Modern Warfare 2

18 12 2009

I’ve been a fan of Infinity Ward since before they were Infinity Ward. Around 20 of the founding members split from the company that worked on Medal of Honor: Allied Assault. The CoD franchise has led the pack in intensity through highly scripted sequences and amazing sound. The first Modern Warfare had one of the best, if not the best, single player campaigns of all time and I thought it impossible for Modern Warfare 2 to top it. This hypothesis turned out to be true as the single player experience doesn’t hold up quite as well as it’s predecessor. On the multiplayer side the addition of cooperative is a nice addition but the versus is where you’ll be spending your time.

Production quality, audio, intensity, etc. remain in MW2 but the campaign fails for a couple reasons. The major fault here is the step back from realism into the realm of the over the top summer blockbuster action flicks. MW2 feels like the work of  Michael Bay at times with a need to try to blow the player away with a relentless onslaught of explosions and plot twists. A couple of the missions feel a little below IW quality such as defending Burgertown and traversing the plane graveyard. All of this is not to say that you should skip playing through the campaign as it still remains a step above most of the competition.

MW really launched the leveling system that has become so rampant in current shooters. IW has added a ton of customization in the sequel with titles, emblems, killstreaks, deathstreaks, prestige modes, etc. Needless to say you will be constantly awarded even once at level cap. I find myself always messing around with my kit setups wanting to try new things which is a testament to how different and satisfying all of the weapons and abilities behave. There are a ton of maps and gameplay modes with everything happening on a slightly smaller scale than in MW. Perhaps the biggest change in MW2 is the move away from dedicated servers to a matchmaking system typically found on consoles. PC gamers have been emo about this but I’ve been waiting on PC games to make the switch for a while now. It’s a much better system and thanks to IW having the balls to deal with the PC community I’m sure you’ll see other PC games start to do the same. I’m not sure really how else to explain the MP except to say that is a ton of fun and something you’ll find yourself losing hours in.

There are cooperative missions partly pulled from the campaign but I’ve found myself so engrossed with the multiplayer that none of the people I play with have wanted to spend any time with it. I have to give 2 separate scores for MW2 because of the stark difference between the two modes. I’ve found myself playing a couple of missions over again (only the beginning) but I feel no real need to return to the campaign again as I did with the first game. MW2 is still a great game but one that you will get the most out of if you enjoy competitive multiplayer.

[you may want to ignore the PC metacritic scores as a lot of them seemed to be fueled by emo PC users wanting dedicated servers]

sp score: 85% | mp score: 100% | metacritic: 86

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