Modern Warfare 2 is a game loaded with detail.
After watching the game play for Modern Warfare 2 during Microsoft's press conference, I had a chance to watch the same section played through again at Activision's booth. This time I paid closer attention to all of the little details, and there were plenty of them to note.
Frost forms on the weapons as the players make their way through the snowy Cliffhanger level. When the scope is brought up to fire off a few shots you can see the lens slightly frosting over. As the player climbs his way up a cliff, the sheet of ice starts to crack and splinter with each hit of the icepick. The snaps on the player's jacket sleeve flutter in the wind.
Sure, these are all things happening in the background, little details that have almost no impact on the actual gameplay, but they combine to create a more real, more physical world in which to play.
The heart of the game is still very much Modern Warfare, don't expect any major overhaul of the system, and why should there be? The original worked so well.
Instead it seems that the developers spent a bit more time on the nuance, the fine touches that help to highlight pivotal moments in the game.
I notices, for instance, that instead of the typical radar screen found in many shooters, the gun seen in the Cliffhanger level is equipped with a radar of sorts that uses heartbeats to detect people in the blinding snowstorm. When activated, the screen is pulled out from the side of the gun and the heartbeat sensor shows throbbing blue dots where people are, not enemies, but people.
One thing I was a bit disappointed to learn was that the brutal, and varied takedowns I saw can only be performed by AI friendlies. The argument the developers made for not letting you perform these is that it's more fun to watch them happen then to deliver them yourself.