Pushing Buttons: Answering the call (of duty)
by Dan Whisenhunt
Assistant Metro Editor
Nov 20, 2009 | 2498 views |  0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
It's been awhile. For most of 2007 I was a little "Call of Duty Modern Warfare" crack-fiend. A couple of things happened since then that curbed my enthusiasm for this great game. My friend and fellow Call-of-Duty player had his PlayStation 3 stolen. I had no one to play with because my brother had since moved on to "Call of Duty: World at War." I was not a huge fan of that game, which went back to the series' World War II roots.

Like all great games, "Modern Warfare" had simply lost its luster. It took a lot longer than most. Not to mention there was no way in hell I could ever compete with the millions who played it online every day and achieved astounding rankings. Does its sequel, "Modern Warfare 2" recapture the game's glory and give me something new to be excited about?

Affirmative. But because this is such a complex game that appeals to different kinds of players, I've limited this review to the multiplayer function, which, arguably, is the best in modern gaming at the moment.

One of the reasons "MW2's" multiplayer dominates the rest is the ease with which players can join games and the game's preference to match players based on rank. Now rank isn't anything but a number when you're dealing with more experienced players. This time developers Infinity Ward threw unskilled players a few bones that even the playing field.

Like the last game, players can create custom classes with specific weapons, equipment and abilities, known as perks. The perks are a little different this time around, as are the weapon attachments. Gone is the "overkill" perk that allowed players in the first "MW" to carry two primary weapons. Now the primary and secondary weapons are evenly divided, with secondary offering a range of gun choices beyond the pistol. Secondary weapons can include automatic machine pistols and shotguns. What has replaced this feature is a perk called "bling," which allows players to have two gun attachments — like, say, a scope and a grenade launcher on your primary weapon.

The perks themselves are a little different this time, as well. You start out with basic perks, including some new ones. My personal favorite of these so far is "scavenger," which allows you to pick up ammo and equipment off dead players. In addition, using these perks enough times will unlock "pro" perks, i.e. "scavenger pro," which allows you to pick up extra ammo as well.

There are also differences in what kill streaks will do for you. Now you can unlock certain abilities that come into play after a kill streak. You could summon a chopper, set up a stationary gun, call in radar and a myriad of other fun bonuses. If you get a perk called "hardline," it gives you these bonuses with fewer kills. Hardline pro requires one less death for a "death streak," which is a bonus unlocked if you die a certain number of times.

This is part of the Infinity Ward balancing act with the new game. Using the "copycat" feature, for example, allows you to take on the perks, weapons and attachments of the enemy that killed you after you die four times.

One kill streak I'm not too sure about is tactical nuke. After 25 consecutive kills, a player can drop a tactical nuke killing every player on the board and ending the match. While this will certainly end some of the more tedious matches, I'm not so sure a stricter time-limit wouldn't have done the same thing. This is the ultimate trump card for more experienced players. Also, a short personal aside, I'm not sure I like the idea of any game where nuclear weapons are casually tossed around. But that's just me.

So that's the basic changes of the multi-player. I'm tentatively giving the multiplayer aspect five buttons out of five, but I'm honestly not through with it yet and this is a game that you really need to play through to enjoy the full experience. I may find more components that I like more or less as time goes on.

But rest assured, this is not my last word on "MW2."
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Pushing Buttons: Answering the call (of duty) by Dan Whisenhunt
Assistant Metro Editor

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