Archive for June 24, 2010

Modern Warfare 2 Review

With the first Modern Warfare becoming the biggest-selling action game of all time, the pressure is really on for developers Infinity Ward. Can they deliver a game that is not only worthy of the name, but an improvement on the original? The answer is, undoubtedly, yes.

The story picks up five years after the events of the first game. Original game’s hero ‘Soap’ Mactavish is now a captain in the elite Task Force 141 and leading newbie ‘Roach’ Sanderson on stealth missions to steal a Russian tracking module. Meanwhile, in Afghanistan, US Ranger Joseph Allen is hand-picked by General Shepard to join Task Force 141. His goal is to infiltrate an Ultranationalist terrorist group headed by Makarov, a vicious gun for hire with no boundaries.

Naturally, it all goes mammaries skyward when Makarov catches on, shooting up a Russian airport and blaming it on the Americans. So begins a chain of events that threaten to change the face of the entire world…

This is the biggest, silliest, most explosive, over-the-top action game of all time. While the first game’s story was impressive because of its realism, this one aims to thrill through the sheer number of balls-out, jaw-dropping moments. It’s the closest games have ever come to being an interactive Michael Bay film- and that, for once, is a good thing.

The single player campaign is an absolute blast – addictive, fun, exciting and utterly ridiculous. There’s no other story mode like it. Even better, there’s more secret enemy intel items hidden away to be found than the last game, and it’s also been made a damn sight easier to complete on Veteran difficulty.

In addition to the impressive single-player, there’s also a whole new set of ‘Spec Ops’ challenges that can be played solo, with a mate, or online. There’s a huge variety of challenges, mostly based on objectives in the story campaign, all of which are set in levels from both the first and second game. Each of the Spec Ops provides its own incredible, unique and thought-provoking challenge, with the difficulty curve rising beautifully throughout. The Spec Ops themselves are divided up and categorised by how tough they are, with some remaining locked until the player has earned enough stars by beating the levels on all three difficulties.

Spec Ops is a fantastic addition to a cracking game, bringing in even more reason to play the game long after you’re seen the end credits on the main campaign. It’s fast, furious, incredibly hard and deeply replayable, thanks to Infinity Ward adding on their best times to the completed challenges.

But the best thing about Modern Warfare 2 is, like its predecessor, the multiplayer. This game takes everything that was great about the first version and improves it. There are more weapons, more unlockable attachments, more killstreak perks, death perks and even more improvements to make to existing perks. The result is an endlessly customisable game that can be adapted to absolutely any player’s skill. While new players will still owned up with relative ease, Infinity Ward have wisely added in a number of new ways to earn those all-important experience points. Now, instead of just gaining points through ranking, kills and challenges, you get points for stopping enemies in their killstreak, for killing the person who killed you, for scoring headshots, for getting one-shot kills, for ending your own losing streak… the list goes on. Needless to say, this is the only multiplayer FPS experience you’ll ever need.

There are a couple of downsides, though. While the multiplayer is great, it can become quite stale and repetitive, while some of the Spec Ops are too difficult, forcing you to find and exploit bugs in the design, something that goes against the point of the game. Having said that, these are small issues in a massive game with absolutely oodles of things to do, see and experience.

This is Modern Warfare 2. No introduction needed. If you don’t already own this game, you need to. It’s that simple.

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