Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Review (Xbox 360)

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Formats: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC

Publisher: Activision – Developer: Infinity Ward

I didn’t have the highest hopes for this, don’t get me wrong I do enjoy the First Person Shooter genre, I’d even go as far as to say that FPS’s are my forte, followed closely by Driving and RPG games.  But there was something about it that I can’t explain, I don’t get caught up in hype and I don’t even read up much on a game I’m really interested in before it’s released, sounds odd I know but I don’t want to be disappointed in a game that’s been hyped up to be the second coming, I read what I need to.

Sure Modern Warfare 2 looked amazing in the trailers but I wasn’t really impressed with Modern Warfare, I favoured the WWII Call of Duty’s.  So then I went on a mission to actually complete Modern Warfare before its sequel came out, we’ve had it since launch over 2 years ago and I hadn’t even gotten past the TV Station mission! Yet slowly I was being converted, I was actually enjoying Modern Warfare and I’d be playing it for hours just trying to find out what happens next!…on Veteran of course!

Which then beings me to Modern Warfare 2.  After the final mission on the first game I was itching to start the second…even if it was past midnight.  Ok enough of the storytime talk, on with what you want to know!

In terms of back story I would advise playing through Modern Warfare first as this one basically continues from where the first finished but it’s not necessary if you don’t already own the first.  If you’re more of a multiplayer kinda person, you can have up to 18 players in an online game as well as a 2 player co-op mode called Spec Ops which is new to the Call of Duty series.  There are no achievements for playing this online but there are for Spec Ops.

As I said before, I didn’t initially have high hopes for this game after neglecting the first one for the best part of 2 years, but I can now honestly say I was so very wrong with my initial judgement. I am running the risk of sounding unprofessional here but I would describe Modern Warfare 2 as being FULL OF EPIC WIN!…sorry, I’ll try not to do that again.  I’ve read other people’s comments on this game where people accuse it of being very gimmicky by using set piece after set piece, but the way I see it, if you’re having fun then the developers have done something right, better than having nothing happening for hours.

This far into the review I am now realising how hard it is to write about it, I am very against spoiling anything, but because this game has so many amazing levels, its hard to talk about them without mentioning what happened in them.  Anyway, moving onward…

In terms of difficulty, I would say that it’s easier than its prequel.  Veteran mode I found is as difficult as Hardened in Modern Warfare, which I thought was a good thing.  I know some people like to torture themselves by playing games on insanely difficult settings, but I think this new Veteran is hard enough to be challenging yet easy enough to make you give it another go if you die (and you will die!).  Don’t worry if you think you’ve bitten off more than you can chew, if you’re finding it too difficult then you can adjust the difficulty by pausing the game as you play.

I mentioned at the start a new mode called Spec Ops, I’ve not had a chance to play this enough to review it (I will do in another review), but what I do know is that it doesn’t strictly follow the plot of the campaign like you do in a game like Gears of War co-op, you play through different scenarios using co-op to your advantage, for example one level has 1 player working through the level from the ground and your partner covers you by operating an AC-130 gunship like the one in Modern Warfare.

I’ve never had so much fun playing a Call of Duty game and if you’re a collector like me there is reason to go back and play it again, be it for the other difficulty achievements or to collect the remaining Intel (Laptops).  To give you an idea of how long this game is I completed it in under 20 hours on Veteran, obviously it’s not 20 hours long as the in-game clock includes time spent in the pause menu or on the title screen, but if you choose the easiest setting you’ll probably have it finished in a day or two, then there’s multiplayer and Spec Ops on top of that.

To sum this up, I would highly recommend anyone getting this if they are vaguely interested in the FPS genre, more so if they are a fan of the series.  Even when you’ve finished the Campaign and Spec-Ops I’m sure you’ll be playing multiplayer for a long time.

Community Questions

ace1jonb asked: I have been finding that all of my friends list are only ever playing that one game and I don’t see why it is so addictive. Why do you think this is?

This is hard to answer because different people have different views on what constitutes as being an addictive game.  I think it’s because it’s found that sweet spot where there is just enough going on to keep you interested, but not too much to be overwhelming.  As for the multiplayer, there are no achievements, which personally I think is a good idea (for both people with Silver Accounts and for people who buy this game in years to come when the online multiplayer community has died) but it has so many personalisation options such as which killstreak perk you want to use etc.  I’ve also found that there are virtually no ‘jumpers’ online too!

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