Friday, November 13, 2009

Modern Warfare 2 impressions

With my mysterious internet issues resolved, I've put in some quality
time into MW2 over the last two days. I've dabbled in the
single-player, Special Ops, and of course, multi-player. Impressions.

Solo Campaign:

- Think I am about 75% done with the solo campaign. I'm playing it on
Regular difficulty. I usually do Hardened my first play-through and
then knock out Veteran afterward. But not this time. I went with
Regular for two reasons.

First, some sections on Hardened (not to mention Veteran) have proven
to be quite difficult in previous games (CoD2, CoD4) and they have led
to some frustration. This has lead to the stalling of the progression
and flow of the game, since you end up getting stuck in one particular
section or sections for a while. I didn't want to go through that this
time. At least not my first time through the game. I just wanted to
experience the story straight through and just enjoy the ride. The
agony of Hardened and Veteran can come later.

Second, I wanted to get through the story campaign as fast as possible.
For two reasons. I want to devote my full attention to multi-player.
And two, I don't want any sections or surprises spoiled for me. I
already had the airport level spoiled, so it did not have the kind of
impact it would have had if I would have gone in not knowing anything
about it. CoD4 had PLENTY of amazing moments, so I don't want to have
any of those potential moments spoiled for me.

- So far, I am enjoying the single-player, but I have not been blown
away like I was with CoD4. I really felt like Infinity Ward hit it out
of the park with the original Modern Warfare. It was one of the best
single-player FPS experiences I've had. It was intense, fun, and I
actually cared about the story.

I didn't enjoy WaW because I felt it leeched off MW too much and I'm
experiencing some of that same deja vu here. IW seems to be a victim of
its own success. Granted, if any game should be allowed to feel similar
to MW, it should be Infinity Ward's follow-up. I'm just not being as
blown away from all the set-pieces, because CoD4 already took me on this
roller-coaster ride before. Sure, this coaster has bigger drops, but
I'm a roller-coaster veteran by now.

And I should clarify, my dislike of WaW was the fact that I felt like
Treyach just blatantly rode on MW's coat-tails and didn't bother trying
to make WaW have an identity on its own. Obviously I am not feeling
that with MW2, since IW can copy off itself all it wants.

- Speaking of roller-coasters, it sometimes feels like MW2 is stuck on
giant drops. The game's pace is just relentess. CoD games are
notorious for total chaos, but maybe the formula is wearing thin, or I'm
looking for a change-up every now and then, because I could do with a
few more quiet sections. Some levels do ask for a stealthier approach,
but you know it's only a matter of time before that level explodes into
a giant firefight with hundreds of opponents. Ok, this is just an odd
"complaint" on my part. What will this game be if not one giant
fire-fight? That's what this franchise is built on. To its credit, the
game does try to mix it up. The airport level is unlike anything seen
before. There are some stealthy infiltration missions. I'm just being
pissy because I'm upset I haven't been as impressed with the solo game
as I was with CoD4.

- I'll stop commenting on this now until I actually finish it. I might
just be completely blown away by the end.

- Last note, going back to my first point of not wanting to have the
game's high points spoiled for me, I wish Infinity Ward would have keep
the fact that you will be doing fighting on America soil a secret. It
would have been difficult to keep it under wraps, since it looks like a
good chunk of the game takes place here in the US, but it would have
been a great revelation while playing it for the first time.


- I've played (and 3 starred) all of the Alpha and Bravo Special-Ops
missions. I love this mode. It is a total blast to play with a friend.
That is all.


I've written plenty on CoD4 multiplayer. Not too much more to add,
other than this game keeps all that was good and adds too it. It is too
soon to tell whether everything will work and it will stay completely
balanced, but it looks good so far.

IW does a great job of rewarding players constantly. It seems like you
are always unlocking something, or at least getting bonus points in-game
for doing something. I also like that they changed up the scoring
system a bit. Instead of getting 10 points for a kill in team
deathmatch, you now get 100. It is basically the same, instead of
needing 750 points to win, you need 7500, but seeing a +100 pop up is a
lot more rewarding than seing a +10.

I've leveled up to level 27 so far, so there are still PLENTY of guns,
perks and attachments for me to unlock and check out. Pretty sure I'll
be giving further impressions later.

But so far, multiplayer is just what I expected. The Modern Warfare
online formula is fantastic and MW2 just adds more toys, levels, and
perks to play with.

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