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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2!

The most anticipated shooter of the year has finally launched, but the big question is if Modern Warfare 2 will be able to live up to the insane hype surrounding it.

First Impressions: Whenever possible, we try to give our loyal website viewers the most video footage and most in depth unbiased reviews imaginable. Part of that development is our "initial impressions" where we offer up our first impressions of the title that we are playing.

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Final Impressions: The final impression is just that, our completed breakdown and overall thoughts on the game based off of our entire game playing time.

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That's A Lot Of Cash! Modern Warfare 2 is one of the best selling games of all-time, with that record being set only by preorders on launch day. That gargantuan number (rumor has it upwards of 5-million preorders!) and the amount of money Infinity Ward and Activision will make from the preorders do not include the sales from people who didn't preorder and is also excluding sales that will came throughout the month.

It is obvious that the gaming community expects Infinity Ward to supply with the goods, but when a game has so much hype around it, is it possible to truly live up to it?

Something Old, Something New: Modern Warfare 2 picks up about 5 years after the events of the first title and continues the trend of having you control several different characters throughout the storyline and watching how their (your) actions will affect the plot.

From a U.S. Army Ranger on the frontlines to a CIA agent deep undercover, you will get to experience the story through the eyes of a few unique people. While you seldom hear your character speak, you will see that the missions you partake in will affect your character and sometimes even the world.

The story of Modern Warfare 2 is not easily explained without spoiling the game, but the jest of is that a terrorist group launched an attack on the United States and ended up starting a war. Like I said, it isn't easy to explain because of how the storyline progresses. One wrong word, and the entire game could well be spoiled for those who are looking for a little surprise in their campaign experience.

Not to worry though, as the narrative is quite solid. While it isn't quite as fleshed out as the original Modern Warfare's was, you will still get a feel for what is going on, what you are doing and why you are doing it.

Wars aren't easily started: As you probably already know, MW2 features a very, very controversial level in which you act as a terrorist and wreak havoc at an airport full of innocent civilians.

You will move through the level with a machine gun, mowing down everyone in sight without so much as a stop. Screams fill the terminals and you will often see people running for their lives and wounded innocents crawling away from you.

As some people may find the mission disturbing or offensive, when you begin the game you have the option to skip this mission in its entirety as if it never existed. There will be no penalty to your achievement or trophy progress, and the mission will not seriously affect the story either.

I did not personally find the level to be particularly disturbing or offensive, but I can understand a bit as to why some would opt to skip it. Infinity Ward did something that was a little...risky but they did counteract it by letting you skip it.

It's Over Already: Despite having a pretty solid narrative, MW2's single player campaign mode does have a huge problem: its length.

Most people will be able to reach the end credits in about 5 hours, even on the harder difficulties. If you choose to run through the game, there is a good chance you will be able to beat the campaign in about 3-4 hours.

That fact alone makes MW2 a multiplayer only game. Even though the campaign of MW2 is very entertaining while it lasts, it simply isn't long enough for the single-player gamer. Without multiplayer, MW2 would be nothing.

Who Said War Was Hell: On the gameplay side of MW2, you will find the trademark intensity carried over from the original. From the dirty streets of Rio de Janeiro to the mountains of Kazakhstan you will be face-to-face with some of the most ruthless guns-for-hire and terrorists possible.

The firefights you engage in during MW2 are absolutely mind-blowing and easily stop even the best battles seen in the original. Your teammates will be yelling out enemy positions (listen to them, they really help you!), explosions and grenades will be going off around you and bullets will be chipping away at your cover during combat.

Also, MW2 feels like a slightly more tactical game then the original. No longer can you simply run and gun out in the open field without a care, unless you plan on getting your face shot off.

Using flash bangs, ducking behind cover and keeping your machismo in check are all new aspects you have to think about in MW2. To be honest, it is a welcome change and does help add to the intensity and enjoyment you get out of massive conflicts.

Where Did My Wood Plank Go: MW2 has also added a great system that allows your cover to deteriorate and break apart when shot at. You (and your foes) can also be shot through even untouched cover, as long as it is thin enough.

This adds a very nice strategic element to the game, as you will now have to think about where you take cover. It's not always a smart choice to hide behind a wooden fence, especially when there are multiple enemies approaching you.

Your opposition is also much smarter this time around, taking every chance they get to put a bullet in you. They will fire at you through thin cover, throw grenades at you and send massive, almost unbeatable waves after you. Even on Regular difficulty the enemy AI will pose somewhat of a challenge.

There is no doubt in my mind that MW2 did what seemed to be impossible and improved upon the mind-blowing combat of the original. Do not be surprised if your face melts off when engaged in warfare.

A True Teammate: Speaking of how much smarter your enemies are, your squad mates have also gained some intelligence in combat. Your teammates will help you in tight spots, and while you cannot control them they will move ahead on their own, clearing out the area.

While your partners do get shot an awful lot, they cannot die and as such could clear the entire level for you. If you chose to you could probably pass one of the shorter levels by simply using cover and letting your comrades do all the work. Of course, that wouldn't be any fun!

Lock And Load: The multiplayer is what really shines in MW2 though, and is essentially what makes this game worth your hard earned cash.

The standard game modes such as Team Deathmatch will return in MW2, as well as the Call of Duty exclusives you have come to expect like Domination (variation of King of the Hill), Search & Destroy, Headquarters and many others.

However, Modern Warfare 2 has also beefed up the multiplayer with a ton of new "Perks" (multiplayer abilities), equipment and even some new weapons to boot in addition to what you had enjoyed in the original Modern Warfare.

Some of the new abilities you will have at your disposal include Painkiller, which increases your health for 10 seconds after you respawn, and Marathon, which allows you to sprint infinitely. As well as the new perks, you will also have most of the old favorites like Martyrdom, which drops a live grenade on your body after you die, and Stopping Power, which as the name suggests increases your damage output.

You will also have some new toys to use in multiplayer. Throwing Knives, sticky Semtex grenades and the ability to call in "Tactical Insertions" are all available to you in MW2.

As expected, Infinity Ward has also added some new metal for you to play with in the form of Assault Rifles, Machine Pistols, Light Machine Guns, Sniper Rifles and Pistols.

From the FAMAS 3-shot assault rifle and Barrett .50 Cal sniper rifle to the classic Desert Eagle (or "Deagle") you will have plenty of weaponry to experiment with online.

As well as the actual gameplay portion of the multiplayer, MW2 once again features a "Prestige" option as well as leveling up as you play to unlock more weapons, gear and even war paint for your guns.

Modern Warfare 2's multiplayer is unexpectedly in-depth and can occasionally be daunting to new players as even experienced CoD veterans will be stumbling around the new maps and looking for new camping spots.

However, the MP does not cease to be addicting and can easily be played for hours on end, match after match, level up after level up.

As I have mentioned before, the multiplayer is what makes MW2 and without this title would barely be anything special.

Never Looked Better: Modern Warfare 2 has also stepped it up in terms of visuals. You will be able to enjoy some very detailed environments from complex urban areas to snowy mountains. The graphics help immerse you in the war torn regions you will be traveling to.

In addition to the environments, the characters you will encounter and also incredibly lifelike and detailed. You are able to see all the equipment that sits on a common soldier and the amount of detail on even the smallest character adds a nice level of personality to your squad, your enemies and everyone in between.

Of course, a good story is nothing without some solid voice work to bring it all together. Modern Warfare 2, as was the case with the original, has very impressive voice actors behind everyone you encounter in the game.

Everything from orders, chitchat between NPCs, mid-battle dialogue and the narration of the story is flawless. MW2 features the best voice acting seen all year, and easily tops even the original Modern Warfare's voice work.

Rent vs. Buy: dern Warfare 2 is estimated to sell over 12-million copies...in the first week! Breaking records and earning a few dozen truckloads of cash tells you that this was bound to either be a massive disappointment or a huge success. We are very happy to say that MW2 ended up falling into the latter category.

Modern Warfare 2 did what seemed to be impossible, and that is topping the original in nearly everyway. This title is about as close to perfection as you can get gameplay wise, with intense battles, a mildly engrossing plot, fantastic visuals, astonishingly quality voice acting throughout the game.

The only, and I mean only flaw MW2 has is how short the single player campaign is. Without the multiplayer, MW2 would not nearly as impressive as it is now, as when you finish the single player war you will have multiplayer to fall back on.

Report Card

Modern Warfare 2 did what seemed to be impossible, and that is topping the original in nearly every way. This title is about as close to perfection as you can get gameplay wise, with intense battles, a mildly engrossing plot, fantastic visuals, astonishingly quality voice acting throughout the game. (Krakrabbit.com)


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