At first I was turned off but its celebration of war and masculine culture, but it grew on me.
Although this has gotten quite a bit of praise on its release date, I noticed how much flak it gets from certain types of gamers. It's become the stereotypical bro game. It's reached the point where saying "I liked the first few ones" practically became a meme. Even with all this, and my reservations against stuff that celebrates the military, masculinity, and the bro culture, I've decided to give this an honest chance. I should note that this review will only cover the singleplayer portion. I know that these games are all about the multiplayer, but I have no way to play it since a) my 360 says I don't have access to it, and b) I'm sure not many will play it on the 360 a decade after the games release, and if there are any I assume they are veterans of the game.
At first, I was incredibly turned off by the game. The opening cutscene felt way too pro-America, and even implying that foreign intervention can be a good thing. The first few levels felt like a celebration of war, and the masculine bro-culture related to war. I was honestly terrified. Then the Task Force 141 mission based in the mountains came in. It was paced very well, contained a variety of game mechanics, and was honestly just fun. I had hopes for the game. Of course, the controversial mission had to come in. It felt like such an incredibly exploitative way to make the villain look bad. It's dealing with the standard "look how evil I am" trope, but takes it to such an extreme level that I honestly thought it was satire. I was stunned by the fact that you had to be involved in it as well. I felt like stopping the game at that point, but I felt like it could be unfair, so I kept going.
Eventually, to my surprise, the game ended up growing on me. The missions based in America felt a bit too much like propaganda, even basing one part in the White House, but the Task Force 141 missions were what made the game very fun. I enjoyed the settings of them, and the variety of the pacing. It would change from more stealth-based to action-based throughout the level, but never felt rushed or drawn out. There is a twist partway through that I found interesting when learning about the motivations behind it.
As for the gameplay itself, I found it to be an above average FPS. The variety of weapons was welcoming, and the use of technology such as drones and targeting was quite interesting. The difficulty of the levels had a good pace, slightly increasing as the game went on. However, I felt like the difficulty at the level based in a home was a bit too high of a jump. It took much longer than it should have for me to complete it due to the amount of practice required on my end.
My one big complaint is the fact that the singleplayer campaign is so short. Even though I was stuck on that one level, it took me around 5 and a half hours to complete the game. I understand that multiplayer is the focus on this game series, but since I can't access that aspect of the game, I wanted to see something more fleshed out.
To my surprise, I actually enjoyed this game. Does that make me a bro?