Saturday, December 26, 2009

COD: Modern Warfare 2

This isn't a review exactly. Regular readers will know I was really on the fence as whether to get MW2, but after my amazing wife bought it for me for Christmas, I'm incredibly happy with it, and thought I'd clear up some of the reasons why you may be on the fence too.

The first thing that made me think twice was when I heard the single player campaign was just five hours long. While this is true, it's not exactly fair to call this a short game.

First of all, 5 hours is short, but it's not unforgivable for a straight up shooter…but secondly, once you've finished the single player campaign (which took me almost exactly five hours playing on regular), you can play the 'Special Ops' mode.

'Special Ops' consists of around thirty missions designed mainly for co-op play, but can be played single player as well. The Special Ops missions have a ton of replay value and there's lots of variation. Some are based around stealth (get from A to B without alerting any guides), sniping (successfully hold off 'x' waves of bad guys), straight up shooting (kill 'x' number of bad guys without accidentally killing 'x' number of civilians)…and lots more game types, including a snow-mobile race.

I say these have a ton of replay value because not only do they have multiple difficulty settings (which in turn award you more 'stars' for completion), there's always the drive the beat your old time or kill count. Co-op adds a whole new level, especially on the two or three co-op only missions…my favorite of which is a mission where one player fights on the ground while the other covers him from an AC130 gunship.

Basically, I think the few negative reviews of MW2 come down mostly to the sheer amount of hype that surrounded the game pre-launch. After waiting a month to buy it, and having my expectations lowered below "OMFG this is going to be the best game EVAR!", it really is an awesome, awesome game.

In fact, the only real downside to the whole single player experience is…well…you remember those few awesome set pieces from the first Modern Warfare, such as the ending on the bridge, or the Nuke aftermath? Well, it turns out that Infinity Ward liked those set pieces as well and decided to fit as many in as possible...which means that by 2 hours into the game I was cynically awaiting the next big plot twist, double cross or betrayal.

Having said that, the actual missions are varied and fun, and you get to do a lot of cool stuff.

Oh, and as long as Infinity Ward pulls their finger out and provides some patches to stop the glitching and cheating going on online, there's no reason why the multiplayer shouldn't be a hell of a lot of fun as well.

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