Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 PS3 and Xbox 360 review

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is a very intense; rewarding gaming experience that is built around multilayer but still has a solid, if short, campaign mode. The action maintains a usually brisk, object oriented pace that helps to advance a storyline that I personally thought was only average. Shooter games are not my favorite genre. My first one was probably Doom on the computer, and over the years I have played plenty that were entertaining (F.E.A.R, Battlefield: Vietnam, Star Wars Battlefront, etc) – but I enjoyed the prior Call of Duty games enough to want to give this one a try. It is available on both the PS3 and 360, but I played it on the latter system.

With record-setting sales since its release, it is safe at this point to call the game a marketing and sales success (with a combination of ads, packaged deals and so on) – but is the game fun? In a word, yes. With shooter games being near the bottom of my preferred genres (sports, RPG, fighting games tend to round out my favorites), that makes Modern Warfare 2 stand out even more.

Graphics – 9.5:

I’m stingy with perfect scores, but this game comes close. The amazing environments are detailed and immersive, but more impressive is just how much is going on at all times without slowdown or graphic tearing or pop-in. I have some screenshots and also have some video footage. The screenshots are pretty but the game in motion is more impressive.

Sound & Music – 9:

Quality voice work, plenty of explosions and surround sound gun effects really help to draw you into the game. The surround sound is actually quite useful as well, often giving you an indication of where the threats are at, even if you cannot see them at the time. The music was also pretty good throughout. Very few of the themes really stuck with me afterward, but none of them did anything to pull me out of the experience either.

Gameplay – 8:

Aiming is easy, shooting at targets is not a problem. Sometimes terrain could be a hassle when it did not seem like it should have been, but overall the game was responsive, menus were easy to navigate and the lack of slowdown during the game kept things feeling fluid. While the game seems to do all of these things pretty well, it never felt like there was something amazing to put it over the top either. Most of the controls, content and so on feel familiar to fans of the series.

Intangibles – 9.5:

The campaign mode is entirely too short. However, the multiplayer is where this series lives and dies, and on that front the game is incredibly solid. The maps are enjoyable, the team sizes felt about right to me, lag was almost never an issue and the leveling-up aspect intrigued me most of all (it just appeals to the RGP gamer in me).

Overall – 9:

Not my favorite type of game, I’ve been over that. Some of my friends though consider first-person shooters their absolute favorite type of game and those friends have been playing online pretty much non-stop since the game’s release. One of them never even bothered to play the campaign mode, and just went right into the online matches. So, if that is your type of game, then Modern Warfare 2 will probably fit the bill as well as any game out there currently. There’s some language, plenty of killing, lots of weapons and more which makes this game a questionable one for children, so parents should be warned that it does come with an M rating for Mature 17+ suggested.


News and Notes from 12-3-09

Quick hits rumors and news posts from the last day or so:

EA is working on a new Medal of Honor game – setting it in Afghanistan and giving it a modern feel and storyline. Expect tons of comparisons to the Call of Duty series – including the recently released Modern Warfare 2 (which I am hoping to toss up a review to tonight).

A new gimmick to help Microsoft abduct your Xbox points is coming today – Pets for your avatar on the 360. I’ve read that these will be around 240 points and you can buy different kinds of cats, dogs, a bird, a hamster, a snake, a goldfish (they stare at you, all gold and unblinking)… possibly more. Personally, I would rather put the 240 points toward downloadable content like extra characters in Ultimate Alliance 2 or something else, but I get the sneaking suspicion that once my kids learn about this, they’ll want a pet for their accounts too. *hangs his head*

Gamespot originally reported that Logitech was creating a UMD add-on for the recently released PSP Go. The rumor makes some sense as the PSP Go has not come anywhere close to Sony’s sales expectations, with rumors of sharp price cuts for it taking place first in Europe and possibly in the States as well and there are plenty of people who have older PSP’s who would not update to a Go despite the improved display (at least over older gen PSPs). However, IGN reported that a Logitech rep actually got in touch with them and said that no – they are not currently working on this hardware expansion. However, I suspect it is only a matter of time until someone does, but if so, it appears to be a good ways off still.

Lastly, EA’s somewhat controversial game Dante’s Inferno (the controversy has revolved more around the marketing tactics than the game itself so far) has a downloadable demo date for the PSe on Dec 10th and Xbox 360 on Desc 24th. Apparently there is no demo date confirmed for the PSP which is also one of the targeted release platforms.

News and Notes from 12-2-09

Looks like according to Yahoo! there is going to be a good deal on Wii systems through Walmart. The price of the system will be offering a $50 gift card when you purchase a new Wii. This deal if very similar to the recent but popular deal where you could but a new Xbox 360 Arcade and get a free $100 gift card, active at the moment of purchase. The deal goes into effect Dec 5th until Dec 12th, or until supplies end. Considering most sites said that the 360's were sold out on the previous deal within 30 minutes at most stores, I wouldn't wait until Dec 11th if this interests you.

Walmart is also apparently going to trim some dollars off of popular brand new titles as well for other consoles such as the excellent Dragon Age: origins, Halo 3: ODST, Uncharted 2 and Madden 10 (some of these I plan to review in the near future as well on here). Happy hunting!

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