Thursday, November 12, 2009
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Review
Developer(s) Infinity Ward
Composer(s) Hans Zimmer
Series Call of Duty
Engine IW 4.0
Native resolution 600p (console versions)
Platform(s) Xbox 360
Release date(s) November 10, 2009
Genre(s) First-person shooter (FPS)
Mode(s) Single-player, cooperative and multiplayer (online Xbox Live)
Rating(s) BBFC: 18
Input methods Gamepad
“Till the roof comes off, till the lights go out
Till my legs give out, can’t shut my mouth.
Till the smoke clears out - am I high? Perhaps
I'ma rip this shit till my bone collapse.
Till the roof comes off, till the lights go out
Till my legs give out, can’t shut my mouth.
Till the smoke clears out and my high burn out
I'ma rip this shit till my bone collapse.”
Till I Collapse by Eminem (feat. Nate Dogg)
When I 1st heard that on its launching trailer it got me all pumped up.
This is it, the time is now & some of my friends were eagerly waiting for my opinion.
The waiting is done & the war is on.
OK, so it’s finally here, a day early from its official release date & I got it. Computer House sure know how to treat their customers but apparently will cost you a bit more than usual. Aside from MW2 I got Blitz: The League 2 for 150 SR (40$) not a bad price knowing that its so hard to find these games in this country but that’s a different story.
So here’s my review to one of my long awaited games of 2009; Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 on XBOX 360 so light’em up & knock’em down.
Is it better than the last title & took its name to infinity and beyond?
But before that, let me recap the last game which made the name as PS3’s 2007 game of the year, Best FPS on “Top 10 FPS Games Ever!” by GameSpy & GamePro & numerous awards from several respected sties & communities worldwide. It made a quantum leap from previous titles & the obvious one was moving from traditional WW2 interface into modern time. So many love has been put to it & in many different sectors. That time of release, Infinity Ward was sure that they made history. Unfortunately I bought the 1st MW within this year & made me realized that I should have bought it two years ago. I was afraid that it will not change my mind over Sierra’s “Counter Strike”; but luckily, it did & I am officially addicted to it. Almost after two years and 5 months, a sequel was ready for another war.
I have so many love (and a minor “meh” about the sequel) but I’ll try my best to make it simple & clean so here we go.
When I put on the game, I automatically noticed that it was asking me to set things up before I get in the main menus. Its pretty neat to be asked the brightness, screen setups & a very interesting option enabling/disabling sensitive context that might offend a gamer’s perspectives. “For the record” as it literally meant it, it gave me a sense of delight viewing familiar encounters from the previous game. The statue in Russia they showed after 5 years from the 1st encounter was truly shocking & sad at the same time that makes me want to say “Another day in Paradise”. New comers might want to check the 1st MW if they want to get what I mean. Visuals did not fail to impress me but on the flipside, as I spent 1 hour from the game I noticed of what I call “one note” that I didn’t saw from the last MW, the pace of the game wasn’t shaky enough & stayed mostly on track. Surprisingly as you go further from the campaign, things will start to catch up & literally drop your jaw with astonishments till the end of campaign (especially to those who played MW1). I know the guns & explosions were so loud but did not surprise me much of the encounters as it used to but looking at the environments & the blood splashes your screen as you take a hit was so familiar from my Killzone 2 on PS3 but works highly well on the game with far better results. Nostalgically as it will sound to you guys but the campaign reminds me (& so as the MW1) of several war movies like Black Hawk Down, Navy Seals and so on and so forth so technically you’re either in the game & making some actions or watching a pop corn movie that will wow you & wonder for more.
The campaign was casual but if you’re an achievement hunter (like me) it’s best to heighten the difficulties. Mostly the same as the previous one with additions like firing while crouching will increase fire accuracy. In later stages, you will encounter things that will alter the controls to manage on the given situation, not to mention their new sets of weaponry tools & supports or I can call them in multiplayer as “Kill Streaks”. A new mode was added to the game called “Special Ops” a stand alone missions taken from the campaign & can be played with the another player, a new fun way to play it & earning rewards as you complete a mission. In multiplayer, I found out that most of the juices of this baby were there; how shall I count thy ways for it has a vast long list of goodies! It’s like a breathe of fresh air, but again I will try my best to mention them. It felt actually the same as MW1 but with tons of additions, weapons were a lot, killing streak can come in many ways & surprisingly even a simple attempt can earn a reward. Usually the ones who has more kills gets the bigger bits but surprisingly even the ones who got killed several times without killing a single enemy can share a thing or two like stealing the stats of the last player who killed you (a.k.a “Copycat”), when I activated it I suddenly got better guns & started killing more people. Traditionally there are primary weapons & secondary weapons just like before, but what makes it different was you can choose a bigger gun instead of pistols (I got a picture of an assault rifle + shotgun might be my best pick but I know I’m all stealthy all the way so I need to kill more & level up just to get that soon). Killing streak was actually like the race to get there, it allows you get more kills to get to the top of the scoring board. This time around, the kill streaks are a lot! Comparing it to the last one, this will ignite the flames of every stage leaving you with almost no where to run & hide as it hits you. Call signs are finally there, this will identify players what class of specialties they are in, so if you’re a heavy gunner & love to be the RAMBO like or a stealthy assassin (like me) of the team go ahead knock yourself out by putting the right call sign & let them know that you’re fit to that category. On the other hand, dedicated server isn’t there which I used to get nervous of getting lagged but surprisingly with just 1 red bar on my connection I did not felt any delays on my kills like before so IW really did a great job on that. Some minor glitch on the visuals as other players passed by a dead player is like stepping on a ghost but not really a serious problem I’m afraid. Online gameplay from the previous MW had some issue like if the server of the game got disconnected it will automatically end the game just like that, but on MW2 if the server gets off it will find another server & continue the game; that way you won’t lose your achievements from the current game so more fun for everyone! Personally, radars & voice chat is essential to me while playing online multiplayer & to add that connection should be on “green bar” so that I won’t miss a milliseconds to hit targets but this game somehow changed my perspective a bit. I would like to put some more love to this category but I have to leave the other gamers to discover the goodies.
OK just one word for this is that it’s “astonishing”. Very well done with the tweaking from the last one & made something more. If you got a 32”+ HDTV this will not fail to wow your eyes.
What can I say; it all came from the one of the most famous composer (not to mention he composed the “Black Hawk Down” movie) such as Hans Zimmer. There were times when there’s no music playing but its all good (or maybe it’s just me). Better timings on given situations just like in the movies is like giving some awareness of what lies ahead. A home-theater sound system, this will not fail to impress you. However, be careful though neighbors might scare their pants enough to call the police thinking that a bunch of multi national hired gunmen are robbing your house (kidding).
I’ve seen new faces in the group & they’re all well made. Just like the previous game, expect some characters casualties but they will not die in vain. There are familiar faces from the past so I don’t want to speculate further on who they are (did I just made some spoiler alert? Just guess who’s who I guess…). Voice acting was so live like leaving me to feel as if I’m watching a Hollywood war movie. Overall, they played their role excellently on the campaign & will be memorable on years to come.
The campaign is usually short just like the last one & the Special Ops mode is so much fun with friends; but if you want to get those achievements, better put it on higher difficulty & brace yourself for some hardcore action. On the other hand, online multiplayer will let you play this game all year long or even till the next MW3 comes out.
Infinity Ward (IW) just did it again, bringing the edge of XBOX 360’s capability & power. To those who waited to buy this game, go buy it because it’s worth every penny & the multiplayer will definitely invest your time. To those who’s new in this title, “surprise surprise” you’re in for this year’s biggest treat but I strongly suggest playing the 1st MW just to get the whole story of this “one-of-a-kind” epic FPS game. FPS on console was a skeptical idea for me at 1st, but when I tried COD4: MW, I can’t stop playing it. Now the sequel is here & will stay longer in my heart & mind.
So the question was if its better than the last title & took its name to infinity and beyond?
My answer was yes. But if its my best game of this year? I have to say after finishing the Campaign mode, this is (so far) my game of the year 2009.
With love & respect,