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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

The First 48 hours of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

By Robert T. Trate     November 13, 2009

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 out now for the PS3, Xbox 360 and Windows/ XP
© Activision/Bob Trate


It should come as no surprise that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 sold approximately 4.7 million copies in just North America and the United Kingdom on its first day. It is being hailed as the game of the year (though Assassins Creed 2 and Left 4 Dead 2 may give it a run for its money, both debut next week). Having never played the first COD: Modern Warfare this actually came as a surprise to me. I had heard some buzz around the water cooler as the gamers eagerly discussed the commercials for the game and its eventual onslaught. There was even talk of one friend who got a hold of a copy before the street date. He had nothing but praise for the game. I am not much of a gamer but in the past year I have been addicted to other Call of Duty, World at War. The appeal of both the European and Pacific campaigns set during World War 2 had so much more appeal to me than fighting in the here and now. It just felt real being wrapped into historical campaigns and places. It gave me a greater sense of urgency and purpose. The multiplayer game was my first experience with battling complete strangers online across the globe (literally). As of late the scenarios, despite the latest maps and the Nazi Zombies levels have been wearing pretty thin. Even though I admired the old school weapons I decided it was time to jump half a century and finally get into Modern Warfare. Oh boy, am I glad I did. 
HOUR 1: Online PLAY

Modern Warfare 2

Let me be honest with you. I know you should play the story part of the game first to experience the weapons and get a feel for the game. It is your basic training to any modifications the programmers made. I decided to jump right into the multiplayer game and only play the story part of the game if the controls were different from COD: World at War. They weren’t different and within minutes I was running around a frozen landscape with the sound of snow under my feet. Before I knew it “Jonny5isAlive69” came around a corner and my first kill in Modern Warfare was achieved. Though just as quickly “[IRE]Irish_Mullet” cut my victory short and blood splattered all over my screen.
Having only played COD: World at War I was amazed at all the new accolades one receives in COD: Modern Warfare 2. These include First Kill (per game), Avoiding Explosions, Most Weapons Used, Revenge Points and the Final Kill (brilliantly highlighted for all to witness) just to name a few. COD: Modern Warfare 2’s multiplayer game has new capabilities such as customizable game states and modes including: Customizable Kill streaks, Sentry Guns, Predator Missiles, Counter-UAV and Care Packages. There is more to this game than calling down the thunder when you are on a hot kill streak. You can actually bring about the hand of God.

Modern Warfare 2

In the story part of the game you bounce back and fourth between different characters code named “Roach”. You’ll have to lose part of your soul as you go under cover and work for the bad guy in COD: Modern Warfare 2, Makarov. It may be one of the most disturbing moments in my video game personal history. It’s odd because I have all killed hordes of people in video games. It’s just this time, this one level, sits with you long after it’s over. The fun part for this gamer is when World War 3 begins. Stationed in Virginia you are called up to defend the nation’s capital as the Russians have invaded. “Wolverines” is the opening battle cry and rightfully so as the familiar day to day places become the battlefield. Taking refuge in “Burger King” to take out a tank has a nightmare feel to it but calling down an air strike on a “Taco Bell” has never been sweeter.
Rio De Janeiro is your other base of operations as the street fights become more like a meat grinder as each and every inch becomes precious ground. There is a great sense of urgency and sitting still is a luxury you do not have. Fear not there is more to the game then shooting bad guys and throwing grenades. Running to the chopper, demands you say like Arnold Schwarzenegger, where avoiding the hordes of civilians becomes a challenge in itself.
If a Black Hawk Down type of game is not your thing there are plenty of stealth levels to contend with. All of which demand you work in teams. “John McClane” time is not something there is a lot of as your squad relies on you to get things done. You’ll marvel at just how quickly you learn to be patient and take down both a guard dog and his handler with one bullet. 

Modern Warfare 2

Perhaps the most disturbing part of the game is seeing Washington D.C. on fire. The Russians have mounted a full scale invasion. I failed to notice the object right away, “Whiskey Hotel”, but as the trenches my squad and I were navigating got us closer it appeared as if out of nowhere. The White House was overrun with Russians all shooting down at us. It was an uphill fight but as I later stood in what was the West Wing of the White House popping off Russian soldiers mounting a counter offensive I new the day would be ours. Unfortunately this movie-like game had a red herring I didn’t expect. An EMP (Electromagnetic Pluse) wiped out everything in Washington D.C., easily leveling the playing field. Not only do I have to protect the homeland but my other “Roach” self has to find the traitor and still bring in Makarov.

Modern Warfare 2

Outside of multiplayer game and the story based game there is a feature titled “Special Ops”. Without anyone to play side by side with I found this to be an incredible challenge. There are various levels which pit you against incredible obstacles. The biggest of which is time. Have clean, clear precision firing and just maybe you’ll get by some of the shorter ones. The “Suspension” level is another story. A street fight on a suspension bridge seems straight forward enough but as the bridge starts to fall apart and the helicopters start firing its obvious you are going to need some help.
COMPLAINTS (come on, no game is perfect):
When I first signed online there were already 283, 047 people playing the multiplayer game. It was quick and easy to get into a game and see what it had to offer. What really amazed me were the amount of morons yelling and screaming about people camping. Come on guys, relax. I know you have had about 14 Red Bulls because you have been playing since midnight, but save it for a week from now.
While as a rebel in Rio De Janeiro I was quickly getting shot at by American Soldiers. I kept wondering why, besides that fact that I had been playing for all of thirty minutes. It turns out my avatar in the game was wearing a red Hawaiian shirt. Why don’t you just dress me up with targets all over my chest too? Come on guys I know it is supposed to a more “modern setting” but even the dumbest rebel or guerrilla soldier is going to change out of his red shirt.
There are some really great quotes in the game after you die. My favorite of which is by Robert F. Kennedy’s, “Don’t get mad, get even”. Appropriate for the game but there were several that are either too long or go by so fast one never gets to read them.
Directions play a huge part of the game however the simplest ones are poorly executed. On several occasions as the carnage is erupting all around you your commanding officers bark orders at you. Most of the time you are not sure if they are talking to you until it is too late. Granted your next turn fixes this mistake as you now know what to do. But a little preparation would keep the blood off your screen. There are also a few moments where you want to move but can’t. You think you are just watching the movie part of the game until it is too late and again your brains are all over the TV. This is the tiniest irritation but one that should easily be fixed.

Modern Warfare 2

This is an incredible game and will easily chew up more time then I care to admit. COD: Modern Warfare 2 is easily an A+ game despite the complaints I had. The producers of the game have no control over the idiots online with all their hooting and hollering. Its just seems to me that that playing late at night (in the United States on the east coast) allows me the opportunity to play with a more refined crowd over in Great Britain. Cheers!
The entire game really is a meat grinder and by the time I am done playing it I will have seen enough blood to last me a life time. The story is captivating and one of the true lures to COD: Modern Warfare 2. It really is a modern version of Red Dawn mixed with some black ops missions to at first prevent the world war, then to even the score. In my crazed state to get online I failed to notice that I started the game on Veteran. Now there is no way I can go back. I’ve answered the call and have to see it all the way through.
Check out the pod cast I participate in where this week we interview Rich Hunsinger from and Co-Author of the Official Modern Warfare 2 Strategy Guide. Rich joins us to give You've got GEEK an inside look at the game's progress as a sequel, and the art of shooting celebrities in the nuts.
Robert Trate writes two weekly columns for Mania the DVD Shopping Bag and the Toy Maniac. Robert also participates in a pod cast that reviews movies, comics and celebrates all things geek. Check it out at You’ve Got Geek on


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manjisan 11/13/2009 4:56:24 AM

It took me a few rounds of MP to really like it. It is really a fun game. You should definitely check out COD4; I still play mine and don't think I'll be giving it up ever. Too epic.

PSN : tong-chop

hanso 11/13/2009 6:34:35 AM

Yo Trate if they start talkin noise online at ya just holla back at them baby.  Don't tell me you camp with a sniper rifle somewhere, cause if you do you deserve that they talk to ya.

Modern Warfare 2 is awesome, the campaign is short I read (4.5-6 hrs) but the multiplayer and special ops make up for it. 

Special Ops is pretty cool if you can hook up with a friend online, it's plays better with a two person team.

Multiplayer there is so much to unlock and weapons that it will keep you playing for hours so you'll get your $60 worth.

Oh also, Left 4 Dead 2 can't compete for Game of the Year, I don' t think it will be brought up.  I'll give you Assassin's Creed 2 and Modern Warfare 2.    I think Game of the Year so far is for Uncharted 2.  That game was truly epic and had a nice multiplayer.


themovielord 11/13/2009 7:06:53 AM

hanso, I was taking notes about the game and didn't even have a sniper rifle. Who cares if I am sitting in a corner. Its a new game, I am scriolling through my options seeing what is new and different. DId you play the game on veteran?

hanso 11/13/2009 8:26:35 AM

Nah, I always get raped on veteran.  I can usually get through a few missions but they take me so much time that I just prefer to get through the campaign at hardened.  Though I usually run through the game on normal first.

I don't know man, some peeps are intense online that's why they talked noise at ya.  I dislike campers but I never say online unless people start with me first.

Darkknight2280 11/13/2009 8:49:40 AM

Yeah Hanso the single player was short only took me maybe 5-6 hours to beat. But the story is AMAZING and disturbing at the same time. Its sooo pollished compared to the original Modern warfare. Looking forward to hopping online tonight and PWNing some n00bs!! LOL Ohh and spec opps mode is pretty damn sweet as well.

Bryzarro 11/13/2009 11:54:39 AM

Glad this article came out!!  i was wondering if it was ever going to be mentioned!!

I LOVE....LOVE this damn game.  i only gave up my COD4 so I didn't have to pay so much for this one.  I'm halfway through the campaign on Veteran.  And it is brutal to play it like that from the start but I love the challenge.  The online is tha sh-t.  I'm like Hanso.....I don't say anything to campers but silently curse under my breath when I see the kill cam at where they are.

The Spec Ops has to be played with a buddy.  If you've played the level with your friend in the helicopter laying cover you'll know what i mean.  that was intense and so awsome.  We didn't think we were gonna play it much and 2 hours later we have cleared quite a bit.  Still so much to do. 

My son is having a sleep over so i'm taking a nap when i get home and gonna pull an all nighter toclear the campaign and play up some online.

Bryzarro 11/13/2009 11:56:06 AM

And I think i lost a bit of my soul at the airport in that game.  i couldn't help myself but felt so dissapointed that I enjoyed it!!  

So sad...... 

HudsonTaco 11/13/2009 5:21:23 PM

Great game can't wait to tackle Spec Ops I hear it even better than single player. Uncharted 2 is game of the year though Hanso is absolutely right about that. Left 4 Dead will not be in contention for that title as it is Xbox only and multiplayer only. Assasins Creed 2 looks like a contender as well. Uncharted though has absolutely no flaws at all, really a perfect game in every way. Minor gripes with MW2 are shadow glitches(minor) and seriously this game needs a cover system badly. Other than that fantastic.

Bryzarro 11/13/2009 7:54:41 PM

Hudson:  How does it make sense to say one game couldn't be a game of the year because it is console exclusive but claim Uncharted 2 would be a candidate?  Your statement condradicts itself.

I don't really care for a game of the year as I pretty much buy what I think i'd enjoy.  But I do enjoy the video game awards show on Spike just to see whats out there when i'm wrapped up with work.

Squid 11/14/2009 1:39:02 AM

Just a note on the review... you aren't playing two characters named "Roach"  You actually play 4 characters through the single player.  If I remember correctly, Roach is in Brazil when it all goes down.


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