Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 Review

August 13, 2010 at 11:32 am (Video Games)

You’re an agent sent by the United States Central Intelligence Agency to be an undercover operative in a Russian terrorist group. You’re working with them on their biggest mission yet, and one that is going to change the course of history. You ride with them up a few levels in an elevator, priming your weapon. The doors open, you step out, and your comrades begin to open fire on an enormous crowd of unarmed, innocent civilians in the Moscow International Airport. You never have to fire your gun until the end of the mission to advance, but you see the damage your team is leaving. Men and women are scrambling for their lives, and soon the law enforcement officials arrive to stop you. You fight throw the resistance, obliterate a few riot shield-ed officers, and you begin to make your escape. That is, until your leader shoots you point blank in the head, leaving you to die, as he knew you were a mole all along, and pinning a massive tragedy on the shoulders of the United States of America. This entire situation is played in the first person perspective, with the player in complete control, and is one of the strongest moments in the game, not to mention one of the strongest supports of how beautifully cinematic Modern Warfare 2 can be.

The game takes place a number of years after the original. After an undercover U.S. soldier is pinned with a mass murder, the United States becomes a war zone as an elite group of soldiers both new and familiar go on what seems like a suicide mission to clear their country’s name and save the world. Much like the first game, you’re placed in the shoes of two different soldiers. On one end you play as Ranger Ramirez, a soldier under the supervision of U.S. Sergeant Foley. In his campaign you’re constantly defending the home front in locales like the White House and Hotel Whiskey, taking the battle to the troops invading our own turf. However, the real action is in the campaign following a newbie soldier code-named “Roach”. The campaign’s a lot like the role of “Soap” in the first game as you’re guy is totally new to the business and what’s happening around him, not to mention you never see his face. Speaking of Soap, he turns out to be your commanding officer in this game, and it turned out he had a mohawk! Soap, Roach, Ghost, and other soldiers go through a variety of missions that range from the desert, to the snowy mountains, to Rio De Janeiro, and many other locales to do the dirty work behind this global firefight. One of my favorite parts that seemed to break ground back in 2007 of the original were these enormous, cinematic moments in the game. Something big and exciting would happen, all the while you’re still in your first person view, having a realistic perspective on all that’s going on. If there’s one thing Infinity Ward did with this sequel, it was making these moments bigger and better. Not to give anything away, but there are some unbelievably awesome moments in this game that give you the feeling like you are one of the top soldiers in the world. There are moments that infringe on your love of the characters around you, that inspire you with their scale, and at times once they’re over, you’re double-taking to make sure you did what you just did. Not only are some of these moments just action, they can also pack emotions of sheer terror, compassion, and patriotism. All within the confines of a video game. The game also provides some great moments in terms of the diverse number of locations you get to visit. There are times when you’ll be knee deep in snow in stealth missions, sweating in the heat of Brazil looking out for enemies on the rooftops, or even repelling into an enemy base in the height of enormous desert-ous mountains. Another aspect the game trounces the original in is the volume of the story it tells. The first game had a huge story with a big impact, spanning multiple decades and mainly telling the story of one particular Captain, but by the time you reach the half way point in this game you feel the desire to win this war thanks to some haunting imagery and the terror you realize these global terrorists have created. Let’s just say it’s huge, and the stakes couldn’t be higher. One thing I really liked about the original was its cast of characters. Following Captain Price, Gaz, and the rest of your crew, you felt a connection to all of them and you felt remorse whenever one of your teammates fell in the heat of battle. In this game I don’t feel like as much work went into crafting the teamย as there was in crafting the amazing cinematic moments. By the end of the game I had connected to one or two of the squad-mates the game allows you to get to know like Soap or Sgt. Foley, but I never had a sense of a team like I did in the other.

Modern Warfare 2 may also be the best-looking game I’ve ever played. All of the character models, environments, and even the weapons have some immense detail put into them and have a graphical sheen like no other. Don’t even get me started on the work visibly seen in the shadow work, absolutely gorgeous. The voice cast, much like the original, is still better than ever. Each voice actor has that ” ‘Merica!” gruffy voice but they don’t over do it. It’s like macho-ness without the Sylvester Stallone. It almost feels like you’re in the middle of a summer blockbuster film. It’s even worth mentioning that the weapons are delightfully diverse. One second you’ll be shotgunning, the next you’ll be taking out 10 soldiers at a time with actual predator missiles. By the end you’ll have your favorites, and it’s oh so rewarding. Even though it’s not my favorite part of the game, the multiplayer is also vastly improved with a lot of insanely great maps and a new leveling system that will add tons of new value to fans of the series. The campaign is still a little short, but it’s hard to complain when you’re getting so much bang for your buck. Modern Warfare 2 is a mammoth of a game. So much thought and care went into making this game bigger and better than the original, and on the most part they succeed. There are more explosive moments, shinier graphics, bigger scope, even though there’s a little less heart when it comes to your teammates. There are enough miraculously cool moments to fill a Michael Bay movie, and it’s one of gaming’s biggest achievements of the action genre.

9.75 out of 10

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5 Comments

  1. darkcloak said,

    I should give the Call of Duty games a chance.

  2. earlman27 said,

    Yeah, they’re definitely the best shooters I’ve ever played by a long shot. The story is a really big emphasis in the game, which I personally liked.

  3. The James said,

    I need to get into this series as well

  4. KingreX32 said,

    LOL I would say (isn’t this a little late) but I cant cause I just posted a NFS Undercover Review on my blog LOL (and it came out 2 years ago)

    Anyways. Ive heard alot of people complaining about this game. There were numerous glitches and bugs. Hopefully all that is fixed by now. I loved the first game, I thought the story was great.

  5. earlman27 said,

    A lot of the bugs being reported were mainly online, which I didn’t get a chance to play. I played through the entirety of the single player campaign switching between regular and easy and I’ve played multiple matches of split screen multi-player, but I know what you’re talking about lol.

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