Modern Warfare 2  
Modern Warfare 2
Modern Warfare 2

Producer: Activision
Release Date: November 10, 2009
Platform: Xbox 360, PS3, Microsoft Windows
Rating: Mature
Genre: First Person Shooter

4 stars


Written by Mike Lowther

Flawless? Maybe. Epic? Most likely. Best first person shooter to date? Absolutely. Quite possibly the most anticipated game of the year, Modern Warfare 2 has the hits. An ultra successful follow up to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, this title is magnificent, exploring every facet of modern day military action, with impressive realism to follow.

Here's an FPS where you're put in the shoes of an active military soldier, fighting the war across seas. Sure, many games have already done this. But what makes this different? To start, never have I seen such realism. I can go on, and on, about how real things can be.  But when you have precise audio, fantastic visuals, and Hans Zimmer performing a score at your side, it's definitely a leg up from the rest. Before popping in the game, I kind of knew what to expect. Backed by a $60 million budget from Activision, Infinity Ward could not disappoint. They took a structure that was super solid, and created something that makes our gameplay even more real, more vivid.

The campaign missions are insane. They're long, exhausting, yet ultra rewarding at the end. Intense battles are like rounds of tug-of-war, and gun fights are instantaneous. You need to be snappy at the controls, or you'll end up a warm body in the sand. I'm a big fan of single-player aspects, and I want to explore every nook of my surroundings. Heavy detail was maintained to just about everything from the opacity and glare of a water jug to blowing out the tires on a worn out truck. Precise depth of field is apparent as you can focus hard on your target to nail that headshot. Skin and facial hair are on point, while the detail of hand gestures holding the gun in front of you is just outstanding. Enemy A.I. has been perfected to the tee, allowing you to break around their smarts and take them down with a melee swipe from your handy-dandy knife. You can even pick off enemies while riding a snowmobile. It's all-out chaos in this one, and I wasn't expecting anything less.

The multiplayer side of Modern Warfare 2 is nothing short of phenomenal. Being a big fan of the first Modern Warfare’s multiplayer sessions, I was expecting nothing short of fantasticalness in a disc, and this sequel didn’t fail to deliver. Activision and Infinity Ward knew they had big shoes to fill with the success of Modern Warfare (selling over 15 million copies worldwide), and did rightfully so. Not only did Infinity Ward deliver a solid single player experience, but it also redefined what it meant to be the “definitive multiplayer experience.”

The new maps are amazing, which also offer a lot of variety for the hardcore online player and the casual ones as well. Maps such as Favela add a lot of close combat situations, with players hiding in every building and corner of the map. A map ironically called 'Rust' is heavily detailed and great for free-for-all battles, adding lots of intense firefight combat with dirty confrontations. Modern Warfare veterans will definitely find some of the maps touching base to home, since they follow some of the same aspects and formulas from the original title. With a starting point of 16 maps, you can’t go wrong the variety being offered.

What made the first game so successful was that it was fast paced FPS fun, with quick-and-go matches to play, and lots of kills in the process. Infinity Ward has implemented a new system, called, to find games faster and easier for the player. While is still in its early stages, I have yet to see much difference from what the first game offered matchmaking wise, but the future looks radiant. I have a few friends who have trouble getting into the multiplayer action, and it's because this game is so real. Fttp, Bltp - you're dead. You don't have a superficial over-shield like Halo, but you can oftentimes pick up bullet-proof riot shields that protect you momentarily from gunfire.

All in all, this release is amazing, and nothing more. If you liked the original Modern Warfare, and are in need of a different and obscure twist, look elsewhere, as what you will find in Modern Warfare 2 is what it’s supposed to be, a sequel, not an entirely new game franchise.

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