Review: Modern Warfare 2, More Than Just Multiplayer…

Modern Warfare 2

Everyone knows multiplayer is the bread and butter of the Call of Duty’s franchise. So naturally, there’s a good reason why they’ve been using the same engine since Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Reliable gameplay. But this time Infinity Ward stepped up to the plate and brought their “A” game with Modern Warfare 2 and of course bettered a great game.  This fast paced First Person Shooter is the continuation of COD4 with upgraded lighting, textures and visuals. The easier to navigate menu shows you one of three gametype choices and proves it’s not all just about multiplayer anymore. Special Ops, Campaign and Multiplayer modes all provide a different slice of MW2. In our first ever group review, Aaron Mazza, Carlos Macias and I will break down Special Ops, Campaign and Multiplayer mode respectively.  We know the term “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” but did Infinity Ward and Activision raise the bar?

Modern Warfare 2 (Special Ops)
By Aaron Mazza

MW2 Special OpsNew to the series is the Special Ops mode. Although you can play the missions solo, its true design is meant to be played in co-op. The mode has you and your partner reliving scenarios from the Modern Warfare 2 campaign along with a few new unseen missions. It will take teamwork, communication, and patience to master some of these missions especially if playing on the Veteran difficulty level.

When you first load up Special Ops, you’ll find that only the Alpha missions are available to choose but obtaining stars will unlock the next tier of missions. Completion of a mission will normally grant you one star but if played on Veteran difficulty, you can get 3 stars per mission success. Get enough stars and the Bravo missions will unlock, then Charlie, and so on. The missions will run you through a variety of infamous scenarios, for example; you may be asked to get to a certain spot on the map while remaining hidden from enemy contact or an all out guns blazing assault to eliminate the enemies. There are 69 stars total to obtain and collecting all of them does not add anything to the solo campaign or multiplayer aspects but it is completely satisfying.

Special Ops Final Thought:

I think this addition to the game is a great one. The sense of comradery and teamwork are really prominent. Not only do I hope they include this in future games but add more missions and stars to obtain in DLC form. It’s a great new way to get lost into the world of Call of Duty.

Modern Warfare 2 (Campaign Mode)
By Carlos Macias

MW2 No RussianIt’s very likely that you’ve blown through the single-player campaign in MW2 by this point, so this will either validate your opinion or make you run around the house screaming about how wrong I am. Either way, my two cents on Modern warfare 2 — sans the “Call of Duty” moniker…Infinity Ward don’t like that — are as follows.

MW2 was the 800-pound gorilla in the game industry this fall. One that plenty of games delayed themselves to early next year to avoid. And, can you blame them? The game is huge. Huge explosions, globe-trotting protagonists, colorful characters, and plenty of twists to keep you on your toes. A short adventure that can be considered the exact equivalent of the Hollywood summer blockbuster. Well, in this case, bigger since its gone on to make more than half a billion dollars at this point.

“No Russian” has been the most controversial piece of the game but, in my opinion, it serves as no more than the crux of what propels the story forward. Not art. Infinity Ward is pushing buttons (and someone certainly has to) by how it depicts the scene, but it is no different than why Bruce Wayne becomes Batman after his parents die. Or, the many different, generic starting points of action flicks where terrorists hold civilians hostage. It’s the closest you’ll probably ever get to such a horrendous act but there’s too many holes upon further inspection.

Go in the same way you would go into the latest “Die Hard” or Bond flick, enjoy the lush locales, unrivaled action sequences, and you’ll come away having a blast with the latest from Infinity Ward.

Modern Warfare 2 (Multiplayer Mode)
By Juan Perez

MW2 MultiplayerIf you’ve played Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare or Call of Duty: World at War you know about the engine that makes their FPS games cream of the crop.  Modern Warfare 2 takes that great engine and enhances the gameplay with newer maps, advanced weapons and of course host migration.  That’s right, host migration has finally been introduced and it works.  Now, when the current host of a match leaves the game, you’ll be prompted with a screen that will choose the next best host in queue.  This essentially keeps the matches going rather than closing them out like before.  And for the power hungry players, the option to “kick” a player is now possible.  No more cussing tweens in your matches.

Killstreak rewards can now be customized. Before in COD 4, everyone had the same 3 killstreak perks.  UAV, Bombers and a Helicopter.  Now, each amount of kills can call in which ever perk you want.  For example if you don’t want the 3 kill perk of UAV, skip it and enable the 4 kill care package instead.  The highest killstreak reward is set to 25 and that is the Tactical Nuke.  Pretty much everyone including yourself dies <sigh>  Of course that means staying alive long enough to benefit from these perks.

Maps pack a punch. MW2’s maps are fantastic.  They mix in a new bunch of locations taken from the campaign mode while somehow preventing the camper to stay in one place too long.  Introducing levels makes the experience a new one.  Not only do you have to look left, right and around corners, but looking up in buildings and down in warehouses keeps you on edge.  Despite having larger maps the action feels much closer than before.  One of our complaints in COD:WaW were the long distances between the battle at hand and where you spawn after you die.

MW2 AC-130Less abuse more skill. I’ve always had my gripes with the overuse of bouncing betty’s (World at War) and martyrdom’s (Modern Warfare 1) and they finally corrected it.  Yes, there’s still martyrdom’s but that perk is only enabled after 3 deaths in row.  There’s another perk that buff you with more energy after 3 deaths in a row giving you that extra health to end the death streak.  The kill cam is still present which allows you to see who killed you after you’re dead.  The kill cam is now shown to all players replaying the last kill from the shooters point of view.  Now you know who to blame!

The negative aspects, unfortunately. Invite system is a complete failure.  Before you were able to invite all your buddies at the same time through the in-game invite system.  Now, they’ve taken a page from XBox 360 and went with invitations through your friends list.  This is much slower to gather your friends into a party.  And speaking of parties, the Private match glitch allows others from joining even after “kicking” them out.

Great maps, plenty of volume
Levels within maps (alleyways, rooftops, in buildings)

Short campaign mode
PS3 game invite issues

Final Thought: There’s no denying that the Call of Duty franchise improves on their great FPS games year in and out and Modern Warfare 2 continues the trend. Infinity Ward’s controversial scene in “No Russian” changed the way gamers saw shooter games. For a moment, I had become sensitive to the killings and shootings during gameplay rather than the emotional-less actions most shooters have in games. But great games are great games and the sales figures don’t lie — selling $550m in its first five days on sale worldwide.  For fans of FPS, I’d make this game a “must buy”.  For fans who absolutely dislike FPS, I’d also tell you to get this game.  Keep the cussing down in multiplayer games to avoid being kicked and join the biggest social “meet-n-shoot” on both Xbox and PS3. …After all they’re just games, right?


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