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And then BOOM! - CoD: Modern Warfare 2 Reviewed

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is the slick, high-impact sequel to the slick and high-impact first-person shooter, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Most of Modern Warfare 2 could easily be described as a “thrill ride.” The shooting is solid, the game play fast-paced, and once you start playing you probably won’t want to stop until you get your big-bang climax. But we pretty much knew all of that before it came out.

So what won’t you like about it?

After CoD4:MW made such a splash, most of us were simply biding our time until Infinity Ward gave us our second helping. One would be hard pressed to name an FPS released since that has delivered so well on so many things. Despite decent reviews, Treyarch’s Call of Duty 5: World at War wasn’t able to escape its direct predecessor’s shadow. Valve’s Left 4 Dead proved an excellent distraction, but it offered little-to-nothing in the way of single-player entertainment; and its multiplayer was originally limited to two modes, dependent on a full roster of human players for a truly quality experience, and forced both coop and versus players through the same campaigns, over and over.

So now we have our seconds and Modern Warfare 2 does all the things that its older brother did, and some even better. The game starts with some “basic training” and a gun-blazing aptitude course, and then throws you right into the heavy action. From then on it’s almost non-stop firing. There are a couple of slower areas thrown in, but these are far from “breathers,” as they’re usually relatively tense moments with no source of comfort other than the brief quiet after you’ve sniped the nearest threat.

More than the constant action, the two biggest factors providing tension in Modern Warfare 2 are music and precedent. The score is well timed with the action and serves as a constant reminder that you cannot rest until your mission is done. Or can you? Like CoD4, you play more than one character throughout the campaign; and if that game taught us anything, it’s that anything can happen to any character at any time.

Of course, the drawback of getting some of these almost unbelievable events in one game is that the developer will find them hard to top in a sequel without each new twist and turn approaching ridiculousness. In other words, expect a lot of cheese in Modern Warfare 2. It’s cheesy. Cheeee-zee.

Cheesy but worth it. Along with the extremely fun, Hollywood-style romp that is the single-player campaign—Mr. Marchini said, “It’s so Michael Bay”—Modern Warfare 2 offers an incredible multiplayer experience. The Modern Warfare franchise’s rank-and-reward system remains unmatched and its multiplayer map design is impeccable as ever. On top of that, new features for personalization, new kill streak rewards like the Predator Missile and the beloved-and-extremely-hard-to-achieve AC130, the brand-new death streak rewards, and the ability to customize your own classes keep Modern Warfare 2’s multiplayer fresh and addictive.

4/5Rent Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 for its single-player, but buy it for its multiplayer.

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