2 years ago Infinity Ward brought us Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and they set a new bar for singleplayer set-pieces and multiplayer. They’ve been working tirelessly on Modern Warfare 2 and it does not disappoint.
Modern Warfare 2 has its single player portion that’s a complete sequel to the first Modern Warfare. Spec Ops mode is its new co-op feature where you play scenarios from the campaign with a different objective with another friend either online or split-screen. Modern Warfare had such an addicting multiplayer when it first came out and Infinity Ward has managed to trump themselves in all ways with the multiplayer back and as frantic as ever.
For the first time in the Call of Duty series we are given a true sequel. Modern Warfare 2 takes place 5 years after the events of the first game. This game really does feel like one big action movie that takes you from the bustling streets of Brazil to Oil Tankers in the middle of the ocean. Everything in the game has been bumped up a notch with spectacular scripted events that I won’t spoil. The graphics have also had an upgrade since the previous iteration with the character models looking much more realistic and less flat than the previous game. The environment has also had some touch-ups with much more detail. My only disappointments with the campaign are its length and the plot. A play through on the normal difficulty will get you a good 5 hours while the higher difficulties will be a little longer just because the enemy AI is much smarter this time around and it makes certain missions frighteningly difficult. The plot is also a little of a letdown just because of how ridiculous it gets. There are even a few obvious plot holes left in the game that leaves you wondering why certain characters did what they did. Another thing about the plot is that sometimes it’s told during gameplay through voice chatter from your squad. This would be fine if I wasn’t too busy shooting enemies where I don’t have the time to look at the text to quickly read it since you can barely hear their voices over the chaos. Other than that the campaign is quite exhilarating and you will definitely finish it in a sitting not because of how short it is, but because it’s just that good. Another thing to note about the campaign is the fact that Hans Zimmer composed the soundtrack and it shows. The instrumentals you’ll hear help give personality to each level.
Remember how awesome Modern Warfare’s multiplayer was? Yea some people are still playing it too. Infinity Ward has managed to outdo themselves by adding new additions to the game to give it a completely different feel from the last. The class system is back with new weapons and perks plus some modifications. Instead of your secondary gun limited to a pistol you can now have launchers, shotguns, handguns, or submachine guns as your secondary. Just like in the first game there are levels to gain which unlock new weapons, perks, killstreaks, etc. The challenges return which task you to complete various things like getting a certain amount of kills with a weapon to my favorite challenge “Vandalism” which tasks you with blowing up a car. The perks are also back with lots of new ones that have their own challenges that unlock a bonus to perks like the Commando perk extends your knife range and after a certain amount of knife kills you’ll unlock Commando+ which adds no fall damage. The major change to multiplayer is the amount of killstreaks you can choose from. Now there are over 10 different ones you can pick from but you’re limited to bringing 3 to a battle so pick wisely. This adds a bit of strategy since not everyone is going to have the same setup and sometimes you’ll find people in a round communicating with each other to try and plan out who should unleash which killstreak. As I mentioned earlier there are levels to go up in and this time they go up to 70, which after hitting the mark you have the option to prestige and start all over. My favorite addition to the multiplayer is the customized callsigns. As you perform challenges and level up you’ll acquire new titles and emblems that you can pick to personify yourself while playing online. Killing a person, or getting killed, will show that person your callsign and some are quite humorous like the Blunt Trauma with marijuana plants surrounding it, a paddle that simply says No, or my personal favorite is the heart covered Companion Crate which is a parody of the Companion Cube from Portal if you don’t get it.
World at War had 4 player co-op in its campaign and with its Nazi zombie horde mode. Infinity Ward adds its own flair on co-op by taking it back to two players and taking areas from the campaign but changing the objectives. Examples of this are with the snowmobile mission from the campaign that is turned into a hectic race against your friend as you try to reach the finish line first and in the Brazil favela you and a friend will have to clear the area of all hostiles while making sure to not kill the civilians or else it’s game over for you. This mode will definitely keep you coming back even after you’ve obtained all the stars which are given by completing a mission on a certain difficulty level. New missions are unlocked by getting stars but you can easily unlock all the missions by just playing each mission on normal and getting a single star. My favorite missions are the ones where one of you stays on the ground to fight enemy forces while the other takes to the air and pilots either an ACT130 or a chopper. Running around a farm firing at enemies while you friend is firing from the ACT130 is an exhilarating feeling especially on the higher difficulty modes.
Infinity Ward could have sold Modern Warfare 2 with just the multiplayer and it would have done amazingly well. The singleplayer (albeit short) feels like a rollercoaster from start to finish with high points with extreme drops that will leave you awe-struck. Spec-Ops is probably my favorite part of the game and sitting with a friend (or online) and giving each other commands on how to handle the many missions is a complete blast. This is simply the best FPS out there right now and the multiplayer will still be played until the eventual release of Modern Warfare 3.
MonsterVine Rating: Excellent