So having recently setup a LoveFilm rental plan I had PS3 copies of both Batman: Arkham Asylum and Modern Warfare 2 shipped to me. Since I've already written up an extensive blog of my views on Batman: Arkham Asylum on the PC we'll bypass comments on the PS3 version. Except for the mention that it controls so much more smoothly with a controller than it does with a keyboard and mouse.
Now onto the MW2 content!
- Campaign Mode
However the problem with the campaign was that I never quite understood fully as to why I was being shot at or why I was actually shooting the enemy. And by this I mean what story the game actually has is so poorly conveyed that it was a complete mess and extremely confusing to try and understand. By half way through the game I gave up trying to keep track of what was actually going on with the story and characters, instead just focusing on completing my missions. And that was a huge disappointment on what I imagine Infinity Ward hoped would be an emotional or thought provoking conclusion, but because everything in the story leading up to it was so poorly delivered I was left feeling nothing.
For all of the campaigns fun action I felt entirely detached from the game itself due to shockingly poor storytelling. It felt more like a war simulator than a progressive story. Overall it was a big let down, COD4 may never have had the best story but it managed to competently progress that story enough that you understood what was going on, the modus operandi of characters and their actions etc. None of that really happened in MW2.
- Spec Ops Mode
- Multiplayer Mode
That being said the actual gameplay of the multiplayer is an odd mixture of love it or loathe it. For every frustrating '"Whiskey Tango Foxtrot!" moment I've had (Knifing a player twice from behind with Commando equipped at point blank range and not having a kill register, then have them turn around and knife me) I've also had some awesome moments such as an 11 kill streak all achieved using a Riot Shield. Moments like these that are equal amounts frustration as well as sheer joy and delight are what make a multiplayer like this somewhat addictive. The emblems and titles are also a nice addition as well allowing a certain level of extra customisation on top of the five custom classes you can design.
Changes to the custom classes and perks in particular are good additions as well. Being able to have a primary and secondary weapon helps adjust for different maps and situations much more easily, Eg. Sniper Rifle + Shotgun combinations help those campers deal with long and close range combat better. The ability to upgrade each perk to a 'Pro' version that adds an additional ability to the basic version of that perk is nice. My current favourite perk would have to be Scavenge, such a suitably useful perk in almost every build I've come up with thus far. The addition of more and higher rewarding kill streaks is good and being able to unlock them in any order is also an added bonus, just as death streaks provide a slight boost to players struggling in a match.
But the multiplayer does have a feeling of deja vu to it in that it strongly resembles the formula COD4 followed, while MW2 arguably has more content to unlock and has refined the system a little more. The notion of 'more of a good thing can't be bad, right?' doesn't necessarily excuse the fact that on a technical level the gameplay is very much the same to the point there feels like very little that has been changed. Juggernaut may no longer exist, Martyrdom may have been changed to a death streak but new perks such as Cold Blooded and Ninja have begun to take the top spot for most used and disliked within the game. These core issues from COD4 still exist to a certain degree in MW2's multiplayer.
- Closing Comments
While the Multiplayer and Spec Ops modes on the other hand have their own issues they are by and large well done. Spec Ops in particular feels like the strongest addition to the game allowing players to genuinely get a feeling of achievement for completing various goals in each mission. Being able to play co-operatively in split screen or online with friends and in some cases play certain missions all on your own is a nice benefit. MW2's multiplayer has a feeling of familiarity too it due to how closely it resembles the gameplay in COD4 having built itself off of a previously successful model.
Ultimately though Modern Warfare 2 feels to me like a multiplayer game with a tacked on single player campaign for the sake of it, an inverted take on the usual trend of a single player game with a tacked on multiplayer component for the sake of it. Definitely not the best game released this year in my book and if I had to give it a score then it would be somewhere along the lines of a 4/5 stars. But ultimately it all comes down to personal taste, I had my reservations about MW2 before renting it, having now played it I see those reservations were somewhat spot on.
As usual folks feel free to comment and critique! Hamz, XOXO
P.S. I apologise for spelling and grammar mistakes, had to retype this twice after browser crashes. So it was rushed a little :)