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Modern Warfare 2

Another game I forgot to mention last time.

This is one of those odd games that felt incredibly awesome while you were playing it, but seems rather bland and unremarkable when you think about it after it’s all over.  Technologically, the game is a good step ahead of the first.  The graphics improvements look great, there are no more infinitely respawning enemies that spam grenades at you, and the voice acting is top-notch as usual.

It’s a little odd how this game isn’t nearly as impressive or memorable as the first Modern Warfare.  I’m not really sure what happened.  This game has a number of missions that feel as good as some of MW1’s better offerings (though they never quite live up to the best missions in MW1), but other parts of MW2 fall utterly flat and only feel like filler with high production values.  There are a number of points where the game obviously tries to do a repeat performance of some memorable event from MW1 (such as bunkering down somewhere and holding your ground until backup arrives) but they don’t work nearly as well.  Those moments don’t feel as intense while you’re going through them and are less satisfying to complete.

Modern Warfare 2 clearly tries to be more dramatic and epic than the first, but this also backfired.  The additional in-game “dramatic moments” fall into a similar pitfall as summons from older FF games: cool to watch the first few times, but too many of them too often and you start wishing that you could just play the game.  The story starts off nice enough but eventually becomes so over-the-top that it barely makes sense anymore.

Don’t get me wrong – I still enjoyed this game and I still think it’s good.  It’s just that once it’s all over, you look back and realize there are very few things that MW2 improves on over the first game.  It’s as if the developers were so caught up in trying to make everything more awesome that they forgot they needed good substance to back up all that flashiness and drama.

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