Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, developed by Infinity Ward, was released back in 2007 alongside the blockbuster hit Halo 3, and the fight for the top stop was neck-and-neck. About a year later, Treyarch released Call of Duty: World at War, and it turned back the clock to World War 2 in the Pacific. Infinity Ward was developing the next installment in the series, which would take the game back to modern times and continue the epic story of Call of Duty 4. Modern Warfare 2 is the most anticipated game of 2009, selling 4.7 million units in the first 24 hours and $550 million in the first 5 days. Is Modern Warfare 2 really the sequel to Call of Duty 4, or is it the same game with a couple of new features?
Modern Warfare 2’s single player experience is short, but it is one hell of a roller coaster taking many twists and turns that are unexpected. You play through the perspectives of 4 different soldiers ranging from the British S.A.S, to the US Marines. Compared to Call of Duty 4, the single player is a lot tighter and there isn’t one moment where it is frustrating or boring. Visually, Modern Warfare 2 hasn’t made any huge improvements, but there are a lot more environments this time around. You will find yourself in suburbs of the US, to winters of Russia, all the way to the deserts of the Middle East. The story telling isn’t the best which leads to moments where you are asking yourself what just happened. If you aren’t up to date with the current story, confusion is almost unavoidable since Modern Warfare 2 doesn’t fill you in about past events. Call of Duty games don’t have any cinematic scenes, so all the story telling is done through a generic mission debriefing between levels.
The single player can be finish between 5-7 hours, even on harder difficulty settings. The campaign is action packed and even though it’s only a taste of what the game has to offer, there is room for improved story telling. The newest addition to Modern Warfare 2 is the Special Operations mode, which allows for you and a friend to hop in and play through single player inspired levels. For each difficulty you increase you are rewarded stars out of a total of 69 stars. Spec Ops is a great addition to the Call of Duty series, and there are enough missions to last you and a friend many hours of playing time.
One of the biggest draws to Modern Warfare 2 is the really fun and addictive multiplayer, which had people lining up in stores at midnight to play. The amount of weapons and attachment combinations in Modern Warfare 2 is endless, and with attachments like thermal scopes, rifle attached shot guns and heartbeat sensors, there is something to fit everyone’s play style. Previously, you could only equip a pistol as a secondary weapon, but now you can equip a shotgun or an automatic pistol. In the first 20 levels is can be very frustrating playing against players who have better weapons and perks, but overall compared to Call of Duty 4 the multiplayer feels a lot more balanced. The most exciting feature is the ability to unlock Killstreaks, that you can personalize for when and what you get from your kills. Killstreaks range from UAV which is three kills, or a Tactical Nuke at 25 kills that can end the game. With UAVs constantly in the sky and AC-130 gunships taking out packs of your teammates, teamwork is essential. Most of everyone’s favourite game types and the popular Prestige mode are back, and are sure to provide endless hours of laughs and enjoyment.
At this point, it’s not a question if Modern Warfare 2 is good or not, it’s a question of who doesn’t own it yet. This game is a total package, offering something to the busiest of people who can’t play on a regular basis and something for people who dedicate hours of their time to playing games. With controversy surrounding the game because of certain missions that take place in an airport, Modern Warfare 2’s story shouldn’t be taken out of context because of what the media is portraying. The single player is a solid experience full of action movie moments, and with the addition Special Operations and multiplayer, people will be playing this game for years to come. Modern Warfare 2 is the blockbuster hit of 2009 and no one should pass up on it for the hundreds of hours that you can get for $69.