In Depth Review: Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2
Demontium Reviews: Modern Warfare 2 (9.0)
Possible Spoiler Alerts (kinda.... not really?)
I picked up this game TODAY. I beat this game TODAY. I got to level 35 TODAY. Do not tell me I have not played it enough TODAY. Anyways...
You need time to deal with Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. After all, considering the size and scale of the year-long media campaign that has heralded its arrival, at times, it's been easy to forget that there's actually a video game at the centre of all this attention. Modern Warfare 2 may change the way games are promoted. It may move video games closer to a cinematic experience than ever before. It may even change the amount of money consumers will be expected to fork out for this sort of entertainment. While it probably won't revolutionise video games in general, it's certainly been instrumental in reminding Joe Public just what a money-making behemoth the industry has become. And all of this happened before we lowly reviewers even managed to get the disc out of its box.
With the dust finally settling on Modern Warfare 2's PR juggernaut we can now consider it solely on its merits as a video game, and while its arrival won't crack open the sky and cause rose petals to rain down from heaven, it will provide COD fans with hours and hours of fun. All credit to Infinity Ward; it's delivered one of the best games of the year, and one of the best FPSs ever made. They've done this largely by leaving the already magnificent core gameplay of their shooter intact, while broadening the depth of the Multiplayer and bolting on a new mode. Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 comes armed with three modes of play; Campaign, Multiplayer and Special Ops. The first of these three would be the meat of most other shooter packages, but as most fans of this game's predecessor already know, the Multiplayer is the real money-shot in this game; it's almost certainly the reason that COD4 was still selling respectably nearly two years on from its day of release.
The plot of the Campaign mode picks up 5 years after the events of the last Modern Warfare title, and like COD4, it follows the storylines of US troops (this time swapping out the US Marine Corp for Rangers) and British SAS (who in this instance are now a super elite force). It would be unfair to give away any of the major twists or turns in the game's story, suffice to say it's a meat-headed, high-octane affair with enough testosterone to send Michael Bay into orbit. Players will sample a number of lethal delights during the Campaign aside from the frenetic, superb run and gun action the franchise has become known for; they'll take part in a snowmobile chase, paint targets for tanks, blow apart helicopters with rocket launchers and they'll drop Predator drones onto multiple ground targets. The story dots around the globe and players find themselves shooting it out in several exotic locations including a labyrinthine shanty town in Brazil, a secluded castle in Russia and a secret underground base in Afghanistan. The action hardly lets up for second, and in between streams of exciting gun battles, Infinity Ward peppers its levels with knock-out set pieces - one such moment involves the player, recently stripped of their weapons, escaping from a gang of armed guerrillas across the rooftops of a favela in Rio De Janiero.
There are also a couple of genuinely disturbing moments during the campaign - one of which was leaked before the launch a couple of weeks ago, in which the player joins a team of terrorists in gunning down unarmed civilians at an airport. It should be pointed out that the scene itself is vital to the making the escalation of events that take place in the plot believable. The turn the story takes in the first act would be a lot harder to swallow if the player was simply made aware of the terrorist attack by one of the gravelly-throated narrators while they were watching the streaming maps on the loading screens. Of course, this doesn't mean everyone will have the same reaction and regardless of what we think of its merits within the artistic concerns of the plot, it's likely the terror attack at the airport scene is sure to earn Modern Warfare 2 a certain amount of notoriety among people who don't play video games. However, it should be pointed out that players have the option of skipping that scene altogether if they wish, and those that don't will probably find it to be the shortest and least satisfying level in the Campaign. It seems to exist more as a scene-setter for the rest of the plot than anything else, and in this regard, it's highly effective.
The Multiplayer is timeless, the campaign is amazing, and everything is well worth the money. I cannot exactly say this game was up to the hype it received (otherwise it would be over 9000 out of 10), but I can say that it is a must have.
Overall: 9.0 (4.5/5 stars)
One great package overall that we all already know you have; if not, go get it!