Quickie: Finals. Start. TOMORROW! Malaysian Studies up first. Have never met a more boring paper in my life. *frowns*
The most-anticipated game of the year and the sequel to the best-selling first-person action game of all time, Modern Warfare 2 continues the gripping and heart-racing action as players face off against a new threat dedicated to bringing the world to the brink of collapse.
With some quarters already crowning this as the “game of the decade”, Modern Warfare 2’s trademark brand of frantic, fast-paced action sequences and solid first-person shooter gameplay make this game a must-have in any gamer’s collection.
Story-wise, the game picks up about five years after the end of Modern Warfare, with a rocking opening credits sequence that highlights the main plot points in that game.
Needless to say, the world is knee-deep in crap once again and it’s up to your band of merry men to hop from one exotic locale to another, all the while beating down the idiots who have a problem with the United States upholding the ideals of democracy, equality, justice, liberty and Starbucks!
The trouble is, with all the characters you have to play, jumping back and forth between them tends to make the plot flow confusing at times, especially in Act I of the campaign.
Most of the exposition takes place in sophisticated briefing videos in between missions, like it was done in the first Modern Warfare. There is no real character development though, so you end up feeling nothing for the characters that do end up dead.
Of course, Modern Warfare 2 is chock-full of uber-cool cinematic moments that’ll make you feel like you’re in a summer blockbuster. Some highlights include a snowmobile chase sequence and a full-blown assault on a Russian castle.
Still, with all that action going on, the single-player campaign clocks in at only five hours of gameplay, tops. It’s a little disappointing when it’s all over so early, but clever plot twists and a superb ending sequence keep you at the edge of your seat throughout.
On a side note, Infinity Ward has chosen to court controversy with a level involving terrorists, an airport and a heckuva lot of dead civilians that happens to be integral to the whole game’s plot – read more about that here: [link]
Enemy NPCs are able to pressure you via the sheer weight of their numbers alone, but that doesn’t mean you can overlook their AI. They weave and dodge between cover, trying to flank you while their comrades provide suppressing cover fire.
They drop to a prone position when you’re sniping them from up above, hide when you’re shooting at them, and throw grenades to flush you out of wherever you happen to be.
In short, the enemies do a damn good job – sometimes too good, in fact – of hindering you from completing your mission objectives, so expect to be killed a lot over the course of the single-player game.
The same can’t be said of your faceless allies however; at best, I found them more helpful in drawing enemy fire away from me so I could land kills safely at a distance.
Replayability comes in the form of a “Spec Ops” mode that allows you to complete specially-designed missions with a buddy. Since the majority of these missions are actually lifted from the campaign itself, objectives range among defense, assault, stealth, timed challenges, and even racing!
Not all these missions are unlocked at the outset, however, so you’ll still need to obtain a specific number of stars per level to gradually unlock the more difficult scenarios. The higher your number of stars, the more successful you are in completing mission objectives.
I can’t talk much about the multiplayer experience myself, but apparently this time around Infinity Ward has imposed some strict conditions on how multiplayer matches are to be played. According to GameSpot [link]:
..players who thrive on the diversity of dedicated servers and the creativity of mods and community maps will feel a keen sting of disappointment.
There has been a much bigger backlash among PC gamers than this simple statement would suggest, so clearly they are not too happy with the direction that Infinity Ward has taken this.
Still, the core gameplay innovated by the original Modern Warfare – unlockable gear, leveling, the perks system, and customizable classes – are all still here with a few slight changes, making for the tight multiplayer action that made the original so popular.
Modern Warfare 2 is easily one of the best looking PC games to hit the market this year. Lighting effects are simply jaw-dropping, from the brief bursts of muzzle flash to the eerie glow of dropped flares. Character models and animations look realistic, while guns handle the same as their real-life counterparts.
At times you will even get to view awe-inspiring panoramas of the battlefield, and many missions open with spectacular effect. Even the audio is fantastic, with copious amounts of radio chatter between your buddies, bullets ricocheting off buildings and huge explosions. Presentation-wise, this is one jaw-droppingly beautiful game.
If you’re looking to be taken along an engaging action experience, then look no further. Though the multiplayer experience is nowhere near as comprehensive as some other shooters out there, Modern Warfare 2’s brilliant setpieces and cinematic-quality gameplay make this game a must-have for any FPS enthusiast. Thumbs up!
Pros: Fast-paced action, solid gameplay, amazing graphics.
Cons: Limited multiplayer experience, short campaign, story may be confusing at times.