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coolbeans

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User Review : Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

Ups
  • Great Value
  • Invigorating gameplay changes/additions
  • Excellent sequences
Downs
  • Inconsistent story
  • Online MP is off in certain aspects

How Does the (Arguably) Most Hyped Game of the Past Decade Pan Out?

Infinity Ward's previous creations in the Call of Duty series have been rousing successes, in both sales and acclaim. People are, and will be, comfortable with using the groundwork layed from previous games (mostly from CoD4 though). Now comes the challenge of Infinty Ward to meet the expectations many people have placed upon their shoulders. Although with a few unexpected flaws, Modern Warfare 2 delivers another intense experience that few First Person Shooters can meet.

Entering in the seemingly patented slideshow approach, MW2 (Modern Warfare 2) opens up 5 years after the original. You're given a brief summary of what's happening and who your new target is: Makarov, a praiser of Zakhaev (one of the antagonists in the first Modern Warfare). Now it's up to a special task force to take down this man and his followers by any means necessary. This task force is also the one composed of your playable characters: PFC Joseph Allen, Gary "Roach" Sanderson, and "Soap" MacTavish (for the final levels).

The story transpires in a multitude of situations that will lead to the meat of it later on. You go through the events leading to the inception of the task force, a controversial level (it is gory + skippable for those who wish not to play it) that oddly acts as a weird tether to the next events, and scenes that really hit home for (North) Americans. Overall, the story is a disappointment to those who really enjoyed CoD4's. The great pacing is the same, with it being a great adrenaline-filled ride, but this time if one's to stop and think about it you'll only find connections on the weaker side. The best explainable feeling to have about the game's presentation (story, characters, etc.) is thinking of the idea of level design coming first and the writers needing to chop it down in order for it to fit, which wasn't a feeling many would've had with MW1.

While one disappointment maybe be laid on story part of the game, two facets of where MW2's is exeplary, once again, is sound and graphics. Keeping up with today's changing standards is no easy thing during this generation. One series that has really held it's own would be Call of Duty, when considering how many iterations it has this gen. Although falling a bit flat in things such as thickets and small plants, MW2 is able to hang with the best of them in almost all aspects. The variety of character models is solid and shows great detail throughout all the different areas. It's just as enjoyable to see a solid mixture of different composers for serene and critical moments while also offering an overwhelming amount of background noises during heavier firefights.

Another great aspect of MW2 would be the gameplay. Modern Warfare 2 really raises the stakes when it comes to the variety of things you do in such a small amount of time. Extrapolating certain ideas from MW1 and using some of it's own, MW2 is really able to show it's diversity in ideas and feeling of the battlefield altogether. Instead of a more formulaic approach, expect to have each scene transpire in an action movie setting. With extra additions such as dual wielding, breaches (SP and Spec Ops only), a heap of new weapons + attachments, a few driving sequences, etc. don't expect to have your blood pressure at normal levels until well after you've turned it off.

The online aspect of Call of Duty has truly taken off since Call of Duty 4: MW. That part will still be as popular (and with good reasoning). The new 2 player co-op mode called Spec Ops certainly has some great things up its sleeve. Using certain maps/ideas from the SP, Spec Ops has a variety of "mini games" that earn you stars to unlock more Spec Ops levels; the higher the difficulty, the more stars from each mini game you get upon completion. Although this isn't the next Nazi Zombies takeover like WaW introduced, Spec Ops offers some enjoyable tactical moments with a great variety of mini games to boot.

The pride of recent CoD games doesn't exactly hold up as well as expected. Coming off of the new "must-have" formula for these types of war games, the perks system goes through a bit of a facelift. The best term I can think of is "an evolution, not a revolution". MW2's competitve MP certainly still has the value to boot thanks to the multitude of new perks, titles/emblems, new perks/ pro perks, and the new weapons/attachments/etc . The online certainly adds some great ideas, but implores sour ones that harm the experience. Like that of CoD4, balancing issues are again seen in this online experience. From unbalanced perks to simple weapon combos that seem overpowered, the overall flow of the game can be harmful thanks to this even though there's a plethora of tactical decisions that could make for a wholesome experience as well. Although certain blame should be diverted against the players doing it, the dev. should've also made impedements against the likes of campers (although the case is similar to that of CoD4).

Modern Warfare 2 is an enjoyable experience in so many ways. Abolishing respawning enemies and having smarter AI makes the experience all the more rewarding, with less technical quarrels, so you can focus on the game itself. Overall, MW2 mostly lives up to the hype it's been given by offering new ideas, adding some much needed groundwork on the original formula, and showing a great amount of value on all fronts. Having said that, I also can't recommend this to EVERY CoD player/FPS fan because of the flaws that were paramount in the predecessor's praise.

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Score
9.5
Graphics
Some truly stunning areas to behold. Being able to see all of the pieces of equipment on enemies and all of the extra detail was truly suprising.
9.5
Sound
Certainly a great list of composers. Falls short of WaW's soundtrack but it's still an enjoyable one.
9.0
Gameplay
While the lack of respawning enemies and the extra additions are nice, certain sequences were hit-or-miss when it comes to the gameplay aspect. As exhilirating as they were, perhaps they could've been more polished or used for more than 10 minutes.
10.0
Fun Factor
Overall, most of my initial complaints were met. It would've been nice to see some things tweaked a bit better, but the "meat and potatoes" of the game is so addictive.
8.0
Online
The "camper-friendly" ordeal that's still met since IW's previous engagement is disheartening. It truly could've been a "must-play" like 4's if the formula wasn't flawed in certain aspects. Spec Ops is such a suprisingly tactical venture though, very enjoyable 2 player co op addition.
Overall
9.0
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coolbeans2939d ago

Scared to see how this review pans out against the 'mob mentality' of n4g :P. Regardless of that fact, I hope you enjoyed the read :).

shazui1232937d ago

Not to be mean but a 9.5 for both graphics and sound? really? So you honestly think MW2's graphics and sound were so good that they can hardly be improved upon?

coolbeans2937d ago

It was the best looking multiplatform game upon release. The game became more expanded upon it's MW sequel, had a variety of different sounds throughout all of the different areas explored, the gfx rival that of the "big dogs" during it's time.

I mean a game that is more than worthy of a "best gfx of '09" nomination running at 60 FPS (with very few times of dropping) with so much hectic things happening doesn't make you think it's near all you could ask for? It had minor flaws though. There were instances of pixelated shadows that popped up sporadicly and some smaller textures could've used more details.

Overall, the game looks astounding espcially when you consider the plethora of varied landscapes the SP, MP has.

lazysey2937d ago

Look, consoles aren't PC's. Call of Duty is a game that maintains a 60fps while maintaining next generation graphics. Sure they're not Killzone 2 or 3's graphics but for being a game that really balances everything overall, you have to consider console limitations.

And for future reviewers, we have to consider a new review scheme because fanboys will always compare 1 ASPECT of a game to 1 ASPECT of another game.

Sure Killzone 2/3 graphics looks great, but gameplay wise its pretty generic.

nickjkl2937d ago (Edited 2937d ago )

compare mw2 graphics to killzone 2 or uncharted 2 or god of war 3 is i still a 9.5

if not then dont score it that way and dont use the excuse of but its multiplatform game because that doesnt matter when rating a game

another thing you rated fun factor as a 10 but said it can be tweaked more that means its less than a 10

other than that the rest is okay but you still scored it higher than it should be

coolbeans2937d ago (Edited 2937d ago )

I did compare it directly to the "big dogs" that were released around it's time and it holds its own very well, in the end. I'm just retorting to shazui123 when asked "So you honenstly think MW2's gfx and sound were so good that they can hardly be improved upon?" by putting into perspective of the capabilities of the multiplatform engine.

It looked good across all boards in a bunch of comparisons, and yes it could rival that of KZ2 + U2. Beating them can be a different story, although I think it's nice to see variation, so many different character models (even down to the different grenades it seemed), and so forth is why I find MW2 to be the best looking FPS of '09 (although KZ2 beats it on a technical level).

When it comes to fun factor, that's really the only part that I can truly call a purely subjective topic. I may have liked some things to be varied, but they never took away from the overall experience to where I could give a lower score. If you've noticed my previous reviews, I only do .5's for the 5 facets listed and then go to .1's for the overall score. It seemed foolish for me to dock .5 points just because of the little things that went over my head in a few seconds. If reviewers were to do that, there'd be no leaniency in what each review boils down to...being an opinion.

shazui1232936d ago

@ Coolbeans: you can compare a ford fiesta to an aston martin DB9, however the Aston martin outshines the fiesta by far, can you see how that applies to comparing MW2 to UC2 or KZ2? MW2 could have been much better looking, regardless of console limitations. Look at GT5 for proof of how limiting these limitations really are.

BattleAxe2935d ago

Don't worry Coolbeans, these guys are a bunch of Noobs who probably got PWNED day one when the game released.

killzowner2935d ago

No, I think it's just that the game is one of the worse multiplats graphically

Nate-Dog2934d ago

For score (i.e. sound and music) and graphics yeah it is pretty great, I don't see what all the disagreement is about. Of course it doesn't look as good as KZ2 or UC2, they're exclusives, CoD isn't, and even at that it still looks darn good.

+ Show (5) more repliesLast reply 2934d ago
hennessey862937d ago

i liked modern warfare 2 but for me cod4 is yet to be beaten in the multiplayer side of things.

ScoobyDrew2937d ago

It's hard to agree with this review... Call of duty is SOOOO broken, just look at this vid and see what i mean.

http://www.youtube.com/watc...

coolbeans2937d ago

Who's to say that wasn't rigged though? It's possible he pulled that off w/out cheating but I personally don't see how he had the luck to get 7 kills with his first grenade.

N4WAH2937d ago (Edited 2937d ago )

It's not rigged, it's reality.
People have been spamming nades on COD at spawn for the past few versions. People do this all the time on MW2 when the round starts. Are you sure you even played this game online?

MW2 without question is the most broken MP game this generation. I love the game but I hate how broken it is. The perks are way too over powered and this game is so unbalanced. COD4 (Modern Warfare the original) is a much better game.

A 9.5 for sound? Have you ever played BFBC the original or part 2? That game has significantly better sound than MW2.

ScoobyDrew2934d ago

you shouldn't be able to get that many kills with out any skill at all. its ridiculous

coolbeans2936d ago (Edited 2936d ago )

There's no need to start flaming. I've played the online before and I know how it works, why else would I review the game? I hate to break it to you, but CoD4 has the same types of problem that MW2 had (I have a feeling I'll get disagrees just b/c of what I stated before; "mob mentality"), just not in the same amount.

Yes, I own both BC1+2 and have poured many hours into them both. In no way do they have significantly better sound, although it does outdo MW2 in a couple of regards. Bad Company one+two both have great combat sounds (sound drain from grenades, firing, etc.) and are/were truly exceptional for their time. However, MW2 soundtrack is better overall.

N4WAH2936d ago (Edited 2936d ago )

BFBC has won multiple sound awards for a reason where as COD hasn't. I will leave it at that.

Then again why I am I even bothering? You wrote above that MW2 rivals UC2 and KZ2 graphically. That in itself tells me I am wasting my time here so I guess I will move along.

shazui1232936d ago

Exactly. So back to my original point: MW2 does not deserve a 9.5 in graphics. Especially when using UC2/KZ2 as a comparison.

Tachyon_Nova2932d ago

Actually Hans Zimmer or whatever his name is one some prestigous awards for his musical score.

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