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MW2: How good are those Night Vision Goggles after all?

Have you ever heard about Call Of Duty : Modern Warfare 2? Of course you do. All three versions of the game occupy the Top 3 of current hottest games on N4G. Hype, controversy, critical acclaim, Bobby Kotick's long teeth, price hikes, online experience, console comparisons, PC letdown, suspicious DLCs,... Every day has its Modern Warfare 2 article, you cannot escape.

But Activision also made noise when was announced in July the Call Of Duty : Modern Warfare 2 Prestige Edition, including the collector edition of the game and fully functional night vision goggles. Weeks after this announcement were published photos of a chinese employee and those famous NVGs. Many were dubious, "Made in China" usually doesn't mean quality, and the price of the Prestige Edition (150$) was sort of suspicious as well. As a comparison, the lowest price you can have for 1st generation NVGs is around 300$, while 4th generation goggles cost between 6,000 and 10,000$. Considering the collector edition of the game cost 80$, that would mean those NVGs cost for the gamer 70$, four time less than the worst NVGs available.

So, how good are they?

I sacrificed my right leg in order to answer that question. I'm the kind of pigeon gamer, if there is a collector edition of a game I want, I'll certainly buy it. Fable 2, Gears of War 2, inFamous, Devil May Cry 4, Killzone 2, Uncharted 2, Sacred 2, Bioshock, Batman Arkham Asylum, Metal Gear Solid 4,... Simply because I believe developers that pass so much time on developing a game deserve to have my money (and also because I had many games for free, like LittleBigPlanet, Pure, FarCry 2, Fallout 3 or a Legendary edition of Halo 3, so I compensate giving them more money).

Anyway, disregard my banker's remonstrances, I preordered two copies of the Prestige Edition (one for me, one for eBay) and as soon as I was home, I tried them. Let's begin with the polish. Despite we clearly see it's a simple plastic toy, the thing is pretty detailed. The strips for the head are very solid and you even have some flabby plastic around the goggles to not be hurt by sharp corners when wearing them.

The device needs 5 LR6 batteries and to be honest I didn't checked the longevity of the whole thing. The goggles themselves are pretty light but the battery that you put on the back of your head is kinda heavy but not disturbing. Concerning the buttons, you of course have a on/off button, but also a button to display or not the lights on the front of the goggles (you know, those green spots people where mocking about with Sam Fisher), a ring to adjust the focus and a button to chose between green & black or black & white display when watching through the goggles.

So, do we see in the dark with those NVGs? Yes, absolutely. I've tried them in several conditions: full ambient light, 50% ambient light, 20% ambient light and in the complete dark, and in all those conditions, the goggles work perfectly. Don't expect to be able to watch a functioning screen, because you will be blinded, but you can watch in the dark without any problem, and in the light if you don't look at light origins (lamps, bulbs, screens, etc...).

I couldn't manage to take a pic of what we see through the NVGs so I made a simulation. This picture is what you would see in normal conditions, with normal ambient light and without goggles:

And this is how it looks like through the goggles and in the total darkness:

(yes, including the black borders and yes this is a part of my room)
Does that mean you are ready to invade the night and crawl silently everywhere with your goggles?

No. There are two "problems" with those goggles. I wont say those are problems, but that's certainly the difference between a toy and a professional material. First, you don't see directly through the goggles. You actually look at a small screen in the center that displays night vision environment. Because this small screen is at around 5 cm / 2 inches of your nose, you totally lose your sense of orientation. You don't walk in all confidence, you no longer have the same perceptions of distances so you slowly walk groping (I don't know if that's the word, Google Translation says it's ok with groping but according to my experience, groping is sexually oriented. Anyway, I hope you understood what I mean).

The second "problem" is that you certainly see in the dark, but not at a far range. I'd say in a total darkness, you can see up to 10 meters / 30 feet. With ambient light, you can see up to 30 meters / 90 feet. And in that case, you will have to set the focus correctly in order to see anything at a middle range, otherwise everything will look blurry.

In conclusion, those Night Vision Goggles are indeed fully functional. You can see in the total darkness without any problem, but you certainly wont be much confident of your equilibrium and your distance perceptions. The range is also limited, but honestly, for such price, it's already incredible to reach such quality.

I_LOVE_MYSELF5300d ago

pretty much what I expected... thanks for the read... sounds kool

5300d ago
Jinxstar5299d ago

Field of depth is always a problem with NVG's. Not specific to those. I have used quite a few different ones while I was in the Army. You always have to look left or right to see how far you have walked and watch your feet a lot. We do tests like "Try to put this stick through a hole in the wall 4 feet away" it's really tough.

When I was deployed we would drive on occasion without lights for midnight raids... Kinda stupid I think because tanks and bradleys make so much noise that light discipline is the last thing the enemy is looking for but I guess it would still make us harder targets. Those NVG's made it super hard for me to drive but I managed... With a lot of practice.

They sound pretty cheesy to me but yeah. So long as you enjoy them =D

macalatus5298d ago

You reminded me of my days back in service when I used to almost trip on those dang holes on the ground because they looked almost flat due to lack of depth perception

syanara5297d ago

but bottom line NVGs as far as im told run around 200 bucks so I figured it was a deal enough just to see how they are besides i would have spent 200 dollars on the prestige edition just so I can show them off on the stand lol.

llMurcielagoll5293d ago (Edited 5293d ago )

This is a really good review thanks a lot! After reading this review I come to the following conclusion, The Night Vision goggles that come with the prestige edition is not for professional use. Its just for maybe I don't know, go to the kitchen and make a sandwich in the dark? To be honest I would so do that. lol (lame joke) Anyways, You will get where you're going with those NVGs but you might hit something on your way or break something if you are not careful.

I bought my prestige edition box on but it didn't arrive yet and I cannot wait any longer. I am eager to play campaign mode and try out them NVGs.

I have read a review on it too by one of the Amazon customers, and he mentioned that those Night vision goggles are using infrared to make you see in the dark. I don't remember the actual mechanism but he said that it is old school Night Vision goggles because they don't use Infrared technology in the modern generation of the night vision goggles. So (you might already know that) Infinity Ward and Activision could of gone all new tech NVGs but no one would buy it unless if they were pretty rich and can lose some cash because price for it will be sky high.

For reference about the guy who reviewed them NVGs on amazon here is a link

Look for S. Olson's review it is the fifth review.

Thanks again for the review. I finally found something decent to read on n4g

Sangria5291d ago

Thanks to you for your comment (and sorry for being 2 days late) :)
About the infrared, I don't know, it's probably a matter of cost, old generation NVGs are certainly cheaper to develop than new generation ones. But I also believe it's a matter of law.

For example I know Night Vision Goggles are forbidden for civilian use, here in France. But the game released flawlessly, and no aftereffect started (so far). I asked to Infinity Ward's Robert Bowling if there was any legal problem for the NVGs release in France, he answered me everything was all fine and disregard the law, the NVGs would be available in France (which is now the case). The infrared technology is probably a way to bypass laws around the use of NVGs, as they use old technologies. Those goggles aren't any useful in a criminal manner, anyway.

llMurcielagoll5288d ago

Thats okay. To be honest, I haven't put thought of the NVGs Law wise. But yes I do see you're point. If the prestige edition came NVGs for professional use it could fall into the wrong hands.

Once again, good job on your article. It is very nice! and I still gonna wear them NVGs and make a sandwich in the dark. That would be awesome but I think it will start flaring when I open the fridge and its lights go on lol.

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Cacabunga27m ago

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Sony now seem to have lost it with all the gaas, i have no hope in seeing them approaching FS to make a sequel. I hope gamers will push Sony and show continuous disapproval to the gaas model

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Experience the lengths Senua goes to….oy what a set up for jokes

Tacoboto5h ago people who need saving. No s.

The author was so focused on the pun he made a typo that early.

This review reads so poorly, it doesn't get better.

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