Since the release of Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare, Infinity Ward has been praised for redefining the scope of the FPS franchise by trading in the traditional World War II landscape for a more modern day approach to combat. Now in the highly anticipated second installment of the series, Modern Warfare 2 attempts to add to earlier successes by promising more memorable campaign experiences and an unrivaled multiplayer system full of unlockables. Here are a few reasons why this game is worth enlisting in.
Campaign & Gameplay:
Modern Warfare 2 takes place 5 years after the events of the original game. By now the efforts of the United States Marines against terrorism have fallen significantly short allowing the Ultranationalists to seize command and control over Russia. The main protagonist of the game is Vladimir Makarov, a former lieutenant who now gets his kicks by setting up several terror attacks throughout the globe. You begin the game from the perspective of U.S. Army Ranger Private Joseph Allen stationed in Afghanistan during an intense war. Just as in the previous game, you gradually shift command of up to five different characters at specified points and times in the story. While the aspect of having intertwined storylines adds to the core plot, the execution of this technique fails to offer a complete campaign experience. There are several loose ends that aren’t fully examined and give the impression that these explanations were purposely left out for Modern Warfare 3. An example of this theory comes within the controversial airport level, which by now has created a media frenzy. In this scene you assume the control of Private Allen while being undercover and lead by Makarov in a shooting spree at a nearby Airport. While the inclusion of this scene brings to light intense issues and suggests discussion on the topic of terrorism, it fails to serve justice to the culprits involved. As you progress through the game there is never a final confrontation between Makarov, which is a big reason why this level stands out. In traditional cinema it is always believed that sooner or later the villain gets what’s coming to him and unfortunately that’s not the case in this story. Likewise, there is also curiosity left over as to what happened to the characters of other units that you play in. One can argue that single player campaign shouldn’t be the focus of any COD game, but with a hot topic such as terrorism you can’t help but want to see a definitive resolution to the conflict. Add in the fact that this mode will only take you 5 hours to complete and you’ll feel as through there is still plenty more that could have been explored to lengthen the overall experience.
When it comes to gameplay, Modern Warfare 2 continues to shine in this department. The control mechanism is easy to get used to and is intuitive enough that even someone who has never played a cod game will be right at home with this one. You’ll easily be guided through each objective by the use of a numbered checkpoint system over a traditional map. The added military talk personnel adds to the effectiveness of capturing quality sound that keeps the environments real and engaging. An array of weapons from assault rifles, to duel wielding pistols is at your disposal and keeps the gunplay highly enjoyable and rewarding. The A.I. within the campaign is a bit dulled down even at the highest difficulty level. It’s worth noting that you’ll find the steepest challenge once you decide to play against competitors online. The graphics are also vastly improved which ranks this entry in the series a step above the original. The best display of this notion is expressed by the many locales you visit throughout the campaign including Washington D.C. and Rio De Janeiro to name a few. Even the amount of damage you can inflict upon each stage is impressive. You can tell Infinity Ward wanted to create the world on a much more grander scale and they should be applauded for there efforts this time around. Once you finish the campaign mode, you’ll be given the option to play the new Spec Ops Mode. This is a mode that allows you to play through several missions and challenges either by yourself or cooperatively with a friend. The inclusion of this feature adds further value to the package by encouraging you to replay every mission until you have successful captured all 69 stars.
Modern Warfare 2’s bread and butter remains in the highly competitive online multiplayer experience. Just as in the previous entry in the series, you have the ability to create customizable classes by choosing your primary and secondary weapons, special grenades, tactical perks like Air Strikes, and improved combat techniques. Every time you play through a match you gain points based upon your individual performace. These points are then used to not only raise your player ranking but also to unlock upgraded weapons and attacks that you can use in any given match. The overall system is insanely balanced in the sense that there are always ways to counter attacks with the improved Killstreak options. There is also the ability to change Callsigns, emblems, and clan titles in the pre-match lobby to create a deeper sense of authenticity. The package contains a total of 15 multiplayer maps with the promise of more to drop in spring of 2010. There are also several match types to choose from like Free-For-All and Team Deathmatch. My only complaint about the mode is that until you unlock the ability to choose your respawn destination, you’ll find yourself dead in the middle of multiple shootouts. Certain maps offer places to hide while others lack the range of options necessary to get the upper hand on your opponents. For example, the airport terminal map is one stage that constantly keeps you highly susceptible to high death counts. Many will argue that these instances will force you to step up your gaming aesthetics when going online. Overall, the multiplayer mode is highly addictive and one of the most engaging reasons for high replayability.
Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 does an excellent job of portraying the harsh realities of war in our society. When compared to other First person shooters, it sticks to the core roots of gameplay that made the first one a hit. This concept doesn’t make it revolutionary but instead just keep things as expected. While the campaign needs a deeper sense of completion to fully convey the message, its clear that Infinity Ward has gotten people thinking about the delicate issues of terrorism as it relates to our everyday lives. The Spec Ops and Multiplayer Modes offer a meaty package that is sure to own your nights for hours on end. Ultimately if you were a diehard fan of the original Modern Warfare, then chances are you don’t need a more compelling reason to pick up this game. However, if you are considering making this your first venture into the series then I recommend this is one war you don’t want to miss.