Game Review: Call of Duty: MW2

9.7/10 An fast-paced first person shooter involving a riveting Campaign mode, addicting Multiplayer, and cooperative Special Ops.

Ryan MacDonell → Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is a first person shooter video game developed by Infinity Ward and published by Activision on November 10th, 2009. The game was released for both consoles and windows on the publishing date and later released on OS on May 20th, 2014.

When the long awaited release date of November 10th, 2009 hit, Modern Warfare 2 sold approximately 4.7 million units, making a total revenue of $310 million dollars in the US and the UK alone on the first day of sales. After the fifth day, the total revenue was above $500 million dollars. Furthermore, by the end of the year, it had made over $1 billion dollars in sales. Based on these mind boggling statistics, it easily won biggest entertainment launch, Best Multiplayer, and Best Overall Game of 2009. Modern Warfare 2 was the most anticipated launch of the decade, due to it being a continuation of a video game series that had just started to generate a lot of hype and following. although it garnered high expectations, it more than lived up to expectations, going down as one of the best games of the decade.

The story line of Modern Warfare 2 includes a series of high octane special operations missions in which you play as the protagonists to overthrow a Russian regime plotting to invade the United States. The player takes on various personas including “Roach,” a member of the 141 task force, a special forces unit; “James,” a member of the US Army Rangers, who are defending from Russian invasion; and “Soap,” a character who comes in after a plot twist in the story line, who is the commander of the 141 task force. The story line focuses on a Russian vs American conflict that broke out due to an undercover CIA mission where American troops infiltrate Russian ranks during a mass airport shooting. This conflict is a continuation from the prequel, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, using the same characters and general plot from before. The player then goes on to execute various missions in order to take down the Russian ultranationalist party, which eventually ends in betrayal, murder and a lot of bloodshed. Overall, Modern Warfare 2 employs a nonlinear narrative in which the story flip flops from perspective to perspective in order to provide the player with the full story while not encapsulating too many cut-scenes without action. It provides 3 different subplots, each providing a different aspect of the story. For the story line the developers created, this is the best way to do it, and they did an amazing job with it.

Due to Modern Warfare 2’s featuring of high octane, fast paced shooting encounters, it definitely fits best as a action game. An action game is considered an intense, fast paced game where the player is required to have fast reflexes and good coordination to succeed. A first person shooter is a game that involves gunfights from a first person point of view. All of the game modes (multiplayer, special ops, and campaign) involve fast paced, high octane combat throughout gameplay. They also all feature first person combat. To succeed in the game, the traits that are the most important are fast decision making skills and reflexes. Due to this, the game fits best as a first person shooter game.

The high octane gameplay featured in Modern Warfare 2 drew many different generations of players, despite its “Mature, 17+” label. This widespread age group that played lead to a diverse community of games. The community was comprised of quickscopers, trolls, competitive players, casuals, and anything in between. Due to the competitive nature of the game, combined with the implementation of an in game chat, the Call of Duty community is known to being incredibly toxic, with screaming 12 year olds, sailor-mouthed teenagers, and try-hards that flex their skills. It quickly became one of the worst but most well known gaming communities. Modern Warfare 2 was the first game that saw the eruption of media broadcasting the game, whether it be YouTube, Twitch, or in a competitive scene. Famous YouTubers such as KYR SP33DY, FaZe Clan, Grizz, and VanossGaming drew millions of subscribers and were able to make a full time living just off of broadcasting their gameplay. Furthermore there were the competitive players who got paid to participate in tournaments such as Scumpii, Aches, and BigTymer. People paid to go to eSports tournaments featuring these Call of Duty titans going head to head in 4v4 gameplay. Call of Modern Warfare 2 was the one of the first games to see people at home watching gamers from the community and playing based off of there styles, likely due to the rise of YouTube and Twitch as video sharing websites at the same time. Nevertheless this diverse community quickly became the biggest and most well known gaming community at the time due to its many attractions that overshadowed it undeniable toxicity.

Along with all the impact it had on the gaming community, Modern Warfare 2 is an aesthetically amazing game. With the tools that Activision had at the time, they nearly perfected the game. The graphics are beautiful and are only complemented by the way the storyline seamlessly switches between fighting on ships, invading enemy bases, assaulting enemies in the jungle, flying high in helicopters, and battling in the desert. The producers did all they could to create an aura of realism in the game’s feel and gameplay and did a relatively good job replicating real warfare in their work. Gameplay hovers perfectly between the line of realism and actually creating enjoyable gameplay. It incorporates different difficulty levels that allow for the beginners and high level players to play at their level and enjoy the game. It is evident the developers put in time balancing every gunfight you encounter to make sure it was playable but not too easy. The amount of work the developers put into the game allowed them to create a beautiful game with an insane amount of replay value.

Accompanying the AAA production of the game, Modern Warfare 2 has been talked about and analyzed in media and popular culture repeatedly since its release. It is a horrible educational game because it all it teaches the player is hand-eye coordination, it devalues war because after you die you just respawn, and it promotes violent tendencies such as killing others. However, whether these violent tendencies featured in the game actually catch on with today’s youth is a controversy in itself. For example the American Psychological Association released a statement in 2015 saying research demonstrated a link “between violent video game use and both increases in aggressive behavior … and decreases in prosocial behavior, empathy, and moral engagement.” Along with this Donald Trump blames video games, movies and TV shows for recent violent events, particularly school shooting. While Trump’s statement is a blatant exaggeration, it is very hard to tell whether video games do have any effect on violence in teenagers. Personally, I have played these games since I was about 12 years old, along with most of my friends, and none of us have experienced any change in behavior or have been told that our behavior is changing because of these video games.Overall, it is still a very interesting topic to do further research upon, but as of now it seems illogical to blame the increase of violence in today’s world on video games or even just partly on these games that we have come to play and love.

In conclusion, Modern Warfare 2 is an intense first person shooter that incorporates a variety of game modes that each focus on their own game modes. If you want to grind out a interesting storyline that involves many twists and turns but focuses on taking down an invasive Russian regime, Campaign is for you. If you want to go head to head in combat against players all around the world, Multiplayer is for you. And lastly, if you and a friend want to combine forces to take on various operative missions, Special Ops will give you everything you ask for. Overall, Modern Warfare 2 is an extremely well rounded game and probably the best game out of the Call of Duty series. It is the reason why Call of Duty has become what it is today and also contributes to the rise of video games in popular culture. As far as gameplay goes, in is not only engaging, but features beautiful graphics and near perfect development. Modern Warfare 2 is a game that I would highly recommend playing, and is an amazing first person shooter. It easily deserves its rating of 9.7/10 and will always be remembered as an all time classic.

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