If Michael Bay made a video game—thoughts on Modern Warfare 2

Since Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 apparently broke records with the biggest-ever entertainment launch two weeks ago, odds are you’ve already played it. Heck, considering the brevity of the single-player campaign, you’ve probably finished that, too—unless you’re one of the folks "boycotting" the game for its lack of PC dedicated servers.

I played it, too. On November 12, the day my Steam copy unlocked, I launched the game and didn’t get up again until five hours later, after the credits rolled. Those five hours must have been the most intense I’ve ever witnessed in a game, and for better or for worse, they may well have redefined what I expect from a first-person shooter. Infinity Ward’s latest title felt more like an interactive action movie than anything else, tightly intertwining grandiose cinematic visuals with intense run-and-gun gameplay.

Strip out the gaming element, and Modern Warfare 2 almost seems like the kind of movie Michael Bay might make if he had an unlimited budget and, inexplicably, no desire to include a busty female character. The SP campaign is rife with explosions, fast-paced action, several boatloads of military hardware (not to mention several military boats), and, disappointingly, a mildly confusing and unbelievable storyline. Just like the new Transformers movie.

While I loved the ride overall, Modern Warfare 2‘s storyline is one of the two things that soured the experience for me. Before I air my grievances, let me give you a chance to stop reading here if you haven’t played yet and don’t want anything spoiled. You’ve been warned!

I’m not a picky guy, especially when it comes to action movie plots. I loved all of the Rambo films. Die Hard, Predator, the first two Terminator movies… I love all of those, too. Modern Warfare 2 belongs in a category of its own in terms of sheer implausibility, though. The story trudges along well enough until the airport level, where you (as an undercover CIA operative) infiltrate a group of Russian terrorists and gun down civilians at the Moscow International Airport. While you have a million chances to terminate Vladimir Makarov—the villain you’re supposed to "get close" to—and his acolytes, the CIA apparently wants you to murder civilians, instead. Okay, fair enough.

At the end of the mission, Makarov turns around and shoots you in the face, revealing to the world that an American participated in the massacre. Oh snap! In retaliation, Russia launches a full-scale ground assault on the United States mainland.

I could go on about how, say, one of your friends later hijacks a Russian submarine and detonates a nuke above Washington, D.C. to paralyze the invading Russian force, or how Captain Shepherd, the guy you serve under, eventually turns out to be behind everything. However, my suspension of disbelief had long since checked out at that point. Russia invading the U.S. already seemed implausible when Red Dawn did it in the 80s, but now? Seriously? Don’t get me wrong; it’s pretty original and kinda neat to stage combat missions in the Virginia suburbs around gas stations and burger joints, but I just couldn’t get into it. Every time the game attempted to draw me in, my mind tugged me back to reality. "The Russians are invading? Really?"

If you don’t share my disbelief, let me just point out some per-country military expenditure figures real quick: France spends more on its military than Russia, and the U.S. spends over ten times as much. Yet somehow, the Russians in the game have enough state-of-the-art military hardware to launch a full-scale invasion of the world’s fourth-largest country—and they’re winning. I guess that one American killing civilians in Moscow was all Putin needed to flip the "military superpower" switch under the Kremlin back to "on." Who knew?

Now, let me insert a brief disclaimer: I really wouldn’t have minded if Infinity Ward explicitly set Modern Warfare in a starkly different alternate reality. As far as I can tell, though, it didn’t. The game even starts in U.S.-occupied Afghanistan, for heaven’s sake.

Fun gameplay could be a great antidote to the hare-brained storytelling, but here, too, I’m left a little disappointed. While the spectacular cinematic visuals are definitely enjoyable, and you do feel like an action movie hero at times, the Call of Duty series’ raw gameplay mechanics don’t seem to have evolved significantly since the first couple of games. You still face wave after wave of respawning enemies, moving from invisible checkpoint to invisible checkpoint while taking massive amounts of damage and killing enemy gunmen by the dozen. It’s cool, though; your health regenerates within a few seconds if you hide behind a crate somewhere.

At times, progressing through Modern Warfare 2 almost feels like braving a hailstorm. You face a never-ending barrage of bullets, shells, and grenades without much of a chance to stop for a breather or admire the environments—which, by the way, are beautifully rendered despite the game’s cross-platform nature. The combat gave me the same "wack-a-mole" feeling as Borderlands, except in this case, killing bad guys wasn’t anywhere near as satisfying—not a single enemy shrieked while dissolving into a pool of acid.

Oh, sure, the designers tossed in a few vehicle sections, some stealth segments, and a brief cliff-climbing mini-game to break things up. Sadly, none of that really takes away from the unpleasantly repetitive slaughtering, which accounts for the vast, vast majority of the SP campaign. It’s a shame, because Infinity Ward has otherwise cut out so much of the filler that normally permeates first-person shooters, condensing the experience to a breakneck cinematic ride. But instead of making it satisfying to become part of the action, the game almost forces you to endure punishment just to see how the story develops. It’s almost as if Michael Bay had his own flavor of Twinkies, which you could only eat while running on a treadmill to burn off the calories.

I would have no problem forgiving unfulfilling gameplay if Modern Warfare 2 were meant to portray real-life urban combat realistically. But you’re a nearly immortal one-man killing machine gunning down entire enemy regiments in a world where CIA operatives fire into crowds of civilians with machine guns and a post-Cold-War Russia sees nothing wrong with a full-scale ground invasion of the United States. This is far, far from a serious combat simulator. Why couldn’t Infinity Ward just dial down the hailstorm a little, make individual kills slower and more meaningful, and include fewer of them?

Still, I can’t get too mad at Modern Warfare 2. It looks, feels, and plays like nothing I’ve ever played before, and I loved the ride despite its flaws. I think this game may force some adjustments from other first-person-shooter developers, too. If they try to emulate it, we may see the rise of a new genre: the playable action movie. And I could get down with that—especially if someone manages to make it more fun.

Comments closed
    • clone
    • 10 years ago

    the review reminds me of Serious Sam II.

    a friend and I played Serious Sam II for 6 hours straight co-operatively one night and have never launched it since…. without a decent story… heck even a flawed mundane one to drive progress the experience is left hollow.

    it’s a shame because co-operative is absolutely the best kind of multi player and also the least used in FPS’s….. Halo for Xbox, No one live forever 2, Serious Sam and…… no others come to mind.

    it’s since been uninstalled and while I’ve re-played the Half Life series multiple times on top of a complete play through the series with each episode release…… if it wasn’t for this review Serious Sam II would have been forgotten altogether.

    haven’t played it, won’t be playing it, not anti MW2 just not interested in FPS like I used to be.

    the Stalker SOC and Stalker Clear Sky are the only fps’s I’ve played this year.

    • dpaus
    • 10 years ago

    l[<"unpleasantly repetitive slaughtering"<]l Precisely why I tuned out of FPS games years ago.

    • Bensam123
    • 10 years ago

    If you’re like me, you enjoyed Transformers and every other Micahel Bay film for just the copious amounts of eye candy. That was all it was. Transformers 2 played that up even more and was even worse of a movie. It had less of a plot, less character development, less actual stuff that mattered yet made millions cause people seem to think its funny seeing balls on transformers. I was waiting for the farting jokes.

    MW2 is the same. MW1 IMO was quite a bit better, they keep dumbing it down and watching my one friend play through part of the campaign we both agreed that he wasn’t even playing the damn game anymore.

    The game is SO scripted that you have absolutely ZERO free will. You can’t jump without there being a jump button or climb over button. You can’t go anywhere thats off the main route. Your allies don’t actually die unless they’re supposed to. You’re practically invincible and there is no actual downside to offset that power.

    In essence there is no real reason to play the damn game. It’s like those short skits that last as long as peoples attention span. Putting aside the half-baked plot, I’m pretty sure they just decided to end the game where they did because they were sure the average joe couldn’t handle much more gameplay before their brain literally turned to mush.

    It’s sad that video games are degrading into this sort of half baked entertainment. The new generation wants to be a bit more involved in things then just watching TV, so they make you push a few buttons while watching it and all of a sudden you think you have some for of self-efficacy because of it.

    I hope to god all video games don’t go this way.

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 10 years ago

    A game that much, much closer fits your “Micheal Bay” description: Resident Evil 5.

    • shaq_mobile
    • 10 years ago

    i remember when linear gameplay was considered the downfall of video gaming. i remember when games were praised for having even two or three mildly different endings. cod4.5 appears to have proved that sentiment pure poppycock. if the appeal is to attract as many people as possible (as with most companies, they’re certainly in the business to make money!) then all you have to do is make it as vanilla as possible. storyline, character development, puzzles, strategy and persistent gameplay all take a backseat to bright lights and shiny objects. i suspect people are closely related to racoons. wii certainly is a good example, loads of fun, easy to play, no learning curve. replayability completely relies on the people around you, reminiscent of WoW. except WoW is hardly bearable even with your best of buds, and gameplay varies adversely with alcohol consumption.

    im tired of games i feel taht i would find at the bottom of a box of cracker jacks… sixty dollar cracker jacks. if you like them, thats cool, nothign wrong with that, but i can only drink so much Busch Light before I need a double IPA or imperial stout. I really dig what Unknown Worlds Entertainment is doign with NS2. if you guys wanna play a fun, somewhat deep sci fi game, natural selection 1 still has a community (a cool one at that!).

    • stmok
    • 10 years ago

    Movie bits that MW2 takes from…

    * One of the missions is titled “Wolverines”. (USA invaded by Russia)
    => Red Dawn…Name of the armed resistant group of teens in that movie is Wolverines.

    * Going through the shower room in the Gulag. Covered by enemy forces from an elevated position in that room.
    => The Rock…Where the Navy SEALs get wiped out near the beginning.
    (Oh look! A Michael Bay film!)

    * You are shot down in a BlackHawk and are about to be overrun at the crash site in Washington.
    => Black Hawk Down…Crash site 2 is overrun.

    * At the crash site, you wake up. Foley tosses you his last spare magazine, and shouts: “Last mag! Make it count!”
    => Starship Troopers…Whisky Outpost. Where Ricco tosses a spare mag to Dizz and says the same thing!

    * Where you are an astronaut at the ISS and the nuke explodes.
    => Armageddon…In the beginning where the shuttle Atlantis is destroyed, and the astronaut doing the space walk is killed by meteor shower.
    (Another Michael Bay film!)

    * Drive jeep into back of cargo (C-130) plane before taking off.
    => The Living Daylights (James Bond)…Jeep into C-130!

    * When “Soap” crash tackles a suspect from a build and lands on the roof of the car.
    => Fast & Furious (2009)…Paul Walker’s character does the same.

    * “Roach” leaps onto a helicopter just before it leaves (in Rio de Janeiro)
    => Clear and Present Danger…Jack Ryan (Harrison Ford) does the same, but in Colombia.

    * When you’ve secured the White House, you use green flares to signal its back in American hands, or the air force will bomb it.
    => The Rock…Near the end. Nicholas Cage’s character does the same.
    (Gotta end with a Michael Bay film reference!)

    • michael_d
    • 10 years ago

    Why has the game story somehow degenerated into Russia vs. USA thing, I don’t understand. On second thought Infinity Ward does use provocative story line, they depict America’s rivals/adversaries as brainless morons who are bent on gratuitous violence for the sake of violence as if they do not have legitimate interests to fight for.

    Anyway enough of this rubbish. Back to the game, I played COD4 and I liked it a lot and in fact I played single player over and over again at least dozen times. I will probably play this sequel after I am done playing other games that I have on my list.

    • RickyTick
    • 10 years ago

    I had to Google Michael Bay. I’ve seen most of his movies once…that was enough.

    • thebeastie
    • 10 years ago

    Yeah you have slowly unwrapped the reality of what appears to be a new style of games called something like “pop games”.
    This game is designed from the ground up to appear to the maximum amount of general fudge eating population, and gain the maximum amount of profits. What can I say, good on them.

    The plot like you have pointed out is something of what the eyes of a 12 year old kid who has watched lump sided TV views of the world would image how it all works.

    The multi-player is of the same standard with all these special radars that see people even if they are hiding in a hole show up on magic screens, it is designed for people who have less attention span then those affected by ADD and addicted to red cordial.

    To be disappointed in this game despite the ultra popularity and mega sales success has shown ultimately how poor the games industry is in general. If this is due to big companies like EA buying out all the small guys and sucking the life and true creativity out of them I can only wonder.

    What has actually impressed me with this game is how well the technical side of the server-less multi-player has worked, so far for me it has been flawless in reliability and smoothness. It show from a technology side this game engine from its creators has intelligence, even if the direction was unpopular.

    • statrekgeneral
    • 10 years ago

    When people complain about this game not being worth it, or multiplayer sucking cuz of lag, i really wonder if they have played through the entire single player, or at least tried out the multiplayer for a few hours. cuz if your havent….

    STFU!!!

    Seriously, how stupid is it for a person to critique a game without ever playing. First point, for the single player, there are actually 2 campaigns. the regular “story” single player, and there’s also the the challenge portion, which is totally separate. For those complaining about this game not supporting coop… go play the challenge portion with your friends on coop. problem solved. i got this game on steam when it was released… 11/12 i think and Ive already put in 49 hours in multiplayer alone. I can tell you firsthand that the lag and cheating is not that huge of a problem. it is DEFINITELY blown out of proportion. and to be honest, the whole matchmaking system is kinda nice. no need to spend 20 min entering empty servers like in the beloved MW1…

    Seriously. before you biotch about a game, borrow a friends copy or go to his house or something and put a few hours in. and im definitely not alone in my opinion. In my section of the apartment, 5 people have already gotten MW2 on pc, and i havent heard a single complaint yet. and i dont think i will

      • Fastidious
      • 10 years ago

      Most people don’t play online or want to be play the same game over in a challenge mode. Most people could play at a friends beat single player and never need to buy it since they are effectively done with what they are interested in. I’ve haven’t played the first after I beat it in single player but eventually I might play it again.

        • statrekgeneral
        • 10 years ago

        You have obviously never played this game before. If you had, you would know that challenge mode is NOT the same as the campaign mode. a more accurate description of it would be a second campaign. and if you dont play a game online, and i challenge you to play through the first game again on hardcore and complain its boring.

          • Meadows
          • 10 years ago

          Just because something’s harder doesn’t make it less boring.

            • lycium
            • 10 years ago

            just because you always think you’re right and everyone else is wrong, doesn’t mean you should always argue…

          • Fastidious
          • 10 years ago

          Does it use exclusively new maps/content and have a new story? If not then it’s not a second campaign it is just a rehashed version.

            • statrekgeneral
            • 10 years ago

            the challenges use the maps from the campaign, except they are heavily modified. the maps in challenge mode are totally different from the maps in multiplayer

            • MadManOriginal
            • 10 years ago

            Three contradicting phrases enter, one phrase leaves?

          • CampinCarl
          • 10 years ago

          Since when was “unnecessarily difficult” the same as “entertaining”? I’ve played the game on Veteran, and I don’t quite see how it’s fun. It’s annoying as hell and that’s it.

          The challenge mode is not a ‘second campaign’–get your head out of the sand. It’s just maps where you have certain objectives to complete. It’s more roughly equated to playing a multiplayer non-DM-style match on singleplayer mode (though you can do them co-op, and I have).

          Is the multiplayer fun? For the most part. Mostly because the vast majority of the players are pants-on-head retarded and so it makes it easy to slaughter them, get a nuke, and win the game. I find it annoying that IW has moved away from the realism aspect they used to go for, and are now moving onto arcade-style shooters.

    • travbrad
    • 10 years ago

    I played the first one, and have played many similar games, so I just don’t have an interest in this one. I’m not boycotting it or anything, it just doesn’t matter to me. There are too many other games to play as it is (for the amount of time I have), which look more interesting/original than this.

    I don’t think anything will ever beat the “fun factor” of Desert Combat (BF1942 mod) for this setting. Sure it wasn’t realistic, but neither is this. It’s one of the great things about PC gaming, the amazing quality mods. Even BF2 fell short of this mod IMO, although it was still a fun game.

    • marvelous
    • 10 years ago

    It’s the same old run around and shoot people we’ve been doing since for the last 2 decade. We have 5 year old games like BF2 that is far superior to MW2. I’ve played a little bit at my brother in law’s house on his ps3. Console gamers love it because they haven’t experienced anything better.

      • Meadows
      • 10 years ago

      Example of a person who hasn’t played it.

        • MadManOriginal
        • 10 years ago

        q[

      • Krogoth
      • 10 years ago

      QFT

      COD:MW2 is another mediocre title among pseudo-realistic FPS. It is getting the most attention because Activision Blizzard dumped a ton of ad dollars and brand recognition.

      • Aphasia
      • 10 years ago

      Thats weird. Around here the PC version is priced at 75% of the Console version, or €45 if you so will. Not to mention its extremely rare not getting a good server. It happens, but very seldom. It’s extremely playable actually, both combining the aim from games as Unreal with the good things from games like Modern Combat and even some of the things i liked from BF2.

      • willyolio
      • 10 years ago

      LOL. that video is edited, though. it would be a funny easter egg (or achievement) for doing that, though.

    • Synchromesh
    • 10 years ago

    While I agree about most game-specific details, I disagree about needing state of the art stuff to invade other countries. All you need is a lot of people with guns and a hole to put them through so they can use their guns. Sheer numbers can win. Look at WWII. Germans invaded Russia with state-of-the-art technology and at the end they got their asses handed to them by the Russians who had threw in wave after wave of soldiers just so Germans would run out of ammo. Of course it wasn’t the only thing that won the war but one of those things indeed.

      • WaltC
      • 10 years ago

      The Russian winter–as in c-c-c-c-cold!–is what did the Nazis in, that and the fact that Hitler stupidly pursued a war on two fronts simultaneously.

    • Vrock
    • 10 years ago

    If I could be King of Video Games for a day, my first decree would be to ban re-spawning enemies. It’s lame. It was lame back in the 1980s when it appeared on 8 bit systems, but at least back then it was understandable as a gameplay mechanic. Now, it’s just stupid. Especially in a military-themed FPS.

    Which reminds me…the “red haze” system of taking damage is lame, too. You take 4 rounds to the chest, the screen goes red, and then you…hide behind some cover for 5 seconds and you’re all better? Heck, I’d rather have healthpacks and weapon pickups rotating in mid-air a la Quake II then that nonsensical crap.

    • Fastidious
    • 10 years ago

    Played the first one but not going to bother with this one. Could play it at a friends sometime and finish it. I imagine it’ll be an awesome five hours, but fuck five hours is too expensive for that price. Borderlands by comparison is an absolute bargain. Not interested in multiplayer or I’d get it.

    • Richie_G
    • 10 years ago

    What a load of pish. Just about everything was turned on its head: the storyline (and with it any attempt at mimicking reality) disappeared up its own arse, and what’s with the poor and ill-fitting philosophising? (Captain Price’s little reflection near the end was nauseating and totally out of character). I was also a bit miffed with the use of quotes from such individuals as Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld – two morally ambiguous people as I see them; a questionable decision.

    Yeah it looked nice, as is expected since it’s designed to run on platforms that have been around for several years now – so doesn’t exactly have to chart any new frontiers in that department.
    It played nice so long as you are wearing blinders and don’t stop long enough to actually think for a moment why on earth there are enemies spawning out of areas you’ve just cleared.

    When I played CoD4 I was hooked from start to finish and totally absorbed. This one was enjoyable to play through, but left me unsatisfied and disappointed – much like fast food.

    But I suppose the single player isn’t where the bread and butter is for Infinity Ward / Activision, it’s the multiplayer that they’re keen to propagate (DLC map packs etc, hence the PC lockdown). Yes I’m a cynical bastard, but if there were no CoD4 I’d have nothing to say right now.
    I’m one of those boycotters who will not spend money on this game; I played it through a couple of days ago at a friend’s on his PS3 (I deliberately left this bit until last, in case some people would wrongly assume my negative stance is just bitterness – that’s reserved solely for the multi player aspect of the game).

      • Irascible
      • 10 years ago

      You’re buying the wrong fast food. ;^)

        • Kulith
        • 10 years ago

        No, you must have forgotten what real food tastes like.

    • elty
    • 10 years ago

    Without the “Call of Duty” brand this game won’t even reach 10% of its sales. Simply overhyped.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 10 years ago

      you know that it was the single largest game launch in the history of game launches, right? Or are you just being a moron contrarian as a hobby?

    • Vrock
    • 10 years ago

    q[

      • FubbHead
      • 10 years ago

      Sorry, I don’t see the praise.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 10 years ago

        reading the post it seems Cyril likes Michael Bay.

          • Meadows
          • 10 years ago

          Comment #35 raised that suspicion way back.

          • FubbHead
          • 10 years ago

          I can’t fathom anyone liking Michael Bay’s mind-retarding, attention-deficient tripe.

          I just took it as him recognizing his kind of production and comparing it with it, personal values aside. 🙂

          Needless to say, I won’t see more of his stuff, and I won’t be playing this game.

            • shaq_mobile
            • 10 years ago

            didn’t michael bay make transformers? i threw up in my sleep after watchign that movie. i had to watch “above the law” and “hard to kill” eighteen(each) times to fully recover.

            • BobbinThreadbare
            • 10 years ago

            I actually liked The Rock. The rest of his movies can just go away though.

      • Voldenuit
      • 10 years ago

      More like damning with scathing criticism.

      Unless you like shiny things that then blow up for inexplicable reasons. :p

      At least Uwe Boll’s movies are bad AND unpopular… :p

    • kravo
    • 10 years ago

    I got CoD6 and I like it. It´d be nice to have dedicated servers, but the game is still fun, so who cares.
    As to the storyline…c´mon, you should really stop this madness.
    People were picking on Crysis because it had no story, and no hw on the planet could run it.
    People were picking on Rage because it seems it´ll have the same settings like a dozen other games on the market.
    Now you are picking on another game, because the story isn´t plausible.

    Something is always unsatisfying, either the graphics suck, or the voiceovers, or the storyline, the originality, too short, too long, and so on. That is -in my opinion- just a lot of blah-blah from someone with a bad obstipation.
    Play it with the proper approach and have fun. If you don´t have fun, get a book.

      • BoBzeBuilder
      • 10 years ago

      I don’t remember people complaining about Half Life 2, Oblivion, Grid, Orange Box, and a lot of other great games, because once you get your money’s worth, you’re satisfied.

      Apparently a lot of people aren’t satisfied with Infinity Wards half-assed decisions and $60 price tag. Each game has its pros and cons and there’s nothing wrong with discussing it.

        • Sargent Duck
        • 10 years ago

        I just re-played HL2 earlier this month. What a great game. Worth every penny.

        • kravo
        • 10 years ago

        Well, I didn’t play Oblivion and Grid, so I can’t really comment on that, but I remember my buddy was pretty upset because of Oblivion, he got new, decent hw and his pc was still struggling. As to Half-Life2 and the Orange Box, yeah, you got 2-3 games for the price of another one, why would’ve you complained? (…and I’m also a lucky guy cuz I bought mine CoD6 copy for less then 40 Euros…)
        My point was: since this game was released, most of the the comments I read was disparagement. You barely see a comment on the pros, almost all of them are about the cons. And this applies to many new title for the PC which have noticeable marketing, as if people would’ve forgotten what’s gaming about. It has to give you a chance to switch off, relax, forget your everyday problems for a few minutes.
        You could find a gazillion logical failures in the game (in every game) if you wanted to, but you don’t play it so just you can talk down to it afterwards, do you?

    • lycium
    • 10 years ago

    i’ve said it before and i’ll say it again: you’re the best thing to happen to TR in a long time! 😀

    your reviews are really excellent: i enjoy your thoughtful perspective and entertaining writing; two thumbs up.

      • Meadows
      • 10 years ago

      Yeah I’ve seen it, pretty good.
      The “waiting for blood to fall off my face” part was the high point. He always speaks scathingly of consolish “hide and get healed” game mechanics, and I agree with him there.

      What’s wrong with medics and first aid equipment? Console shooters are more like playing Wolverine with a gun.

    • imtheunknown176
    • 10 years ago

    This is everything I feel about this game minus the fact that you seem to have enjoyed it. I didn’t like the endless parade of “cinematic” moments. Washington was the only really cool part imo. Everything else felt so scripted that I couldn’t get into it. IW tried too hard to artificially ratchet up the tension and for that I think the game lost some of the parts that make a game good. I like to feel like I am at least in a little control of the overall picture. HereI just felt like I was being ushered along as an observer with a gun.

    And quiet frankly I felt like I was fighting the South Africans based on all the guns I was finding. Seriously, not a single AK-74?

      • StuG
      • 10 years ago

      In response to feeling like an observer with a gun, its a game about being in the military. That’s what all foot-soldiers feel like. Your not a captain in the game, you are taking orders, and as such you are going to get that feeling. If anything most games you have TOO much control over your situation, as life dictates itself and you hold on for the ride.

      The AK-74 is typically considered a budget gun, and in an all out war between two super-powers would probably be sold off for…better equipment. Or atleast that was the answer I was supplied by all my gun-freak friends.

    • absinthexl
    • 10 years ago

    Rio de Janeiro is looking pretty Los Angeles in that screenshot.

    • multi_core
    • 10 years ago

    Good FPS, not great, but good.

    I would wait a year or so when its $30 and then buy if I had to buy it again.

    Game was very short. One evening basically

    Crysis still is king.

      • blazer_123
      • 10 years ago

      Indeed! +1

    • Meadows
    • 10 years ago

    You really do like Michael Bay, don’t you?

    • danazar
    • 10 years ago

    You pretty much hit the nail on the head with regard to my complaints. I wouldn’t have been nearly so disappointed except for the fact that they *[

    • brute
    • 10 years ago

    hey thanx for the spoiler warning, appreciate it.

    • tomjleeds
    • 10 years ago

    It’s implausible, but probably less implausible than you think. Your military is heavily invested in the Middle East, nobody could risk nukes on Russia given guaranteed and gigantic retaliation. The air force would be a problem, as would the Russians’ ability to get a ground invasion-size army to the US…yeah OK. You win.

    • LawrenceofArabia
    • 10 years ago

    The thing i’ve been wanting to know more than anything is how many people truly care about the single player? How many people do you know who didn’t even play the single player campaign?

    For me personally, about half of those I know who play CoD don’t touch the single player in any meaningful way, if at all. I have the nagging suspicion that the tremendous sales figures weren’t generated because of the single player aspect (even CoD 4 for that matter) but the multiplayer, that unrealistic, arcadey action shooter. Why do those 5 short hours of single player get all the attention? Does IW even really need a single player to generate such income?

    I don’t personally own any CoD games, so I guess I wouldn’t know. But what about you who play Modern Warfare?

      • flip-mode
      • 10 years ago

      I’m all about single player. I’m not “plugged in” to the MP scene. I wouldn’t know where to start.

    • Mystic-G
    • 10 years ago

    Accessibility is the keyword these days. Ever since the Wii shown that casual gamers are indeed a market, many developers started dumbing-down their games to increase potential sales. Given that, CoD was never meant to be any kind of realistic although a certain few believe that’s how things actually go down in real life. MW2 is nothing more than Goldeneye evolution 11 years later (throwing knives and dual wielding guns anyone?).

    Replayability in Single Player is sacrificed for cinematic experiences for a one-time thrill ride. Teamwork sacrificed for Rambo. All to create a mindless twitch shooter that any idiot can play and have fun.

    Realism/Simulation is indeed a dying breed. There are a few who are brave enough to step out in such territory to give the middle finger to both the arcade market and biased reviewers to satisfy whom still believe realism is the way to go.

    This is why I hope Project Reality 2 (yes a actual game to succeed from the BF2 mod) will do much justice in this territory. The Reality Mod team put forth an epic amount of effort into such a mod that it pretty much became its own game given some hard-coding from vanilla. I’d love to see what they can do with their own limitations.

      • indeego
      • 10 years ago

      “Realism/Simulation is indeed a dying breed.”
      See my post below as to why. For the vast majority of gamers and nongamers alike, these types of games just aren’t “fun” enough to base a large technical team dedicating thousands of hours to create a good game, let alone an accurate simulation. Catch-22, but likely for a good reasong{<.<}g

      • zima
      • 10 years ago

      Uhm…it has been going on for years, not only when Wii showed up. What do you think Solitaire, Minesweeper, Peggle or flashgames were?

      And FYI, arcades are a dying breed too. Certainly never were popular with “casual” gamers.

      Overall, this is the end effect of our wishes from 15 or 20 years ago, “I wish gaming wouldn’t be looked upon as something weird, nerdy, thing that only antisocial kids do”. Be glad, we’ve got what we wanted…

        • Mystic-G
        • 10 years ago

        The games you mentioned weren’t aimed at making profit off a mass market so you clearly miss the point. I wouldn’t say arcade is dying as it’s apart of the simplistic appeal.

          • zima
          • 10 years ago

          Peggle not making profits? Flashgames also made for fun and not for revenue from ads? Minesweeper and solitaire being so unwanted that the most important software product for the masses just omitted them? I miss the point? Please, don’t insult me…

          And you don’t seem to remember arcades well / haven’t played at them much. Majority of games there were very unfriendly for casual gamers (at most they would usually spend some money not even getting to 2nd level or smth). “Simplistic appeal” applied only so much as in the case of /[

            • Mystic-G
            • 10 years ago

            When I say arcade I refer to arcade-style games. Not literal games in a arcade. Those don’t have much place in this kind of convo, they’re a whole nother discussion.

            You’re right, flash games aren’t for revenue. My point was that retail games are casual’d up so they can increase profit by dumbing-down games for the kid or idiot gamers.

            • zima
            • 10 years ago

            “Arcade-style” means “like in arcades”, really…

            And apparently I haven’t made my point across clear enough when asking few questions at the beginning of previous post; of course they are for profit, do you think places that host massive number of them donate bandwidth?

    • herothezero
    • 10 years ago

    Perfect example of console-design; looks good, but no depth.

    Next…

      • zima
      • 10 years ago

      FFS, would you at least try to keep this mumbling coherent? Just the other day consoles were the antichrist that casues stagnation in GFX bling…

    • Vaughn
    • 10 years ago

    well said sargent duck, and that would make an awesome game aslong as its not made by IW. They have pretty much made it clear they don’t care what there customers want.

    • flip-mode
    • 10 years ago

    Cyril:

    I’m not boycotting the game. I just have trouble spending $60 on a flucking video game. Am I the only one here that is raising a family on a double income that amounts to $70K (wife is part time) while paying school, house, and car loans, child care, heath insurance, an so-on?

    Edit:
    Thanks for the blog post, though. It’s certainly not your fault or your problem that playing a flicking PC video game costs $60 plus infrastructure (computer) costs.

      • ClickClick5
      • 10 years ago

      Spoken like a true, mature gamer. +1

    • Game_boy
    • 10 years ago

    When IW have talked about the game in the press, it’s always about technology, features, business models and money. They never talk about the customer; about how people could get into and enjoy the game.

    That philosophy is all wrong and will lead, eventually, to building the game around more ways to extract cash with DLC and make spinoffs and sequels. They will lose touch with their customers and fail to attract new ones.

      • NeXus 6
      • 10 years ago

      You mean they’re just downright greedy? I’m shocked.

    • GFC
    • 10 years ago

    The whole point of MW2 is the MP aspect of it. SP is just like a bonus..

    • BoBzeBuilder
    • 10 years ago

    Typical FPS with American hero shooting Russians and MIddle Easterns. When do I get to kill some North Koreans? Oh wait, that’s Crysis.

      • WaltC
      • 10 years ago

      That’s because it’s a typical /[

        • Meadows
        • 10 years ago

        Yes it is, we have STALKER for example, where the main hero is hiding or shooting imaginary beasts.

        They don’t dare put Americans in there.

        • Darkmage
        • 10 years ago

        For fun, you should check out a jihadi FPS. Yes, they do exist.

        They look like a custom map for DOOM II, but they do exist.

    • Unckmania
    • 10 years ago

    I agree with you. But I imagine an IW executive reading this, and in the end he nods and says: “but he still loved it, so what?”

    I have to agree with you. The only power in this world that could plausibly attack the US soil these days or in the near future must be China. So maybe MW3 could exploit that? No because it’s so plausible that it’s kind of a touchy subject. However Russia is so implausible that you can make a game about it, and still have it make sense… if the cold war wouldn’t have left Russia in ruins.

    Don’t know i’m not to passionate or informed about my ideas, so feel free to counter and i might agree.

      • Sargent Duck
      • 10 years ago

      Not even plausably. Both Russia and China have a huge natural disadvantage, the ocean.

      First, it takes, what, a week or more to cross the Pacific/Atlantic? (I’m guessing here, but lets assume that I’m right for arguments sake). During that time, America would have more than enough time to send its carriers out to intercept the troop carrying ships. China would need an equivalent number of carriers, if not more, just to protect their fleet. Let’s not forget America’s submarines which are a huge threat on their own. But lets assume that for whatever reason, they somehow make it past the Pacific carrier group in mid-pacific. They’d then have to battle the atlantic carrier group which would have made its way over as re-inforcement. *If* they made it past that, then once in range of Hawaii, they’d face the Air Force which would have been re-inforced by the national gaurd. *If* they made it past that, what would be left of the Chinese fleet would be met with the army, the Marines and every gun-toting American that could make their way to the California coast, who would have had a week to prepare. Oh, and lets not forget Nato which says if one nation is attacked, its considered an attack on all nations.

      Same scenario with Russia, except they don’t have anywhere close to the man-power of China.

      Yeah…an invasion of the US just isn’t going to happen. The time involved in crossing the ocean just won’t play favorably to any invasion force.

        • Farting Bob
        • 10 years ago

        An FPS that isnt highly realistic based on current political climate? How could they release such a game?!?

        Treat it like a game and youll enjoy it more.

        • zima
        • 10 years ago

        Why would Russia want to cross the Atlantic or the Pacific? Arctic Sea is much more logical route for them, with nuclear icebreakers, ekranoplans (fast & lots of equipment for first beachhead), and their forces generally much more used to harsh weather (that’s what really got /[

          • Sargent Duck
          • 10 years ago

          I had thought about that as well, but left it off.

          Yes, Russia could “easily” land troops on Alaska, but there going wouldn’t be any easier. Now on land, the Russian troops/tanks would have two options. Either go straight down British Columbia and into Washington State, having to traverse the Rockie Mountains, or head East into Canada’s North, and then south through Alberta.

          The first option would be extremely difficult movement and a long distance. Add to the fact that there is nothing up there except trees and beavers, Russia would be traveling for days through mountains with few roads. During this time the American air force would be plinking them at will.

          If they went the second route, that would add a huge amount of extra time which again would benefit the air force in their “plinking”, while putting a strain on the Russians supply lines.

          Canada I imagine would surrender this land and put up our defense along the American border where 90% of our population lives within an hour of the border. Just like Napolean and Hitler found out, vast exspanses of empty land usually don’t favor an attacking enemy. If it worked for Russia twice, it’ll work for Canada!

          Russia doesn’t have the military population to make that trek.

          That, and we’d beat those Ruskies with timbits and hockey pucks!

            • zima
            • 10 years ago

            OK, let us play more with this fantasy… 😉

            You’re looking at this too much one-sided, I believe.

            I imagine any landing on northern areas of N. America (why limit yourself to Alaska? Though there are natural resources you could utilize locally there…) would likely first establish a proper base of operations / port. The weather would be on their side, that would be also the reason why they wouldn’t be so easy pickings for American air force (besides – their air force would be also present…large part of Soviet airplanes could use improvised airfields), and they would be safe from large scale retaliation for the same reason why travelling south on the ground would be suicidal. But why would they do that? There is really nothing to conquer along the way. *[

            • Sargent Duck
            • 10 years ago

            Yes, let us continue. I’m at work and bored silly, so this discussion is the highlight of my day : )

            I picked Alaska simply because of the close proximity to Russia, they’d be able to launch an initial air-borne assault and carry over a great many via air. And they wouldn’t need a huge navy to cross the couple miles of the Bering Straight. Going further down the coast would mean increased air travel time and require bigger ships.

            Alaska is also key as it would have land more suited for forward operating bases. Anywhere along the coast of British Columbia is very heavily forested with very little roadways. It would be a lot more work in British Columbia to establish bases there.

            I don’t know about Alaska, but British Columbia is very temperate compared to the rest of Canada. During the winter, B.C. would have the most flying days I imagine. Although yes, Russian planes are built more for use on improvised airfields, we (Canada) have numerous permanent northern bases from which Americans could fully fly out F-22’s/F-15 and others. And since we’d (America and Canada) would be fight on home turf, garunteed our Search and Rescue would be much more succesfull recovering downed pilots.

            I do want to draw your attention to something you said “But why would they do that? There is really nothing to conquer along the way.” This is very true. The only thing that would really help the Russian war effort is the Canadian oil sands, but that would be silly since we move all that oil down to the States to be refined. There’s a few rifineries up there, but I’m sure Canada would have knocked those out to prevent them from falling into enemy hands. But yes, there is nothing up there, which is why I imagine any invasion would be further down south, on the coast of California when the invading force could instantly cut into America. This then of course brings up my first point with the ocean and the distance required.

            *[

      • blazer_123
      • 10 years ago

      The Cold War didn’t leave Russia in Ruins! When the Soviet Union dissolved, contrary to Western Myth, the country had full employment and almost no one lived in poverty.

      After the country began it’s ‘shock therapy’ to bring capitalism to Russia the GDP freefalled and unemployment stayed at ~30% with poverty engulfing almost half the nation. This all occurred in a matter of weeks and it took nearly a decade for the economy to recover it’s previous economic position regarding GDP per capita and employment (though natural employment is lower then the artificial/inflationary employment that occurred under communism.)

      This is not to say the USSR was good for the economy. When a nation ends up spending ~80% of GDP on military purchases and breadlines become normal something is clearly wrong.

      What I am saying is that Russia’s collapse into an oligarchy (and now possibly a Putin run Authoritarian state) was not because of the Cold War. It was because of bad economic policy from western economists AFTER THE COLD WAR WAS OVER.

    • Ushio01
    • 10 years ago

    how do you delete messages?

    • vshade
    • 10 years ago

    I wouldn’t mind paying $20 or even $30 for the single player only…

    • FubbHead
    • 10 years ago

    Basically not worth the money. I’d buy for the price of two-three tickets to the movies perhaps.

    Oh, and I would also like to chime in on the implausibility analysis of yours — since we’re in an age of nuclear weapons, and considering the stockpiles both the US and Russia sits on, the implausibility of invasion is even greater. But disregarding that fact, it might not be so very implausible actually, the history of the Roman Empire tells you that much.

    • danny e.
    • 10 years ago

    Maybe I’d buy it if it was $10.

    Bring on Crysis 2.

    • indeego
    • 10 years ago

    Game looks beautiful. I did stop reading where spoilers would be, as I don’t expect to pay more than $10 for a 5 hour game. MP doesn’t appeal to me all that much in a game like this.

    Was it *fun*?

    It seems like a lot of games these days miss this key aspect. (Left4Dead2 I’m looking at you. I have tried the demo over and over again and I’m just not getting “fun” out of it.) They are either work, or eyecandy, or political, or sequels for the sake of sequels. Was it /[

      • FubbHead
      • 10 years ago

      I tried the L4D 2 demo at school, on an Xbox 360, and I remembered why I never play FPS on consoles/with joypad. It’s such an awful experience, I can’t understand why these games becomes so popular on consoles. :-S

        • zima
        • 10 years ago

        Because it’s “sensible” to publishers once MS made them almost identical in development to Windows PCs. In that light it’s pointless to talk about “ports” anymore – you get basically identical codebase, identical art assets, developed from the beginning for both kinds of platforms. Which causes compromises on both sides, giving you hybrid (“jack of all trades” and all that…)

        That, and the gaming as a phenomena becoming much more popular plus FPS being the easy way to show graphical gimmicks for quite some time.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 10 years ago

        because you need to spend more than 10-15 minutes with a new control scheme before you poo-poo it.

          • SonicSilicon
          • 10 years ago

          It isn’t just from being a console control scheme. I spent an hour with HALO while playing with my brother’s friends and I still think the controls are terrible.
          Unreal Tournament on the PS2 was fine. Metroid Prime : Hunters on the DS was nearly nirvana. (Having jump as tap alone was a mistake, though it does prevent “bunnies.”) Everything from Bungie’s “opus” to all the wannabes chasing the same revenue stream just don’t work well enough in my opinion. Console FPS games can be done right, but everyone needs to stop imitating a failure wrapped in a multi-million blockbuster visual feast.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 10 years ago

            did you read what I replied to? It doesn’t appear you did.

      • Meadows
      • 10 years ago

      It uses heavy LOD, so it’s not _[

      • BobbinThreadbare
      • 10 years ago

      I don’t know if you were playing single player or not, but Left4Dead is only fun with other people. That goes for both.

      The demo is really representative of the whole game, if you liked the 1st one I don’t see why you wouldn’t like the 2nd. There were a couple bad decisions made though.

      • Bensam123
      • 10 years ago

      It’s no longer about fun, it’s about getting ‘stuff’.

      People just want achievements, unlocks, and other meaningless tidbits to pretend that they’re doing something productive. It doesn’t even matter if it’s fun, they just lack the drive to have fun on their own.

      They need to be spoon fed fun and like you pointed out, LFD2 is one of a few games that are starting to do it.

        • StuG
        • 10 years ago

        L4D2 is all about having fun with friends, stuff like landing 25’s and everybody going AWWW MAN, walking people off ledges with jockies, charging someone into the water for an insta-death. Stuff like that is fun when you have 3 other friends playing, all on mics, being like ZOMG DOOD. Pug’s in that game suck, and L4D2 doesn’t “spoon feed” you anything, as you don’t unlock anything from the achievements.

        In L4D2 the achievements I have found are only for silly laughs. Like carrying a garden gnome the full length of a level. Have I done it? Yes. Have I laughed as I run away from a tank holding a garden gnome yelling “KILL IT!! KILL IT!!!” Yes. That was real fun, that game didn’t make me enjoy anything.

        And similarly MW2 is fun, the SP was indeed fun but only as a single playthrough, which is where it lacks. The MP is semi-fun by yourself, but once again when me and other friends do squad-based things in the game, it makes it way more fun. Granted maybe we get into it too much, and we get silly for the sake of being silly, but its the same thing as watching a baseball game and having a beer with your buds. Is baseball “fun” to watch? No, is doing it with a group of friends? Yes.

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