Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Review
The King of FPS Shooters Returns with a Vengeance.
Overall, the lobby area performs its task well and is a user friendly interface when attempting to find a game, create a class or invite a friend. Unfortunately, there are currently some issues with the invite system: on my second review play through my friends and I were unable to connect with each other – a ‘Game Invalid’ message kept appearing for the duration of the session. Hopefully, Infinity Ward will iron out this bug soon.
In addition to the multiplayer, Modern Warfare 2 also comes equipped with Special Ops mode.
The Special Ops mode is a collection of short individual missions (think Mile High Club from Call of Duty 4) that take place in various campaign locations but are not related to the main story. Special Ops mode can be played alone or with a friend (online or split-screen) and includes races, assault, defence and elimination missions. Perhaps one of the most satisfying mission types is the support mission, in which one player supports the other using an AC-130 gunship.
There are four classes to the Special Ops experience: Alpha, Bravo, Charlie and Delta, and each class must be completed before you can advance to the next. As you would expect, each class is more difficult than the last so it should take some time to complete the 20 plus missions. Special Ops mode is arguably the most significant improvement over the original Modern Warfare and adds longevity and versatility to the Modern Warfare 2 experience.
Visually, the game is appealing and falls just short of stunning. The character models and weapons are incredibly detailed and the environments certainly look better than any of those in the previous Call of Duty games. Dust and paper billow through streets, bricks tumble from dilapidated buildings and cars explode into writhing hulks of metal, all of which adds to the immersion of the gameplay experience.
The controls, as with all the recent Call of Duty titles, are perfection. No PS3 FPS on the market even comes close to the pick-up-and-play ease of Call of Duty. Veterans and new players alike will soon be scampering across maps, dodging incoming fire and rising to cap a few bad guys without batting an eyelid.
The sound effects are also sensational. Bullets ping as they ricochet of masonry, explosions shake the screen and every sound is lovingly realised. It’s not something that you immediately notice: the sound in this game is so good that everything just sounds like you expect it to, and that’s a really great achievement. The score, which is minimal and fitting for a game of this type, weaves in and out of the action at all the right moments and helps to maintain the pace of the game.
The voice acting is solid, but certainly not the best I’ve ever heard, largely due to the script being somewhat overdone. Soap MacTavish, Captain Price and Sergeant Foley are well voiced, and their dialogue is good, but General Shepherd (voiced by Lance Henrikson) rambles on in a repetitive monotone, repeats lines and comes across as a bit of a melodramatic twit (a friend that I dragged to the midnight release snorted in derision and quipped “He said that twice in five minutes”). All things considered though, it’s a small complaint amid a sea of praise.
There is one more issue that I have a problem with: the Prestige Edition. After stalking through the street equipped with the NVGs I didn’t spot any scantily clad young women through windows nor see any other kind of exciting action because, frankly, the goggles don’t really work. If you’re lucky you can see maybe 10 or 20 feet, not 50 feet as claimed by some retailers, and even then the red LEDs on the end of the lens light up so much that whoever you are looking at has probably already spotted you. In fact, you can see further with the naked eye than you can with the goggles, even in the dead of night. It’s a fair call to say that expecting quality goggles for the Prestige Edition price is unrealistic, but the goggles should at least do what they are promoted as being able to do. The statue of Soap’s head is even worse. The mohawked melon replica is nothing more than a plastic trinket and the fact that it’s numbered to indicate that it’s a collector’s item is rubbish. The rest of the package, which consists of the Hardened Edition, is quite good. The steel packaging is well presented and the art booklet is one of the best I’ve seen. The addition of the Call of Duty Classic download code (the original 2003 WWII shooter that launched the franchise) also represents excellent value for money.
Somehow, Modern Warfare 2 has achieved the impossible. Sure, the game is just an expanded and updated re-imagining of Call of Duty 4, but this evolution has polished the gaming experience into a fine gem. FPS and Call of Duty fans: this is your must buy of the year. Everyone else should buy it anyway, just to see what all the fuss is about. Modern Warfare 2 is phenomenal; re-tooled, re-badged and back with a vengeance.
Call of Duty from start to finish. Nothing new, just good solid fun.
The graphics are consistent, tidy and a pleasure to behold, yet by no means on par with the graphical might of Uncharted II.
Ambient sounds mesh with cacophonies of automatic rifle fire, light arms explosions and the thump of artillery.
An improvement in every way over the original Modern Warfare. A must have for your collection.