It has been two years since Infinity Ward has let the giant known as Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare loose. Once Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare had been released from its cage, and was able to flex its massive guns, it had quickly taken over the First Person Shooter genre and had sold the most number of any action titles at the time. Fast forward to present day and Infinity Ward has catapulted us into the future of Modern Warfare. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare has become exhausted from all the flexing in the last two years, and because people have found the creature’s weak spots, Infinity Ward has decided to release an evolved and more enhanced creature that goes by the name: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Beautiful environments, a real modern warfare grasp that enscorcels any shooting buff and delivers a realistic combat feel that allows Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 to once again take over, and to show the audience what true war means.
The giant is inside of your television screens, lucidly glaring back to scare any other First Person Shooter title on the shelves far away. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 provides a terrific tale that makes the single-player action as intimidating as the rest of the title. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 continues the story five years after where the prequel leaves off. The Russian nationalists are back and are led under the leadership of Vladimir Makarov. As the previous game, the single-player requires constant switching between different characters and environments, providing a broader feel for the storyline. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2’s single-player experience makes commendations to the storyling of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Players will encounter some returning characters from the previous game, and will meet a lively host of comrades to shoot next to and defend certain aspects of the army. Along the way, players will also come upon an exceptionally wide-jaw dropping variety of environments that ranges from frostbite rampant conditions in the snow, to the deep grasps of the territorial sharks in the water, and to the scorches and waterless surrounding of the desert.
The gameplay is analogous to the prequel for the more enhanced action of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. The first Modern Warfare ran on the IW engine, and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 now runs on a slightly upgraded version of the same engine, which is the IW 4.0, so there is not a monumental transformation in terms of general structure of the gameplay. New weapons and gadgets including most noticeably the Riot Shield and the Heartbeat Sensor have also been added to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, giving players more of a feel for not just weapons but also the technological weaponry enhancements. In order to allow players to take a break from all the action on the frontlines, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 does a good job of mixing the gameplay into a medley where players are driven into thrilling scenes featuring snow mobiles, water boats, helicopters, and underwater scuba diving to name just a few. Modern Warfare 2 also is simply stunning and immerses the player into the warzone and creates an extremely realistic atmosphere that is relevant to the experience during an actual modern day war (according to our Correspondent in the 10th Bridgade – General Rowen Airen).
The single-player campaign has four difficulty settings; Recruit, Regular, Hardened, and Veteran. The typical player will be able to complete the campaign in around six to eight hours on the Regular difficulty, so the length of the game is very comparable to that of the first Modern Warfare. The great single-player experience that the series is known for is still there, and this time, it is even better than before thanks to the incredible immersing story.
With the single-player aside, Modern Warfare 2 offers a brand new cooperative mode called Spec Ops. This new mode supports up to two players, either online or split-screen locally, but can also be played alone. The way it is set up can easily be compared to the co-op mode in Splinter Cell: Double Agent, for anyone who has experience with that. Players are essentially put into different types of missions and are ordered to complete tasks for those missions. One mission could have a task you have to complete within a time limit or another could have you defend against a wave of enemies, so you will not be having too much of a limited or repetitive co-op experience here.
These missions will have players in familiar locations that are straight from the single-player mode, but will have nothing to do with the main campaign of the game. The missions are set up in five different categories; Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, and Echo. All of these categories have five different missions each except Echo, which only has three, so players have a total of 23 different missions to play from, with or without their friends. Players will first start off with having only Alpha unlocked, and will need to complete missions and earn stars in order to advance onto other categories. The way you earn stars is simple; each mission has three difficulty settings; Regular, Hardened, and Veteran. The stars you are rewarded depends on which difficulty you complete the mission on. Completing a mission on Regular will grant you with only one star, Hardened two, and Veteran three. These stars do not stack per mission, so the maximum number of stars you can get per each mission is three. The new Spec Ops mode in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is definitely a good addition to the series, but we feel they could have made it even better by upping the amount of players to four instead of two. Nonetheless, it is still a great co-op experience that players will enjoy taking part in, whether they are playing alone or with a friend.
The single-player and cooperative Special Operatives modes are prodigious, but the primary action comes down to the core set of multiplayer action. The multiplayer resembles the Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare with a several improvements that tweak gameplay. Infinity Ward definitely uses the concept of trying to not fix what is not broken to please fans of the prequel and the current iteration. The progression system in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is built around experience points which constitute various levels that are in turn awarded unlockables. The game modes come packed with new ones and mostly the beloved ones from the previous Modern Warfare. New modes include few in number, most manifest in Capture the Flag and Demolition. The one new gameplay multiplayer mode is the intriguing yet relative 3rd person mode, which consists of both 3rd Person Teams and 3rd Person Cage Match modes. These modes are both just played in 3rd person. Although the need to have the option to play in those two 3rd person game modes is incredible and exciting for anyone craving a new view, it will definitely not be replacing the first person aspect of the game any time soon. Playing in 3rd person is entertaining, and offers players a change from all the first person action. Some of the strategies you would use in the first person modes will not work so well when playing in 3rd person, so it forces players to create different strategies for both the different views. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 brings a multiplayer aspect that allows for an incredible playthrough with something traditional and also new and revealing.
Customization is the new and improved factor that provides players more identity. Players will find that they have more customization tools than the previous game. Now, people are able to customize what you want your three kill streaks to be, whether you want a helicopter drive by or a bomb drop, you make the calls. A total of 15 different kill streak rewards can be unlocked and selected / customized to the likings of the player. You are also able to customize and unlock more Call Signs, which are basically fancy titles and emblems that go beside your name (such as veteran, elite, etc). These are only displayed in-game in certain situations, like if someone captures a point or if you kill someone. A lot of the old perks that have been modified have also received some name changes as well. The not-so-well received perk that went by the name of Martyrdom in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare has now been removed, and instead made into a Deathstreak. Deathsreaks are basically the absolute opposites of Killstreaks. If you have been killed three times in a row, you will receive the Deathstreak called Painkiller, which basically grants you with a health boost for a limited time after you re-spawn.
All of the interesting changes in the multiplayer factors provide the key difference between Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and the prequel: the shots and hits seem to register much faster and are more accurate. Infinity Ward has improved the multiplayer for the better by re-introducing and improving upon the features beloved from Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. It will not be surprising to see people still playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 for many more years until Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 arrives.
Multiplayer sees an addition of completely new sets of the maps, excluding maps from the previous game. Players will be able to play a total of 16 new maps plus the two map packs that will be released later on for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 gives players an experience that would otherwise be untenable: the experience to see war for what it is. With outstanding single-player experience that will have you at the edge of your seat, the entertaining Spec-Ops cooperative mode that will fill your hunger for a quick burst of fun, to the well-prized multiplayer experience that will once again be played for a good couple years, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is the premiere and definitive title of modern warfare and combat of 2009. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 shows us that while war may be costly and oppressive, war brings a certain glory to it, comes with uncertain amount of thrill, and most of all: war reveals his hidden beauty.