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Modern Warfare 2 - we've played it again

Yesterday morning we got another chance to see Modern Warfare 2 as part of Infinity Ward’s epic European tour. It was a more laid back affair than last month's multiplayer event in Los Angeles and felt less like we were being treated to something completely 'new' but we did get a chance to catch up with Robert Bowling (Infinity Ward's adopted spokesman and Creative Strategist) see some more single-player and have a go on Special Ops.

Bowling began by showing us a play through of one of the single-player missions. Titled Takedown, it's located in Rio de Janeiro and features the 'Favela' area that we'd already seen in multiplayer. This mission is a manhunt through the hostile slum alleyways to chase down a character called Roja. The team need to him capture alive so he can be used for intelligence gathering.



Above: Dodgy YouTube 'leaked' footage of the level we saw


The opening cut-scene, seen from inside a car, sets the tone when the man sat in the seat next to you gets his head blown off, splattering you and the dash board with blood and brain. From there in the level captures the adrenaline-fuelled chaos and confusion of ground-level, urban warfare, with your team dressed in plain clothes and the streets filled not only with aggressive militia but also innocent civilians who you have to avoid shooting.

 
Above: Avoid shooting the innocent or feel a bit guilty.

Having already played MW2 we can testify that the game's trademark controls have hardly changed in the sequel - one thing that was key in our initial appraisal - so it's more the new locations, motivations, weapons and visual polish that we were noticing today. Incidental details like glass shattering and falling off in angular chunks and a new infra-red sniper scope are obvious, but more subtle is the maps now look like they have proper geographical location, with more landscape visible on the horizon.

Difficulty-wise, at points it looks remarkably intense with Bowling failing one checkpoint two or three time in a row, reminding us of the notorious TV station section of the original Modern Warfare - ie. Multiple enemies firing from all directions and elevation - many of whom you can't see.

 
Above: Takedown perfectly captures the intensity of urban warfare.

As Bowling completes the level - an in-game cut-scene shows Roja being unceremoniously taken into custody via a few bullets to the leg - he tells us that the next part of the mission changes the dynamic from 'manhunt' to 'being hunted' as your team has to escape the Favela alive. He's not going to show us that bit yet though, the big tease.

Bowling then goes on to explain the philosophy behind MW2 (something he refers to a lot in the course of the demo) which was to create three, distinct game styles, all tailored to different types of play (this is what you see in the opening menu screen).

First is the single player 'campaign' option which is very specifically designed to be a solo experience (so no co-op here) second is the multiplayer experience and third is Special Ops, a series of two-player co-op experiences. It's actually quite refreshing to hear that IW are being so prescriptive with their co-op, choosing two as the maximum because it suits the play style best, rather than cramming in more for the sake of it.

We also learn that maps have been specially created for both Special Ops and Multiplayer, rather than being adapted versions of the single player option. Similarly, certain weapon types are unique to specific play styles.

Next: Special Ops in more detail 

36 comments

  • venomman01 - October 21, 2009 7:50 p.m.

    Am i the only one that thinks it looks practically the same as modern warfare 1? How is it 1000 times better than waw? Exact same game play.
  • HappinessIsaWarmGun - October 21, 2009 1:51 p.m.

    I'm starting to get interested in this game. Played original COD(s) but skipped MW. But the hype for this one is getting to me. Plus, now I have a PS3, whereas I can't afford to update my PC to handle any of the new games this year.
  • miasma - October 19, 2009 11:12 p.m.

    could? MW was the best shooter of all time hands down. This game is gonna be balls.
  • boxmeizter - October 19, 2009 10:57 p.m.

    I'll rather go for Assassin's Creed 2... But for now I am gaming Uncharted 2! Hell yeaauh!
  • TheDude - October 19, 2009 10:06 p.m.

    I agree with heavy tank. I liked MW, but only for the Single Player. The Multiplayer was filled with noobs who knew every trick in the book, so that wasnt very fun. I'll probably rent it for Sp and special ops.
  • TC14 - October 18, 2009 10:19 p.m.

    Cant wait for this gamme!!!! try this for discounted xbl live codes! http://linktrack.info/-timsc119
  • SolidSpartan - October 18, 2009 4:12 a.m.

    I think this is going to be as good as the first Mw, except new weapons, (probably new perks) new gameplay features, and new maps and a good'o war story. (Hope it has a good dramatic ending like Mw.) I'm so buying this game. reCAPTCHA: "jigsaws 58" -I think he's older than that.
  • CAPST3R - October 17, 2009 9:34 p.m.

    @ GMAN2: Everyone hates WAW because it's a copy of COD4 with a few new bits, unbalanced weapons and zombies. I like zombies, but the rest of the game's just a copy, and treyarch couldn't even do that right. and @ Heavytank: It's hyped so much because it's predecessor won GOTY twice in a row. please name 1 other game with that on it's record, because to my knowledge there isn't one. it's also set to break GTA4's sales record, which won't surprise me one bit. and if spec-ops only has 23 missions, what do they mean by '60+' challenges? acheivements/trophies or something? i've spent £93 on this game (game, combat controller and guide), so it'd better be worth it!
  • Megajamz - October 17, 2009 2:54 p.m.

    GOTY definitely well this or uncharted 2
  • patri0t - October 16, 2009 7:46 p.m.

    Oh goody goody goody. I really CANNOT wait for this game much longer
  • IHateMakingUserIDs - October 16, 2009 7:02 p.m.

    Thanks george1 ok so it at the 55 pounds i saw online it is roughly 90 dollars here, so essentially 30 more then your standard game. I wasn't planning on buying it, but if i was i'd think just a little longer about it, or atleast waiting for a drop.
  • gamesradar_george1 - October 16, 2009 5:13 p.m.

    On Amazon.co.uk you can pre-order it for £44.96. By comparison, Uncharted 2 is £37.96 - don't know how that converts to dollars. Hand on heart, I'd pay that for the amount of play-hours I know I'll get out of MW2. Feel free to call me a sucker.
  • IHateMakingUserIDs - October 16, 2009 4:59 p.m.

    What is the price on this game? In North American markets i mean, i seached and found 55 pounds i believe it was. If thats a straight conversion it 's very expensive!
  • gamesradar_george1 - October 16, 2009 1:52 p.m.

    To be clear - I don't hate WAW at all, I just think the BEST thing about it was the Zombie mode. I do prefer the weapons and storyline in MW though, mainly cos I'm fed up with FPS being set in WWII.
  • TessSteckle - October 16, 2009 11:07 a.m.

    I for one don't hate W@W but thought that it was a huge disappointment after MW. When they announced it I was like 'why the fuck would they go back to WWII'. That said, me and my friends played Nazi Zombies for hours on end, and the single player kept me entertained, i just hated the multiplayer. i played it for like an hour then went back to COD4
  • gamesradar_george1 - October 16, 2009 9:43 a.m.

    @Zekkek Technically 23, yes, but each one can be played at three difficulty levels with different challenges so that makes 69 (the number that appears on screen in Spec ops mode). @GMAN2, @Daemon Angell Yes, as I said in the piece, some people will love it - jut not me. Subjective opinion, but I'd just rather be shooting people in the face... @HeavyTank You're free to have that opinion dude, but I think it deserves the hype from what I've seen.
  • HeavyTank - October 16, 2009 8:27 a.m.

    Two words: epicly overhyped. EVerybody says that this game is going to be OMFGZ 100000 times better than any other FPS, but all we've seen are bits of generic gameplay...could very well be a MW with more missions....try to calm down people!
  • Tochy - October 16, 2009 4:06 a.m.

    if the online is the same shit as the original one,except with more stuff to unlock,then no,aint buying it. ReCAPTCHA:bravest CEO
  • Dameon Angell - October 16, 2009 2:24 a.m.

    I'm down for snowmobile races as long as we can openly use weapons and possibly the RPG. And maybe other snowmobiles to attack us on the path?
  • GMAN2 - October 16, 2009 2 a.m.

    Why would you not want to race your friend on a snowmobile?! Plus, why does everyone hate World at War? It's not as good as Modern Warfare but it's better than many other games, and it's not crap on a stick.

Showing 1-20 of 36 comments

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