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GC 09: Modern Warfare II

It's still early doors at Gamescom and we're already dripping with sweat. That's not the German beer sweats though, we've just sat down with Infinity Ward to see Modern Warfare II. These are real excite-sweats.

IW played through an entire mission in the game's Special Ops mode, a new mode that throws you into small, bite-sized missions where all hell breaks loose for a few minutes - enough time to make you sweat out without the hassle of story getting in the way.

Our IW guide compared it to the Mile High Club mission at the end of Modern Warfare, which was a short mission unlocked at the end of the game that challenged you to storm through a terrorist-filled plane and rescue a hostage. It was go-mental-and-headbutt-the-TV tough, but short and simple in theory. That's what Special Ops mode is based on.

The final number of missions is yet to be confirmed, but IW says that the Special Ops mode is equal to the single-player and competitive multiplayer modes in size and depth. "It's had the same amount of blood, sweat and tears poured into it," they said. We promise not to mention sweat anymore.


 

As you'd hope and expect these mini-missions can be played in either single-player, two-player split screen or two-player online co-op. Every mission has been designed with co-op gameplay in mind.

The mission we were shown next was called 'Breach & Clear'. You start in a small corridor with a yellow glowing marker on the wall to your right, where you're to place a bomb. The timer doesn't start until the explosive is detonated, so you have time to gather some weapons for the bat-shit-crazy shoot out that's about to take place.

Plant the explosive and the blast rips through the brick wall, dust and debris flying everywhere. No doubt to show off the carnage a little more, IW immediately activates a temporary bullet-time mode, slowing down flying debris and, more importantly, the gunfire as the player bursts through the new entrance, all guns blazing. You're met with resistance from several enemy soldiers in the derelict, run-down building - some on the same level as you, others on balconies to the upper left and right.

At this point our eyes are wide open. We're smiling. The IW rep leans over to turn up the giant volume wheel on the seriously powerful sound system Activision has set up in the tiny box room. He's turning that bastard right UP and we're loving it. 10/10 for 'sound', we'll tell you that now.

The action is absolutely chaotic, bullets ripping into the scenery, shouting and gunfire everywhere, and the red laser sights of the enemy weapons flash around, which isn't just a pretty effect, it gives you clues to their position.

It's all kicking off but there's not even a hint of a dip in the game's absolutely silky-smooth frame rate. It's totally lush - like you'd expect from this year's biggest (and most expensive) game.

The objective marker is 60 metres and two enemy-filled rooms from the insurgence point. We watch as IW gets its ass handed back in 20 seconds. When you're shot in MW2 you really feel it - the violent shaking of your view is accompanied by thick red splatters of blood on the screen, making it harder to see. You squint just watching it.

Second time lucky, the rep blasted through the mission, using walls on either side of the rooms as cover from the onslaught. The mission ends when you drop through a hole in the floor at the far end of the stage. Short and sweet.

IW explained to us that finishing the missions on different difficulty levels earns you a different number of stars; one for easy, two for medium etc. These stars are accumulated in your profile, not just for showing off but also for unlocking other features in the game. We're seriously liking the no-messing premise of Spec-Ops mode. No need for a story - you just kill. And in two-player. And online. And it's awesome.

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16 comments

  • dominator2k9 - November 1, 2009 2:51 p.m.

    this game is going to rape ODST into the ground its gona rock
  • miasma - October 6, 2009 4:15 a.m.

    Infinity Ward level design is the best ever, GOTY clinched imo.
  • IAMBATMAN336 - September 11, 2009 4:27 p.m.

    GET PUMPED FOR SOME KILLIN'!!!!!
  • gangjute8 - September 6, 2009 7:23 a.m.

    Wow... That sounds amazing! I WILL get this game the day it comes out, or die trying. Oh by the way, why ODST V.S. MW2? Shouldn't ODST be compared to another console exclusive like Uncharted 2? I'm just saying...
  • nightwalker62 - August 30, 2009 11:18 a.m.

    ugh it will never beat ODST.
  • Ricky1794 - August 28, 2009 1:51 a.m.

    hmmm...i'm more concerned with operation flashpoint 2 and mw2 two excellent military fps but flashpoint is numer one on my list.....VEHICLES FTW!!!!!!! (But modern warefare two is a very close second)
  • BlackIce575 - August 27, 2009 12:41 a.m.

    THIS GAME WILL BE GREAT not as good as ODST
  • FingeredPope - August 26, 2009 5:24 p.m.

    Nice article, but I was promised a video of the gameplay and recieved the custom killstreak video instead. >:(
  • beachbum21 - August 26, 2009 12:42 a.m.

    Ha, this game never ceases to amaze me.
  • taylorte10 - August 25, 2009 11:14 p.m.

    i cant wait for the game to come out
  • jar-head - August 25, 2009 7:46 p.m.

    ODST Versus MW2, That is going to Be Crazy!
  • CAPST3R - September 20, 2009 7:24 p.m.

    MW2's easily getting GOTY. you're an idiotif youthink anything else's got it. the prequel to this got GOTY two years in a row. i don't even think any other game's ever managed that. it's been hyped so much, IW's actually managed to raise the price without losing sales. but anyway, there's 4 possible GOTY's (MW2, uncharted 2, ODST, Operation flashpoint 2) and i've pre-ordered all but ODST. my only worry's that my HDD won't be able to take them all, i've got 26 games and only 1700mb left until christmas.
  • mannyankee - August 29, 2009 10:44 p.m.

    this is gonna be a awesome game.
  • michaelmcc827 - August 26, 2009 8:40 p.m.

    yeah same here...oh well.
  • nadrewod999 - August 25, 2009 3:43 p.m.

    Two things are for sure: this article won't have any saying the dreaded Fi- word, and this game will probably sell better than ODST.
  • SonicBubbles - August 25, 2009 11:24 a.m.

    Sounds amazing! Veteran mode is going to be killer, headbutting the TV it will be......no, no wait....... i like my TV.

Showing 1-16 of 16 comments

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