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SummaryTango! Roger! Alpha Six! Take Point!
The GoodSince this game was clearly intended for multi-player purposes, I am going to be fair to it and actually mention it for once. Yes, the multi-player is incredibly awesome and fast-paced with lots of different tactics for each map. Teamwork is pretty essential and going around playing as Rambo is going to get you killed pretty fast, I also love the amount of customization at your disposal that allows you to create several sets with different perks (bonuses), weapons, attachments and items.
Most weapons, items and perks can also be leveled up by using them or completing specific challenges. For example: Killing a lot of dudes using a "red-dot sight" unlocks a "holographic sight" which is an improved version with higher precision. This also encourages the use of different weapons and styles because completing challenges gives you experience points required to level up, some of these challenges are a bit insane (like the one where you need to drop a crate on an enemy's head), but they are mostly pretty straightforward.
The graphics are also insanely good even though I couldn't care less (like everybody else will do in just three or so years), but at this point in time it is pretty amazing to see huge detailed explosions that send debris flying around and the facial expressions on the soldiers when you stab them in the lungs is priceless. These graphics also follow the game into the multi-player where the sandstorms kick in whenever they want and the sun buggers you while you're trying to aim at that pesky guy behind the wall.
Thanks to the fast-paced action and the lack of story this game is pretty easy to play through more than once because the shoot-outs never get boring. Turning up the difficulty makes the enemies do more damage and take more themselves. I still can't joke around too much when playing on the highest difficulty setting, so a challenge is most certainly present. Most of the time the game felt like a silly arcade game where your only goal was to shoot stuff and frankly that never really gets boring if you play it occasionally.
The Special Ops missions which are optional tasks you and a friend can perform, most of the time they are parts of the single-player mission that were rather challenging, but with a timer or different goals. There were also a lot of parts that I had never seen before. (never played those and never will). I wanted to get the maximum amount of stars on each mission, so I had a lot of fun when me and my cousin tried to make it past insanely strong enemies on the highest difficulty while racing to an exit with the timers running out.
The BadThe story-line is very scripted and that was confusing at first, what I mean is that there are a lot of scenes where certain tactics work, while normally they wouldn't. The most notable was when there was a big vehicle with a machine gun shooting at me and the Sergeant ordered me to throw a smoke grenade which made the thing stop firing and moving, but minutes later I encountered another one which laughed at my silly grenade and kept firing. Smoke grenades also don't affect normal infantry or anybody else except for you. There were also scenes where I sneaked past the enemies, but done outside such a scene only resulted in the enemy turning around and shooting me in the face.
The story is very short and very hard to follow and that last complaint comes from somebody who fully understood the story in World of Warcraft, F.E.A.R. and Timesplitters 2. The problem is that the game doesn't really introduce you to who the characters are and what the groups they work for do, probably assuming everybody already played the first Modern Warfare game or just doesn't give a damn. I went through the entire story and every time I finally started to understand who my character was it made me jump to a whole other character or just kill the one I was playing as.
It also gives me the impression that it's deliberately trying to be a parody of dramatic movies because every single cut-scene is filled with dialogue that consists almost entirely out of lines that sound like they were taken from a Civilization game ("History is written by the victor", "Sure it matters who has the biggest gun, but it matter a helluva lot more who's swinging it" and etc.). It just sounded way too clever for a game like this which, for me, sapped any seriousness out of what little plot there was.
Something that always pissed people off when we were playing the game's multi-player was that bullets magically disappear if the one who fired them dies, which made for some annoying moment where both people first a shotgun and one person doesn't get hit at all. Also obnoxious were several glitches and camp spots that were next to impossible to reach. Some of the weapons and items could also be very annoying and overpowered like the grenade launcher that is unlocked very early for every weapon and could easily instant kill anybody with just one shot and the scavenger perk that allowed players to pick up packages with resupplies almost constantly.
The Bottom LineGames like Modern Warfare 2 make me feel sorry for the approvers here on Mobygames. They spend so much time approving our work and then games like these show-up, games that are so short and easy to review that I could write two complete reviews a day if there were more of them. After this game I will take a bit of a break from reviewing just to show I am really sorry, but let's get to the bloody point already:
CoD: MW2 looks beautiful and has an awesome multi-player, it is not entirely flawless and has some very annoying glitches in both the single-player and multi-player. If you want to get your hands on a good and fast-paced multi-player fest then I suggest buying the latest game in the series because a lot of people have abandoned this game already, but it's still pretty sweet to have around for parties.