Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Developer: Infinity Ward
Publisher: Activison, Square Enix (Japan)
Designers: Todd Alderman, Steve Fukuda, Zied Rieke, Mackey McCandlish
Composers: Hans Zimmer, Lorne Balfe
Ratings: BBFC: 18, CERO: D, ESRB: M, OFLC: MA15+, OFLC: R18, PEGI: 18+
Genre: First Person Shooter, Third Person Shooter
Release Date: November 10th, 2009
Platforms: Xbox 360, Playstation 3, PC, Nintendo DS, Blackberry
Modern Warfare 2 is set five years after the conclusion of Call of Duty 4. Despite the efforts of United States Marine Corps and the SAS, the Ultranationalists ultimately seize control of Russia and declare Imran Zakhaev a hero and martyr, erecting a statue of him in the heart of Red Square. Meanwhile, Vladimir Makarov, one of Zakhaev's former lieutenants, begins a campaign against Europe by committing numerous acts of terrorism.
The game begins in Afghanistan, where U.S. Army Ranger Private First Class Joseph Allen assists in the taking of a city from insurgents. Impressed by Allen's combat abilities, Lieutenant General Shepherd recruits him into Task Force 141, an elite, multi-national counter-terrorist unit under Shepherd's command. Meanwhile, two other members of Task Force 141, Captain John "Soap" MacTavish and Sergeant Gary "Roach" Sanderson infiltrate a Russian airbase in the Tian Shan mountains in order to retrieve a downed ACS module. Allen is later sent on an undercover mission in Russia for the CIA under the alias of "Alexei Borodin." Allen joins Makarov in a massacre of civilians at the Zakhaev International Airport in Moscow. It is soon revealed at the conclusion of the attack that Makarov is aware of Allen's true identity and, before leaving, kills him to expose his identity as an American, leading the Russian police to believe that America was responsible for the attack.
Controls & Gameplay
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The controls in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 are very intuitive and smooth. It's very easy to just pick and play and it just feels right. You'll never find yourself fidgeting with controls or feeling uncomfortable while trying to take down baddies. If you don't like the default controls, there are multiple options you can choose from (including Southpaw) and they also give you a Sensitivity option (from 1-10).
The single player is quite an awesome experience and it continues the story from the original Modern Warfare. It has multiple difficulty options to experience and while the Veteran is quite
the challenge, easy mode doesn't mean you can just coast through without paying a little attention to what you're doing. One of the best improvements IW
has made from MW1 to MW2
is addressing the issue of the infinite spawning enemy at different points on a level. The developer demonstrated that the game engine uses a "dynamic AI," which has replaced the infinite respawn system and allows enemies to act more independently. These "smarter" enemies are designed to actively seek out and drive the player forward through a level, and can break away from set behaviors such as following a designated route in order to attack. The AI is rather smart and will take cover and try to flank you any way possible and seem to have pinpoint accuracy with their grenades. Since your partner AI is rather oblivious and doesn't know what to do half the time, you're going to have to pay close attention. Overall, the entire story will take (an experienced player) about 4-5hrs to complete. It has some replay value with collectibles known as "Intel" hidden throughout each mission, 45 in total as well as the different difficulty levels.
Modern Warfare 2 features a cooperative mode entitled Special Ops, which consists of independent missions similar in design to the "Mile High Club" epilogue mission from Call of Duty 4. These missions take place in a variety of locations from the campaign mode, but are not related to story of the campaign itself. Most of the Special Ops missions may be played alone, but all of them support two player cooperative play in which two players can play together locally or online. Such mode includes scenarios such as a snowmobile race between the two players, one player providing air support from an AC-130 with the other player conducting operations on the ground, capturing an enemy compound, and searching areas for and eliminating 40 or more enemies at a time. Special Ops is divided into five separate groups of missions: Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, and Echo. Each mission may be played at three difficulty levels: regular, hardened, or veteran. Successfully completing a mission earns the players stars; there are up to three stars available for each mission: one star for completing the mission on regular difficulty, two for hardened, and three for veteran. Once enough stars are earned, more missions are unlocked. There are a total of 23 missions with their respective 69 stars available for unlock. At the end of each mission, a statistics screen displays how long the player(s) took in order to complete the level and how many kills were scored by each player, amongst other data.
It is a very satisfying experience (especially when playing with a buddy) to run through all of these scenarios multiple times trying to increase your scores. It can also be very challenging, so if you're coming up to those Echo missions, get ready.
The online multiplayer mode of Modern Warfare 2 retains the same experience points and unlockable reward system as that of Call of Duty 4. Aside from new weapons, equipment, and perks that upgrade to "pro versions" after meeting utilization requirements, fifteen different kill streak rewards can be unlocked and selected by the player. Among these is the ability to receive a supply drop after achieving four kills in a row, delivering a Predator missile strike after five kills, and call in an AC-130 gunship to strike from the sky after eleven kills. Players can also gain a tactical nuke if they obtain a 25 kill streak. The nuke will blow up the whole map and achieve victory in a match for the player or team that called in the nuke regardless of whether the team was winning or losing at the time the nuke was called in. There is also "Callsign Titles and Emblems" which are cool little personal images you can display on you "Deathcard". You can unlock different images by completing different challenges. Another new feature is the in-game host migration; if a match host leaves the game, or if the host struggles to support the game, a 'host migration delay' allows a new host to be selected and the game to continue on. There is also the addition of an optional third person mode which can be used in certain game types. The "Prestige" option is also included to add that level of replay-ability and allows up to 10 with every other prestige adding a custom class slot. Just a note that the PC version of this game is basically a console port and you don't get what PC gamers are normally used to (dedicated servers, console commands, mods, etc).
- More options.
- More personal feel with callsign titles and emblems.
- Level design. I feel like they did a lot to make the game less camp friendly.
- Re-playability. There are 10 prestige's you can go through.
- Host selection and matchmaking system. A lot of the time, it seems as if it picks the worst host. During matchmaking, a lot of the time it will split parties apart to balance out teams or just drop some players entirely.
- Glitches. There were far too many glitches (most of which have been fixed). However, due to JTAG consoles, you'll have to deal with more and more cheaters every day.
- The spawning system could use a lot of work. A lot of the time you'll find yourself spawning right into enemy fire.
- Deathstreaks. I don't know who's idea it was to reward people for playing badly, but they can become very annoying, especially Painkiller (which increases health for a period of 10secs).
Graphics & Sound
The graphics look absolutely spot-on with this game utilizing the new IW
4.0 engine that can accommodate larger worlds, enhanced graphic detail, and more efficient rendering. I've put over 8 days of gameplay into this game and have yet to find a fault in the graphical detail. The sound is just as amazing right down to the voice-acting provided in the story. The sound plays an integral part in the MP though as you can hear enemies running (if they don't have Ninja [silent perk]) from quite a distance away and gain a clear advantage over your enemy. Remember to pay attention in detail to sound while playing this multi-player.
Overall, I've really enjoyed this game and I definitely feel I've gotten my $90 worth out of it (considering I bought the Limited Edition
). There are some flaws with the multi-player that should be addressed in patches that IW
doesn't seem to be recognizing but a lot of the glitching going on right now is Microsoft's fault for JTAG consoles because you don't see that on the PS3
. I'd definitely recommend a purchase
on this game because it provides you with a lot of content that you'll enjoy even if the MP faults take a toll on you.