Frankenreview: Modern Warfare 2

A game so wildly popular and well-known that we don't even have to explain what it is in the opening line for the Modern Warfare 2 Frankenreview.

so here we are. It's the next instalment of Infinity Ward's s***. We could drone on and on about Modern Warfare 2's controversial terrorist level, or the fact that this could very well be the bestselling game of the year and possibly all-time. We could talk about robust multiplayer, the new cooperative missions, and the fact that Soap MacTavish is at least one of our writers' personal hero.

We won't do that, however. Instead, we give you the assembled game critics' responses to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.

Eurogamer Twice, Infinity Ward asks if you're absolutely sure you want to see it. The scene, the fourth you'll encounter in the most widely anticipated game of the year, could be "disturbing" or "offensive", repeats the warning. You smile and agree that, yes, you are sure you want to see it. This is a videogame. They give them 18 certificates, but only to appease people who don't really understand what's going on. Sure, the images of violence and bloodshed on Modern Warfare's battlefields can be disturbing to an onlooker, but death in a first-person shooter is a five-second setback, a micro-reincarnation designed to provide challenge and an impetus to improve, not distress.

Strategy Informer Of course there will be a significant chunk of the audience that end up wondering what all the fuss was about; and for those of you of that persuasion, MW2's action beat and constant assault on the senses will prove the primary draw. It's here that Infinity Ward steps above and beyond criticism with superlative gunplay and a visual panache that – at times – borders on best-in-show. Enemies crumple realistically under fire, set-piece animation is integrated in an almost seamless fashion within the level design, and you'll be hard-pushed to spot a single respawning set of foes - which is about bloody time, even if early reports of nerfed veteran difficulty as a direct consequence are to be believed.

IGN Thankfully many of the glaring issues from last time around have been fixed. You won't find unlimited enemy spawns in areas, there's always a waypoint icon on-screen showing you where to go or who to follow, and the amount of in-game chatter from your team is simply astounding. It isn't often in games that you'll hear your squad call out specific areas on the map and have it mean anything. When your friend shouts, "Two tangos behind the yellow station wagon!" you'll actually see two enemies behind a yellow station wagon. It's a pretty engaging experience. You'll still have random issues with friendly AI, specifically with blocking your movement or deciding to walk in front of you mid-firefight, but for the most part it's a better experience than the first Modern Warfare.

Game Informer Modern Warfare 2's competitive multiplayer offering is the soul of iterative design. New ideas arise like third-person play and death streaks, but nothing substantially affects the core gameplay. On the other hand, the tweaks are almost uniformly great. Weapon-specific unlocks, cosmetic titles and callsigns, and upgraded "pro" perks contribute to a dramatic increase in the depth and breadth of persistent progression. The strategic variance of each map invites hours of study and experimentation. Included due to the mountain of feedback, the playlists (preset rotations of maps and modes for groups to play through) offer delightful bouquets of varied-yet-similar gametypes for all tastes.

Telegraph The game's new mode is Special Ops which can be played solo or in co-op, both local and online. It's unlocked by completing the campaign mode, and is essentially a series of mini-missions; their design is similar to the epilogue mission in COD4's campaign mode, "Mile High Club". They're divided into four groups – Alpha, Bravo, Charlie and Delta – and are based on sections within the campaign's levels. They include scenarios such as defending a raised platform in a snow-covered shipyard, racing snowmobiles across tundra and taking out guerrillas in a favela in Rio de Janeiro while avoiding civilian casualties. A couple of fan-favourites from COD4 are also included, such as the chilling Death From Above mission in AC-130 Spectre Gunship. Special Ops range from one to three stars in their level of difficulty, and players can use the stars they earn to unlock more challenges. There are 23 missions in all, and a lot of them are highly addictive; the temptation to better one's time in the snowmobile race is particularly compelling.

Kotaku Modern Warfare 2 may not innovate or raise the bar as impressively as Call of Duty 4 did in order to grant it automatic game of the year consideration. The better praise it may deserve is that it's likely the game that many will be playing well into next year.

Anyone surprised?


    Could've been a turd in a box and would still win GOTY... Call of Duty has become to the West what Dragon Quest is to Japan.

    Glad to read they fixed the stupid spawning of the enemies. That really made the first one feel about 5 years too late to me...

    imo it is a damn good game but, i just cant see it being goty. uncharted 2 was just unbelievably epic and really deserves that crown. sure this game will sell 4 times as many copies but thats because its on every platform and anyone with either of these platforms will buy it. im just glad im a console gamer. id be super pissed if i had ordered it from steam and was still waiting to play while the rest of the world is out there kickin ass!
    there is a lot of talk in forums about the way pro perks, kill streaks and death streaks are setup. many dont like it. but if it wasnt for them this would be a cod 4 dlc.
    i love the care package as its almost like a xmas present, you dont know what it is till you open it up. and the nuke is awesome! ive only used that offline cause the day i get a 25 k/s is the day i die!! :)

    How negative Mr. Waffle

    Wall of text inc.

    I got the PC version of the game, and it just reeks of a console port, much to my dismay. The lack of a lean function is a nuisance when you're trying to look around corners and out windows. It's funny that the Use Key from Modern Warfare is now used to Melee, so watching people run up to supply crates and knife them is somewhat amusing.

    I've noticed a lot of websites are claiming that the negative feedback regarding no dedicated servers stems from the inability to use mods and user-made maps, but to be honest I hadn't even thought about that until I read it. My major gripe with it is the fact the one of the players has to host, which costs a lot in upload quota. In the same time Modern Warfare would normally take up 20MB of quota, Modern Warfare 2 took up 300MB because it decided I was hosting and didn't tell me. And I pay for all my uploads/downloads instantaneously, so I can just watch my money go down the drain. And user hosting is a haven for lag.

    They also got rid of dedicated servers because they didn't like joining games that were already half way done... which seems odd, because that still happens. I joined a match with 20 seconds to go. And the fact that I have to sit in the lobby and wait to find players, and then quit because my latency is too high and rejoin another group is not the 'easier and less hassle' system I was promised.

    On to the story mode, which every seems to think is the greatest thing ever.... they just took the greatest moments from Modern Warfare and redid them on every mission in Modern Warfare 2. Oh no, I've been knocked unconscious.... again... and someone has to help me up. Oh no, my player got killed in a cut scene, again, and again. For me, the Modern Warfare 2 story just became a case of 'too much a good thing'.

    So what do I like about the game? Multiplayer definitely has more depth to it. It's going to be a lot of fun trying to unlock all the emblems and titles. It has a very Team Fortress 2 feel to it. That's mainly due to Steam and the achievements... and the sentry guns. Riot shields, although they're the bane of my existence, (since I don't use them myself) there's nothing like emptying a clip into an enemy running straight towards you and bash you to death with his shield. And throwing knives, I love you so much. Even though I usually get owned because I'm trying the throw a knife at a sniper at the other end of the map, when I finally make that shot it'll be worth it.

    And lastly, how would I improve the game? Bring back dedicated servers, bring back lean, remove the console crap like quick time events from the single player game and give me an actual latency reading instead of red, yellow or green bars.

    Thanks for reading, sorry about the essay. I'm procrastinating, I should be studying for my maths exam that's tomorrow.

    The single player story goes from one extreme to another like a Hollywood action flick and quickly gets very unbelievable. (Though not knocking this, that's what you expect from a COD game). However as a whole it is a bit on the short side with some of the individual mission being painfully short. As for the AI - well if you count popping up from behind cover as quality AI you'll be happy. I noticed in most levels the enemy running to the same positions and just sitting there in cover firing regardless of where you went. Very obvious in the South American levels.

    Overall a good experience but feels like COD4: Expansion pack than anything else. No multiplayer yet but I think I'll go back to Dragon Age tonight.

    Special Ops is unlocked by beating the campaign mode? Yeah, sure Telegraph.

    Doesn't anybody else think care packages are CHEAP? Half the time they come with pavelow or harrier strike and you only need 3 or 4 kills to get one.

    'When your friend shouts, “Two tangos behind the yellow station wagon!” you’ll actually see two enemies behind a yellow station wagon.'

    Do IGN take us for idiots? I seem to recall squad chatter being a feature in *all* of the Call of Duty games. Out of all the review snippets in this article, the Kotaku review seems to be the only one where the reviewer isn't falling all over themselves heaping unwarranted praise upon Modern Warfare 2 (although the Kotaku review as a whole is still a bit of a stinker).

    So how much did IW spend on bribes this time around?

    Or were the game 'journalists' too busy fapping to the game anyway?

    I liked this review:

    Actually bothers to cover the PC multiplayer, instead of just going on about how amazingly awesome it all is. Sure they still give it an 8.2, but it's still one of the better reviews I've read for MW2 thus far.

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