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Review: Modern Warfare 2 for XBox 360

February 8th, 2010

Modern Warfare 2 is at its best when the war comes to US soil.

I have a bad habit of buying a video game, playing it a few times and then just letting it sit idle… to be played on those rare occasions where my brother and I feel an intense desire to snipe.  Our games of choice have tended to be the military based shooters, though the initial renditions of the Call of Duty family of games really lacked in on-site co-op gaming (AKA, I don’t have XBox Live).

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 differed from its predecessors in that it was engineered with the co-op gamer in mind.  While I initially played this in full-on brother snipe mode, I just finished the single player campaign version and felt I ought to give it a simple review.

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Two Player Co-Op Special Ops

The game has three core setting for game play, Special Ops, Campaign Mode and Online Multiplayer.  My first foray was with Special Ops.  The initial foray for me into the game was the Special Ops mode with my bro.

COD Modern Warfare 2 is an incredibly fun game to play, with a cinematic story to boot.

Special Ops gives you a chance to take a variety of missions in a variety of settings.  The first several missions serve as training for how to do things in the game; however, as you go deeper, the missions become more accomplishment- and, well, fun-based.

These missions are not, however, easy by any measure.  You have the ability to set the difficulty mode from easy to medium to hard.  If you’re playing this solo, you pretty much have to set the difficulty to low or you get smoked, quickly.  With two players, you might be able to play at medium difficulty if you’re good at working together.

This mode is almost too difficult, as the maps don’t really allow you much to hide and position yourself in a dug in manner.  But it sure can be fun.  So long as you can avoid dying off too quick, this can be a very fun game mode as either a one or two player team.

Campaign Mode

This is really where COD: MW2 really sets itself apart.  Both Modern Warfare and Modern Warfare 2 developed very sophisticated and in depth story lines that provide color for the game play and yet manage to seamlessly tie through.  Most video games, even the high budget ones, struggle to create a storyline that feels cinematic.

The Modern Warfare storyline really feels like a Tom Clancy thriller, both in military drama and worldwide scope.  The cross border drama is most notable in this rendition in the somewhat infamous Airport Scene.  I’m several months late in this review, so I’m not too worried about anyone not being aware of the plot in which a US agent, in deep cover with a Russian terrorist gang, essentially going through with a terrorist act against civilians.

The assault on our nations capital is the highlight of this game.

As a player in a first person shooter, you literally have no choice but to partake in the violence… which was highly controversial.  While you can sit idly by and not actually fire, you cannot in any way stop the attack from occurring and continue the game.  Morally and ethically, your only respite is knowing that this is just a dang video game.

As the world spins out of control following the terrorist attack, the storyline is a little confusing at times.  I really am not quite sure how and what the ultimate villain in the storyline did that made him so villainous.  Granted, I played this over the course of several months, but I really don’t recall what exactly he did to mastermind things.

The game play is definitely solid in Campaign Mode.  Most of your actions are on an open map, but the movement is always directed toward your scripted end.  Sometimes the action is a bit too dependent upon your wing man and you don’t really determine as much on your own as one might like, but this also serves as a nice crutch of sorts in some of the more difficult game play moments.

Summing Up

Overall, this game is what millions of gamers know it to be.  Fantastic and capable of multiple plays.  I’m going to probably put it away for a few months, but I’ll probably return to it at some point for that reason.  It definitely grades out as a 9.5 out of 10.  I can only hope the next Rainbow Six installment can match up with what COD-MW2 has accomplished.

The Official Launch Trailer

One of the coolest features in Modern Warfare’s inventive tech is use of airborne firepower. While not quite as cool as the AC-130 (the second video), the UAV feature is pretty solid:

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