The Call of Duty series has always been about the fast paced action sequences and immersion created by their story telling. The first thing this game-like its previous installments-has many good things and bad things about it. The gameplay in MW2 is a definite plus and is well put together. The system in which the player controls the avatar is very easy to pick up comparatively to other FPS and they are very smooth never feeling very sluggish or clunky. An FPS needs a great control scheme because it can make or break the game since it is a sub-genre of Action and action requires easy controls.
First we will look at single-player, not the story but the gameplay that is presented to us upon starting up the game. For the most part this installment kept the player wanting more. Each mission carried with it a wide varies of interactive cinematic and moments of awe. The guns seemed to work rather well but the realism of shooting at the enemies was broken at times due to the amount of damage they could take. It is always good to present the players with a challenge and giving enemies the ability to tank damage is an option, but when doing so in an FPS that seeks realism it breaks the immersion instantly. The more approachable route would have been to make enemies more accurate or the damage more severe rather than take a few magazines of bullets. A very large fault that was said to be fixed but still remains is the problem of “push-lines.” Push-lines are invisible lines in each level that tells enemy units to stop spawning allowing the player to push forward. The player has to push forward in order to hit this line though, so enemies will continue to spawn until the player moves. Infinity Ward said that this problem would be fixed and they seemed to revert it into another system. Enemies still spawn randomly in certain levels that I call “Filler levels” and this makes the game feel too stiff at points. A player wants to eliminate enemies and keep going, if reinforcements are coming then they should enter the scenario as how their real life counterparts would giving the player breaks to move forward.
Multiplayer is our second venue and this covers the online and spec-ops missions. Spec-ops was a brilliant idea and presented many re-playable instances that could be specially tailored to multplayer. The only problem was that it really didn’t offer much reward other than the achievements involved and players seemed to not spend a great amount of time in spec-ops. Some missions suffer from push-lines to an extreme extent and others seem rather boring or not an actual challenge just “hide here and wait till we win.” Moving onto the online multiplayer we hit in an impasse. MW2’s multiplayer was great but it seemed to lack in many places. Over a duration of months after the games release online saw a huge increase in bugs, glitches, and hacks that ruined the game for some and made the game uninteresting for others. The weapons in the game were very balanced and while a great many would say that the 1887 shotguns were too strong this is only because they could be akimbo and should not have been possible from the beginning. It is said that the update for the 1887 actually caused the Master Key under barrel shotgun to become stronger and have an insane range. This goes to show that a lot of things can go wrong and Infinity Ward/Activision are blamed for not testing enough. For the most part online multiplayer did not suffer and many people have racked in countless hours of gameplay, but to almost all these players something doesn’t feel right and that feeling is the absence of a “fine tuning.”
Modern Warfare 2’s graphics had definitely received an improvement from CoD4. Infinity Ward like many other developers stumbled onto ways to stream textures that not only loaded at a high res quickly it took less processing power and allowed rendering to be done from great distances. This allowed for singe-player and multiplayer maps to look stunning and more complete. The artists put a lot of detail into the character models and the levels which the player goes through. Detail like this is something that keeps the player locked into the game because they feel the world they are playing in is actually real or at least is occurring at the moment. Another notable aspect would be the particles used in various levels that made exciting gameplay and obstructions to help gain different results of gameplay.
I cannot express how much Hans Zimmer is an amazing musician. The music he composed for MW2 was excellent and compelling. With proper placement from the development team the music in this game brought out emotion and feeling to the player much more than a game without music. Musical cues are important for games such as this because they can relate or help the player identify situations by the tone and tempo of what they are hearing. I would also like to point out that the sounds coming from the environments and avatars was excellent, especially those of the guns which all sounded unique and decently close to their real world counterparts.
Story is huge for MW2 and that is because it follows the events after CoD4. The story-if we take a step back-is not the most unique and interesting thing we have ever seen, but it IS good. The developers wanted to try and continue the story started and develop something that hasn’t happened before. The story not only hasn’t happened but has the possibility of happening (not saying it would, but you never know). Due to spoilers I will not disclose any of the actual story but believe me that it is worth plaything through. There is a part that I do find to be a bit badly laid out and that is some of the development that occurs with characters in the story. At later levels events unfold that is not predicted and this stirs the stomachs of players and questions the direction the developers were going. In some cases it does seem that they tried to use fandom of Captain Price to their advantage but not as much as some people may seem to believe.
Overall Modern Warfare 2 was a great game, was it a finished game? No. I believe that certain circumstances betweein Infinity Ward and Activision led to this game not receiving the full care and nurturing a game should receive. On top of creating the game itself and a single-player building a multiplayer and spec-ops was similar to placing 3 games into one. This is great but has the potential to spread work too much between the three and none of them actually get finished. There were, have been, and will be problems with this game, but these problems are not as bad as they could be. Many games suffer from hackers Halo 2 being an example and many online free FPS games. Infinity Ward tried their best but was not prepared for the onslaught of problems that occurred, not to mention their own personal problems between themselves and Activision that has led the studio to lose many employee’s. MW2 left us open ended with hints towards another installment (hopefully the last of this story arc) of Modern Warfare action. This game outpaces many other titles out there and deserves the credit, but by no means is it the best game ever. It is a great game that made great sales.
As a final note I will point out that the game was meant for both core and casual players but the core players dominate in this case. The only real casual players involved are the ones that only play MW2 or the little kids that aspire to be gamers. The game developed its own meta games such as quick scoping similar to CoD4 and because of these different types of players and meta games the overall community surrounding MW2 is a lot of crying, complaining, cussing, and well stupidity. We as gamers cannot help this and neither can the developers, so try to enjoy the game.