Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Review

December 22, 2009

Developer: Infinity Ward
Publisher: Activision
Platform:  PS3 (Version Played), X360, PC
Genre:  First Person Shooter
Players:  1 – 18
Release Date:  10th of November 2009

The amount of hype created for Modern Warfare was almost unbelievable. Everyone seemed to go crazy for it, which we can see from the rather hectic and successful launch. Of course, there was a perfectly good reason for people going crazy over it which is that Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare was fantastic. It had a whole range of excellent set pieces which created a well paced game along with a top notch multiplayer mode which seemed to blow the world away and keep people playing for ages. The sequel is now here and it was definitely worth the wait.

Like Call of Duty 4, Modern Warfare 2’s single player is very cinematic and has plenty of set pieces. This time everything is a lot more over the top though; with more ridiculous set pieces and fantastic fire fights. This does detract from the realism but it’s not exactly that realistic to begin with (Recharging health?) so it just makes it more cinematic than it previously was. As usual there are a handful of movie references thrown in which also adds to the cinematic feel.

Despite the cinematic effects of Modern Warfare 2 the narrative and storytelling is quite disappointing. In Call of Duty 4 we had a relatively simple and unoriginal story but it was told really well which, in turn, made it interesting. That, combined with the cast of characters, made it an enjoyable aspect of the game. However, the narrative is much weaker in Modern Warfare 2 with it being all over the place. The main story is relatively easy to follow but there is a lot of content that is just confusing due to the large jumps between the missions. It doesn’t help that there is a much larger range of characters in this game which means there is less focus on a smaller group. The SAS characters are just as awesome as ever and some of the Americans are likeable but there are a lot of characters who seem to thrown in for the hell of it.

Musically it ranges from excellent to mediocre. When I heard Hans Zimmer was on board I thought the music would be incredible, despite Harry Gregson Williams getting pushed to the side after his great job with Call of Duty 4. Hans Zimmer knows his stuff when it comes to music and there are some parts of the game where it does just feel epic and really draws you into the whole experience. Other times the music just sounds like generic war music that we’ve all heard before. When it’s good, it works really well but unfortunately it’s not good all the time.

Now the story and musical elements may not be as good as its predecessor but the gameplay (Which is all most people will care about anyway) is still as great as ever. The guns are just as solid as before and actually feel slightly tighter this time around. Like I said earlier, there are plenty of amazing set pieces that will keep gamers excited and hooked on the game. I can guarantee that most gamers will love the ending too, which manages to be just as exciting and cinematic as the rest of the game.

Infinity Ward decided to include various vehicle scenes in Modern Warfare 2 which, once again, manage to keep it exciting and fun. They aren’t overused and each time it plays out quite different; though each time it is great fun to play.

 Anyone who has played any of the previous Call of Duty games will know about the infamous Veteran mode.  People have nightmares about Veteran. It’s challenging and more often than not it feels cheap and that it is just punishing you for the sake of it. Upon completion, however it has always been really satisfying. Modern Warfare 2, on the other hand, changes it and makes it a lot less difficult which not only takes away some of the challenge but also the satisfaction. It’s not exactly a walk in the park but it isn’t as difficult as it once was.

New to the series is the addition of Special Ops co-operative mode. Spec-Ops consists of many missions, each with a wide range of missions and objectives. They just happen to be brilliant. They allow a level of teamwork which isn’t available with an A.I. partner. Some of the levels just involve shooting enemies while others are more tactical. My favourites include Jet Ski races, sneaking around the snow as stealthily as possible and aiding a partner on the ground with a gunship.

Of course, the main part of Modern Warfare 2 for most people is the multi-player. Call of Duty 4’s multiplayer had people hooked from its release until the release of Modern Warfare 2. It’s a very impressive feat but Infinity Ward have tried to take the multiplayer up another level and have succeeded in doing so. There is an incredible amount of depth to the multiplayer now; it may have had plenty of content before but this just takes it up a notch.

There are even more ranks available which means it’s going to require a lot more playing time to get up to the top. With the 10 level Prestige returning, I imagine it will take a heft amount of time too. Along with an increased amount of ranks, there are also more challenges, weapons, new maps and new modes which is loads to keep players busy.

It’s most likely that you’ve already got Modern Warfare 2 and don’t need to me to tell you to get it. You’ve probably finished the over the top, exciting and very fast paced campaign and made your way on to the excellent, in depth multiplayer mode. It may lack in the storytelling and music parts of the game but it is still a great game that I urge the five or so people who haven’t already played this to go and do so.

+ Some amazing set pieces
+ Very cinematic and engaging experience
+ Spec-Ops and the multiplayer will last for ages

The story is all over the place
Campaign is a little short



One comment

  1. You’re not 100% correct. I haven’t bought a copy of MW2 🙂 I’ve played it a bit and quite liked it but for some reason it’s just not for me, even though I really enjoyed the original.

    Plus I’m not that into multiplayer (even though I have Xbox LIVE) so once the short campaign is over I wouldn’t want to do much else.

    This is good in-depth review by the way. Not often people talk about things like the music in a game which is nice to see. It’s also a refreshing change that you DIDN’T talk about the infamous “Airport” level. Too many reviews seem to cling to that and it takes away from the rest of the review.

    Good stuff. Keep it up 🙂

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