One thing that set Modern Warfare apart from most shooters was its cinematic, intense storyline replete with enough twists and turns that even Jack Bauer would have a hard time keeping up. In Modern Warfare 2, the story continues those twists and turns but expands the scope of the action even more. Without spoiling too much, it is safe to say that the world is a much different place at game’s end than at the game’s beginning.
Set five years after Modern Warfare’s story leaves off, Modern Warfare 2 picks up by putting you into the boots of a US Army Ranger selected to go undercover into a Russian terrorist organization. You see, after the events of Modern Warfare, Russia has fallen into the hands of ultra-nationalists who enjoy thoughts of empire and world domination. Unfortunately these various factors form a powder keg just waiting to go off. And, boy, do they ever!
The game’s story is intricate, intense, and engrossing.
Modern Warfare 2 looks incredible. Unlike the grand vistas of Armed Assault 2 or Operation Flashpoint Dragon Rising, Modern Warfare 2 is a lot more intimate and, even when you are in outdoor environments, they never get so big that they overwhelm. The beauty of this intimate quality is that they can really crank up the visuals in a way those other games cannot. Now, that’s not to say that there is not the occasional grand set-piece or two, but overall it is a very in-your-face kind of experience. Characters are well-detailed and there is no shortage of environmental effects such as weather, explosions, fallout… Heh…
The main theme for the game was written by the legendary Hans Zimmer. If you are wondering why Hans Zimmer is so amazing, I have to ask if you have seen any of the following films:
– Crimson Tide
– Pirates of the Caribbean
– The Last Samurai
Now, if you have seen these films (or the other hundred or so he has worked on) – despite anything else you will say about them, you will undoubtedly remember their incredible scores. Yup, Zimmer did ’em. He is a master who lends a great title theme to Modern Warfare 2 and is, again, a sign of Activison and Infinity Ward pulling out all the stops in this game’s development. The voice actors in the game also do incredible jobs of pulling off very believable performances. Getting that cinematic feel was vital to engrossing the gamer and these performances lend a lot to that.
The gameplay is very similar in nature to the first Modern Warfare title. You will run from point to point, killing enemy troops – eventually getting to an objective. As with the original, however, it is those ‘oh shit’ moments that really bring Modern Warfare 2 over-the-top and have me, personally, yelling at my computer monitor several times throughout the experience. This time around, you will get to pilot snowmobiles and a few other interesting modes of transportation. The single-player experience comes in short, at roughly six hours. Thankfully those are some very hairy hours, as few of them as there are. Infinity Ward has made the game with a very specific story that they wanted to tell and were not going to be strapped into having a certain playtime goal ‘just because’. Plus, if you need more Modern Warfare 2 action, you can take part in some multiplayer matches.
The PC version did have a bizarre movement issue that should be addressed. First, I noticed that my character would get stuck on what should be extremely traversable objects scattered about the battlefield. Sometimes little boulders which your character should be able to jump over would actually seem to glue you down. I could not jump at all when stuck like this and had to turn around and walk in the other direction away from the object to ‘unstick’ myself. Other than this I did not find any problem playing the game on my platform of choice, being an old school PC gamer from way back. Also, playing it on the PC allowed me to up those previously-mentioned amazing visuals!
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is a roller-coaster ride of a game and deserves every award it will undoubtedly win this year. It captures, and intensifies, the thrills of the first game and brings an intriguing storyline to life. You need to play this game right away – don’t let anyone spoil the experience for you.