Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

(PC, XBox 360 & PlayStation 3 – Reviewed on XBox 360)

by – “Tiger” Oliver

Pros:
The most beautiful game I’ve played all year
Stellar voice acting & music (even after the same loops after dying over 9000 times)
Wow… everything is amazing about it!

Cons:
SINGLE PLAYER MODE STILL TOO SHORT!
Even on regular difficulty, this game can be ungodly hard.
PC version: Lack of dedicated servers

Off your feet and on what your momma gave you, soldier! Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2‘s here to whip your ninny glutes into shape!

And, trust me, it puts Full Metal Jacket to shame.

The people behind Call of Duty have really outdone themselves this time. No, I mean it, this is the best game of the franchise in terms of controls, aesthetics, the whole nine yards. If this isn’t Game of the Year material, then I don’t know what is.

Modern Warfare 2 takes place after its predecessor. I won’t go much into the storyline (seeing as I haven’t played the first Modern Warfare game), but I will say that it kept me hooked from beginning to end. All I will say is that the ending seems like it’s leading towards a third installment. God, I hope so.

But, before the third game, we have to run down the second game. Here we go:

Oh, before I forget, I must add in one more thing. We’ve all heard the hype and the controversy about the “No Russian” level, so I’m not even going to discuss it here. If you want to learn more about it, check out any of the blog sites on the right side of the page, OR check out my lil’ rant on the subject here.

There, now here we go:

Gameplay – 4/5
From beginning to end, this game will rock your socks off harder than Jack Black facing off with the devil in a guitar duel. A great user experience capped off with an amazing storyline, there’s nothing bad I can say about the game.

…okay, so maybe I can.

First off, the difficulty shifts tremendously near the end from somewhat manageable to a phrase that can only be described with the word “cluster” in it. The second-to-last four-or-so levels will tear your apart, just to have the last couple be relatively easy in comparison.

Secondly, I’m once again disappointed in the length of the single player campaign. This game, while excelling in the multiplayer department since series debut, would be SO much better with a longer single player. The game tries to make up for it with a “Special Ops” mode, but it failed to keep me intrigued like the story mode.

Thirdly, while I can’t personally vouch for the multiplayer or online modes (it’s kind of hard to access the Internet without Internet service), there have been two BIG complaints: lack of dedicated servers in the PC version and lack of party chat in the 360 port.

Graphics – 5/5

I’ve ranted and raved about the amazing graphics of games I’ve previously reviewed. This blows EVERY SINGLE ONE of them out of the water. The cutscenes between levels, the levels themselves, the lip syncing, the movements of all the characters, the small details of the environment – everything is simply amazing. As far as XBox 360 is concerned, this is in the top of the running for the most beautiful game of the year.  On PlayStation 3 & PC, however, it’s up there, but not without VERY stiff competition.

Sound – 5/5

As flawless a graphical presentation that Modern Warfare 2 gives, it gives equally in the audio presentation. Between the voice acting (including a MARVELOUS performance by Keith David as Sgt. Foley) and the explosions & gunfire to the soundtrack (even if you’ll listen to the same 10-20 second loop for 30 minutes), this game can only be fully appreciated at its maximum in surround sound.

Controls – 5/5

You’ve played previous Call of Duty titles, it’s pretty much the same as far as I can tell. The only difference I noticed is that it controlls sooooooo much more smoothly. Outside of that, I can’t spot any changes. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Replay Value – 4/5

If you’re into multiplayer (especially online), this is your bag, baby.

However, if you’re like me, you’ll be disappointed in the single player campaign. Again, not because it isn’t good (because it ain’t… it’s awesome beyond all human vocabulary), but because it’s too dang short: it took me only eight hours to beat it on regular difficulty. So, unless you’re wanting to beat the game on the hardest level, there ain’t much replay value in it.

The “Special Ops” mode will give single player aficionados objectives to complete within a time limit, but it just doesn’t replace a strong single player campaign.

Overall Score – 5/5

Surprise, surprise. Even with the flaws and the controversy, this is one of the best games of the year. But, does that really come as a shock to anyone? Call of Duty has always delivered some of the best games in the biz, and Modern Warfare 2 is arguably the best in franchise history.

Buy? – 50% should

What do I mean by that? Simple: if you’re into online multiplayer or have enough friends who will play locally, splurge and get the game. Or wait for Black Friday and get it on sale.

Rent? – FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, YES!

If you’re more single-player focused, you can easily beat this game in a week. Hell, I beat it the day I bought it. If you do the same, the higher difficulty levels on the campaign and “Special Ops” mode will keep you entertained for the rest of your rental.

But, I’d recommend this title to anyone who wants to buy the game but either can’t afford it or can’t find it (which, if you’re in the second group, how far back in the sticks do you live?!).

So, congratulations Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, you’re the first game to receive a 5/5 rating. Now, let’s see if we can get our hands on a game that will rate perfect across the board, eh?

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