Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Reader Review
To say there has been much fervor surrounding the release of this anticipated war themed sequel would do the immense hype a bit of a disservice. This game has been sought as the second coming of Gandhi (if Gandhi were armed to the hilt like Dutch from Predator) to many gamers. The overwhelming critical and commercial success of the Call of Duty franchise has been nothing short of a phenomenon. To take things to the next level, Infinity Award has unashamedly tapped into the culture of its majority fanbase; Eminem and 50 Cent's shouty pseudo angst-fuelled ballad surrounding the ubiquitous trailer yells at impressionable teenagers/young adults to buy the game event of the year. There has been courting of much valuable controversy with Internet viral videos such as the Fight Against Grenade Spam (F.A.G.S). There are titles you can announce yourself to the world online with such as "Joint Ops" where this is literally worded in the foreground to cannabis; Modern Warfare 2 ticks all the boxes for a rebellious teenage boys' wet dream. Not so immediately apparent but far more pertinent is the fact that as a gaming package, you cannot go wrong with IW's showstopper.
The campaign, and as a tale it really muddles in its morals and if a certain now infamous airport mission has any say in the matter, the game has no morals at all - but would it all make sense any other way? "Yeah! I'm cutting history class now!", "Roger that!". MW2 never claims to be Shakespeare and you get the feeling you're in strictly Team America: World Police territory, it's a game never intended to be taken literally, at least this reviewer solemnly hopes not.
In the mechanics it feels somewhat dated in light of recent FPS development, enemies still feel like cardboard cut outs at a shooting range (tap L1 and you can switch between targets instantaneously) just like with the predecessor, still AI deficient and adverse to flanking maneuvers or anything that gives them a sense of self-preservation - more obstacles impeding your progress than arch-enemies.
Everything is perhaps a little too scripted, almost as if you're on a stage and you can see the audience laughing and jeering along with you - but if you're going to put the game experience on strings you may as well give the player something to talk about, and Infinity Award has delivered a fantastic, pacy, well-structured turn of events that never falls short of the ridiculous and even the perverse. You have to be there.
We have spec-ops; co-operative and 2 player split screen (Online co-op and solo are there if you simply must, too) for players yearning for the intimacy and camaraderie of the co-op shooters of the last generation before the Internet saw to it that development teams decided, that obviously, we all have had enough of having half a TV screen to contend with, lower framerates and reduced texture definition (but a more sociable and rowdy experience overall). Blast your way though various enclosed arenas with unique objectives centred and sublimely designed around co-op play. Even purchasing this game exclusively with spec-ops in mind - with a like-minded buddy in tow, you're unlikely to be disappointed.
Now for the main event, the online multiplayer heavyweight champ of the console world - is looking stronger, sprightlier and slicker than ever. The dripfeed of unlockables (whether you win or lose), even more intoxicating than before, adding an even greater just-one-more-go factor to the visceral fast paced firefights that swarms you with noise and confusion, exploding on a generous array of maps venued for a bombed out city rumble, there's brawlin' to be had in claustrophobic bunkers, and flurrys of high caliber danger in open-plan grassy meadows.
There are more leverages awarded for kill streaks (completely customisable), all brilliant and dynamic to the playing field - a particular highlight running amok with the gun of a helicopter gunship to reign terror amongst players running for dear life on the ground. Although the online experience is enough to sate most far into the new year, the more discerning gamer may come to dawning realisation that underneath the flash, all the toys at your disposal, and although it is masked very well, the core gunplay itself is very much in the realm of twitch based reactions and making yourself as innocuous as possible. Apart from photographically memorizing the layout and every facet of the locales, there is little scope for skill and improving said skill - with the only fundamental differences separating the higher and lower level players being reaction times and time invested in the game (the default loadout of weapons you have at level one are every bit as capable as the unlockables in their own way), depriving the game of the kind of enduring longevity the Battlefield series and Counter Strike have so fruitfully enjoyed.
There's are real penchant for eye candy and spectacle wherever you stumble across in every mode of play - everything is so bold and forthright. Once you've registered the visual information of one scene the game throws something even more astonishing at you to drink in. While not zealously detailed, this does allow for a superlative 60 frames per second, the fluidity really bringing the set-pieces to spectacular life.
There's a little something for everyone if you look hard enough, with (almost) limitless entertainment to be had, that like it or not, really makes it small wonder that COD has enjoyed such grandiose return. This game is indubitably more than the sum of its parts; silly and a little bit dense, but this game just so happens to have the formidable ability to blow your mind - funny, that.