Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 User Review
Graphically, this game is very difficult to gauge. The images are clear and the effects are visually stimulating, but many of the cause-and-effect relationships in this game cause everyone to say something like, "There's no way that could happen." For example, occasionally, you may have an enemy running away from you. You then shoot him in the back of the head and -POOF- he falls backwards... ??? Typically, the game does well in this department, but this type of thing happens enough that it can be annoying.
The campaign mode can still be very appeasing to the eyes. Often there are hundreds of events happening all at once all around you, and the game does well to render them all leaving you with the feeling of truly being engaged in the war. Although the graphics are nothing to write home about, the general speed of the game doesn't give you enough time to really focus on the visual imperfections. At this point in this video game generation, it merely meets the current minimal expectation, which in my opinion should be of a good enough quality that you don't think to yourself, "These graphics suck". Let's be honest, though; they just aren't revolutionary for the genre, either.
Gameplay as a whole is pretty good. The campaign mode often gives you a few different strategies to tackling a level. The Special Ops does well to capture the necessity of working -with- your teammate.
The biggest discrepancies in gameplay seem to show up in the multiplayer mode, but can still be found in the other modes.
Basically, this game is one big glitch-fest. There aren't really any major issues. Just a platoon (see what I did there? *snicker*) of small glitches and oddities.
Some examples: If you jump from a height that would kill you, and you land on a vehicle, it will explode. Or, if you bring your sniper rifle scope up to your face and shoot juuust before your screen views the scene as if looking through a scope, you will kill whoever is in front of you. In fact, if there are two people side by side, you could potentially kill both in one shot even though it makes no physical sense (bullets don't make 90 degree turns in real life). Many of these glitches hurt the gameplay aspect for me.
Perhaps it's my own sense of morality, but I dislike winning just because I know how to exploit the game's flaws. It removes the whole reason I would play the game it the first place - for strategic play and a competition of one's reaction time.
The sound in this game is a definite high point. When playing on a monophonic sound system, it's pretty darn average. The music is nothing to write home about, although it does set the suspenseful mood.
However, when playing in surround sound, the sound, in the most literal sense, enhances your play! Anyone with a good sound system or headphones will always have the upper hand. Not only can you hear when someone is coming (unless they have the Ninja Pro perk), but you can hear if they are above you, to your right, left, or even behind you. Forget about heartbeat sensors, a stealthy individual with a good sound system can hear their pray scurrying about in the next room. You can even hear what type of material they are probably walking on. Worried about other people using heartbeat sensors? If there's not a ton of gunfire and explosions going on, you can even hear where the heartbeat sensor blips are coming from.
Sound is probably my favorite aspect of this game.
The controls are laid out the way you would expect from a FPS, and they respond pretty well, too. There is a slight advantage to looking around a corner to your right over looking to the left due to everyone seeming to be right-handed in this game. It would be nice to decide to focus more on one side than the other. Still, though, this is a pretty minor discrepancy.
The default settings for the button configuration were a bother for me. The melee button also happens to be the right analog stick. Convenient, to be sure, however, I've seen many people online when trying to quickly aim at someone a distance away, they accidentally take a swing at them, and with such a grotesque amount of wait time before being able to aim your gun or take another swing, this often ends in tragedy. The game allows you to change the button settings, but only to a set list of predetermined options, which often messes up all your other buttons.
Replay value isn't bad in this game. If you are like me and have good friends in other parts of the country, this game is a great way to hang out over a long distance. Similarly, in the campaign, there are intel items you can scourge the levels for, and you can adjust the difficulty for a greater challenge.
However, once you beat the campaign, there is little desire to go back again. It's not like there are alternate endings, and the intel items are just for pride through the trophies. I, for one, felt no desire to give it another go after I first beat the game.
Well, as you can see, this game sounds like it's pretty top quality when tied in with the ratings system. However, this is why it's deceptive. It's like the game is catered to address the various aspects of game ratings, but it's hardly polished.
The glitchiness was a huge deal for me. Similarly, I couldn't help but feel like this game was merely a money maker. I just feel like with so many Call of Duty titles out there, such an acclaimed title should be much more polished. It just doesn't feel like the developers have any pride at stake here. There are graphical and physical flaws, however minor, at every turn, and although it did many things well, it still leaves you with a feeling of mediocrity. After the first few hours, it felt like an incredible game. After more time to experience it's flaws, I felt ripped off. It's a deceptive game that way! Since my overall impression is not always in synergy with each of the other rated aspects, you may notice the overall score isn't exactly an average of all the other scores.
The story is similar to your typical action flick. There seems to be some attempt at some revolutionary storyline that flirts with your typical conspiracy theory, but all it really accomplishes is to give you a reason to shoot people and big, powerful vehicles. Which, I suppose, is all we really want from this kind of game anyways.
If you love shooters, though, this game deserves a chance. If shooters aren't typically your thing, you may only want to consider it if all your friends play it online. For you, I would find another shooter with more artistic mediums. The campaign is neat at times, and the online multiplayer can still be a lot of fun, although nothing revolutionary (still only 8v8 in most settings). However, if future CoD titles fail to improve on the flaws found in this title, I would consider another brand.
This user review does not reflect the views of the PSX Extreme Staff.