuesday. Crammed full of salivating gamers, celebs and legions of blokes dressed in cameo gear, Modern Warfare 2’s premiere not only proved a fine bash in its own right, but, concurrently, offered a fine testament to the sheer impacting nature video games are starting to have on pop culture. Of course, this leads us, inexorably; to ponder the following– does it ultimately live up to the hype?
Opening up half a decade after the events of its predecessor, Modern Warfare 2 once again has players hopping between two distinct factions throughout the game– the U.S. Army Rangers and elite British forces, Task Force 141. Any fears that the constant switching between two forces puts a damper on an extremely compelling narrative can be put to rest immediately; Modern Warfare 2’s plot unfolds in a cohesive, gripping manner not unlike past iterations in the series, and the constant changing of factions actually compliments the proceedings immensely. After all, each time you change roles, you’re itching to find out what’s been going on across the other side of the globe.
Any preconceptions you may have on Modern Warfare 2 are justified in abundance upon your first mission – Infinity Ward has wisely plumped for the ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ philosophy for its mammoth follow up, and we’re frankly chuffed they did. Sure, it’s as heavily scripted as it’s always been, but every explosion, ambush, twist, and turn has been conceived with such meticulous attention to detail, that you won’t give it a seconds thought. Locations remain just as satisfyingly diverse as always. One minute you’re sniping at enemies through a raging snow storm, the next you’re battling against overwhelming odds in the middle of a quaint Virginia suburb, USA, military aircraft flying incongruously over the rooftops and picket fences against a pitch black sky illuminated by the flicker of AA fire. Lengthy shootouts are punctuated by adrenaline-filled set pieces, pitting you on snowmobiles, jeeps and choppers in high-speed antics, while the regular on-foot missions rarely have a chance to descend in to monotony thanks to the brutal AI and varied mission parameters. Indeed, adaptability is paramount to survival, with some missions requiring the application of stealth, others focusing on a search and destroy mentality, methodically dispatching your foes alongside able squad members, while at the other end of the spectrum, you’re defusing bombs and extricating hapless hostages. Controversially, one particular episode has you assuming an undercover identity with a group of nefarious Russian folk embarking on a killing spree at a bustling airport. You, of course, are obliged to join in the massacre in a bid to keep you identity intact.
Still, despite its inherent familiarity, Modern Warfare 2 isn’t entirely devoid of surprises – there’s still a dose of welcome gameplay tweaks you’ll encounter. Among the most noticeable include the ability to scale snowy mountainsides, utilize riot shields for added protection, fresh weaponry, and other tweaks that help flesh out the proceedings and distinguish the game from its predecessor. However, these merely play second fiddle to the meaty Special Ops mode, which remains one of Modern Warfare 2’s most substantial efforts. Here, players tackle bite-sized missions either solo or with a friend (either online or split-screen) set in locations plucked straight from the main campaign – fundamentally, Special Ops is the closet you’re going to get to a full-fledged co-op experience. Fortunately, missions are richly diverse and in no short supply, ranging from sniping, search and destroy, racing snowmobiles, defusing bombs, quick kills and more – make it through alive and you earn yourself a gold star, ... (continued on next page)
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- 6:12am EST - November 16th, 2009
anyway, game is a good one. short Sp but great MP. Not better than U2 but still a good game.
- 6:12am EST - November 16th, 2009
Good Game, better than uncharted 2, MP is fun
- 6:25am EST - November 16th, 2009
I predict no.2 getting flamed immensley. Lets not turn this into flame war. The arguments will consist of calling mw2 generic shooter and u2 not having anywhere same replayibility.
Anyway from my limited experience of mw2 the game is epic, so intense.
- 6:31am EST - November 16th, 2009
Great Game! Theres no doubt about it!
Unbelieveable Campiagn, Multiplayer is fun and spec ops finishes off the experience
Definetly Deserves its rating!!
- 6:33am EST - November 16th, 2009
I'd give it a high 8. Though there are some great set pieces in the single player IW did a poor job of fleshing the story out and explaining the antagonists motives, Also some of these moments could have been done better (like the helicopter crash in DC where it's basically just a spinning camera). I'm not saying it's bad but it lacks the depth necessary to meet the monumental hype. The MP is as good as ever though, and i love the dual wielding. And while the SP campaign is absolutely not what it could have been those set piece moments were awesome.
- 7:13am EST - November 16th, 2009
- 7:15am EST - November 16th, 2009
got it last night. have yet to play it. tonight is the night. i was beginning to buy in to all the hate so i decided i needed to get it so i dont miss a great experience just because of other people on the internet.
- 7:18am EST - November 16th, 2009
Big deal, Uncharted 2 is better, no COD MW2 is better, who cares these devs deserve all the accolades both teams get. Man, there are some serious games being made.
- 7:27am EST - November 16th, 2009
I just beat MW2 yesterday and started over on veteran, man talk about a good game !!!
- 7:29am EST - November 16th, 2009
Great game,not better than Uncharted 2 in gameplay,story or graphics,and most definitely not better than COD 4!but still a great game,deserves the rating.
- 8:08am EST - November 16th, 2009
The game is very well produced and it is good to see them not just toss in the same type of level every time. However, the campaign always has me feeling like I am following a strict script and that has not changed AT ALL from COD4, and therefor I get pulled out of the story most of the time. Where this game shines is in the two multiplayer modes... provided no one is cheating. I give it an 8.0 for production, multiplayer, but losing points for the lacking singleplayer campaign.
- 8:09am EST - November 16th, 2009
Even though SP was short it was awesome, good story and characters etc.
5 hours of awesome > 12 hours of bored
- 8:16am EST - November 16th, 2009
Just got done with the campaign, it's a good game for a multiplat. Didn't really like how the screen would turn all red and your aiming being thrown off when shot. It made it really had to take care of the enemy that shot you and hard to find out where you got shot because of all the redness. Overall quality of the game decent for a multiplat, but felt like they rushed this more compared to the first one.
- 8:27am EST - November 16th, 2009
"The fact the main campaign mode is over too quickly" = enough for me to wait for bargain bin. :)
- 8:40am EST - November 16th, 2009
- 9:42am EST - November 16th, 2009
The campaign is ok, short but pretty deacent. The mp is where the money is. So if u play mp games this is a must buy. If youre interested in the single player rent it.
- 9:56am EST - November 16th, 2009
Yup this is awesome game!
lordAlucard | sympozium_666
- 10:21am EST - November 16th, 2009
Automatic 7 Call of Duty is just overated, if anyone wanted to play a real modern warfare then Bad Company is just about right!!
- 10:31am EST - November 16th, 2009
I still have yet to buy another COD game as the last one i bought was COD3 for my XB360, I prefer the PS3 Battlefield series as it has more freedom like open sandbox style of play, 1943 Pacific is great and i'm looking forward to BC2, COD feels too linar to me but it does have good graphics, i played the COD WAW demo and it felt too repetitive with soldiers constantly respawning, in Battlefield when you kill the enemy they stay dead.
- 10:38am EST - November 16th, 2009
It almost seems like it should be illegal for the words "Modern Warfare" to appear anywhere in connection with this game, much less the title. This game is an 8.5 at best. Less than five hours to complete the story... pathetic. They might as well go for full on target lock with the DS3's L1 button. I played the first few levels at a friend's house and I'm so glad I didn't buy this piece of good looking mediocrity. For my money, the only worthwhile thing here is the co-op. If MW2 was a PS3 exclusive, there would be thousands of articles online by now complaining about the short story, lack of innovation, and mindless online play. I'll pass and play Borderlands, an FPS with some creativity, and Demon's Souls, an action RPG with old school challenge and innovative online component. F*** IW and Activision.
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