Sunday, July 28, 2013

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

Well, I played Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 a while ago, might as well review it.
I didn't play CoD4 before I played this, and after having done so, I really don't think it would have made much difference if I had. It starts off with a series of flashbacks to Modern Warfare, essentially recapping what happened in CoD4, but still telling you nothing about the actual plot of the game. There's a lot of military-style music in this game that sounds like it was copied out of Metal Gear Solid 2 (I know saying that one military game copies music from the other is like saying that Chrome copies Internet Explorer by nature of having the feature of browsing the web, but there's a LOT that reminds me of MGS2 in this game)
The controls are nice, and pretty much everything a shooters controls should be. Not at all spaced out, very intuitive, and easy to learn and use. There was a fair bit of repetition, and the game was a bit short, clocking in at around eight hours of play time. That being said, I enjoyed every minute of it. Call of Duty gets a whole lot of flack from one side, and the other side over-rates it. I'm somewhere in the middle. I really like it, I like its controls, the characters, the gameplay and the story, but it has a few issues. For being touted as a "realistic shooter" some of the textures are low-res (Especially ground ones), while others can take a while to load in. The loading-screens are hybrid load-times and cutscenes, so unless you're in a hurry you'll probably not be bothered by loading times (Although they'll sometimes start playing even if you're just reloading a save from the checkpoint). The swapping from character to character can be a bit confusing at times (Mainly due to the fact that you swap between about four or five. It'd really help to play Modern Warfare before you start controlling Soap, just so you know who he is), but I tended to ignore it because I was having a whole lot of fun. I preferred the stealth sections to the outright action-based ones, mainly because I like Metal Gear Solid a whole lot and partially because it was more fun (And a bit more intense) sneaking around an enemy area, moving right past armed guards and letting them live than it is to kill everything, because I could imagine their superiors chewing them out when they found out that I'd crawled right past them and they didn't notice!
Now, the similarities to Metal Gear Solid: first thing is that you at one point see Soap Mactavish from CoD4. You serve alongside him, and at one point in time another character from CoD4 shows up and helps you out for the rest of the game. Also, the opening music is, like I said above, very similar to the opening of Metal Gear Solid 2. The menu-theme sounds like the title-screen to MGS3, and like I said, the stealth elements exist. Remember when I said that you find a character from CoD4 somewhere in the game? Well even after playing CoD4 I still didn't understand how he got to where I found him, and after that he joins your group.
And now we must address the infamous "No Russian" mission.
At one point in time you infiltrate a terrorists group and accompany himself on a rampage through an airport. You can easily get through it without killing any of the civilians, but about the time that Russian SWAT shows up, you can't proceed without killing them, which is probably the most... Okay, "shocking" isn't the right word, nor is "controversial"...... I think that "jarring" fits better. At the point where you realize that you can't proceed in the game without killing the cops in that level... It's definitely the most jarring moment in the entire game. Infinity Ward touted "dynamic AI" as a feature for this game. According to Wikipedia, one of the functions of this is that "The player cannot depend on enemies to be found in the same locations as a previous play-through because enemies will behave differently each time a level is played."
I'm not sure how true this is, considering that every time I re-spawned at one checkpoint during the mission in Brazil these same two enemies would run out of a building, jump down and run across a patch of grass. This was every time I respawned.
And here we come right into something else: I'd say the game is a little on the short side. Although that might be a good thing, because it doesn't over-stay, or really does it pad the gameplay out too much (although I did have to replay a few missions over and over). I'd say that you could probably finish it in a shorter time-period than I did if you were a bit more skilled with the game than I was. All in all, I'd say it's a good game. You're definitely meant to play Modern Warfare first, and MW3 soon after. It's definitely meant as a package deal, but I'd suggest playing other games in between them in order to break it up, otherwise they might start to grind a bit. Like I said, I actually liked it, despite ragging on Black Ops II in the past. I'd give it a 9.0* rating. It was by no means my first FPS (Or CoD game for that matter) and it will be by no means my last. One thing I have to criticize is the lack of bots in multiplayer, when Perfect Dark had bots in multiplayer nearly a decade before (IDK, but Goldeneye might have had them too).
Someday I might get around to Call of Duty: Ghosts. After playing this I'm actually fairly interested in the series. Enough to get the last game in the Modern Warfare trilogy anyways.