How do you follow up one of the biggest, best selling and critically acclaimed games of all time? Easy. Release a sequel that’s does exactly the same, but with added controversy, and a brand new game mode that’ll satisfy the most diehard of fans.
After a two-year break since the original Modern Warfare; a revolution at the time taking the previously World War themed Call of Duty series into contemporary warfare, developers Infinity Ward, and publishers Activision are back with perhaps the most ambitious title in history. The reason why? Make no mistake, instead of simply rehashing and repacking the original, there’s the genuine sense that with MW 2 the developers have taken all the best bits from MW, trimmed the fat, and then crammed in tonnes of tasty new features.
Starting with campaign mode, albeit noticeably shorter than the original, back are the cinematic cutscenes, simple but yet effective control system, and as you’d expect over the top storylines; this time taking first game hero Soap MacTavish, alongside new characters James Ramirez, Gary ‘Roach’ Sanderson’ and Private Joseph Allen to locations as varied as Afghanistan, Siberia, Rio De Janeiro and Washington D.C.
This time around there’s also added controversy surrounding a certain level, not to give too much away, involving a terrorist attack and an airport; which players are given the option to skip at the beginning of game. Some may see it as crude, but how often are games daring enough to cover such controversial and topical themes? A bold and brave move the developers should be praised for.
There’s also lots of new added features to make the short-lived, but highly enjoyable campaign extra fun, included the superb ‘breach’ feature, that allows you to enter a room in slow motion, picking off enemies before they even realise what’s happening. As you’d expect there are plenty of vehicle sections that include snowmobiles escapes, helicopter gunships and daring boat chases to keep the adrenaline flowing.
However, any fan of the original game will know that as fun as campaign can be, it’s in multiplayer where they’ll clock up the most hours. Sticking with the same winning formula that made Modern Warfare such a hit on both the Playstation Network and Xbox Live, players will feel immediately at home with MW 2, as well enjoy a whole host of new tweaks. In addition to a variety of maps taken from the single player campaign, there’s also customisable killstreaks and callsigns allowing players to have a more personal online experience, as well as new perks to spice up gameplay.
New to the MW series is the Special Ops mode. Designed to be played either solo or co-op, the mode offers a variety of missions, timed or with a specific goal, and focusing on specific gameplay elements, such as stealth, snipering, driving and combat. Easy to pick up, but a true challenge to master, Spec Ops will keep even the most dedicated COD fan occupied for hours.
Easily the biggest release of 2009, it’s with much joy I announce that MW 2 is certainly one of, if not, the best of the year. Delivering everything the original did, but better, and then some, it’s also arguably the best of the highly praised series to date. With enough content to keep even the most dedicated gamer happy, you’ll be playing to the almost inevitable Modern Warfare 3. War has never been so much fun.