Saturday, May 29, 2010

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare

Yeah, I'm really behind.  That's Modern Warfare 1, not 2.

When I first saw this game sitting on a shelf, I was immediately interested.  I generally disdain Call of Duty (seriously, how many WW2 shooters can you make?) but I've always been fascinated by modern, networked, high tech warfare, and so I'd wanted it for a long time.  As I'm beginning to prep for a return to my military sci-fi game, I figured it was time to indulge myself and pick it up from Steam.

Two thoughts really stand out: I see why many gamers bemoan the state of gaming today.  Modern Warfare is very short (like, 5 hours), and at points feels like I'm on a carnival ride just checking out the sights and occasionally shooting at them when my NPCs aren't killing everyone for me.  On the other hand, it's spectacularly cinematic, and some of those missions are utterly memorable (my god, Prypriat was so awesome).  Sean Punch, editor of GURPS, argues that these sorts of games are designed for the wealthy, on-the-move gamers who have gobs of money from working solid jobs, but very little time.  CoD is the ideal game to sit down with for like an hour, enjoy wildly, finish in under a week, and then buy the next big thing.  For gamers like me, who love to explore a game again and again, it's a slight disappointment.  Totally worth, say, $20, but not the $50 they originally asked, IMO (not unless I'm going to play multi-player alot).

Second thought: It's amazing how much shooters have advanced.  I remember playing some Call of Duty with Walter, and I'm pretty sure it didn't have some of the life-like features that Modern Warfare had.  Certainly the games I cut my teeth on didn't.  Wounded guys will pull their pistol and keep shooting at you, or they'll drop a grenade as you pass and then expire (these guys are particularly jerks).  Bad guys under fire will sometimes lift their guns over the cover and just spray blindly.  You can pick up grenades and throw them back.  Crouching in grass (especially when you're in a gilly suit) really does help hide your character.  Everything works pretty much like you'd expect it would.  The absolutely coolest additions, though, by far, was the inclusion of air support and the ability to call in strikes.  That, to me, is iconic of modern warfare.

So, fun.  And definitely a great source of inspiration.  Just wouldn't advise paying top dollar for it.
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