Tue. Jan 18th, 2022

“Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2,” released last week by developer Infinity Ward, finds itself as the premiere release for not only the company and its publisher Activision Blizzard, but any gaming platform in the fourth quarter of this year. Between its all new campaign, revamped online multiplayer and all around excellent design, the sequel to 2007’s monster hit “Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare” is the superlative first person shooter experience available today.

The game, which garnered a “Mature” rating from the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), features three separate modes of play, campaign, multiplayer and “special ops,” and is available for PCs sing Windows, the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360. The Nov. 10 release sold a record- shattering 4.7 million copies in its first day, grossing $310 million with more sure to follow in the upcoming holiday season.

The campaign, which sadly lacks two player cooperative play, picks up the story five years after the events of its predecessor, with the world once again being pushed to the brink of all out war.

All levels are gorgeously rendered and look nearly flawless in high definition. Many of the designs also incorporate more accessible buildings and balconies giving the game vertical depth that was lacking in the first. Vehicular combat has also been ramped up with incorporation of set pieces which place gamers on snowmobiles with machine pistols, in Humvee gun turrets and large orbiting gunships for a time, this spices up game play in an inventive and ridiculously fun manner.

Developer Infinity Ward did however receive a great deal of public scrutiny due to certain elements of the campaign, namely a mission in which players control an American operative imbedded with a terrorist organization who attacks unarmed civilians and police at a Russian airport. Players, who can opt not to participate in more controversial missions by responding to a prompt when the game is first inserted, proceed to fire upon large crowds of fleeing innocents and engage SWAT teams responding to the massacre. In response to outrage from concerned parties, Activision Blizzard released the following:

“Infinity Ward’s Modern Warfare 2 features a deep and gripping storyline in which players face off against a terrorist threat dedicated to bringing the world to the brink of collapse.

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From CoD on

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The game includes a plot involving a mission carried out by a Russian villain who wants to trigger a global war. In order to defeat him, the player infiltrates his inner circle.

The scene is designed to evoke the atrocities of terrorism.”

The multiplayer for “Modern Warfare 2” has retained the experience based system found in the last two Call of Duty titles, rewarding players with new weapons and rewards the longer they play. Weapons themselves have also benefitted in the new game with many new attachments available to dispatch online adversaries more effectively like a heartbeat sensor, thermal optics, improved sights and mountable shotguns and grenade launchers.

Also improved is the “perk” system, in which players can receive upgrades letting them reload faster and add two of the above attachments to a given weapon and evade detection, the former are all upgradable to add more benefits and perform better. Customizable kill streak rewards, unlike the standard for each player, rewards such as radar granting UAV’s and attack helicopters found in “Modern Warfare,” are also varied and exciting, ranging from the orbiting AC-130 gunships that rain down destruction after 11 straight kills to automated gun turrets after five.

Additionally, the developer has also improved the manner in which games are “hosted” by players, allowing the game to be moved to another if the original host disconnects, something that would have caused an online match to be terminated in previous incarnations. Modes of play have also been expanded upon, with the classics like team deathmatch and ground war meeting their equivalents playable from a third person perspective.

The newest mode, “Special Ops,” consists of short, objective based missions that are derived from different set pieces found in the campaign. All can be played cooperatively, with some requiring the participation two players. Each vignette has up to three attainable stars corresponding either to difficulty or score, with more becoming available once earlier missions are complete, and is available for play locally on one system by two players or over platforms’ respective game networks.

With the wait finally over and the initial dust and gun smoke clearing from screens across the country, “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2” finds itself as the preeminent single and multi player experience that will fill your apartment or dorm room with the sounds of explosions and gunfire for many months to come.

Kory Dench can be reached at KD608724@wcupa.edu.

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