It’s been called the game of the year, even the game of the decade, and some have gone as far so to call it the best game of all time. And now, All Age Gaming brings you a full review of one of the most anticipated games of all time; Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. The game gives players the expected Call of Duty experience they’ve come to know and love, as well as add in a few neat little surprises sure to impress. Many fans consider the Treyarch developed COD games failures, so this game had even more riding on it to bring the glory back to the classic shooter series. Whatever your preference, one thing’s for sure; you won’t want to miss this one. Read on to find out why.
Modern Warfare 2 can be defined in one word; great. The gameplay is everything you would expect, and it’s perfect. It controls exactly how you want it and gives you not only easy access and pick-up-playability but also caters for the hardcore, who love the games intense action and array of weapons and abilities. From the get-go, the games single player experience will have you sucked in and stuck there for hours on end. But mind you, only a few hours. Not because it gets boring, but because it’s the shortest campaign the series has ever seen. A standard play through will take you only about 5 to 6 hours, maybe a bit longer if you stop to look at the scenery, which is a serious let down considering how good each and every mission is. It leaves you wanting so much more and unless you have yourself a LIVE connection, you won’t get much more out of it.
Although the single player campaign is exceptionally short, the story is as deep as ever, in fact, it’s the most riveting story thus far in the series. Usually a Call of Duty game just has you re-enacting famous battles from real wars (aka CoD 1, 2, 3 & 5), but Modern Warfare 2 has you continuing the actual story from Infinity Wards last masterpiece; Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare! If you haven’t played the original Modern Warfare, then you might be in for a hard time understanding the story of this one. It seems like it caters only for those in full knowledge of the last, which can at times confuse and stun some unlucky gamers. But, great story aside, the missions also impress. Each one is jam-packed full of action and gives players excellent pacing which while slower at points, always keeps you on your toes and into the atmosphere. There’s also no shortage of rather dramatic scenes, which will have you on the edge of your seat, and at times, with a tear down your cheek. This is what sets it apart from other shooting games. It’s a rare occasion that a game has you caring about your characters and even NPC’s (non-player characters), especially in the shooting genre, and even more so, the war shooter, and I must say, it’s great to see even if it does jerk a little hard on the old blood pumper sometimes. This is why Modern Warfare 2 has one of the best single player campaigns ever seen in a shooter, despite being far too short.
When you’re done and dusted with the campaign (and before you go ahead and replay it again, which you’re sure to do many times), you should turn your attention to the games little ‘extra’; Spec Ops. This mode lets you take on a few sets of increasingly difficult challenges, each with a few varying missions from racing snowmobiles to taking out waves of enemies. These can be completed in any order as long as you have unlocked them, and taken on your lonesome, which isn’t recommended, with a split-screen partner, or with a friend over Xbox LIVE, which is probably your best bet at toppling some of these monsters. In fact, doing these Spec Ops missions with a buddy has to be one of the most rewarding co-op experiences in recent times. For a while, there was talk of the actual campaign being co-op compatible, but this was removed due to the fact that it would have ‘ruined the experience’ as Infinity Ward put it. When you play through the story, you will completely agree, as it just has to be completed by yourself, otherwise the drama will be compromised, which would be a major downfall with the game.
Call of Duty games has always had a great multiplayer experience, and Modern Warfare took it to new extremes. In fact, it took multiplayer gaming as a whole to new heights. And now Modern Warfare 2 takes everything loved about the original and improves on it, and everything hated about it, and rolls it up into a carpet before throwing it off an abandoned bridge, never to be seen again. But to any of you new comers; be warned. Most players online are veteran Modern Warfare 1 players and will have you on your knees in a heartbeat, so find yourself some decent team mates to bunk with when the going gets tough. Infinity Ward have fixed all the game-searching issues with the last and fixed the host migration issues which back in the day would see the whole match thrown back into the lobby if a host left, but now has you back into the action within seconds of selecting a new host. Another mentionable is the far greater array of weapons and attachable items at your disposal. More weapons, better perks, more even levels, and all thought out far better, giving only the higher ranking players the tools they’ve earned, see the multiplayer experience more complete and stronger than ever, and will give you loads of fun before you get tired of it. There hasn’t been such a great online experience since Halo 3 was first released, and it’s safe to say to say there won’t be for a long time, unless CoD 7 steps up the challenge.
Always on front line of graphical astonishment, Call of Duty games are known for pushing boundaries. And that’s just what Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 does. It pushes all known boundaries for how good an intense shooter can look and never lets you down. From the detail on your gun and even your gorgeous knife, to the realistic modelling and lip-synching of each and every character. But players and their buddies isn’t the only thing looking good here; the games surroundings, no matter how dense and detailed also look great!
Every mission which has you at a different location will have you keeping a keen eye on all the detail of the landscape, and amazed at just how fine it looks. Sure, there are some parts of the game where you could swear you just ran past that car and building combo or that filthy chicken poo-covered market stall on the last street, but look past the little things like that and you have yourself a game full of jaw-dropping explosions and realistic characters.
Another given to the series is its uncanny ability to make the characters seem real through top-shelf voice acting worthy of the big screen. Modern Warfare 2 doesn’t disappoint here either, bringing back all your favourite voices from the original to reprise their own roles and even Mod. 1’s fan favourite Gaz actor, whom you may recognize from the Halo series as the Arbiter and Mass Effects Captain Anderson to take helm for the newest and undeniably the coolest character in the game; Ghost.
As I’ve mentioned more than a few times, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is full of drama and nail-biting moments. And you can’t have these sorts of moments in a AAA game without adding in more than a fair share of excellent scores to back up the drama with real emotion as heard through the tunes of perhaps the most famous music composer of modern entertainment; Hans Zimmer, from perhaps every good movie you’ve seen since the 80’s Fame.
It can’t be denied that the game has an unfairly short single player campaign. But this can be overlooked as you will find most of your time online in the games masterful multiplayer mode and trying to best the last few Spec Ops missions. You could play the campaign a few times over before really tiring of it, and get a few decent hours out of Spec Ops, but the real meat is the aforementioned multiplayer mode. You will find yourself addicted to the brim when you get into this, and playing for every waking hour, ensuring you get far, far more than your moneys worth out of whatever price you pay.
It must be said that this game hits all spots; single player, cooperative, and multiplayer perfectly, giving players the most complete CoD game to date and one of the best shooters ever made. A sure fire Game of the Year contender and a must-own for every self-respecting game enthusiast and casual gamer alike. You don’t want to miss this one. Despite its short campaign and lack of catering for newcomers, in the form of a possibly confusing storyline and a hardcore-player online experience, Modern Warfare 2 is still the definitive shooter of this generation so far.
AAG SCORE: 9.4/10
- More addictive CoD multiplayer
- Great single player story and characters
- Great voice acting and musical score
- Hits every spot; single player, cooperative and multiplayer
- Campaign too short
- Possibly intimidating for new comers
Reviewed and Written By John Elliott