Man, this review is going to look like crap in comparison to Predator's Batman vs. The Terminator blog.
While everyone knew the first Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
would do well in sales, it's hard to say if anyone could have predicted the epic sales of the game. With a well done single-player and a multiplayer experience that rivaled even the mighty Halo 3
, Infinity Ward gave the proverbial middle finger to Treyarch, who took over their role for developers on Call of Duty 3
crying out with the force of two megatons worth of nuclear explosives that THIS is the way you make an FPS with the Call of Duty franchise. To say following up this magnificent magic trick of sprites and renders would be difficult would be a huge understatement, so the question you may be wondering, "Does this direct sequel live up to the hype?" The answer is a triumphant "well, mostly".
Starting off five years after the story of the first game, Modern Warfare 2
has the players take the roles of several different soldiers. After a deep CIA mission goes wrong, Russian Ultranationalist lieutenant, Vladimir Makarov, helps initiate the Russians invasion of America. It's up to Task Force 141, a multinational elite combat unit, to hunt down Makarov and bring him to justice. The story, while much more emotionally stirring and exciting than the first game, has a problem with story logic. Plot holes are in good supply and there are leaps of logic that Superman could not get over in a single bound. What you get in exchange for forgetting such things as sound intelligence when concerning story telling, you get some of the most jaw dropping experiences in video game history. You'll travel from Kazakhstan to Iraq to Rio De Janeiro, and even to outer space itself, and every location is memorable with beautiful graphics, a smooth frame rate, and such an eye to minute detail that you might stop and stare for a while just to appreciate the beauty of it all. One level in particular, involving an airport (you will know what I mean), is especially gut wrenching; controversy has surrounded this scene with some accusing it of being for mere shock value, but in reality it's to establish mood and showing it's part as an instrumental part of the story.
There are some new faces and names to the story, such as Keith David and Glenn Morshower, who along with some old characters from the first game, including a now speaking "Soap" MacTavish, who are all voiced by fantastic voice actors who bring life and emotion to their respective characters. A problem that I still have with Infinity Ward's tale-tellings is that they still rely on their glorified slide show to transition one scene to another. In a game with such high qualities, you think there would have been a better way to connect the story together. And while the experience is a complete roller coaster ride, it's over too soon. The audio in the game is astounding. Voice acting is always believable, gunfire sounds like you're actually on the battlefield, and Hans Zimmer's score fits perfectly with the story that even rivals his best work in The Dark Knight
The gameplay is as solid as ever. You'll devout hours in multiplayer fine tuning your guns specifications and perks to your liking to create a online identity as individual as yourself. That is, however, if you've already jumped through the rings of leveling up in order to unlock all of the bonus content, an even, aggravatingly enough, all the multiplayer options. I'm sorry Infinity Ward, but for a game that relies heavily on instant satisfaction, level grinding your way up to get all the different multiplayer modes is just not good to juxtapose against it. New additions in the form of new perks and weapons have found their way onto the multiplayer arena which will delight many especially when considering that Infinity Ward has made sure that everything is balanced. I was surprised at how awesome the multiplayer matches were, and even when my team was losing, I never felt like I was stacked against the odds. Games will match you to other nooblits of your caliber, so you won't have to worry about how many times that little pre-pubescent 12 year old is going to kick your ass before you get revenge. Oh, also you can throw a knife, which is always a positive in my video gaming book. There's also a new Spec Ops mode where you get to engage in stand alone missions alone or with a friend; let me tell you one thing, it's addictive as hell. The gameplay isn't all perfect, however. When you're injured, a thick layer of blood now smears itself across the screen making it obvious that you need to get to cover, but making it difficult to do so since it looked like someone just spilled about two tons of ketchup onto your soldiers eyes. And for those who want the higher difficulty settings, be prepared to see the same damn war quotes over and over and over again*.
So the question pops up again: Is this Game of the Year? In my opinion, no. While Infinity Ward has created an absolutely gorgeous experience that will enthrall the player, by not being as inventive or refined as the previous title keeps it from being truly spectacular...that and the fact that the story is so over the top and bizarre you might think that Michael Bay may have ghost written for Jesse Stern while he wasn't looking. For those of you looking for a good romp in single player, you may want to look elsewhere for a while. However, if you want to get your frag fiesta on with other sexless nerds, Modern Warfare 2
provides you with enough gunpowder and explosions to make even most jaded anchor on FOXNEWS smile with glee.
My review: Buy When Cheaper
Apparently, Infinity Ward has some sort of strange sexual fetish where the player needs to play at least 10 different sections where you must jump onto a helicopter to escape.
* Infinity Ward, I know you want to portray the many different views on war, but with so many different 'inspirational quotes', it's like reading the memoirs of a bi-polar combat veteran.