Modern Warfare 2 game released today!

Modern Warfare 2, the new game in the highly popular Call of Duty series, is out today! It's likely to become the best-selling game to date. This state-of-the-art first-person shooter is arguably one of the most eagerly-anticipated games ever. Here in the UK considerable controversy in the media, and a big movie-style premiere event in London, have made this a very high-profile game launch. It's the first game launch in history to be allowed in Leicester Square (where I'm based, incidentally).

Video: Modern Warfare 2 trailer

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Modern Warfare 2 can be purchased as cheaply as £26 (at Sainsburies), despite the exessive reccomended retail price of £54.99. So please do shop around for the best deal!

Game studios and top game developers continue to demonstrate their ability to significantly improve games on current-generation hardware with each new iteration, by optimising the game engine to squeeze the best possible performance from the console.

Download videos, screenshots and other content from the Modern Warfare 2 section of Xbox Live Marketplace.

Review of Modern Warfare 2 [Update: 25 Jan 2010]

The whole product feels polished and better than what has gone before. Small improvements can go a long way, for example the game environment boots-up on my Xbox 360 Elite much faster than any other game -- almost instantly.

The game is easy to pick up, and easy to get into. The controls and feel of this version of the engine are spot-on, and the combat feels natural so everything rapidly becomes second-nature. The HD graphics are stunning -- at times you'll want to stop to gaze at a mountain in the distance, or study the detail on the rocks beneath your feet.

MW2 delivers arguably the best multiplayer game currently on the market. It has everything we love from previous COD editions and other FPS games, plus a few extras. They've taken the multiplayer maps to the next level with realistic, rich terrain -- no more flat maps with two-story buildings and everything the same height. The "accolades" definitely add to the fun, and on your profile you can display badges for completed challenges -- ideas probably borrowed from Halo 3's "medals", My greatest criticism is that we're still waiting for integration with the web -- there are still no online stats! I do have some essential feature requests -- see below. The waiting time between games is very short on Xbox 360, and recovery from connection problems is noticeably better than COD 4. The new and customisable killstreak reward system is a stroke of genius, especially the turret gun, contollable guns on aircraft, tactical nuke, and the fact that these are delivered by air drop. Customisable death streak rewards are also a cunning twist.

The length of the single-player campaign is not epic, but it's engaging and memorable experience. (Applying my movies benchmark as a comparison on value for money -- you'll get many more hours out of this for your money, though the RRP arguably is excessive.) The campaign is highly scripted and linear, but it’s still a real adrenaline rush on the "Veteran" difficulty level. (Halo 3 still has by far the best AI of any game.) There's an interesting storyline, at times vividly sinister, and the accompanying music and sound-effects set the scene perfectly.

MW2 feature requests

10 November 2009

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Tim Acheson (13 Nov 09, 09:50)

I tried Modern Warfare 2 last night, both the action-packed campaign and the addictive multiplayer. The last two games in the Call of Duty series are surely among the best in the FPS genre, particularly CoD 4. But Modern Warfare 2 is the best CoD yet.

The next big event in my gaming diary is Halo Reach...

Tim Acheson (25 Jan 10, 18:49)

Update: I added to this page with my review of the game Modern Warfare 2 -- finally found the time. Enjoy!

Nice review, but you forgot to mention the biggest flaw... Your girlfriend will leave you and you become a slob as you become so addicted!

I'm not so sure about the rewards you recieve, and find them more of a hinderance, i also find many teams arent balanced fairly. I also agree that the single player doesnt live upto the multi-player but its a good intro to all the weapons and techniques...

But that being said, its a fantasic game, just wating for new maps!

Tim Acheson (26 Jan 10, 09:51)

Good point, though based your performance in Team Deathmatch last time we teamed-up if anything you need to play MORE not less! ;)

Roll on the new maps -- exclusively available first on the Xbox 360 platform. (Bad luck Steve, I'll let you know what the new maps are like, but have fun playing the old maps on your PS3.)

Agreed - Modern Warfare 2 is the best of the series so far, and probably the best multi player FPS currently on the market. I also agree that playing this game is a serious danger to all existing humans relationships you may have - most importantly, with your wife/girlfriend.

My biggest complaint about multi-player is that the overenthusiastic team balancing bears resemblance to a metronome, with Team A winning, followed by Team B, followed by Team A, Team B, Team A, B, A, B and so on.

I would love to see some bonus content added in the near future - especially something along the lines of Nazi Zombies. Fingers crossed...

Tim Acheson (28 Jan 10, 17:17)

You raise a valid point about the team matching system. Due to balancing between games, the advantage in Team Deathmatch can swing from one team to the other, following the principles of pendulum mechanics. This effect is amplified by players with skill at either end of the spectrum, and by parties. E.g. If there is a player averaging 20 deaths and 1 kill, the team to which he is allocated is likely to lose! E.g. If there is a party of 2+ players averaging a k:d ratio of 20:1, theirs is likely to be the winning team!

Mercenary Team Deathmatch, in which parties are not allowed and team shuffling is more random, seems to overcome this -- consistently aggregating the heterogeneous pool of players into two more evenly balanced teams.


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