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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 

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36 comments

  • Xplosive59 - October 15, 2009 2:54 p.m.

    Seems to me quite goos should be better than world at war so it could give me an incentive to buy it
  • awackslash - October 15, 2009 3:46 p.m.

    I'm still complaining about the price tag because it has a really good chance of starting a new trend. I don't like that new trend. But yes, it is looking to be worth the money as long as they make the single player longer than 6 hours.
  • banjokazoozie - October 15, 2009 3:47 p.m.

    defenatley buying this game
  • Parky1995 - October 15, 2009 4:01 p.m.

    I love the sound of that first spec ops mission :D
  • THEBEERMONSTER - October 15, 2009 4:02 p.m.

    @xplosive59 "it should be better than world at war" IT WILL BE 100% BETTER THAN WORLD AT WAR FACT !!!
  • Parky1995 - October 15, 2009 4:03 p.m.

    I love the sound of that first spec ops mission :D
  • Xplosive59 - October 15, 2009 4:23 p.m.

    @ THEBEERMONSTER thx for correcting me yes that game was crap on a stick (without the stick)
  • Eenieboy - October 15, 2009 5:21 p.m.

    I liked World at war... :'( (See picture for related eye warmth)
  • breener96 - October 15, 2009 5:50 p.m.

    I can't wait! >_<
  • ryder1998 - October 15, 2009 6:53 p.m.

    omg i love cod games i preordered this in september ahhhhhh yeah :] :]
  • barrage7667 - October 15, 2009 8:27 p.m.

    @ THEBEERMONSTER CORRECTION THIS WILL BE 10000 TIMES BETTER THAN WORLD AT WAR
  • THEBEERMONSTER - October 15, 2009 9:33 p.m.

    @barrage7667 thats very true anything is betta than world at war !! i would rather play with dog shite than play world at war
  • EDfromRED - October 15, 2009 9:36 p.m.

    Wow, this is a game that looks like it's not only going to meet expections but beat them. Any word on how many gigs it'll be, so I can clear the HD space now?
  • Yeager1122 - October 15, 2009 10:39 p.m.

    Nazi zombies was the best so world at war was good not great just good but MW2 will be the best ever.
  • gangjute8 - October 15, 2009 11:24 p.m.

    60+ Spec-op missions? Holy crud, my friends and I aren't getting much sleep with that much split-screen...
  • Zekkek - October 16, 2009 12:23 a.m.

    No, there's going to be 23 spec-ops missions.
  • 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.
  • 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?
  • 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
  • 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!

Showing 1-20 of 36 comments

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