Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 XBox 360 Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Gameplay 8.9
Graphics 9.7
Sound 9.8
Value 8.9
Distributor: Activision
Classification:
M15+
Review Date:
November 2009
Reviewer:
Edwin Millheim

8.9


Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2

For Xbox360, PC, PS3
Xbox 360 Prestige version reviewed

Explosive action, an all out shock and awe to the senses.

The events of the latest explosively action packed Call Of Duty Modern Warfare 2, take place not too long after Call of Duty 4. The Russian Ultra-nationalist organization is back, this time these terrorists are led by Vladimir Makarov. Makarov was an associate of Imran Zakhaev. Makarov is claiming that the death of Zakhaev was an act of martyrdom. This causes more support for his cause, and a strong presence and terror filled position of power.

Soon after Task Force 141 is created by the global community. A multinational task force to take on the terrorist threat. (Holy Shades of Rainbow Six) This first person shooting military style adventure is a incredibly immersive mix of sites and sounds. The whole presentation lives up to and beyond what we would expect from Infinity Ward. Bullets whizzing past and the blasts and bark of gunfire all sound incredible, especially on a surround sound system. The visuals are just as top notch, bringing across a depth of environments and weather effects that assault the senses. Even with all this, the frame rates seem to stay very good. Game play is pretty solid, with lot's of cool new weapons to play with. The look of the weapons and the animations of working the weapons and reloading is all a visual and audio treat.

There are only a couple games per year, MAYBE, that earn the coveted most anticipated title. Infinity Ward's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is one such title. Filled with both first person, multiplayer and co op action and mayhem, and globe trotting multinational conflicts, it's a must have for any action fan. While the game design again leads the player on set paths, the world is open enough to make it feel expansive and just about anything can happen.

Action is fast paced, which is a shame since some times the player does not have time to marvel at the beauty of the game environments. Shooting strait comes in handy here, because with all the in coming bullets, it's a chore sometimes to know when to duck and cover and pop out and return fire. Head shots are the general rule to bring the enemy down faster. Unless they happen to have a combat shield and armored head gear.

Modern Warfare 2 contains three main modes: campaign, multiplayer and special ops. The first two are of course pretty easy to understand, and are the standard fare in games like this. Now the third on the other hand opens up some new gaming. Playing with a friend through some of the challenges, getting past these missions opens up some cool rewards too. Co-op special forces mode is a two player mode. Some missions place one player on the ground while another is over head in some form of aircraft or another to provide cover and rain down death on an enemy. Again depending on the difficulty level, you can stretch the game play out longer.

The Campaign starts off with some tutorials, just to familiarize the player with the controls, and some of the tactics involved to survive. While once again, the game play is for some folks short, 6 or 8 hours depending how you blaze through it. Playing at the different difficulty levels of course can stretch out the single player experience, though the enemy become crack shots at the highest level. Either that or I just am a lot worse at these games than I think. All the extra modes and of course the online multiplayer are where the game earns it's staying power.

My favorite in the single player campaign is the mountain mission, sneaking onto the base in the snow storm, climbing an ice wall using two ice picks....just stay in one place for a bit on that ice wall and see what happens...just once. Onward into the mission using the sensors on the weapons to locate enemy and either avoid them or take them out. The theme of intermixing some stealth with all out fire fights is a solid theme through out the game.

Then of course the most controversial, as the player is undercover and is going on a terrorist mission with Makarov. Soon the terrorists in the middle of an airport open fire on civilians. The player themselves do not have to shoot any civilians to get through this level. There is a bit of a twist in the tale that I will leave for the players to find out themselves.

Then there is the Take Down mission, set in Rio de Janeiro, a literal maze of buildings awaits the player here, where players have to be careful what or more like WHO they shoot at. There not only bad guys coming at the player and shooting. There are civilians running around also. A nice refreshing challenge of not just shooting everything that moves.

Many gamers after blasting their way through the single player campaign will be playing a lot of the multiplayer experience, the multiplayer modes will give players plenty to do. There is so much in the mix, with variations on common themes like capture the flag, base or location captures, bomb planting, or defusing bombs, hold and defend points. All designed for multiplayer madness. Chock- a- block full of unlockables, weapons, attachments to said weapons, all of which will keep the player interested for some time to come.

With so much violence in the game, justified by it's story line or not, after certain scenes from the game had leaked onto the internet....some groups had and still do have concerns over the games classification. One such group being the Australian Council on Children and Media, requesting the Australian Classification Board review the choice of rating for the game. There are some intense situations in the game, especially concerning terrorist acts that the player ends up in the middle of, as a result of infiltrating the villains organization. During the one scene, the player ends up being part of an attack on civilians. Controversial? Yes, but again as myself and others feel. The first real line of defense to keep children from viewing certain material that they may not be able to handle....be a parent. Is it always that simple? Not always. But along with viewing the rating of a game, and doing a little research the parent can make an informed choice.

Happily enough the game was not delayed for our Australian readers, The game was submitted successfully to the Australian Classification Board, with violence galore the game earned an MA15 + classification. The game does in fact earn the classification, as there is no lack of blood shed here. While there is violence, some perhaps shocking... it does match the context of the story. Disturbing to some perhaps, but no different than some of the realities that take place in war. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2's action set pieces are those made up of high action adrenalin movies and stories that bring the player into the thick of a big budget World Conflict Military action film.

Each level is chock full of action, excitement, and tension. Which explodes visually and audibly into the players senses, causing various reactions. From surprise, to shock, and some times a real deep seated dislike for the villains causing such carnage on innocents.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is solid continuation of the original Modern Warfare. Picking up the story years later as many parties left alive from the last outing have a lot of unfinished business. Through out the games spectacular visuals and character animations, we also get a large amount of different weapons to play with and several levels in the single player campaign to get through. Those include,

S.S.D.D : this is where the player get's some training, and participate in a mission with a U.S. Army Ranger.
Team Player : the mission is simple enough,save a US Army Ranger.

Cliffhanger: As Sgt. Gary "Roach" Sanderson, infiltration of a Russian mountain base with Capt. MacTavish. Should be a cake walk. Or at least an ice walk.

No Russian : Take a disturbing role, as an undercover CIA agent, as you assault a Russian airport with Vladimir Makarov.

Take Down: A crazy running fire-fight throughout Rio de Janeiro to capture an arms dealer named Rojas.

Wolverines! : Locating and protecting codename Raptor during the beginning of the invasion may sound simple.

The Hornet's Nest : Escape the Favela. When is it not life or death?

Exodus : The player assists in the evacuation of civilians.

The Only Easy Day, Was Yesterday : Infiltrate an oil rig, rescue hostages and make an entrance to the Gulag.

The Gulag : Assault a Russian Gulag and rescue prisoner 627.

Contingency : Help Captain Price reach the Russian submarine.

Of Their Own Accord: Protect the evacuation site at the Washington Monument.

Second Sun : Get to the Whiskey Hotel.

Whiskey Hotel : Retake the Whiskey Hotel.

Loose Ends : You earned it, find and kill Makarov at his safe-house on the Georgian Russian border.

The Enemy Of My Enemy : Escape the bone-yard with Captain Price and Nikolai.

Just Like Old Times : Search the Afghan cave network for a traitor.

Endgame : A thrilling Chase through rivers, chase down the traitor and take them down.

Noted earlier about the environments and character animations and graphics, another thing that is a pretty nice graphic and visual que is the blood spatter animations that spread droplets on the screen to show that the player has taken some damage. Too many of these ques though and that's it for the player. The graphics are a thing of beauty indeed. Some of my favorite visuals take place in certain mountain scenes as a snow storm picks up. The game of course can't be as a spectacular experience as it is with out the sound and musical score being just as top notch. Voice acting again is aces all around here. Each character that has any lines make you feel as if the game character themselves are a living breathing person. Well done indeed.

Call of Duty : Modern Warfare 2 is by no means a major ground breaker, but it is a worthy successor to the on going series. Placing the expectations of gamers higher with each manifestation of the newest title, and coming through with an enjoyable game experience.

An interesting note, the prestige edition on which this review is based...(The game is the same in each edition... the difference is in what extra tid bits and toys you get.) in this case, you get the Modern Warfare 2 game, some Night vision goggles that work pretty well for a toy, a collector's stand, a steel book with metallic finish to hold your game in, an art book, the game manual, and a token to download the original Call Of Duty.

Now what is interesting about this edition, for those that did not pre -order when the price was surprisingly high...it is now double what it was originally. Since the demand is up, with some people trying to sell this edition at ludicrous prices.

Have fun, play games

Edwin Millheim






 
 



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