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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Review

Modern-Warfare-2   Warning: This review may contain some minor campaign plot spoilers

   It seems in the last several months one could not pick up a gaming magazine, surf their favorite websites, or even watch TV without hearing about Modern Warfare 2. The hype surrounding the game had been built to insane levels. It even broke Halo 3’s preorder record

    One could worry with all of the hype surrounding the title that maybe it would not live up to it. I’m here to tell you, fans of the series will not be disappointed. MW2 is the best first person shooter to come out in this generation of consoles, and a strong contender for game of the year.

    MW2 picks up where the original left off and improves upon almost everything. The game is split into three distinctive modes; Campaign, Multiplayer, and the brand new Spec Ops mode. Odds are you will be spending quite a bit of time with all three.

   Let’s start with the campaign mode. MW2 picks up five years after the original left off. It appears that once again not all is right between Russia and USA. You’ll be taken all over the world in this campaign. From the Ice mountains of Kazakhstan, to the deserts of Afghanistan, the busting streets of Rio De Janeiro, and even to Washington D.C. and the suburbs of Virginia.

   Each locale is meticulously crafted and looks amazing. Both the visuals and sound appear to have received substansial upgrades. The environments are highly destructable. Blow something up and expect to hear a loud emphatic boom followed by shrapnel from whatever you blew up flying all over the place. Squad mates are also much more vocal this time around. When one yells out five tango’s headed toward Burger Town, you can look up and expect to see five people headed near a restaurant. Need help finding an item or a location, and you will be sure to hear it, that or you’ll be treated to a very forgiving marker system which can always be easily seen on screen.

   The action as in the last Modern Warfare is often intense. Explosions and shots are constantly going off around you. Several times you’ll find yourself in a high speed chase, whether it be on foot or in a vehicle. MW 2 is the equivalent of playing a summer movie, right down to the wonderful score composed by Hans Zimmer.

   That comparison having been made MW 2 shares some the worse qualities of summer flicks as well. The story is, at times, very hard to follow. You get most of what’s going on through pre and post mission cut scenes as well as lines of dialogue delivered during battle. If you take the time you can figure out what’s going on, but you do have to pay very close attention to every detail. Also the campaign seems a little too short. It took me about 6 hours on regular difficulty, I’m sure the harder ones with artificially add some more time onto them.

   That having been said if you can invest yourself into the characters and the story this game will move you. Without ruining anything the game warns you an offensive mission before you play it and actually gives you the option of not playing it, also seeing war on American soil in both terrifying and surreal.

   Multiplayer in the original Modern Warfare set new standards for online gaming. The leveling systems, killstreaks, perks, and overall balance from the first game have all returned and have been beefed up for this one. You level your character all the way up to 75 this time around, unlocking new perks, weapons, and killstreak rewards along the way. The game expanded everything. New perks add new excitement, new killstreak rewards are just plain fun. Enjoy destroying the opposing team from the gunner seat of an AC 130, or if you’re insanely good and can manage 25 straight kills, drop a tactical nuke on everyone and end the game. Everything feels familiar and fresh at the same time, MW 2’s multiplayer is right up there with Halo 2 and Goldeneye for Best Ever status.

   Spec Ops mode is brand new and chalk full of replay value. The game is best played with a friend and pits you through challenges that come from the campaign. You’ll find yourself having to eliminate sections of enemies, going through time trials and races, or assisting you squad mates. The highlight of Spec Ops is the AC-130 gunship level where one player controls the gunship and another sneaks around on the ground under it’s cover. There are 69 stars to earn in Spec Ops and it’s playtime will wind up being much longer than the campaign’s once you get through, but the mode itself is crazy addicting.

   Infinity Ward could have chosen to just mail it in with MW 2. It could’ve slapped some minor additions onto multiplayer and single player and the game still would have sold an astronomical amount of copies and still gotten good reviews, but they didn’t go that route. They improved on every single detail from an original that didn’t have many flaws to begin with. Even with a short campaign this game has a ton of replay value, people will be playing the multiplayer and Spec Ops for years to come. Modern Warfare 2 is this generations best FPS and one of it’s best titles to date.

 

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