Posts Tagged ‘Modern Warfare 2’
As I lay nestled on the floor, my feet firmly planted in mud, head safely tucked behind a dismembered plane wing, my AK47 barrel stealthily creeps out from within cover; a feeble attempt to catch a glimpse of whoever is responsible for spraying bullets in my direction. Just as I do that, I see a pair of legs whizzing by me as they unknowingly evade my hiding spot. It’s only my mate, Rick, charging towards the enemy in question, emptying his clip and leaving the bastard in a spasm on the ground, giving me the opportunity to safely reveal myself from the wrecked plane I was taking solace behind. You see, my roots are firmly planted in Rainbow Six: Vegas, a tactical shooter that requires you to take it slow and plan your advance, and this game I am talking about, is of course Modern Warfare 2.
There are indeed many differences between Modern Warfare and Rainbow Six: Vegas, but the most notable difference is in the style of gameplay. Vegas encourages you to play it safe, to utilise cover and pick enemies off at a steady pace. It’s tactical. Modern Warfare has a fast and frenzied pace further emphasized by sprinting and your melee weapon. It’s a run and gun. Even after playing the storymode through twice, I still can’t shake my tactical roots.
Okay, so I shell out £40 a year for my Xbox Live Gold subscription, yet I admittedly don’t use it to its full potential. Most of my time on Xbox Live is spent in party chat, or tackling Spec Ops and other co-op based missions with friends. Racism, cursing, tea-bagging, and sexual slurs are not appealing to me. At all. When people find out I’m not a big Multiplayer gamer, especially with Call of Duty 4/Modern Warfare 2, they respond in such a way that suggests that’s what these games are all about. Whilst I’d agree Multiplayer is a big part of these game’s appeal and longevity, I’m one of those gamers who finds the story mode holds so much more weight. That isn’t the only reason why you won’t find me whizzing about the favela in Team Deathmatch, and that’s precisely what this post is about.
I’m no stranger to the lobby. I used to play in a clan. I used to be the captain of the Rainbow Six: Vegas division of a clan. Captain Rockers Delight! Even though I’m not a competitive gamer in the slightest, it was great to be a part of a group that played a game I loved regularly, and I got pretty good at Vegas as a result. For a girl Indeed, those days were undoubtedly some of the most fun I’ve had as a gamer.
Perhaps spending so much time with Vegas was a double edged sword. In one respect, I became so confident with Vegas I was able to dive into Multiplayer and secure a spot in one of the top two positions on the leaderboard every time. It was devoid of that ‘n00b’ feeling I had when playing Gears of War, unable to master the ‘shotgun and roll’ tactic that so often saw me killed. On the other hand, I now have the slow paced nature typically associated with Vegas etched into my brain, and I seem to be unable to familiarise myself with anything else. My kill to death ratio in Call of Duty is embarrassing.
It would be no exaggeration to suggest the enduring difficulty of Veteran, and how much of a challenge completing the campaign on said difficulty proves to be, has become somewhat synonymous with the Call of Duty series. Whilst anyone can attempt and complete the game on Veteran with enough persistence, it is still never-the-less quite an accomplishment to end the campaign on such a climatic note. Instead of taking hours, missions can sometimes take days, often with your body getting acquainted with the floor more so than your gun. Indeed, it is not a challenge to be taken by those with little time, or by those with little patience.
Which is why, with Modern Warfare 2, many people skipped Veteran altogether and dived right in on either Normal or Hardened. For me, neither of those were an option, I was genuinely anticipating the challenge. And so I began battling my way through suburbia and snowy terrain expecting many of the tear-my-hair-out moments Call of Duty 4 provoked. Yet with each passing level, I was still waiting for that challenge to hit.
As I progressed with a steady pace throughout the campaign, I reached the half way milestone and was disappointed I had done so with relative ease. If you think back to past Call of Duty games, I’m sure there will be certain moments in each of the 6 installments that you remember advancing with sheer determination (I have only played 2,3,4, and 6). For example, in Call of Duty 4 the first mission which proved to be a real bastard was Charlie Don’t Surf, where you are in what appears to be a TV studio with Al-Asad’s speech being broadcast. Such levels set the pace for what those playing Veteran want — a real challenge. Why, then, was this absent from the latest Modern Warfare?
I’m not going to review Modern Warfare 2. That would be considered a complete waste of my time; a blog post deemed worthless for a game of this stature. If you want a review, it’s safe to assume mine would go as follows: Fucking fantastic, buy it now. I do, however, want to share some personal highlights after completing the single player campaign. Naturally, there will be spoilers.
On the introductory mission, S.S.D.D. (Same Shit Different Day), you’re stationed in the camp alongside other U.S. Army Rangers. Part of your initiation involves running a test course otherwise known as ‘The Pitt’, an opening level which is now synonymous with Modern Warfare (F.N.G – Fucking New Guy – was Modern Warfare’s equivalent). Before that, though, it’s entirely possible to veer off course and explore the camp. Everyday sights of stationed army life play out before you. For example, there were soldiers atop a car fixing up their vehicle in preparation of heading out, others were familiarising themselves with their new weapons, while some soldiers were making the most of their down time and simply relaxing. But what peaked my interest were the two men playing basketball; the sheer realism of their motion was enough to have me stop and spectate for a few minutes. Sounds ridiculous, right? We were at war, yet I was hooked on two men dribbling and taking shots at a hoop.
What a juxtaposition of a level. Cliffhanger is a stealth mission, one that – if played correctly – requires you to take it steadily, blending into the blizzard and skillfully remaining undetected. Needless to say, it’s a slow paced level despite tension running high (I felt anxious every time my heartbeat sensor detected a nearby enemy). Then, as the level drew to a close, you were suddenly aboard a snowmobile, zipping in and out of trees at a ridiculously high speed, avoiding obstacles and taking out enemies while speeding full pelt downhill. Exhilarating to say the least, and the first moment of Modern Warfare 2 that really made me go ‘Wow‘.
I don’t need to introduce this game. I don’t need to tell you what genre it is, who developed it, or the basic premise behind it. All I’ll say is it’s exceeded all my expectations, and I want to marry Captain “Soap” MacTavish when I grow up. He is rocking that mohawk!
This post contains spoilers.
When launching the single player campaign for the first time, Activision’s Modern Warfare 2 warns you of a level deemed uncomfortable and controversial, giving you the option to opt out of playing it without any effect on the story or your GamerScore. I’ve not played too many games where I’ve been directly impacted by something harrowing happening in-game, and I certainly wanted to savour the full Modern Warfare experience. Needless to say, I decided to go ahead and play it.
The controversial level is upon you sooner than expected, with the third level (if you have indeed agreed to play it) being the culprit. I have to admit, a sick (or simply curious?) part of me was eager to specifically see what it was Activision were talking about, and when I nonchalantly swaggered out of an elevator with my comrades and proceeded to calmly slaughter every innocent civilian in sight, I knew this was it. Yet I wasn’t shocked.
What did get me, however, was the eerie way in which my men mercilessly meandered through a pile of dead bodies, picking off every scampering civilian in sight. And I was expected to do the same. I came across an injured man slouched against a gory wall, his legs spread out on the floor, drowning in a pool of his own blood, his life slowly slipping away. Should I finish him off? Or should I leave him to suffer simply so I can avoid the bloodstains of yet another innocent civilian on my hands? You see, for those who are reading this and ignorant of spoilers, you are in fact playing an undercover mission where you are required to get close and gain the trust of a nasty Russian; the guy responsible for this massacre. So whilst you are temporarily part of a team of ruthless killers, you are of course the good guy. Yet I lined my crosshair up with his head, both in keeping with my undercover disguise and also wishing to help him out of his misery, and I ended it for him.
As I sit here counting down the hours until I get my hands on the 6th installment in the Call of Duty series, Modern Warfare 2, I realise my excitement has become clouded with doubt. I know, I’m a hypocrite. Only last month I mentioned I pay no attention to the hype that surrounds bigger video games, but having loved the original Modern Warfare and not feeling we’ve seen a shooter quite on par since, I guess all my hopes hinge on Modern Warfare 2 being a truly great experience.
Tonight I’ll head to the midnight launch in Greenock, which won’t be too bad considering I’ve booked tomorrow off work to give my undivided attention to this /geek. If a video games drags you out of the house at midnight to drive into town, it must be special. It has to be. I hope it lives up to my expectation.