I am really bad at playing games in series order.
I got introduced to the Call of Duty series with the second installment, enjoyed that enough to buy Modern Warfare within the first week or two of its release – and even PLAY it almost immediately, which is always a problem, followed THAT up by making a video card purchase decision based partially on the included copy of World At War… and then pretty much put the series down for several years, until I needed SOMETHING to show off on my shiny new PS4 and bought Ghosts.
Since then, I’ve played BLOPS2 and Advanced Warfare, both of which were pretty neat in a borderline science fiction way.
ANYWAY, now that I have lost any gaming hipster cred I might have ever had, I will admit that I’ve been going through my rather depressing backlog looking for games to play that are on the short side, and Modern Warfare 2 practically fell out of the list.
It’s almost embarrassing how much I enjoyed it. It’s not exactly a cerebral game, though there IS a continuing story that made me realize how little of the original Modern Warfare I remembered and made me commit to actually playing the third one before I completely forget what went on in this one.
Rather, it’s designed to grab on to the parts of the lizard brain that like watching stuff blow up and give them a good tickle, and it does that very well.
At the time of release, it made a bit of press for itself by including a terrifically tasteful level where you play as a member of a terrorist group shooting up an airport. That may actually have been why I avoided buying it back in the day, come to think of it; I am somewhat allergic to manufactured controversy.
Fortunately, you can skip the level – I don’t remember if that was a launch feature, or if it was patched in later – and I took the skip option with zero guilt.
There isn’t much point in talking about the “game bits” – it’s a Call of Duty game, for crying out loud, so you fight an endless horde of respawning enemies, always trying to make it to the next check point, while your squad mates tell you what to do. Things explode, there are neat set pieces, people say stuff like “tango” and “foot-mobile” and “hooah”, and the good guys mostly win.
I will give a special bit of attention to the achievements, because they’re just about perfect. You get a set number of achievements just for completing the story mode, a few more achievements are based around the optional “Spec Ops” missions, which are 5-10 minute affairs reusing parts of the single player maps, and there are a handful of achievements for doing assorted other goofy things, like using five different weapons in a row or killing two enemies with a single bullet. I wound up with 50% achievement completion without really needing to try very hard, which is way above the 30-40% achievement rate I aim for.
Yes, I set my sights very low.
Anyway, I’ve blown through 9 games and two Skyrim expansions since coming back from China and am feeling much less guilty about buying Splatoon on Friday. Backlog progress always feels good 🙂