Long time no see, guys! Well, I’ve been gone for almost a month now, and don’t worry, I’ve got a good excuse, it’s final exam, the nightmare of every student. But now it’s over, I can get back to blogging (and playing and uh… doing my assignment, sigh). So yeah, I’m back with another game review and it’s one of my favorite series of all time, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.
Developer: Infinity Ward
Designer: Jesse Stern
Writer: Mackey McCandlish
Composer: Hans Zimmer
Platform: PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Release date: October 10, 2009
Genre: First Person Shooter
Return to today’s war front with the second chapter in the Modern Warfare series. Modern Warfare 2 continues the gripping and heart-racing action as players face off against a new threat dedicated to bringing the world to the brink of collapse. Playing as as Sgt. Gary “Roach” Sanderson, your international squad of elite soldiers battle through harrowing combat scenarios that range from snowy mountaintops in Siberia to the crowded streets of Rio de Janiero, Brazil and beyond, facing a terrorist force hellbent on redefining the boundary lines of today’s modern warfare.
Ah yeah, the Call of Duty series, I still remembered playing the first Call of Duty, since I played the game several times, trying to finish it in all difficulty, and some missions really made an impression me till this day. So I’ve been faithful to the series since then. And now we have reached its sixth installment, where the franchise has left the realm of World War 2 and — having built a large enough fanbase — try some new things to redefine “Action Game”. And sure enough, it became one of the most controversial game ever.
The screenshot above is one of the reason why this game became so controversial. It positions you as one of the bad guys where you can commit mass murder and kill civilians, or may be just do nothing and see your team massacre them instead. There is absolutely nothing you can gain from either choice, so it’s purely your moral choice. One can view this in several ways, one of them is viewing this as a reflection of yourself, would you kill the civilian or not? Another see this as an interesting story-telling while another get offended by this. And that’s why the game put an option to skip this mission entirely. I see this as an interesting way to tell the story, as it builds momentum before all hell break loose.
Another reason for the game controversy is the sales and the reaction doesn’t match. When Infinity Ward, the developer, announced that the game will not have dedicated support and use steam to play online, the PC gamer raged. And despite all the rage, this game still sells so hard it breaks all kind of sale-related record for video games. Will it sell more if it has dedicated server support? We don’t know, though I believe its current sales has proven that all it need for a game to sell is to gain a large fanbase, get hyped up, and have a decent enough gameplay for both singleplayer and multiplayer.
Enough about controversy, what about the game itself? Well, like it’s predecessor, Call of Duty 4 : Modern Warfare, the game manages to deliver five/six hours of highly scripted, full-action fun throughout various locations. As usual, we take control of several different characters with each having their plot parallel to each other, forming the big picture of the main story. In this game, due to some incident, Russia invades USA — and unlike in World in Conflict, the invasion actually takes place at modern time — so we have one character fighting in the front line, trying to defend his country, while we got another character working in the background trying to stop the invasion.
The story seems rather bland and generic, but the execution is what really matters. The dialog is top notch and the timing of the dialog really makes you feel you are in the game, like everything you do will create a reaction not just physically, but also in the minds of other characters. Not just that, the game constantly provides the player with cool action scenes that can only be seen on some movies, and it goes even further by including it as a gameplay where we can control our character, thus making us feels that we are actually doing those cool things like rappelling down and stealthily assassinate guard below or running through a terrorist-infested slum and jump to a helicopter at the end. And it’s not just action, the game has an awesome way of story-telling as it tries to tie two plots that goes on simultaneously and some scenes will just make your jaw dropped as you realize what has just happened (honestly, some scenes on this game actually renders me speechless).
Many complained that the game is just Call of Duty Modern Warfare with new settings, since there doesn’t seem to be any significant graphic increase over its predecessor, which is quite right, considering the same engine is used, and the improvement are only in technical part instead pf visual. Nonetheless, Modern Warfare 2 delivers a lot of addition to the series, like breaching system — similar to the one in Rainbow Six series — where you breach into a room and time slows down like in The Matrix, so you gotta shoot everyone in the room before time starts again. Another addition is the aerial rocket launcher, where you get a hovering vehicle up in the sky that can shoots remotely controlled rocket, and it really is fun to see the enemy gets blasted by an attack from the sky.
The game itself has enough variety to keep us absorbed to the game, it throws away your usual FPS game formula and instead provides us with a lot of interesting mission. Let’s see, we got our self the good ol’ rail shooting from both ground and aerial vehicle, a snowmobile chase, a stealth mission that uses heart rate monitor to see your enemy, a mission that drops you off right in the middle of a war between to side, so yeah, enough variety for a war FPS game. My only problem is that we don’t get any “airplane” mission like previous Call of Duty series, but considering any slow-paced mission (like those airplane missions) will just ruin the game pace, I guess I’ll let it slip.
To sum it all up, the game itself feels like a hollywood action films, especially with all of the explosion, plot twists and cool scenes everywhere, the only things missing is just same babe as heroine (we’ll just hope they add it on Modern Warfare 3). The only difference is, you starred and decide what to do on that movie. Of course, being a hollywood films has its own drawback as it focuses more on cool, actionful parts while neglecting the war parts, making us feels more like James Bond instead of an infantry in the midle of a war. But heck, this kind of things are what made the game so awesome as Modern Warfare 2 is the only game that deviates from the usual formula and gives us a lot of cool mission.
- Cool scenes
- The story is just awesome
- A lot of variety in mission
- No significant graphic improvement
Final Rating: 9.3/10
I would definitely give this a perfect 10 if it has more play time…