Over the past few years, Activision’s mammoth selling Call of Duty franchise has effortlessly cemented itself among the cream of the crop of World War II shooters, racking up plaudits its seamless blend of cinematic gameplay and gritty set pieces, sumptuous visuals and comprehensive online functionality. Following the release of Call of Duty 3, though, it became abundantly clear that a change was necessary in order to stimulate both sales and consumer interest in the series, a task which was ultimately appointed to long time franchise collaborator, Infinity Ward. As a result, in 2007, this talented bunch of coders decided to pack up their troubles, swap their kit bags for a pair of night vision goggles and – as the game’s subtitle emphatically proclaims – distance itself from the tired and tested WWII formula. The result? Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.
A roaring success, Modern Warfare offered the shot in the arm that the CoD brand desperately required, combining the series trademark realism, immaculate visual offerings and insanely addictive online play with the contemporary sensibilities of a modern day shooter. As a result, the game enjoyed an unprecedented stay in the public consciousness, remaining a staple on the multiformat videogame charts months after its release, and ultimately went on to secure a re-release under the Game of the Year moniker back in spring 2008. Modern Warfare eventually went on to stack up a whopping 13 million copies sold globally as of May 2009, garnered universal acclaim and scooped up a multitude of awards, including the prestigious Overall Game of the Year at the Academy of Interactive Arts & Science. Essentially, Modern Warfare was good. Very good. And it printed stacks of money to boot.
Fast forward to 2009, and anticipation among eager punters has reached fever pitch as the videogames market gears up for the release of the hotly anticipated Modern Warfare 2, tipped by many to become the biggest selling game of all time. As a result, PSU felt obliged to induct the Modern Warfare brand in to our on-going ‘Evolution of…’ series, offering a visual juxtaposition of MW2 and its predecessor in order to witness how the team at Infinity Ward are shaking things up for the sequel. Here, our objective isn't simply to depict any inevitable graphical advancements in the series (as the screens below were not chosen solely with this in mind) but rather illustrate the disparity between both games from a variety of perspectives including battlefields, weaponry, gear and numerous other elements inherent of the series on offer. Essentialy, this should give us all a clear idea as to how the sequel differs from its predecessor. Those of you who have yet to clap eyes on our previous features in this area may want to have a gander at our previous efforts, where we scrutinize the likes of God of War and Assassin’s Creed under the microscope.
Without further ado, check out the Evolution of Modern Warfare below.
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(Click for full size)
Close quarters combat
First person view
By Mike Harradence and Joseph Lustig