Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 - 360 - Review
2007 was a stellar year for videogames, with a plethora of fantastic titles launching in the latter half of the year. One such title that really blew everyone away was Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Created by Infinity Ward, the developers who created the original Call of Duty several years ago, Modern Warfare brought the battle out of its European WWII setting onto a new stage of fictionalized modern conflicts. The game was instantly a classic amongst shooter fans, with an action-packed single-player campaign and a robust suite of multiplayer gameplay.
Now, Infinity Ward has unwrapped its follow-up to that original game, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. The game is easily one of the most hugely-anticipated games of the year, and destined to be a mega-seller. However, how does the game stack up next to its groundbreaking predecessor? The short answer is very well. The game manages to pack in even more intense action (including some very harrowing moments that might be a bit too strong for some), as well as some multiplayer elements that will be on the top of the charts for years to come. Make no mistake: this is the shooter to pick up this year.
Modern Warfare 2’s story has you playing as several different soldiers from different military branches, as with other titles in the franchise. The events in the game take place five years after the events of the first game, and takes you to a variety of different locales, ranging from the streets of favela Rocina in Rio de Janeiro, to the Gulag in Siberia, Russia, and even to Washington D.C. as you work to fight off a new terrorist threat.
The gameplay is pretty similar to other titles in the franchise, so series vets won’t feel out of place. Then again, newcomers shouldn’t feel to out of place either, thanks to intuitive and buttery smooth controls. The game unfolds at a near frantic pace, as just about every level in the game is filled to the breaking point with intense shootouts.
The sequel also ups the ante by providing some truly harrowing moments, in particular the mission titled “No Russian”. There has been a lot made of this mission recently, but I will simply say that if you have a problem with simulated video game violence, then it is in your best interest to skip this stage (an option the developers have provided you with). Without going too much into specifics, you play as a member of a terrorist organization as they shoot up a crowded airport in Russia. The developers used this stage to great effect, as it will illicit the response of shock and horror in you as they would hope for, but if you’re at all squeamish, I’d recommend that you skip this mission entirely.
That’s not to say that the game’s other stages will be a walk in the park. There are quite a few moments and images that will make you feel an emotional response. Without giving too much away, the game is chockfull of this level of intensity, making for quite the roller coaster experience.
If there is a problem with the single-player campaign, it’s one that has always been a shortcoming of the series; length. The game is pretty short, even by shooter game standards, clocking in at between 6 and 8 hours, depending on your skill level. Fortunately, completists will be able to go back and look for intel, which will take them a while.
The game’s multiplayer element has also gotten a once over from its predecessor. The game still features the great experience points and perk system as the original Modern Warfare, as well as a solid set of modes, including Free-for-All, Capture-the-Flag, Search and Destroy, Demolition, Domination, and Team Deathmatch. There are fifteen different rewards for pulling off kill streaks, including Predator missiles and AC-130 gunship support. Additionally, you’ll be able to activate a 3rd-person mode, allowing you to try out a new perspective in certain multiplayer modes.
The biggest new addition to the multiplayer formula over the original Modern Warfare is the Special Ops mode. In this mode you can play through a set of missions cooperatively, each one taken from a specific part of the single-player campaign. You can choose what difficulty level you’d like to play under (Regular, Hardened, Veteran). As you play in Special Ops mode, you can unlock stars depending on the difficulty level that you choose which in turn will unlock new stages.
Graphically, the game looks phenomenal, even improving upon its predecessor. The character models sport a great level of detail and feature great facial animation and movement. The stages are also spot-on, filled to the brim with details and tons of intense action.
The sound is also done extremely well. The voice work is great, featuring Hollywood talent from the likes of Keith David, Kevin McKidd, Barry Pepper, and several others. The radio chatter also sounds great and adds an awesome ambience to the action. The music by Hans Zimmer also adds a great element to the gameplay.
Modern Warfare 2 may not be as groundbreaking as its classic predecessor, but it still provides plenty of action and intense moments for any FPS fan.
Review Scoring Details for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Modern Warfare 2 ups the ante with intense action and some truly harrowing situations. While it feels similar to the original game, that’s not a bad thing at all. The single-player game is a cinematic and engaging experience from start to finish, albeit a short one.
The game’s aesthetic is even better than the original Modern Warfare, with superb character models and animations, and well detailed environments.
The game boasts some fantastic sounds, including huge explosions and sharp gunfire. The voice acting is spot-on, and the music adds a great sense of atmosphere.
Modern Warfare 2 isn’t quite as groundbreaking as the original, and the storyline can be a bit disjointed at times, but it’s still a compelling and cinematic experience.
All the great multiplayer features of the original are back with some great new tweaks, and the new Special Ops mode is a nice touch.
A compelling and intense action game, Modern Warfare 2 is not to be missed.