Modern Warfare 2: PC Versus 360

How does the PC version of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 compare to the console versions? I spent some time with the game on the Xbox 360 and Steam to find out.

The single-player experience in the PC and Xbox 360 versions of the game is largely the same, with a few obvious differences. There's the controller layout of course, and being a PC gamer long before I was a console gamer I will always be much more comfortable with a keyboard and trackball mouse than I ever will be with a standard Xbox 360 controller. I could argue that it allows for better accuracy, but it seems to me at least that the hit boxes are skewed more towards console gamers in the PC version, meaning that accuracy isn't as important as it is in more PC-centric titles.

The graphics seem a tad bit sharper on my PC, but that could just as well be a factor of the clarity of my monitors and the fact that my current gaming rig — an Intel Core i7 2.6GHz with 6GB of RAM and dual GeForce GTX 275s — is a bit beefier than what I'm used to playing on. It really isn't a huge difference, however, so I wouldn't call either side the winning one graphically.

Basically, as far as single player is concerned, the games are relatively similar. Which brings us to the multiplayer side of things.

The PC version of Modern Warfare 2 has of course gotten a great deal of flack from the PC community for imposing console player-limits and removing the ability to create dedicated servers for online multiplayer, a feature that's been standard in previous games in the series.

This having been said, the PC version loses a point to the Xbox 360 as far as local multiplayer options go, with the ability to network multiple 360 consoles together via System Link. There are no LAN options for Modern Warfare 2, and of course no split-screen multiplayer either, so the console is coming out on top so far.

Aside from the LAN options and a few smaller details, such as PC text chat, that's where the differences end, which I suppose is why many PC gamers are incensed. The PC version features the same, network-controlled matchmaking system as the Xbox 360 version, without any of the advanced controls that PC players are used to. You can still set up a private game and tweak options like number of lives and friendly-fire, but for the most part it's click, join and go.

As for reports of the PC version being open to cheaters and hackers, I've yet to see an instance of obvious cheating in my brief time on Steam, though in all fairness I do spend an awful lot of time dying.

As a PC gamer myself, I find the lack of dedicated servers to be frustrating, but then I am also a console gamer, so this is the sort of thing I've gotten used to over the past few years. When all is said and done, it's a matter of personal perception whether the system is inferior or not. Should you feel slighted for getting what is essentially the same thing on both platforms? That's completely up to you.

Keep in mind that I'm not the most dedicated or skilled Modern Warfare 2 player by a long shot, and your personal experiences with the two different versions may vary. If they do, they ball all means, tell us.


Comments

    WHAT no LAN at all, I thought the trouble was because it was limited to 9v9 or something. but no lan at all,
    what about spec ops, that looks designed for a small 2 player lan with a friend beside you....
    surely you jest.

    What I don't understand is why console gamers are happy with the non-dedicated server model either.

    Admittedly I came from a PC background but now I only play games on the console, mostly for convenience but also because I work with PC's and that takes some fun out of them.

    That being said, I barely play online (on the Xbox) because the non-dedicated server experience is so poor that I'd rather play against AI.

      It might be cuz a good chunk of console gamers grew up with the console as their number 1 platform so they're not aware of what online PC gaming is like and why PC users rely so heavily on dedicated servers. Plus, like you, a lot of console gamers just like that jump in and play convenience and would rather not browse through server lists.

      There is no real need for dedicated servers with this game because of the P2P setup.

      Though, the tripe matchmaking in this negates that usefulness so..

      On a side note, now there's word of hidden content (maps, game modes) on the disc too.

      Poor form IW.

      Because Xbox live is superior, I mean if you pay it must be better?

      because you can join a game reasonably quickly, and the game itself finds the best game matches with the best connections.

      My only gripe about MP on MW2 so far, as a console gamer, is that it is lacking "LOCAL ONLY" matchmaking. It would solve the Australia vs. Overseas lag issue and would improve MP gameplay significantly with only a very very minor addition by the devs.

    IWNet. It's not THAT bad. Mind you, I said that in a match and nearly got eviscerated by incensed super-nerd rage so make of it what you will!

    Well, LAN play is accepted. It's still matchmaking crap again though, just you're guaranteed better pings because it's LAN. Doesn't make the experience any nicer though.

    Their isn't much difference between graphics on PC and console these days anyway. Obviously better technology occurs every week, but that doesn't mean for only PC.

    Obviously you cannot upgrade your console every year but their isn't a MAJOR difference with decent developed games like this.

    With that said - the next gen consoles they should make upgradeable, personally.

      Or the fact that IW have now directly ported the PC version.

    Give me dedicated servers!

    i grew up on PC multiplayer and i personally prefer the Console to my pc.

    sorry but i find dedicated servers a little old fashioned and pointless. i would rather be GUARANTEED a game on the consoles than sift through the many empty servers to try and find one with a decent ping.

    Online console gaming has been boiled down to one thing...Rank.

    If you thought someone paying for WOW accounts was sad...players are willing to spend money for Halo accounts. In fact some pro player accounts have been sold for over 500 USD.

    When the majority of console gamers realise rank is meaningless they will want a system like Steam. Where because of the amount of people frequenting a server is pretty big a high place on the leaderboards is actually worth something.

    I honestly don't care about the multiplayer side of things for myself anymore, but this saddens me deeply.
    I want games to become like sports in stature with pro leagues as seen in South Korea. It was getting closer to happening in the west, but this is a MAJOR step backwards.
    Competitive multiplayer at any level requires dedicated servers, simple as that.
    The multiplayer experience is becoming disposable in response to the money made by mmo's. Either you subscribe and pay a monthly fee or be prepared to buy a sequel or similar title from the same company in a few months. The days of getting years of use from a single purchase are gone.

    I do not believe the reviewer could not notice the difference of the graphics between PC and 360 - the resolution for PC would be more than twice that of the 360's approximate 620p if the computer's monitor is a 22" in its native resolution (1650x1050) with 4x Anti-aliasing. On a large TV in 1080p (even with the game's resolution set at 1650x1050) connected to the PC it's easy to notice that the jaggies are non-existent, which equates to superior graphics quality. Yes, sounds like a 360 gamer attempting to justify the greatness of the 5-year old console.

      Oh, and admit my math was way off... 620 x 2= 1240, not more than twice, even so 1050 still wins hands down. The reviewer and have the same PC setup, but I only have one GTX275.

      Despite this, I'm moving on from MW2 and get GTA Ballad of Gay Tony for my 360 tonight...

        Actually, the 360 version runs at 600p. And it should really be looked at in mega pixels. So, PC 1680x1050 = ~1.8MP. XBox(TV with 16:10 aspect) 960x600 = ~.6MP

        And the PC version can go as high as your video card/monitor can handle.

        Also, nothing will be done to MW2. Activision made their money. They sold more on PC than they did with COD4, even with all of the crying. I don't plan on purchasing this game, ARE better games out there.

        And you want to know why IW believed that people didn't like the server browser? Because the one in the game sucked. Look a the one Valve uses or the server browser for the Battlefield series. What makes those two good browsers? It has a SEARCH box! COD as used the same browser in every version of the game. It was hard initially find games on it. But IW thought it would be better to get rid of the entire system instead of just make the one they had better. Remember they spent more of this PC version of COD than any other. Sounds like a waste of money to me. But they don't need to worry about that now, it is now the most sold PC version of COD as well.

        Ok, that got out of hand quick.

          resolution doesnt matter that much if you sitting 2m back on the couch in front of a 40" screen. Obviously it matters if your 2ft away from a computer monitor 600p will look crap and you need 1650x1050, especially as computer monitors are getting bigger but people aren't really sitting any further back, the resolution is key. Oh and FYI cod4 runs at 1024x600 native res, as i assume MW2 does as well. I think what Mike is trying to convey is that the textures and detail don't have any real difference if at all between the 2 versions, as the pc version is most likely a port.

    I've seen probably 10 people obviously hacking (on level 10 prestige and not trying to hide wallhacks)...IWnet doesn't kick them at all.

    I find I get lag sometimes even if the connection indicator is full, there is no team balancing, matches end halfway through for no apparent reason, etc. IWnet is only a good system if you compare it to online console gaming.

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