Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Review

Score: 86 / 100
Good: Fun singleplayer, great two player co-op, loads of new weapons, beautiful visuals, fantastic fast paced gameplay
Bad: No dedicated servers in MP, no console commands, having to wait while a new host is found in MP, no ping system, no modding capabilities, short (3.5 hours) singleplayer, and $10 more expensive than other PC games.
Reviewed On: PC

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 was supposedly the biggest entertainment release and the most anticipated game of all time. It has sold millions of copies and made millions of dollars in one of the shortest spans of any video game...ever. But, is it really that good?

Most of the reviews for this game posted the day it was released. They were done on a console version of the title and under supervision of Activision. With that said, there are a few reviews that did not fall victim to this trend. Ars Technica actually bought the damn game on PC and gave it a wonderful review. The point is that the PC version of MW2 has been extremely over looked and treated like a bastard step-child forced to work in a Nike labor camp.

The Backdrop...

Modern Warfare 2 is set five years after the end of COD4. You begin the game as a private in the Army and run through the basic 'getting to know you' COD intro stuff. This includes a training area called 'the pit', showing locals how to shoot down their sights, crouch, and throw grenades. Though a nice touch to get the player 'in to' the game, it is rather brief and out of place.

The whole story behind this title is that the United States is setup to take the fall for a massacre in an airport conducted by a crazy Russian. And yes, this is the airport part you keep hearing about. Get over it. Apparently gamers feel better about mowing people down in GTAIV than they do in a European airport...who knew? The rest of the story is what you would expect if we killed a lot of civilians in a Russian airport: the Russians invade, America isn't prepared, there is an inside man, and soap is a badass.

You also get to play through many different perspectives and settings throughout the entire campaign in classic COD fashion. At one point you may find yourself on the streets of a middle-eastern city and then, only a few hours later, find yourself surfacing on an oil rig from a submarine.

Let's Get Down to Gameplay...

Gameplay is what you have come to expect from other COD titles. Run, gun, and wait for your health to recharge after playing rambo through a pack of enemies. The main difference in MW2 is that they have added a ton of new weapons. They have even 're-made' some of the old ones to give them an even MORE mordern feel...if that is possible.

MW2 has also added vehicles. No, you can't get in a vehicle and travel around the map like Far Cry 2. But, you can hop on a snowmobile and bust down some Russians gangsta style while trying to dodge trees.

What I am trying to say here is that while the gameplay is rehashed, it is still fun. I really enjoy the fast pace of a COD game and found it resonating throughout this sequel.

Multiplayer...

The multiplayer for MW2 is pretty much what you would expect if you played COD4. It has the same RPG rank up and unlock system, the same fast paced action, and the same people who play the game way too much (think college kids who don't have jobs). I think I will now list everything that I wish the PC version had: Dedicated servers, console commands, no waiting while a new host is trying to be found, a ping system, and modding capabilities.

I WILL say however that the spec ops feature is great. Though it's only two player co-op (and singleplayer if you have no friends), you do get to play through some pretty cool missions. Think airplane swat mission at the end of the COD4 credits X 10. Other spec ops missions include fighting off waves of enemies, racing the clock, and being super sneaky. All in all it adds a little replay value to a painfully short singleplayer.

The Visuals...

This game is beautiful. Granted, it looks a lot like COD4, you can definitely tell a massive overhaul was conducted on the engine. Little things like gear, weapon accessories, and even hair were all paid close attention to when they were developing this game. I thought that COD4 was graphically amazing, but MW2 really brings 'modern warfare' to life.

One distinctive mission that blew my mind was the mission where you and Soap are climbing the side of an ice mountain to lay waste to some unsuspecting Russians above. The ice, the snow, the weather, the gear, and the sounds all worked together to make it one of the most intense, and beautiful, levels I have ever played.

The Disappointments....

No dedicated servers in MP, no console commands, having to wait while a new host is found in MP, no ping system, no modding capabilities, short (3.5 hours) singleplayer, and $10 more expensive than other PC games. You pretty much get less, to no, bang for your buck here.

Overall...

MW2 has great visuals, outstanding fast paced FPS gameplay, and a fantastic two player co-op experience. While it only offers about HALF of what COD4 offered, it tries to make up for it in providing tons of weapons and an actually enjoyable (short lived) singleplayer experience. Though I can't condone any of you buying this game for the PC, I will say that if you have a console...rent it.

P.S. MW2 is fun, but what killed its score is the slap in the face to PC gamers.

- Tyler Sanders

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