This post comprises both my thoughts on the game, and the veteran difficulty. I am going to embed at least one video clip in this post, so I am going to hide everything but the excerpt from my homepage in order to make sure the page stays responsive. To read the full post, please click the title link.
Originally I had no intention of playing through this game. My brother’s had told me a little about the story, which I determined was incredibly stupid. And, I have always preferred an arcade style FPS like Halo, rather than pseudo-realistic like the CoD games. But, vanlandw threw down the gauntlet so I was once again sucked into the wretched world of “Modern Warfare.” In a journey that defies all logic and reason, vanlandw quested through the first Modern Warfare game on veteran on his first play through. I defeated the first game when it came out years ago, so I thought it would jade my experience a little, even through I did not remember much about it. This is why I decided to play through Modern Warfare 2 on veteran, so I could simulate, if not duplicate the experience.
Much of the game play was as I expected it, it was challenging, but not really over the top. And, the story is so mind shattering stupid that they had to put in unskippable cut scenes (I hate this recent trend in games). If you attempt this game on veteran, you are going to die, frequently, but it does not matter too much because the check points are pretty generous. I managed to get through the first few levels without any big problems. My first tough checkpoint was experienced in the “Takedown” stage.
If you watch the video below, the point I got stuck in is the checkpoint at 4:00 in. If you get stuck here, you pretty much have to do exactly what the guy does to get past it, I tried every path, and the one he does on was the only one that worked for me. Ultimately, this point was not so much of a problem of stage design as that I had run out of ammo with my rifle, and it is really difficult to do it with the shotgun. And, if you want to see a version where the guy just badasses his way through it check this out.
The area that I thought was the most difficult in the entire game was in a stage called “The Only Easy Day was…Yesterday.” The problem on this stage is towards the very end. At this checkpoint you have to take out wave after wave of enemies that are concealed in smoke that make it rain grenades (reminded me of COD4) while flanking you. In the video below you can check out the checkpoint at 2:08. I did not do what this guy did. Whenever I stopped for a second to aim I got naded so I just ended up sprinting while zigzagging through cover into the next room. It worked, but it took a few tries and a little luck to do it.
The last really annoying part of the game was in the last stage. The whole trying to navigate on a “high speed” dingy chase is as absurd as it was annoying. You can check out the stage in the video below, basically you just end up swearing around while praying you don’t get shot. Beware as the video does contain the end sequence of the game, so if you don’t want to spoil the story make sure not to watch it.
Speaking of story, the story in Modern Warfare 2 is really stupid. It is utterly implausible, and they added in controversial aspects (playing as a terrorist in an airport) just to get PR as far as I can tell, but they did not make the game better, and just added annoying game play elements (forced to walk slowly on the terrorist stage). In the original MW game, that story elements seemed at least somewhat grounded in reality. The second game just goes bat shit crazy, with things like Russia invading the United States, and rogue Army Rangers. It just makes your brain hurt. Infinityward even removed Co-op for the game, because they did not want to tarnish their horrible narrative. A pathetic call if I have ever scene one. This game could have been much more enjoyable co-oping with a friend while protecting Burger Town. Sadly, I think that COD 5 is the best game in the series, and IW didn’t even make it, Treyarch did.
Having said all that I should point out that IW did fix many of the bugs from the first MW game. I discuss those more in my COD4 post, but there are some glaring problems with the first game that were not nearly as bad. The two big ones for me are dogs and grenades. In MW it literally rains grenades throughout most of the game. Seriously, WTF, where do these people get all the grenades? With dogs, you actually have a chance in MW2, where as in MW you had to anticipate when it would pop up the prompt because they did not give you enough time to react. The other major issue is pure level design, there are no poorly designed areas that are virtually impossible to get past like the War Room in MW. You’ll probably notice other things, such as enemies not spawning as quickly, in MW there were parts where guys would come as fast as you could shoot them, but that isn’t as noticeable in MW2. Inf MW2 if you are fast you can usually killed all the guys in an area.
Taking into consideration that I played this on veteran my perspective on the difficulty may jade my rating, so I am going to issue a few ratings for the game. One for playing on veteran, and one for the game in general, and one for multiplayer (which I did not even discuss in this post because it sucks so much).
For the game itself, I am going to give it a 1, since it has reasonable game mechanics, and the visuals are pretty decent. For playing on veteran I am going to give it a -2, because while IW did fix many of the bugs in MW, it is still clear they did not do enough play testing on the highest difficulty for it to be a smooth experience. For the multiplayer, I am going to give it a -5 on my undecim scale, because it sucks, and I cannot figure out what people see in it.