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New 'COD' blows us away

Dec 24, 2009

By John Powell - G4 Canada

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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2Playing through ‘Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2’ I made a conscious decision NOT to shoot anybody. That’s right, I didn’t pull the trigger once…until I had no choice when a SWAT team arrived to thwart our escape. During the controversial level, you join a group of terrorists targeting an airport. As they walk through the terminal, they callously shoot any traveler they come across. Soon, the screams of the dying and injured echo all around you as those who are lucky to be alive try to find somewhere to hide as they crawl along leaving a trail of their own blood behind.

The airport level is the most disturbing yet one of the most brilliant scenarios ever put into a video game. Like the plot twists in the classic ‘Splinter Cell: Double Agent’ but on a much smaller scale, the gameplay experience extends beyond the virtual world. When you walk over lifeless victims laying in pools of blood and are forced to witness the carnage, you cannot help but to act on your emotions.

During the first walkthrough, I turned around and shot the terrorist commander dead. The level ended unceremoniously. To pull such emotions out of your audience, to get them thinking about the consequences of their actions or those of others while playing a video game is a rare achievement. It is what Infinity Ward did with both the thought-provoking ‘Modern Warfare’ series. Just to be clear, you can elect to play through the “terrorist level” or not and there is no penalty or achievement no matter what you decide do.

‘Modern Warfare 2’ comes close to eclipsing the original. What holds it back though is its fractured storytelling. There are times when things just don’t make sense. All that you know is you’d better be locked and loaded real fast and real quick. The plot is incredibly over the top with even the White House and Capital Hill being turned into a scorched battlegrounds belching smoke and breathing fire. Often, the action is so encompassing, you don’t know what you’ve accomplished but you sure had a hell of time doing it.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2The cinematic moments, including a James Bond-ish skidoo chase through a winter wonderland borrowed from ‘For Your Eyes Only’, a street skirmish that tears a residential neighbourhood apart, a cramped gun battle through a Middle Eastern slum and the war on Capital Hill serve up the action film moments that will leave you with your jaw scraping the floor.

‘Modern Warfare 2’ is a three games for the price of one proposition with Special Ops missions being added to the Campaign and Multiplayer modes. Special Ops consists of special missions that can be played alone or with a friend. The variety is what really expands the package as there is not only deathmatch or objective based missions but there is run-gun racing on skidoos and cover fire co-op levels that will have you coming back for more and more. Special Ops is a solid package that stands on its own and is a great extra bonus to an already jam-packed release.

With ‘Modern Warfare 2’, you will be getting your money’s worth and more. Although the Campaign is shorter than one would like it to be, Multiplayer and Special Ops modes make up for that shortfall. Once again, Infinity Ward and Activision has outdone themselves by pushing the limits of the video game experience while also delivering great value and over the top action. In a mediocre year full of disappointments, ‘Modern Warfare 2’ delivered beyond our expectations.

 

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Format: Xbox 360
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Infinity Ward
ESRB Rating: M for Mature
Official Site: http://modernwarfare2.infinityward.com/agegate.php

Rating: 9.5 / 10

 

 

 

 
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About G4 in Canada
G4 Canada (formerly TechTV Canada) launched in September 2001. G4 is the one and only television station that is plugged into every dimension of games, gear, gadgets and gigabytes. Owned Rogers Media Inc., the channel airs more than 24 original series. G4 is available on digital cable and satellite. For more information, see www.g4tv.ca.