Modern Warfare 2: Special Ops
Date: Wednesday, January 20 @ 23:40:40 EST
Topic: FPS reviews
A while back I did a review of Call of Duty 6: Modern Warfare 2 which most of the people here found to be a pretty good review, yet has a current rating of 1.69 and 75 votes (*cough* Captain). In that review I explicitly stated that I was only reviewing the single player campaign. Here I will give a brief overview of the co-operative(ish) campaign, called Special Ops, as a lot of what I want to say about the game I have already covered in the original article
Campaigns: There are five categories to choose from, cleverly called 'alpha' through 'echo'. I suppose it's not the lamest attempt at professionalism, but it's a far cry from 'Mile High Club' (or 'Far Cry' for that matter). Each category has five missions, each mission has three difficulties: 'regular', 'ass rape', and 'more ass rape'. Each providing one, two or three stars respectively (SwaroG, looks like Infinity Ward read your Need for Speed review and set about taking the piss). If you get a certain number of stars you unlock the next category. Therefore, five categories, five missions, three difficulty settings, and a calculator gives you 75 'different' missions.
To their credit the levels have a great deal of variance. This can be in level design (ie. tundra, desert, piss poor shanty town...) but also in mission type (ie. skidoo race, sniping, combat). They throw some curveballs in there, like having to run around to disable bombs, or providing cover from the air while your buddy dukes it out on the ground. Kick Ass! Right? Wrong. Read on.
Take any of the mission types, there are a few simple flaws, which fuck up not only the experience, but your life. Lets start with sniping. One level you have to defend off hordes of enemies as they come at you. You get claymores to defend your perimeter, but are not given enough time to set up this perimeter. And, in a theme which will recur endlessly in this review, the AI has three things going for it:
1)It has zero, repeat ZERO recoil. So if the AI shoots you, it will keep shooting you at a frequency of 5 Hz, with pin point accuracy.
2)It has cat like reflexes (this can not be stressed enough)
3)Shooting the AI will not affect their aim, although their firing rate will go down
4)The AI has perfect aim from >300m away, even with a shitty SMG
Points 1) and 2) are especially annoying as they fire at you the moment you pop out of cover. Therefore, you essentially have a sniping mission where you don't have the sniping advantage.
Another sniping level has you picking off sentries, which is fun. But then there are other snipers in the area (Chernobyl) which you have to take out. Neat! It's like The End boss fight in MGS3, where you have sniper v. sniper. Except you can never see the snipers, and if you do, they already see you (see cat-like-reflexes) and they shoot you. So there is no finesse involved, just wait till they shoot you so you know where they are. It's as if Infinity Ward didn't play the thing at all.
Then there are combat levels. I have never seen such unbalanced, and nonsensical AI since the ATC>Replica issue in FEAR 1. The Russian soldiers are actually easier to kill than the Favela gangs. Who comes up with this stuff? The Favela level is INSANE. Even the dogs flank you! I shot a dog once, it played dead, then got up and bit me. Super dog? Resident Favela? Furthermore, I was under the impression that malnourished soldiers weren't combat effective. Shows how little I know about warfare. These animals come at you with everything they got. They fight from the rooftops, jump out of a barrel, shoot from behind doors. And I swear to god, these hacks see through walls.
There are also general issues which ruin the gameplay. This is as a result of an interaction of many of the small design choices. As the AI has cat like reflexes, it, 99 times out of 100, shoots you first. This causes recoil. Therefore, your auto aim doesn't kick in at first. You have to wait for the recoil to stabilise, then click auto aim again. However, since the AI has an insanely high firing rate, coupled with super human aim, he hits you again, and again. Your only option is to duck and cover. Another issue is useless grenades. They take forever to explode. Even if you cook them, they still do almost no damage. And they roll for crying out loud. Always away from the enemy, never towards. The damage you sustain popping out of cover is not worth the marginal damage caused by the grenades. Then there's the insane difficulty, which renders the harder settings useless. Finally, the damage system is too strict. Three shots and the screen goes red. Therefore, there is no incentive to go gung ho and fire while running and screaming 'WHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAA'. This is made more futile when you factor in the cat like reflexes and perfect aim. Oh, and before I forget, even if your hiding in a bush, wearing a ghillie suit, they can still see you. Also, one HUGE problem is that the levels are short. Sniping levels are physically short, and levels with regenerating enemies only have a few waves. They regenerate for crying out loud! Give me 50 waves, not 3. I don't understand why they don't release a patch fixing some of these issues. It really boils down to switching the 'aim_accuracy=0.99' to 'aim_accuracy=0.25'.
Thanks Infinity Ward, you've managed to fuck up my life. I hope your children die a terrible terrible death.