Sunday, November 29, 2009

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

Modern Warfare 2 is the sequal to Modern Warfare 1 (duh) but should really be considered more of an expansion. If you're not completely daft with first person shooters you'll play it through in a couple of hours, something around 3-4 or so. Yet again I didn't play this game but Love did.
Although MW2 will provide you with some hours of shooting fun it has some interesting gameplay problems, issues which could have been easily changed to further the experience.

First of all there is no way to mod your weapon, a feature becoming increasingly available and loved in first person shooters. This means that if you want to use a weapon with a silencer you need to find said weapon with a silencer on it on some enemy and pick it up. This really limits your possibility to chose between weapons as you please. For example, at some points you are provided with a weapon with a silencer for a special mission that requires it. This means you can't change that weapon to something else unless you find the exact weapon you want that already has a silencer on it. You are therefor forced to play with a special type of weapon which seems lame for a first person shooter which is all about being able to choose your own shooting experience at least to some part.

Also MW2 offers a choice of game-mechanic which really becomes bothersome and negates any sense of sneakiness and skill you feel you might have. The enemies can do things you can't, which means you have to trick them in order not to die horribly all the time (which you'll do anyway). This could sound like an interesting twist as to make the game more challenging or the AI more intelligent, but it is done in the wrong way. For example, not being able to peek behind corners in a first person shooter seems really odd. This means you have to do trial and error runs to find out where enemies are positioned, which isn't a rewarding type of gameplay. To hurl your entire body into the open in these kind of games usually means instant death. Being forced to do it seems like poor planning or game constructing to me. The enemies can do this however which means you'll often die by some sneak-shot from behind some cover. It is not like in Gears of War where you can just hurl your weapon around or above some cover and blast away some shots, a feature that works well in these kind of games and at least should exist in some form.

Another problem is that missions aren't always well balanced to the difficulty of staying alive. This was now played on easy and still you die in approximately 4 shots or any one burst from an enemy weapon. Yet there are some missions that require you to run through open areas with literal hordes of enemies and few offerings of cover. Yet again you'll need trial and error over and over to run through a room with over 50(!) enemies shooting at you from all places and no chance to duck behind cover to shoot some off before running along. That makes MW2 feel more like an old Mariogame where you have to learn some parts by heart to make it.

Also the whole feel of the game and the attitude to war is sometime so deadly serious it feels someone is about to burst a vein. In games like Red Alert you really feel that this is just a game and we do this because it's fun, it just happens to be in a war setting. MW2 makes clear that this isn't a joking matter, at all. This is dead serious and you better understand it, son! There is an opening mission you actually have to promise not to be offended by before being able to play it. This because it's about killing loads of civilians. But the game has no trouble what so ever with the player killing butt loads of people tagged as "enemies", be it terrorists or confused military of other countries. This means the game developers have put a distinct line between people ok to kill and people not ok to kill and don't care at all what the player might think. All enemies are also of course rabid trigger happy maniacs who need to be killed or they will kill you. This "all or nothing" attitude is sort of perplexing but you need to look behind the american "if you're not with us, you're against us" moralizing and try to enjoy the game for it's gameplay features instead.

These problems don't make the game unplayable though, and it is still short enough not to make it an entire pain to have to live with these problems for a few hours. It just feels kinda sad that they haven't put more effort into something that comes with a pretty solid base and idea. Wouldn't say it's worth full price though.

Picture is from Wikipedia

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