If you are a gamer, what you are about to read is old news: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 went on sale this morning at the stroke of midnight. For those non-gamers out there, you need to know this is huge news.
How huge? How about a half a billion dollars. That is what the game is expected to pull in in just the first week. Compare that to the $155 million the highest-ever opening-weekend movie gross -- last year's The Dark Knight -- and you get an idea just how big of business this is. So is the sequel to the anti-terrorism game any good? Let's see what reviewers are saying:
As an experience, it is occasionally undone by a tension torn between being serious and being Clancy, being massmarket and being complex. War games aren’t funny, it says, then starts a war against ‘Ivan’ that’s straight from Red Dawn…. So which game is "Modern Warfare 2?" Is it that mechanic-defining, comprehensively structured and plainly excellent shooter with the best multiplayer in the genre, or a game that entirely fetishes its subject while being mock-serious about it, with the best multiplayer in the genre? We’re not sure it’s either, or neither. "Modern Warfare 2" is brilliant, and just a little bit dumb.
-- Edge.com Staff
The player is both thrilled and disorientated by the constant pace of the action which comes so thick and fast that the player really does feel that death (or at least game over) could come at any second. It’s in this way that "Modern Warfare 2," more than any other shooter in the market, both challenges the player’s reflexes and accuracy while at the same time engaging their primal need for survival. It all adds up to some of the best shooter action money can buy.
-- Nick Cowen, London Telegraph
For the strictly single player crowd, however, "Modern Warfare 2" is surprisingly short, and doesn’t live up to the standard set by previous Call of Duty games. The campaign can be completed in as little as four and a half hours, and the missions make better scenarios and moment-to-moment adrenaline rushes than they do a cohesive, well-told story.
-- Mark Bozon, IGN.com
The original "Modern Warfare" dealt with themes of life, death, action and consequences. The sequel goes after these concepts in a manner rare for the video game world; it treats its audience like an adult. Footage of a particular sequence involving the death of innocent civilians (which I won't spoil here) leaked online before launch and caused a preemptive uproar from misinformed pontificators. Hopefully this signals a step forward for the "videogame as art" debate, a move from electronic toy to a true multimedia device for conveying adult stories to adults.
-- David Ellis, 1Up.com
It's no exaggeration to say that there is not a single dull moment right up until the final showdown, which is as dramatic and satisfying an ending as you could ever hope for. It even manages to leave room for a sequel so blatantly that it might as well announce 'Modern Warfare 3 is coming!' right there and then, yet it still doesn't feel cheeky.
-- Ryan King, XBox 360 Magazine
Check out a preview of the game: