Just what were Infinity Ward thinking with Modern Warfare 2?
©2009 Arthur Kotsopoulos
The juggernaut that is Modern Warfare 2 has been released and with just two weeks of it being on shelves gamers are already criticizing the game’s length and content in comparison to Modern Warfare 1.
So here we’ll take a look and compare Modern Warfare 1 and Modern Warfare 2 and see exactly where things have changed for better or worse and try to just figure out wtf?! Infinity Ward wanted to portray in Modern Warfare 2.
So back in 2007 when Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (Modern Warfare 1) was released it was the king of FPS on consoles and reigned supreme in both Single Player and Multiplayer with memorable levels such as All Ghillied Up, to name most probably the most loved of them all.
• Modern Warfare 2
It featured some amazing set pieces utilizing the in house CoD4 Engine showing off what it is capable of and featured some great plot twists and moments where you would just sit there and think: “Oh, they didn’t just do that, wow! ”
It was a Single Player experience that stood out amongst the rest and till this day is recognized as one of the better SP campaigns in any game. That and along with Multiplayer made it seem the perfect game which was almost perfect and for weeks it topped the ‘king’, Halo 3, on the Xbox Live Top 10 Most Played- which is no easy feat!
Regardless of how good your connection here in Australia was if there was one American gamer join an all Aussie game chances are the game would automatically choose the American as host.
The next year saw Treyarch’s turn at the COD franchise with World At War and whilst many for some reason despise the developer for various reasons one conclusion that all gamers could come to agree on was that its Local Search was a God send for us Aussies and other gamers.
This Local Search almost 99% of the time paired Aussies with Aussies and made for lag free games all around; whether it was Nazi Zombies or Multiplayer this feature worked!
So two years on and Moder Warfare 2 is placed on the shelves and millions -yes millions have gone through Single Player and Multiplayer as well as Special Ops and have quite a lot of criticism to dish out.
We’ve Got Big Problem Comrade!
Despite the two months of the game’s hype train hitting full throttle, many gamers of all platforms see big problems. Certain game types on the 360 required you to be in Game Chat and not Party Chat, meaning the necessity to mute a lot of annoying and disrespectful gamers, and Multiplayer was capped at 9 vs 9 for all platforms.
The PC version of the game featured no Dedicated Servers and no Mod Support which blew up the PC Community ten fold with petitions and demands left, right and centre for Infinity Ward (IW) to include Dedicated Servers.
Console gamers were re-assured by IW that their multiplayer would automatically find and throw you in the best game it could find with a ping under 100ms, except this so called auto filter doesn’t work the exact way everyone expected it to.
Even in the heat of the Aussie rush, when we’re on multiplayer it seems that it STILL does not join to an Aussie game but rather an overseas one. Plus if you get a full Aussie game going and one American joins- again it chooses the American as host.
To make matters worse now it seems that hackers have managed to upload a Trojan virus which, via (site not named), can spread itself to hundreds of computers. It seems this Trojan is a Key-Logger which could mean trouble for gamers if it does turn out to be true.
It’s a game that everyone thought would not only build on but excel where Modern Warfare 1 was best, yet it seems many aren’t happy with what they are seeing/hearing/playing and it makes you wonder: what were Infinity Ward thinking?
They have explained numerous times various reason as to why they chose to do things this way and many can see where they were coming from but the majority still think otherwise.
Personally, multiplayer on the Xbox 360 has been a bit rough but I find playing against Americans with two Yellow Bars to be much more enjoyable than playing against Aussies with three green bars, but then again that is just my personal opinion.
What About Single Player: MW2 vs. MW1
I’m more interested in the Campaign side of things really and how it differs greatly from Modern Warfare 1 in terms of everything: mission structure, level design and all out shock factor that was used to drive the story forward.
Warning there are spoilers ahead for those who may have not still finished the game.
So Single Player in Modern Warfare 1 featured some amazing moments such as a nuke being detonated causing mass destruction and killing one of the game’s main protagonists (that you were playing) and was just one of the awesome moments in the Modern Warfare 1 campaign.
How do you top such an awesome set piece like that? Well to answer Infinity Ward gave the player about 10x more balls to the wall action with some moments that left many gamers either cringe in discomfort, sit in joy, become outraged or just feel shell shocked.
Controversy Bait or Creative Art?
The “No Russian” level sees you play as an undercover CIA Agent trying to make good with the lead Russian villain Makarov, gunning down hundreds of innocent civilians in a terrorist attack of a Russian airport.
This shock factor level is imperative to the story as the ending sees Makarov shooting you in cold blood, leaving the Russian country to think this was an American attack, which then leads to the US being invaded and all hell breaking loose.
Along with this crazy idea of all of the US being invaded there’s back stabbing plot twists at every corner from Makarov finding out you’re American and killing you, to Shepard shooting one of the game’s protagonists and Ghost in cold blood just to be the ” Hero” and the one who takes down Makarov in the end.
The idea was to never allow a dull moment in Modern Warfare 2, with the pace just right and the action just perfect, but instead it was just like playing Commando with a mix of Rambo and some Cobra in the mix, which never really allowed the player many moments to enjoy the scenery and appreciate the level design and what the game’s engine could produce.
What were Infinity Ward thinking?
I for one enjoyed Single Player but with all these overdone shock factor levels and plot twists it left me wondering what were Infinity Ward thinking and what were they exactly trying to prove when making Modern Warfare 2?
I’ve spoken to quite a few gamers and almost all of them have agreed with me that they do not have a single favourite level in Modern Warfare 2 Campaign like they did with Modern Warfare 1.
They stated some started out awesome but ended pretty generically or were just the same get out alive and make it to the extraction chopper type experience.
I really enjoyed the Oil Rig level to begin with the way it started in with the underwater scene to the breach and clear Matrix-esque slow moments but then it ended up with you just ripping through a couple squads of hostiles to make it to the extraction chopper just like half the other levels ended up being.
So what do all of you think?
Do you think the Modern Warfare 2 Campaign stacks up to Modern Warfare 1? Does the new game produce any nostalgic feeling for MW1 because the original was fresh and restrained instead of brash and overdone like Modern Warfare 2?
Did you enjoy the plot twists and over the top craziness of Modern Warfare 2 more? Or did you feel as if it was maybe just a little too over the top and used shock value to make waves and get noticed?
Do you see yourself keeping MW2 in your game collection as long as you have Modern Warfare 1, or will it be trade bait in the coming weeks or months?
Share your thoughts, your doubts and your criticism below. If you disagree with me please feel free to discuss as I am really interested to see what you think. Also check out our review of the game here.
©2009 Arthur Kotsopoulos
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