I was excited about Modern Warfare 2 at first, because holy shit, it looked great. Everything I saw from E3 was incredible looking, and left me frothing at the mouth to get a hold of what would certainly be the cinematic action experience of the year.
Yet Infinity Ward seems to be deliberately ruining any excitement their latest effort once held for me.
One caveat before you delve too far into my argument here: I loved World at War. I thought Treyarch did a superb job considering they are the Call of Duty "B-team". I went through the campaign co-op with a friend of mine and played several missions with 4 players. I still throw on nazi zombies every now and then because the fighting is frantic and addicting with 3+ players. This is great, I thought. Finally a Call of Duty that incorporates what I've been looking for in the series: squad-mates that consist of my friends. This was a major deficiency I noted in the first Modern Warfare. The entire game you're running around with a cadre of troops, yet it's exclusively a single player affair? Why is Gaz forever destined to be a simple NPC? This made no sense to me. Which brings me to my first reason MW2 can go to hell:
1) Utterly baffling lack of co-op play
But there IS co-op in MW2! True, there is, but only 2 players? This is a step backwards. Infinity Ward actually addressed the 2 player co-op concerns. They would have you believe that 4 player co-op just didn't work. That it was a cluster f***.
Umm...not in my experience. The 4 player co-op campaign in W@W worked flawlessly. When a cinematic moment occurred in game, every player sees this moment as though he was playing by him/herself. This technique is simple, but effective. Still waiting on a legitimate answer as to why this couldn't be incorporated into MW2. If there is one, please illuminate me.
Since I've seen how nicely implemented and fun 4 player co-op COD can be, I'm only left with the conclusion that Infinity Ward deliberately excluded it out of some inflated sense of elitism. Since World at War had 4 player co-op, Infinity Ward will be damned if their game will stoop to copying the formula designed by the dreaded B Team. Modern zombies? Don't make Infinity Ward laugh. Modern Warfare 2 is too cool to be fun. This is further evidenced by this article: http://www.gamerzines.com/ps3/news/infinity-ward-treyarch-mw2.html
This sickens me for two reasons: Infinity Ward is basically saying they won't take any good ideas created in the previous COD installment simply on principle, but also that they are allowing their infighting and dirty laundry to be plastered all over the internet. It's childish and ignorant, and makes me feel even more defensive of Treyarch.
2) Infinity Ward's emphasis on competitive Multiplayer
Another admission: I loathe competitive multiplayer in first person shooters. The only competitive shooter I'm willing to (and do often) play is Team Fortress 2 simply because it is the most balanced multiplayer experience out there. The brilliance to the check and balance system in play in the game is unparalleled, and it makes the spawn > die > spawn > die mechanics of every other shooter seem blunt, stupid and unappealing. Modern Warfare, halo, and gears of war multiplayer is like a merry go-round. TF2 mutliplayer is Disneyland.
Infinity Ward is clearly throwing all their weight behind creating a great competitive online experience, and I really couldn't care less. All the new perks and classes in the world won't stop the core mechanics of the game from being boring, repetitive bullshit dominated by twitch FPS players have mastered the games controls to the point that it is prohibitively difficult for new players to get a foot hold. Pass.
3) $60 PC version? GTFO.
This is a just a joke. Ignoring the fact that NO games cost $60 on PC, I don't like that this could serve as the first step towards higher prices in PC gaming overall. What's to stop another company, say Ubisoft, from charging $60 for their PC version of Assassin's Creed 2 now? Activision does it, why not them?
I've bloviated enough. Just wanted to throw this out there and see if anyone else will be waiting for MW2 to be bargain bin before they pick it up. I just can't justify a day one purchase anymore given Infinity Ward's behavior. That, and I'll already be in 4 player co-op heaven with Borderlands and Left 4 Dead 2. MW2 can go to hell.
LOOK WHO CAME: