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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- 10:59am EST - November 16th, 2009
comment 14 - the multiplayer in the last Modern Warfare was the part that was amazing to me, i spent countless hours online with that game.
I fully intend to pick up this game, blow through the single player, and then get online for most of the winter :)
- 11:00am EST - November 16th, 2009
well deserved score this game OWNS
- 11:28am EST - November 16th, 2009
This game does not deserve a high score, first of all the visuals are terrible, nowhere does it look any improved compared to previous titles, the whole game is just reskinned. And online is laggy as heck, even when you find a decent game its full of no skill campers, the whole game is such a wreck, i enjoyed cod4 a lot more because it was something fresh, playing this felt no more than a playing field lower than its predecessor.....
- 11:37am EST - November 16th, 2009
The game is good , but i expected something better, thats why i would give this game 9- , and if u ask me U2 is better
- 11:44am EST - November 16th, 2009
I loved this game, honestly it may be my GoTY!
- 12:28pm EST - November 16th, 2009
I would have given it a 8.5, can't bought it but it didn't really impress me that much......... Uncharted on the other hand, was simple amazing. It is the best game I played in a while.
- 12:30pm EST - November 16th, 2009
GAME SUCKS deserves a 8 or 7 game is the same CR@P has MW1 bought it on November 10 sold it on November 15 for 50 dollars i hate the game
but im gald some ppl like it
UC2,R2,KZ2,BC,and UT3 FTW!
- 12:33pm EST - November 16th, 2009
best game evar
- 1:30pm EST - November 16th, 2009
so MW2 > GTA and Halo? wow.
- 1:41pm EST - November 16th, 2009
Story could of been more elaborate, I hardly know anything about the antagonist, but I guess that's just to make him look more mysterious.
The campaign was great though, I admit I enjoyed it a lot more then any shooter I've played despite its 5 to 6 hours longevity. Multi though was a let down. A downgrade from COD4, maps were bleh and it also played the same. Spec Ops is fun though. If it wasn't for that, the game wouldn't be worth getting for the current price it has.
- 1:41pm EST - November 16th, 2009
Greatest FSP ever.
- 1:55pm EST - November 16th, 2009
^^^^first shooter person? The SP is good, Spec Ops is very good and the MP is great, U2 was better but I'll be playing this alot more. I'd give it a 9/10
- 2:23pm EST - November 16th, 2009
IF MW 2 is PS3 exclusive it wil get 8.5 at best. this game is overrated and people just got crazy with the name call of duty.
WHAT SHOULD WE NAME THIS FPS GAME.
CALL OF DUTY OR CALL OF DIRTY
- 2:45pm EST - November 16th, 2009
I dislike the fact that my PS3 broke while I was playing it :(
- 3:59pm EST - November 16th, 2009
An awesome game, there is occasional lag, but it's because of terrible hosts. The single player is better than I expected, and the multiplayer is extremely fun and addictive (better than CoD4 for sure because I didn't play it much online).
- 4:18pm EST - November 16th, 2009
I did not like this game. The single player is filled with pro terror-war propaganda, rascism toward Middle East and Russian Culture and incitation to regard genocide as something "fun".
The multiplayer is just more of the same, a few god maps but much are so small. Everyone just try to go around the map to attack from behind and it throws all strategy in the garbage; specially when your always killed by someone that has respawned behind you.
The Kill Streak are unbalanced. The game modes are uninspiring. Too few maps.
Some good stuff but overall far from what I expected.
- 4:31pm EST - November 16th, 2009
I don't know why you guys are rating it so low. MW2 is absolutely stellar.
- 4:44pm EST - November 16th, 2009
its ok but i like haze better
- 5:06pm EST - November 16th, 2009
I love this game! The single player story isn't explained as well as it should be and it is too short but it is still pretty good. Also, the multiplayer in the game is the absolute best hands down.
I still like Uncharted 2 better though. The story in that game is just amazing!!!
- 5:07pm EST - November 16th, 2009
this game deserves an 8.5/10 and Uncharted 2 an 11/10
MW2 + 5 hours of really good but
Uncharted 2 = 10 hours of PURE AWESOMENESS and GREATNESS
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