A Videogame Was Released Today

By Alec Meer on November 11th, 2009 at 12:08 am.

You might have noticed. You might have queued up at silly o’clock to get a copy. You might even have got some sort of tattoo to commemorate how excited you are about the prospect of shooting virtual men of assorted ethnic origins. Aye, today was Modern Warfare 2 day – a game that, for a lot of the industry and its consumers, has managed to become pretty much the only game of the year. I was at the UK launch last night – some thoughts on that and some of the rolling PC version problems follow.

I wasn’t at the pre-launch party, the one held in a Leicester Square cinema, because a quiet pint with chums seemed infinitely more appealing than braving the crowds and listening to Vernon Kaye pretend he’s a geek, but I did pop along to the big booze up afterwards, which covered the two and half hour run up to midnight, when the vaunted FPS became available. A funny affair – clearly an awful lot of money was poured into the giant countdown screen, the glut of student barstaff dressed in fatigues and a few dudes dressed as snow terrorists. A few celebrities showed up and were quickly ushered off to a special pen – the thin one from Gavin & Stacy, some Radio 1 DJs and Dizzee Rascal, who played a short set just before the witching hour. But mostly, it was a big warehouse with free booze, a few Xboxes and lots of people standing around trying not to stare unblinkingly at the enormous timer on the wall.

It wasn’t bad, not by any measure (and I’d be an awful churl to say it was, as I had a pleasant enough time), but there was an unavoidably awkward, how-do-we-do-this air to the proceedings. I say this not to mock it, because it doesn’t deserve to be mocked, but instead because it was arrestingly incongrous with MW2′s enormous profile so far. Honestly – I’m not bitching, I’m just fascinated by how new and strange a thing it is to put a videogame on the same level as a movie premiere or royal visit. It’s one of the biggest entertainment properties of the year (wouldn’t be surprised if it ends up being the biggest): this is as good as it’s ever got for games. Perhaps the best it will get for the next couple of years, until something else achieves this degree of critical mass. It could have been, perhaps should have been, the launch party to end all launch parties – but instead it was a demonstration that for, for all the recent rush of success they’ve experienced, games are still in their infancy in a lot of ways.

No-one, it seems, quite knows how to make a game about repeatedly shooting dudes as glitzy as a red carpet affair – it all gets a bit unsure, a bit wobbly once it’s moved beyond showing footage and trailers. Games aren’t films, and one of the many side-effects of this is that celebrating them with pomp and ceremony isn’t easy, regardless of how much money the thing’s going to rake in. It’ll be interesting to see how that develops over time, as we (presumably) get more games with this degree of crossover appeal, and there’s more of an effort and an understanding of how to Go Big, to make it a bona fide cultural event as well as a gamer’s event. We’ve hit a new age in terms of public awareness of games in the last few years, and that’s going to bring interesting changes.

This struggle for glitz and glamour also hints at a certain hollowness at the heart of what Modern Warfare 2 really is. It’s certainly an incredibly accomplished first-person shooter and deserves success, but it’s still Put The Cursor Over The Man’s Face. it’s not doing anything to make anyone who wasn’t already going to buy it believe videogames are capable of a greatness nothing else can do. I understand why it’s “the most anticipated game of the decade”, to quote one of its marketing lines, but I can’t help but feel a little sad about that. Can’t we have a weirder, cheerier figurehead? Hey, it’d even help with launch parties – surrealistic colour and alien shapes would have brought that warehouse to life far more than all the frowning guys with fake AK-47s in the world ever could.

Still, I went home with a copy of the game, which was jolly nice. Except it was on Xbox, which wasn’t. I want to play the thing on PC, but I’m stuck with a Steam preorder. Which brings me to the latest in MW2′s litany of PC screwups. If you bought the thing via Steam, retailer appeasement nonsense means it doesn’t unlock for another two days yet. Buy a boxed copy instead and you’re laughing right away, even though it nonetheless requires Steam (and immediately downloads a 1.3Gb patch, a chum claims). So, a whole flock of people are being punished for buying the game up-front.

If you’re mad/desperate enough to go buy a boxed copy as well as having the Steam version, you’ll still be locked out, as the preorder version keeps priority – so setup a second Steam account if you plan to do that. Clearly, I’m not quite sure who’s to blame for this open stupidity, but it’s a sorry state of affairs – red tape and back-scratching holding PC gaming back from its present and its future, miring it bloody-mindedly in the past of plastic discs. What’s been achieved by doing this, apart from pissing off a bunch of guys who pre-ordered on Steam in good faith, expecting to be able to play at the same time as everyone else? Honestly, the degree to which high-up businessy types don’t have a blind clue how things really work in the real world never ceases to stun me.

I would guess this whole sorry saga, and all the sniping and swearing and spitting it resulted in, could well spell the end of Call of Duty’s PC tenure. I won’t be surprised if the next one does a Gears Of War 2 and gives up on the platform entirely. It’ll be a little sad if so, as the PC is where CoD was born, where Infinity Ward earned the experience and mega-bucks necessary to become the goliath they are today – but hey, we’ve got plenty else to be getting on with instead.

All the more importantly: who’s playing MW2, and what do you think so far? Worth the hype? Better than you thought? Sickened to the very stomach by That Level?

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289 Comments »

  1. Dracko says:

    lol this game pulls a Halo 2 ending

    If there’s a message here, it’s that history is not only written by liars, but also madmen.

    Also, cycle of vengeance etc

  2. Omnikoron says:

    What about those of us who don’t like modernity, or warfare? I’m totally unmoved by this, and the fact that my PC is made of valves and bits of leather has nothing to do with it.

    • yhancik says:

      You’re not alone

    • monchberter says:

      Thirded. Supposedly ‘real life’ shooty bang bangs do little more than make me switch off immediately.

    • Subject 706 says:

      Fourded(?)
      The mass psychosis this game generates confounds me. It’s predecessor was not that good, and suspect neither will this be. Add to that a higher price and gimped features…

  3. Excalibur101 says:

    “the most anticipated game of the decade”?

    I did not even know it came out this week, and I like to keep up on gaming news. I think that’s a bit extreme, even for a marketing quote.

    • Frosty says:

      Thank god, I thought I was the only one! COD was entertaining but it has become more hollywood. Not that is necessarily a bad thing but Hollywood gets boring. Quickly.

      I’ll pick it up sometime.

    • Idle Threats and Bad Poetry says:

      I agree with you guys. Sure, it’s fancy and all, but I remember all the hype about Grand Theft Halo or whatever and I have trouble believing this was the most anticipated game. I’ve never been much into military shooters.

    • Earl_of_Josh says:

      Right there with you, as far as I’m concerned Dragon Age was my game of the year (not sure about decade, Vampire Bloodlines and The Witcher are pretty close contenders (*whisper* and Mario Galaxy)).

    • Po0py says:

      I bet it will be the most pirated game of the decade.

    • Pantsman says:

      Careful everyone: it says “most anticipated game of the decade”, not “best game of the decade” or even “game of the decade”.

    • RobF says:

      I wasn’t anticipating it. Give me bright lights and aliens (or zombies or cats or pirates or frogs or something, anything) over CoD:Anything. It’s filed under “one of those games I doubt I’ll ever play” same as the last one and the one before that.

      Did get a bit sick of hearing about it on the news yesterday, mind. The BBC were having a reportgasm.

    • Heliocentric says:

      Earlier I ate the most anticipated sandwich of the decade. You have no idea how hungry i was, shame it was mediocre, it did have a dedicated server though.

    • Eplekongen says:

      Agreed, I didn’t know this game existed before about a week ago, and I just figured it was a game that had come out recently. And I also keep up to date on games. Then I see people in lined up outside a games store in the middle of the night…

    • Guy Jin says:

      Give me bright lights and aliens (or zombies or cats or pirates or frogs or something, anything) over CoD:Anything.

      Would you compromise on CoD: Zombie Pirate Cats?

    • Guy Jin says:

      @RobF: Would you compromise on CoD: Zombie Pirate Cats?

      Give me bright lights and aliens (or zombies or cats or pirates or frogs or something, anything) over CoD:Anything.

    • Guy Jin says:

      Would you compromise on CoD: Zombie Pirate Cats?

    • Krikey! says:

      Like you said: “marketing”. I too didn’t care much for the game’s debut, nor did I realize there was such a huge launch party going on.

      Activision can eat it.

    • RobF says:

      @ Guy Jin

      Only if it involved real cod.

  4. SlappyBag says:

    I literally just finished it, Its a beautiful and solid shooter but really lacks in the story telling department. I had to go onto wikipedia and read the plot section just to figure out what just happened.

    That being said it is definitely a fantastic game, its really just more of the same brilliance that COD4 produced but with an extra ompth in its back side. Some parts of missons are a bit stereotypical but its just a hard on, in your face action film so its alright.

    If only the multiplayer worked at university =(

    • fuggles says:

      I really want slappybag’s comment to appear on a marketing poster
      “Some parts of missons are a bit stereotypical but its just a hard on”

  5. AsubstanceD says:

    Hmmm, COD4 seemed really polished, fairly accomplished, but I cannot agree with people’s opinions that it was this amazing game, not from the stand point that it did not do anything new, but simply because at heart it always felt like one long set piece that I could never engage very well with. I guess I couldn’t really appreciate it because it was a war game that seemed absolutely arcadey and after the gun play of STALKER a realistic setting seemed to scream for a different shooting model.

    I also find this whole great glitzy marketing a worrying trend, that for me backs the hollowness that the game industry is heading for. I don’t think we should want gaming to head in the direction of huge release events. I find them troubling, and not the way I want gaming to raise its profile (not that it needs to!). Not only that but I consider the buying of a game at midnight at a weird cult like opening event to be a troubling trend, one that would once have been associated with the ultra geek.

    I personally will not weep at the loss of any COD games in the future. I do understand anyone that would however.

    • qrter says:

      I’d say a glitzy, hollow affair like this fits very well with a game series that is full of grand setpieces that still find it hard to cover up the emptiness at its centre.

  6. Gap Gen says:

    Well, I know what I’m doing on Armistice Day.

    • JB says:

      Yeah, personally I think it’s out of order releasing it when they did. Disrespectful at best.

      As for the game, last CoD I played was the add-on for number 1. Or was it two, I forget. So I’m definitely in the “meh” camp on this one.

  7. SirKicksalot says:

    I picked up the game for SP and some co-op with my friends. I don’t give a shit about the “regular” MP.

    I’ve played 2 hours and 15 minutes of the campaign.
    Three flaws:
    – no options in the main menu. You have to start playing to modify something. Not THAT annoying, but still. I was lucky to read about this somewhere, I can imagine others being frustrated.
    - no lean. It abandoned the infinite respawning, and the levels are much more convulted, so *this* is where lean was needed, not in the old games… I forgot about it at the start, I was like HELLZ YEAH MOAR TACTICS SINCE NO RESPAWN and I spammed smoke grenades instead of leaning!
    - blood splatter. Fuck this shit. I can’t see anything when I’m shot.

    Other than that, yeah. Awesome. Cliche, cheesy, but awesome. Reminds me a lot of COD1 and, to some extent, 2. Also, fantastic voice acting (Keith David! Lance Henriksen! Barry Pepper!), fantastic music and beautiful graphics.

  8. Paul_M says:

    SPOILERS, vague though they are.

    It’s as mad as a sack of hammers and I felt a little deja vu having played World in Conflict. It’s good – the environments are quite nice but it’s still a duck-shoot and relentlessly grim.

    THAT mission doesn’t make any sense either – surely far more lives were lost in the long run as a result of you going along with it? Or was that itself orchestrated the big baddie?

    The multiplayer reminds me of Time Crisis with Japanese levels of stats, bonuses and flashing coloured boxes when you shoot people. Preferred the more understated nature of its predecessor.

  9. Lagmint says:

    A friend at my work beat it in 4 hours. Given that I beat the first Modern Warfare in 5 (including over an hour on that awful sniper defense part), sounds like a no for me. The multiplayer is… awful, if I remember correctly (and from what I’ve heard the Specter Gunship makes it ever WORSE now…), mostly due to dying in my spawn over and over.

    I think I’ll skip this.

  10. FhnuZoag says:

    Reading the plot summary on wikipedia….

    Jeez, that’s ridiculous. I mean, heck, the Red Alert games had a more believable plot than this.

    • Rinox says:

      Did the same and AMEN to that. Jesus H Christ. For a game that portrays itself as the “real world shooter” par excellence that plot is just bonkers.

      IW better hire some real writers next time or the console gamers might rise up and say ‘wha?’. /end sarcasm

    • RyePunk says:

      But they went out and hired a writer from NCIS! the #1 show in America! So it will work great with the #1 game in America!
      and I can’t keep a straight face anymore. I laughed when I heard they were taking story seriously and had hired an NCIS writer.

    • Bret says:

      Wow.

      Reading about the first one, it felt somewhat plausible, a bit clever, and most impressively (to me) it allowed itself to hold back a tad from excessive “THIS IS A BIG DEAL” ness. It had a campaign that never even made the headlines.

      This one’s plot…

      If they had a twist midway through that the whole thing was a plot by the aliens from X-Com to summon swarms of demon vampires, the plot would be greatly improved.

    • Dracko says:

      Yeah, but you’re all reading the plot summary on Wikipedia.

  11. Vinraith says:

    In celebration of not caring about the release of Modern Warfare 2, I pre-ordered Kings Bounty: Armored Princess.

    • MD says:

      And I played Cricket Revolution! Just had a huge 10/10 match, needed 18 off the last over and 12 off the last two balls, finished it off with consecutive sixes. Modern Warfare? More like Modern Borefare.

    • Bhazor says:

      More like Sodden Horsebear!

    • Spacewalk says:

      I just played DooM II, that old thing.

    • Subject 706 says:

      And I am too engrossed in the colors of The Void to care about lesser games

      Armoured Princess has had an english release already?

    • Vinraith says:

      @Subject 706

      November 20.

    • Psychopomp says:

      The Void is utterly lovely. If only *that* was “THE MOST ANTICIPATED GAME OF THE DECADE!”

  12. Serenegoose says:

    I've been vaguely interested in this game since Call of Duty 4. But these games are just -too short-. It's absolutely ridiculous. We're talking episode length, but with crazy price tags. I've no compelling reason to buy this game until I can find it for about £15.

    • Carra says:

      I agree. It’s six hours playing a great game. But at six hours for €60 you’re paying €10 per hour.

      I’m not interested in the multiplayer so I’ll just wait until one day it’s out for a reasonable price. Although I’ve seen it in retail shops for €40 compared to the €60 steam asks. When will they get their pricing straight?

  13. manintheshack says:

    Been playing CoD4 in the run up to the Steam release tomorrow and purposefully choosing 6 to 9-aside games. gotta say, playing on a smaller scale is where I’m happiest. UAV Jammer and a silenced MP5 and I’m the enemy’s worst nightmare.

    Booze, cigs & MW2 on Friday and I’ll hopefully be doing that all night. I would just like someone who isn’t a moron and does like the previous game’s multiplayer to give it a write-up somewhere. If it controls the same and there’s minimal lag then I can almost forgive the lobby system / dedi-servers fiasco. I read a handful of PC reviews but they’re all happily steering clear of the-things-that-IW-done-bad and mainly banging on about that bloody airport level.

    C’mon, someone spill the beans…

  14. Ted says:

    I’ll get this eventually, but I’m not paying anywhere near $59.99 for a 10 hour game.

  15. Astorax says:

    Wait, you guys are already done with “the game of the year”…seriously?

    I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m all for the solid multiplayer experience…I played the hell outta counterstrike for a long time…but counterstrike was never the game of the year, Half Life was. And Half Life had an amazingly rich story behind the shooter that took more than 24 hours to finish.

    What’s happened to us that we’re okay with a game that finishes that fast being hailed as this good?

    • Mr Chug says:

      Portal?

    • skalpadda says:

      Portal wasn’t 60€ though. In fact, with the Orange Box you got Portal, HL2+episodes and TF2 for less than that. I think there’s a pretty big issue when the most expensive game ever only lasts you 5-10 hours.

      And if anyone brings up multiplayer as justification for the ludicrous price tag, I’d like to again point to things like the Orange Box. I seriously doubt the production values of MW2 are that amazing.

    • Dracko says:

      Well, if you paid over £30 for a game on its release, you deserve to be ripped off.

    • skalpadda says:

      Everyone doesn’t live in the UK getting mysteriously low prices on games, and isn’t the standard price for MW2 over there something like 40 or 50£ anyway?

    • Casimir's Blake says:

      The last time I paid more than £30 for a game was Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines. That was worth every penny.

      I enjoyed CoD4 (in fact I’ll be honest and found the experience enjoyably dramatic and fairly believeable), but this time it sounds like IW have pushed the melodrama a bit too fucking far. I’ll wait the decade it will take this game to enter the bargain bins.

    • VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      I still firmly remember the lesson learnt at the end of The Secret Of Monkey Island: never pay more than 20 bucks for a computer game.

  16. Bhazor says:

    Oh goody. Games are becoming even more like the marzipan and glitter section of Hollywood. If a game now hires Shia LafuckingBeouf I officially quit and will take up archery or sperlunking as a hobby.

    On an unrelated note I found these fan reviews of MW2 from metacritic hilarious.

    “Dude D. gave it a0:
    When I put this product in my toaster, I began to smell a pungent burnt smell, bizarre colored smoke began to exude from it, and then all power stopped in my house, forcing me to go downstairs and reset a fuse. When I went to check the toaster later I couldn’t get less than three meters to it due to the pungent smell and tangible cloud of noxious fumes. After hours of letting the air circulate, I finally discovered my toaster was completely ruined. I do NOT recommend this game, the port to toaster was done TERRIBLY and absolutely ruined my toaster system.”

    “Jeff D. gave it a0:
    ThE CRAppiest game ever. this SUCKED. I want my money back. I would rather watch barney and friends! Short campaign, stupid first person camera… If ur wondering what games I do like, Halo.”

    Oh christ I hate us lot sometimes.

    • tapanister says:

      *Waits for Bobby Kotick to hire Shie Le Bouf as MW2 creative strategist no2*

    • Paul_M says:

      No sir, games like MW2 are the interactive Hollywood experience. Let’s not do the medium down but allowing it only one facet to its character.

    • Ozzie says:

      The Dude D. review is hilarious!
      Jeff D. is just your typical troll, though.

  17. viper34j says:

    Guess not everyone things this game is all that…

    http://www.metacritic.com/games/platforms/pc/modernwarfare2

  18. Rath says:

    For the record, I went ahead with That Level, and did not fire a single shot during it. They were right to put the warning in, but it did a decent job of making me really, really want to see Makarov get what was coming to him.

  19. rocketman71 says:

    If Infinity Ward is going to keep fucking the platform like this, frankly, I’d prefer they do a GoW2 and do COD8, MW3, however is called, only for the consoles. Much better than this sorry port and the amount of lies, bad PR, over-the-shoulder talking and sheer stupidity that we’ve seen this last month.

    BTW, the game was pirated today. Lots of people are playing it 2 days before many people that paid for it. And in the case of the 360, it was a full week. Yet another fuckup for Infinity Ward’s collection. fourzerotwo is going to have to buy a bigger house to keep them all this year.

    Congrats, IW. Congrats, Kotick. Of course you don’t care, because you’ll sell 15 million copies and next year you’ll make us play with an xbox controller, IF the next game comes to PC.

  20. Psychopomp says:

    As for That Level, if it doesn’t make you feel guilty, you should probably be institutionalized.

    As for the game, well, all I can say is that the single player was really, really good. Still, as far as single player games go, Uncharted 2 or Dragon Age are still GOTY in my book. Uncharted 2 was a ten hour spree of me yelling “RUUUUUUUUUUN NA-OH SHIT,” and I’ve always been completely stoic while playing a game. Plus, Amy Hennig(of Legacy of Kain) is an amazing writer, that even managed to make that clichefest absolutely enthralling.
    As far as multiplayer goes, I didn’t exactly obtain my copy through legitimate means due to that whole fuss up. I’d gladly pay for the single player alone, if it didn’t fund that kind of treatment of the PC. Probably buy a used copy of Amazon at some point.

    • Psychopomp says:

      On another note: MW2 ran absolutely marvelously on my decrepit rig, and still looked amazing in the process.

    • Rohit says:

      Guilty of killing defenseless pixels?

    • Lars Westergren says:

      Don’t be silly Rohit. By that argumentation, no one would be affected by a graphic scene of murder and rape in a film because, hey, it’s only actors doing make believe stuff.

  21. Matzerath says:

    I does not playz dese games.

  22. Gilly says:

    Boooring.

  23. Wooly says:

    I’ll be buying this used (if ever) so that not one dime of my money goes to Activision & Infinity Ward. Of course I’ll probably have to wait a year or so to get a reasonable used price for it.

    • Heliocentric says:

      Do not buy used, this game adds to steam doesn’t it? Surely its a single use key.

  24. Taillefer says:

    The only CoD game I’ve ever played is Robocod.

  25. TeeJay says:

    The price of CoD4 has come down to c.£18, a little more and I might finally buy it. I am therefore guessing it might well be another couple of years before I get round to Modern Warfare 2, unless the people I trust start raving about it being a masterpiece.

  26. Adam says:

    Honestly, I couldn’t care less if IW decide that the PC isn’t viable enough for them to produce games for it. Activision are a newer, meaner version of EA – churning out extremely high priced, highly produced yet poor substance products.

    In fact, in the past couple of years EA have actually started allowing the developers to create better games, rather than relying on just polished front ends and high quality graphics.

  27. Junch says:

    Heard from online sources that people who preordered the game were not being able to play out like those with boxed copies. You’re wrong though Alec, there isn’t a 1GB+ patch to be downloaded. It plays right out of the box, of course after the 2 DVD 45 mins installation process.

    As for the game, bang bang pow all the way. But like you said, how long can CoD sustain until people realize that there’s got to be more to life than that?

  28. Hoernchen says:

    5h Singleplayer is just meh after DA Origins. Especially for this price. Don’t even mention the fuckup they call multiplayer..

  29. Phinor says:

    A huge fan of four of the five previous CoD games and even played three of them competitively but I’m just not going to bother with this one. Everyone must be tired of hearing about the multiplayer on PC but that’s my reason, nothing more to it. I’m not sure I would be able to enjoy the singleplayer either with the FOV the game is locked to, usually FOV that low makes me sick quite quickly though I guess it’s a good thing the singleplayer campaign is very short :)

    But it’s good to see gaming more in the mainstream media. Too bad it was this game that made the headlines, not for example that one brilliant RPG that was released last week. Goes by the name Dragon Age.

    • Nathan says:

      But it wasn’t the game that made the media so much as peoples’ reactions and expectations of it. When the next Bioware RPG gets the region of 5 million preorders and is expected to sell well in excess of ten million copies, I’ll be the first to contact the press.

  30. Jason says:

    No-one cares about shooting civilians because their dirty masters tell them it’s OK. Welcome to the new world order folks.

  31. WilPal says:

    MW1 will now be cheaper so i’ll just buy that and have the exact same experience.

  32. Wulf says:

    This is far too [i]WHYSOSERIOUS?![/i] for me, really. And to those who had no idea when this particular game was coming out, I’ll add my voice to that chorus. Games of this ilk never manage to raise an eyebrow in my case, not even a twice, note that neither eyebrow is even a pico-metre out of alignment.

    I’m more excited about Borderlands than I am about this, and I have Borderlands and I’ve been playing that for quite some time. There, I am Shotgun Zeus, electro-maniacal fair-weather lawman-for-hire extraordinaire.

    I would’ve had the same problem with Dragon Age: Origins being too serious (along with its ragtag band of poorly written characters) if not for Shale. Alec was right about him. But yes, things important to me in a game: things that can invoke a sense of wonder, a game with a sense of humour, and characters which are both likeable and memorable. A game must have two of these for me to enjoy it.

    MW has… perhaps one of those.

    So… looking onward to more interesting games, then!

  33. Mundus says:

    Oh wow, the plot as described on Wikipedia looks….insanely laughable.

    *SPOILERS*

    ICBMs, Russian insurgents CAPTURING AND HOLDING Washington, DC?!?
    What’s next? A T-rex with a CCCP flag hanging from his waist?

    Maybe it all makes sense in-game, but wow, C&C Red Alert looks like a war documentary by comparison.

    • Spacewalk says:

      Call the A-Team, they’ll sort it out. Mr T. will give us Snickers as well which will make all the children smile.

    • Rinox says:

      I heard the mind-controlled war bears were cut late in the development progress.

  34. Ybfelix says:

    Talking about campaign:

    I feel the plot and characterizing is… Metal Gear?!

    Despite that, not as good as COD4.

    The middle symdrome. The first title, not sure whether there will be a sequel so they packed in a self contained plot. The sequel, knowing there will be a MW3, left too many loose plot threads. Makarov being the loosest. (Though in this case it still handles much, much better than Matrix Reloaded – I feel obliged to say that given any chance.)

    The loading screen exposition is not as good as COD4. Confusing, I’d say, lacks key information and too many weapon wireframes as fillers. There are even 2 or 3 simply total black loading screens.

    Blood splatter IS terrible.

    __spoilers ahead______________

    The emphasis on personal view is stronger. More blockbuster-y than COD4 and not the best kind of blockbusters. COD4 were “personal adventure” in “Modern Warfare”, this time it’s just “personal adventure”.

    Death-cam and paralyzed-cams were used to great effect in COD4. While IW added more variants thereof in MW2, the element itself is not fresh anymore.

    Breach breach breach! Breach-cam is nice. Not dramatic as I imagined but nice. But can you throw a flashbang for me please?

    No levels as impressive as expriencing Crew Expendable, The Coup, Death from Above, Aftermath and All Ghillied Up the first time. Quite some deja vu, which is fitting for Metal Gear Solidifying analog (MGS2).

    Airplane Graveyard pumped my adrenaline, pity it didn’t last longer. I think it’s nice that everyone not concerntrated firing on you yet you’re still in danger.

    No Russian: if they didn’t make the cause and the aftermath loose threads, or put in more explanation, maybe it would be more impactful, but as of now I just feel uncomfortable, and my father called me out for slaughtering innocent in a videogame for the first time.

    A lot details were added, more types of enviroments, and no obvious respawning or grenade showers. A curious question: Why most developers chose to add snow-terrain in sequel or expansions?

    Gen.Sheperd, He is so MGS a villain. A villain in anime/comic, not film-style.

    • Ybfelix says:

      噢,嗨 Zhengogo,你在吗? 听说你也在这里反主机?:D
      a little personal shout out ;)

  35. sigma83 says:

    Counterpoint:
    I thought the single player in COD4 was enthralling and compulsive. I thought it had a very good grasp of storytelling for the medium and it was a heck of a lot of fun. The Call of Duty series for me has always been a hallmark of engrossing single player shooting, and MW2 seems poised to carry out that same promise.

    Honestly, I would rather play MW2 before Dragon Age at this point in my life because I know MW2 will be over in 8 hours while Dragon Age might take weeks. And given my limited amount of free time, I know which I prefer at this point, although which is the better game time will tell for me.

    TL;DR version: SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

  36. Tom says:

    “believe videogames are capable of a greatness nothing else can do.” – you’re kidding right? No offense dude, but that’s a rather silly thing to say. I know i’m kinda taking it out of context, but it’s still silly.
    A game is never going to be able to put an audience member on the edge of their seat the way good, let alone great, theatre can. And a game is never going to be able to fill the imagination the a good book can, let alone a great. Until the imagines are being driven directly in to my visual cortext, it’s not HD.

    • Vinraith says:

      An interactive medium is always going to have greater capacity to be truly engrossing and affecting than a non-interactive medium. Which makes statements like:

      “A game is never going to be able to put an audience member on the edge of their seat the way good, let alone great, theatre can. And a game is never going to be able to fill the imagination the a good book can”

      positively bizarre to me. All I can really say to that is “speak for yourself.” I love reading and I love movies, games are never going to replace either of them, but then they’re not trying to do so. It’s a completely different kind of medium, and its capacity is largely untapped, but even in what I’ve played so far in my life I’ve had “edge of your seat” moments to rival those of a great film, and discovered imagination-seizing worlds to rival a great book.

    • Heliocentric says:

      Spelunkey gave me “edge of my seat” so take you media facism back to the 1990′s. People like you were announcing that television will never match a good radio drama or that radio entertainment is a gimmick and people should get back to books.

    • Tom says:

      I geuss it depends upon what puts you on the edge of your seat. I’ve have a few jaw meets ground moments of complete, that-was-freakin-awesome-ness. No edge of my seat stuff though.
      I wonder if it’s actually possible for a game to lift you to the same level of suspense as film or books can?
      At the end of the day it’s the player whose in control of the scene, and you don’t have scenes in games, you have scenarios… and we’re not all Speilberg’s or Choen’s or whoever your director of choice is.
      I think that by simple taking part in a scenario removes a certain amount of suspense? Does for me anyway. You have a certain amount of control.
      Suspense is more than just something that’s frilling anyways. It can be that reading of a passage that, despite knowing how it’s gonna end, still grips you and resuses to let you stop reading. Even if it’s the description of some tragic or tranquil or whatever.
      For games to be as great as books, theatre and film it needs to be a “completely different kind of medium”.
      It will never be better though, just as good.

    • Psychopomp says:

      Uncharted 2

      Butt was firmly planted on my seat edge for ten hours.

    • CMaster says:

      I’m going to have to join in with Vinrath and go “wait, whaaa?” at your assertions there.
      Games reguarly get me much more involved and tense than film or theatre does. In those, I’m watching someone on a screen or (even more removing) watching some small people stood a fair distance away from me having something happen to them. When it’s done well, yes I get sucked in but in general, I’m watching things happen to other people, I’m interested but not involved.

      In a game, these things are all happening to me. I’m the one going to face these consequences. That adds so much more, makes it so much easier to have me nervous, makes me quickly run through options in my head and make a snap decision.

      So I find your argument really odd, there. Of course, thats not to say one person should not have their own preferences for one media over another. But your suggestion that non-interactive media are more immersive, more involved experiences than interactive ones strikes me as counterintuitive at best.

  37. The_B says:

    This was totally an undercover report. ALEC MEER: MASTER OF DIGUISE.

  38. The_B says:

    DISGUISE even. *Ahem*

  39. IssaTrapdoh says:

    Yeah, huge shaft to PC players by Activision/Infinity Ward/whoever was in charge. Not that I really care. I’ve been pissed at Infinity since they caved to regenerative health and shaped the future of First Person Shooter health mechanics. I prefer my Doom/FEAR 1 style medpacks, thankyouverymuch.

    Also: Why is MW 1 still $60 at my local EB?

    Regardless, my interest has lain in the other options people are throwing out like Kings Bounty and Borderlands. Mmm Western developed strat arr puh guhs. Mmm a more polished game based on the Hellgate London model.

  40. subversus says:

    I was looking forward it but so far singleplayer is rather bland and dumb (plot is so terrible and unrealistic, that I star expect some Metal Gear-kind bosses. they’ll fit) . And I like on-rails shooters. This one has its highs but I expected much more than the same tired formula. MW1 feels more innovative and you know, interesting.

  41. Tom says:

    I suspect I’ll like this game as much as I did the first… and pay roughly the same for it as well. Sweet FA.

  42. Elcor Gamer says:

    Expression of disgust, it’s disturbing to see developers who made their fortunes off the backs of a loyal community, just to end up stabbing them in the back.

    Spiteful, with any luck they will go the way of EPIC and kindly take their product elsewhere.

    • frymaster says:

      well, yes, that’s what this is all about

      they HAVE taken their game elsewhere, conceptually if not platform-ually. Essentially the furore is over the fact that the focus and philosophy behind the game is different to cod4. I think it’s a bit shit that they waited until so late in the day to mention this (it may have caused trouble for some people who pre-ordered in the – justified – expectation that it would be similar to cod4) but otherwise I can’t manage any emotion worse than “meh”

      I’m not going to boycott this, but with a relatively short single player and a multiplayer that does not attract I’m not buying this until it’s dropped in price a bit either

    • Nate says:

      They stabbed you in the back? Did they also kidnap your children and force them into overseas prostitution?

      IW didn’t get the opportunity to make lots of games and lots of money because of how hard you worked. They won that opportunity through their own efforts. Even if you raved about their games, that doesn’t mean that you (or others like you) are responsible for their success. It means that they made a game you liked.

      I mean, really, this should all be obvious. They get to make a game they want to make it. They get to make it for the platforms they want to make it for. You don’t have some kind of special right to this game. And then, stabbed in the back because you have to wait a week longer? Is that really correct?

  43. Serenegoose says:

    Anonymous Coward said:
    Expression of disgust, it’s disturbing to see developers who made their fortunes off the backs of a loyal community, just to end up stabbing them in the back.

    Spiteful, with any luck they will go the way of EPIC and kindly take their product elsewhere.

    Truly with your bitterness, you would be a worthy Volus, Earth Clan.

    Not that I disagree with you. They've really messed up this time. It's so unfortunate to see a developer who had previously been exceptional, sell out so fast. Beyond everything else, I'll reiterate my complaint as to the games length, as the singleplayer was all that interested me, as after a tentative dip of MW1s multiplayer, it didn't at all enthuse me, though I will freely admit I love the perks system as a way of customising a character. I don't understand how they can have the gall to rack their prices up whilst simultaneously supplying less content. Naturally, it's because they can. This would be a best seller if IW freely admitted they were not going to put DVDs in boxes, but dog shit, and they know it.

  44. thefanciestofpants says:

    It’s a real shame, but stabbing the mod community in the back is a dealbreaker for me. It’s been fun Infinity ward.

    • GGX_Justice says:

      “AAA101: Franchise design basics from start to finish
      This course covers starting and finishing franchises. emphasis is placed in the continuation of the franchise which leads to it’s finish.
      AAA102: Turning a profit at the consumer’s expense.
      This course covers turning a profit at the expense of the consumer’s enjoyment/fulfillment/wellbeing
      AAA103: Putting the ‘power’ back in ‘powergaming’
      Using examples such as IWNet for CoD:MW2, this course covers how to put yourself into such a position of power where the player relies on your virtual presence.
      Briefly covered is ripping this virtual presence from underneath the players, and how to take legal action when players circumvent the requirement of your presence.

      I think that about covers it. Now, go out and DON’T major in AAA!
      (Try INDI instead!)” – BW

  45. Gabbo says:

    I’m sure it will look good, and sell more copies than any game not made by Nintendo. However, a 5 hour campaign, the fuck up that is the multiplayer, the removed setup options and my aversion to MW1 means it won’t be too hard to keep it off my shelf.

    At this rate, I’ll take Treyarch’s next attempt at CoD. They still seem hungry, like they have to try and make the games worth a damn, unlike this.

  46. Serenegoose says:

    Anonymous Coward said:
    *5 hour

    Also, [my usual quality>quantity diatribe here]

    Eh, it's valid to an extent. Quality > Quantity is all fine, but to take it to its extreme, I'd not be happy with 20 seconds of sheer quality for standard RRP, and for me that line is crossed when it reaches 5 hours of unknown quality.

  47. abhishek says:

    I’m stuck with a Steam pre-order myself, but the retail release in my country is severely delayed at best, and canceled at worst, so I’m not going to complain much. Still chugging away at the monstrous preload… 11gb yikes :(

  48. GGX_Justice says:

    I never was interested in any Call of Duty title, but I am very bothered by the possible implications for the PC community.

    I don’t know any PC gamer who is fine with the precedent this is setting, actually.

  49. elle says:

    Of course it’s not RPS readers’ most anticipated game of the decade. It’s a console game with a PC port. The only PC gamers who anticipate those are console gamers with high-end laptops.

  50. army of none says:

    It would be a physical impossibility for me to care less about a shooter with a super short SP for fully 60 bucks. Too much time being spent on Borderlands and Dragon-Age, (and soon L4D2!). Sad to see that it’s PC version isn’t doing well, though, as I do so enjoy having people pay attention to my platform of choice.