Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 - Multiplayer Review

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Review copy provided by the publisher

Want to know what’s better than getting your hands on Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2? Getting your hands on it by buying it from a “mom and pop” video game store that can care less about release dates, that’s what! With that said we (DualShockers) are not held under any review embargo as we’ve purchased the game ourselves. Now let’s get to the multiplayer review, shall we?

I came. I saw. I pwned. Oh and I loved every single minute of it. That sums up what was my experience with the multiplayer found in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. We’ve decided to break up our review of this year’s most anticipated game into 2 parts, simply because the multiplayer is so deep that including it within a full game review simply will not do it justice.

Now let’s talk guns, something that COD: MW2 packs a whole lot of. For primaries there are: 9 assault rifles, 5 sub machine guns, 5 light machine guns, 4 sniper rifles, and the Riot Shield. All of the primaries (except for the sniper rifles) have 10 different weapons customizations (scopes, gear) to choose from. As for secondary weapons we have: 4 machine pistols, 6 shotguns, 4 handguns, and 5 launchers! Note, if you’re a fan of the M16 from COD 4, you can fly right out of the gate with the FAMAS Assault Rifle and be one bad-ass mofo.

The first thing you will notice when jumping into your first match online, is the oh-so slight weight added to your player. And no, it’s not pulling a Killzone, where you move as though you’re carrying a 100lb bag of rice on your back! Most probably wont even notice it too much, but if your still playing COD4 to this day (like I do) you will know exactly what I mean. It adds a slightly more realistic feeling movement, and within a couple matches it starts to feel natural to the point you don’t even feel it anymore.

This game proves that Infinity Ward (although some might argue recently) does listen to its community, as many issues that have plagued the original are now non-existent. The first one that I noticed is the distance of the “noob tube” and frags have been toned down to much more believable levels. You can rest easy as there will be no more spawning and dying, at the beginning of a round from a tube shot from across the map. Also, you no longer have to worry about people tossing frag grenades around as thought they play outfield for the Yankees, players have a somewhat normal arm strength. Another major annoyance from the original (for me at least) would have to be when you would call in an airstrike only to have the planes come in from random locations and hit absolutely no one. Now, not only can you choose a more accurate spot but you can also determine which direction they  fly in from making for some much more devastating hits!

Although there aren’t a million players online yet, from what I have witnessed so far is that the network issues that have crippled COD4 online, have also gone the way of the dodo bird. I know many of you out there (who like me) get incredibly frustrated when people who don’t know how to take a proper beating leave a match only to have it end because they were the host. Well no more of that! If the host leaves, the action comes to a pause while a new host is chosen. You are then greeted by a 5 second countdown so you can get yourself ready to jump right back into the action from exactly the same spot you left off. Hallelujah!

Killstreaks have been made better in every way imaginable. 3 kills still get’s you the UAV, 5 Kills still gets you an airstrike (in the form of user controlled predator missles) but it’s the 4 kill streak that I had the most fun with. After your fourth kill, you are armed with a smoke grenade that you toss in order to call in for chopper to drop of a “care package.” What’s in said care package you ask? No one knows. Care packages are like a box of chocolate, you never know what you’re going to get. It can be anything from a bomber plane, to an auto sentry gun (turret), a harrier jet, something like 3 different choppers, more ammo, and the list goes on and on. It’s basically like a wild card. What helps make things even more interesting is that not only can you or your teamates open the care package, but so can your enemies as well and vice versa. So if you’re quick and devious enough, you can snatch up all of the other team’s care packages and double the havoc you bestow upon that ass.

I know that many people have been complaining recently about the game not having more players in a match this time around, capping it at 9 vs. 9. As far as that goes, just wait until you see how much stuff is going on when you’re playing a 6 vs. 6 match, let alone a 9 vs. 9 one. Again, this isn’t COD4 and there isn’t just 1 plane or chopper in the sky. Instead, there are constant care packages coming in, at the same time that there are 2 choppers shooting up everyone on the map, all the while airstrikes and predator missles are raining down. Yeah, that’s the kind of game this is. One highlight to point out was the ability to use my predator missile to take down an enemy helicopter. Simply awesome.

As far as the maps are concerned get ready to get lost, as most maps are pretty large. Not to the point where it takes a while too long to find people to shoot, but it will definitely take a bit of getting used to. One great thing about many of the maps, which will affect the gameplay is that now, you have to think vertically more so than before. Most of the maps have multiple layers and levels which add much more strategy and variation to the gameplay. Favela, is definitely one of my favorites, being a tight urban environment with narrow alleys and passageways on the ground, yet it’s accompanied by wide open roof tops and buildings up above. The map has a little bit of everything and can cater to many different play styles and game types. And from the looks of it, most maps are very similar and built the same way.

Although IW, decided against co-op for the story mode because they felt it would take away from the narrative and immersion they were looking for, I’m actually glad they did. I say that because we now have the awesome yet frustrating Special-Ops online co-op mode. What some thought would be a tacked on multiplayer feature, couldn’t be anymore wrong as this mode is not only deep but will take every ounce of effort that you and your partner have. This mode is no joke and many of the missions will require multiple play throughs as you strive for a better time or more stars on each attempt. The stars are on a scale of 1 to 3, which determine your mastery of each mission. Some missions require stealth, while others ask you to take out a certain amount of enemies without harming civilians (who apparently like to jump in front of your gun). There’s even a horde-like mode with missions that will have you holding off wave after wave of enemies. All of the missions are fun and different, each posing a different challenge. Achievements and Trophy whores should be glad to know that there are some for you to unlock in this mode.

Just like any big sequel with a huge online following there will be complainers. Some will hate the care packages and other the unlimited sprint maybe. No matter what people will always look for something that’s wrong with it instead of enjoying it. The multiplayer found in this title is probably worth the $60 bucks alone, as you’ll be playing this for quite sometime. And while no game is perfect online, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 has definitely come the closest in recent times. It takes everything you loved from the original and enhanced it. It also takes everything that you hated from the original and scrapped it. While writing this, I’m just looking at games I have yet to review and wonder when will it get done, as they will have to pry the MW2 disc from the slot in order to get me to stop playing. Easily this is a must for anyone who games online.

  • Title: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
  • Developer: Infinity Ward
  • Publisher: Activision
  • MSRP: $59.99
  • Release Date: November 10th, 2009
  • Review Copy Info: This review copy was purchased by DualShockers Inc for reviewing purposes

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Joel Taveras

Joel Taveras is one of the founding members of DualShockers. He hails from New York City where he lives with his wife and two sons. During his tenure with the site, he's held every position from news writer to community manager to editor in chief. Currently he manages the behind the scenes and day-to-day operations at the publication.

Read more of Joel's articles

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