I thought for a change that I could write something out of the ordinary, like a girl's opinion on a war-themed FPS (First Person Shooter). Modern Warfare II is Infinity Ward's long expected sequel of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. This means that this game is actually called Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare 2, or even Call of Duty 5: Modern Warfare 2, if you want to make it precise. Just to make it less confusing. Got to love the gaming industry.
Anyway, this means that MW2 is the result of six intense years of producing war games since the release of the first Call of Duty in 2003. Well, with the exception of Call of Duty 3 that was developed by Treyarch utilizing modified versions of Infinity Ward's engine. MEH. But the point IS, honeysuckle - there is no wonder the expectations to this game were unnaturally high. 4.7 million copies were sold throughout the UK and US just during the first 24 hours following release. That's a worth of 3 billion Norwegian kroners during the first five days.
Campaign mode (single player, story mode) offers an intricate storyline that follows up on the story of the first Modern Warfare. The game has received criticism on the campaign being too short, but honestly I was very impressed with the tight scripting and the variation of action that I'm not surprised they cut it short. Better that than having a long campaign full of repetitive encounters. Personally I would say that the replay value is relative. If you master the controls early and play through on a high difficulty the first time, the campaign has little to offer to you after the first play through unless you feel you need to perfect your technique further. Though in our case - playing through on the lowest difficulty setting the first time, the game can still be "enjoyed" a few more rounds. If you find it enjoyable to die a lot.
The voice-acting is absolutely amazing, and the action-scripting is seamless, you never hear the same things over and over unless you are doing it wrong and playing the game like an idiot. Though obviously, what struck me as extremely life-like and natural was the dialogue. but what makes it work so well is the tightness and the timing. So when playing through a second, or especially a third time, it becomes very predictable. So this definitely dabs off, because it will be a re-run of what you've seen before. But then, the strength of the game is in the multiplayer option and that's definitely where the developers have applied most of the weight.
I can't believe I haven't mentioned the graphics in-depth yet, they are insane, even on our second-hand tv most things look too real. Every movement is smooth and looks natural, only civilians move a little jerkily, but then you never have to watch them for long as they're usually running for cover.
The multiplayer option is extremely high standard and allows gamers to compete or cooperate online. Even on our poor internet connection, the servers run smooth and when you're unavoidably smeared out over your screen, it's never because of lag. Again, the graphics and the smoothness of the animation is at this juncture unparalleled to anything I've ever seen.
A small note on the level design before I wrap up - on all the different multiplayer levels there's not ONE safe hideout. You continously have to keep watch at least two directions and you're not safe anywhere. This is so thought out and so brilliant and there's millions of ways to play. On the campaign levels this is mostly also true, you're never really safe at one spot for long, you might be able to seek cover, but it is usually vital that you keep moving. The gameplay here can at some junctures be a little linear, there are sometimes only one way about a place. But then I wouldn't have it any other way as it is undoubtfully necessary so that you can understand at what direction you're supposed to be heading. The level of detail is extraordinary and almost a waste to the speed at which you have to blur past it.
Besides the fact that this is a FPS, and so not generally a genre to be enjoyed by just any audience, I would be careful of saying you HAVE to buy this. It is brutal, messy and violent. It also contains an incredibly provoking encounter when you're undercover in a Russian liga and have to mow down hundreds of civilians in a Russian airport. While this is incredibly uncomfortable, the game allows you to skip this scene whenever you like. Thankfully. I'm not a complete pacifist, I'm not writing it off for being too violent, but while as this scene was necessary for the shock value of the storyline, I still wouldn't condone with enjoying to play it through. Game or not, it is important that we continue to set certain boundaries because, apparently, people have a difficulty seperating right from wrong if they've played it in a game. Games, books and films can still be great and entertaining even though they're not excessively violent. Really!
If you are a fan of FPS war games and for some obscene reason haven't bought it yet (I wrote this post on November 14th you see, then never quite finished!) RUN and FETCH. Even I thought it was flippin fantastic.