Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Modern Warfare 2 cover.PNG
North American cover art
Developer(s) Infinity Ward
Publisher(s) Activision[a]
Director(s) Jason West
Producer(s) Mark Rubin
Designer(s) Todd Alderman[1]
Steve Fukuda
Mohammad Alavi
Writer(s) Jesse Stern
Composer(s) Lorne Balfe
Series Call of Duty
Engine IW 4.0
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
PlayStation 3
Xbox 360
OS X
Release date(s)
  • WW November 10, 2009
Genre(s) First-person shooter
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is a 2009 first-person shooter video game developed by Infinity Ward and published by Activision for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Windows. Officially announced on February 11, 2009,[2] the game was released worldwide on November 10, 2009.[3] It is the sixth installment of the Call of Duty series[4] and the direct sequel to Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, continuing the same storyline, with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 ending the storyline.[2][5] It was released in conjunction with two other Call of Duty games: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare: Mobilized for the Nintendo DS,[6] and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare: Reflex, a port of Call of Duty 4 adapted by Treyarch for the Wii console.[7] In addition, a comic book series based on one of the game's characters was also produced, entitled Modern Warfare 2: Ghost.[8]

Modern Warfare 2 has been critically acclaimed by various gaming websites, attaining a 94% aggregate score on Metacritic, with praise stemming primarily from its in-depth multiplayer component. Within 24 hours of release, the game sold approximately 4.7 million copies in North America and the United Kingdom.

Gameplay[edit]

Campaign[edit]

The player assumes the role of various characters during the single-player campaign, changing perspectives throughout the progression of the story.

Each level is a mission that features a series of objectives that are displayed on the head-up display, which marks the direction and distance towards and from such objectives. Damage to the player is shown by blood appearing on the screen. The player's health regenerates as time passes. Tasks vary in their requirements, from having the player arrive at a particular checkpoint, to eliminating all enemies in a specified location, to defending an objective from enemy attack, or planting explosive charges on an enemy installation. The player is accompanied by friendly troops who cannot be issued orders. Laptop computers that contain enemy intelligence appear throughout the campaign and may be collected.

Cooperative[edit]

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 features a cooperative mode titled Special Ops, which consists of independent missions similar in design to the "Mile High Club" epilogue mission from Call of Duty 4.[9] These missions take place in a variety of locations from the campaign mode, but are not related to the campaign. Most of the Special Ops missions may be played alone (except 2 missions, which require two players, both missions in the "Bravo" group), but all missions support two player cooperative play[5] in which two players can play together locally or online.[10] Scenarios included are a snowmobile race between the two players, one player providing air support from an AC-130 with the other player conducts operations on the ground, capturing an enemy compound, and searching areas for and eliminating 40 or more enemies at a time.[11]

Special Ops is divided into five separate groups of missions: Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, and Echo. Each mission may be played at three difficulty levels: regular, hardened, or veteran. Successfully completing a mission earns the players stars, with up to three stars available for each mission; one star for completing the mission on regular difficulty, two for hardened, and three for veteran. Once enough stars are earned, more missions are unlocked.[10] There are a total of 23 missions with their respective 69 stars available for unlock. At the end of each mission, a statistics screen displays how long the player or players took to complete the level and how many kills were scored by each player, amongst other data.

Multiplayer[edit]

Gameplay in the online multiplayer mode. The weapon pictured has the heartbeat sensor attachment, a new feature included in Modern Warfare 2.

The online multiplayer mode of Modern Warfare 2 retains the same experience points and unlockable reward system as that of Call of Duty 4, with game modes that include Free-For-All, Search & Destroy, Demolition, Sabotage, Domination, Team Deathmatch, Mercenary Team Deathmatch, Headquarters, and Capture The Flag.[12] Modern Warfare 2 introduces several new features. Aside from new weapons, equipment, and perks that upgrade to "pro versions" after meeting utilization requirements,[13] the player can choose three of fifteen killstreaks, which are earned after getting a certain amount of consecutive kills without dying. Among these is the ability to receive a supply drop after achieving four kills in a row (along with the other killstreaks), guide a Predator missile strike after five kills, and control an AC-130 gunship, or Chopper Gunner, after eleven kills. Some killstreak rewards earn kills that go towards killstreak. For example, with the Harrier Strike package (7 killstreak) one of the gunships will stay behind and shoot down enemies after several bomb a general area.[14] Players can also gain a tactical nuke if they obtain a 25 kill streak. The nuke will achieve victory in a match for the player or team that called in the nuke regardless of whether the team was winning or losing at the time the nuke was called in, and will kill everyone on the map, including the player. Another new feature is the in-game host migration; if a match host leaves the game, or if the host struggles to support the game, a 'host migration delay' allows a new host to be selected and the game to continue.[15][16] There is also the addition of an optional third person mode which can be used in certain game types.[17]

In the Xbox 360 version of the game, the party chat system is disabled while the player is playing online in certain playlist types. This decision, designed to promote cooperation amongst team members, has caused some controversy within the Xbox Live community. The offline (splitscreen and LAN) multiplayer mode retains the experience and rewards system found online, a first for the series since the system was introduced. However, the rewards are separate from those that are earned while playing online.

For the PC version, Infinity Ward decided to implement a new matchmaking service called IWNET, which works through Steam and therefore requires Steam client and account. This system is nearly identical to the console version of IWNET. Dedicated server support is removed, eliminating the ability for mods or user-created maps to be incorporated. This removal has created anger among many PC gamers. Since the multiplayer aspect runs within Steamworks, the PunkBuster anti-cheat system utilized in previous titles has been replaced by Valve Anti-Cheat.[18] In addition, the PC version shares the same 18-player cap as the console versions (matches are a maximum of 9 versus 9).[19]

Campaign[edit]

Characters[edit]

During the singleplayer campaign, the player controls five different characters over the course of seven days. The player begins the game controlling Private First Class Joseph Allen (voiced by Troy Baker), a U.S. Army Ranger stationed in Afghanistan, who later goes undercover in Russia for the Central Intelligence Agency under the alias of "Alexei Borodin", and is killed. For the majority of the game, however, the player assumes the role of Sergeant Gary "Roach" Sanderson, a member of an elite special forces unit known as Task Force 141.[20] Private James Ramirez, a member of 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment stationed in the United States, serves as the player character during the defense of the Eastern Seaboard against the Russian invasion. Captain John "Soap" MacTavish[21] becomes the player's character in the final three missions after Roach dies. The player also briefly assumes the role of an unnamed International Space Station astronaut moments before the station's destruction.[22]

Several non-playable characters (NPCs) play prominent roles in the story. As mentioned, "Soap" (voiced by Kevin McKidd) returns as an NPC for a majority of the game. In the five years since Call of Duty 4 took place, he has become a senior member of Task Force 141, acting as Roach's superior officer.[5] Captain Price (voiced by Billy Murray) also assists Task Force 141 after "Soap", "Roach" and other members rescue him from a Russian gulag. Another member of the unit is Lieutenant Simon "Ghost" Riley, (voiced by Craig Fairbrass, the voice actor of Gaz in Call of Duty 4)[23] who conceals his face with a skull print balaclava.[24] Sergeant Foley (voiced by Keith David), along with his subordinate, Corporal Dunn (voiced by Barry Pepper), is initially Joseph Allen's squad leader while stationed in Afghanistan, and becomes James Ramirez's squad leader during the Russian invasion of the U.S. later in the story. Nikolai, the Russian informant from Call of Duty 4 aids Task Force 141. Lieutenant General Shepherd (voiced by Lance Henriksen) is the commander of Task Force 141, the U.S. Army Rangers; he is revealed as the main antagonist after he betrays Task Force 141 near the end of the game. Vladimir Makarov is an antagonist masterminding the Russian invasion who is sought throughout the game but is never fought. The player fights Makarov's forces in two missions near the end of the campaign.

Plot[edit]

Despite the efforts of the U.S. Marine Corps and British Special Air Service in the previous game, the ultranationalists seize control of the Russian Federation, making Imran Zakhaev a martyr and straining diplomatic relations with the United States. Shortly after this, an ultranationalist named Vladimir Makarov, Zakhaev's right-hand man, begins a campaign of revenge against the West, by committing acts of terrorism on European and International soil.

Player character, Sgt. Gary "Roach" Sanderson, riding a snowmobile in the "Cliffhanger" mission

Five years after the events of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, in 2016, Private First Class Joseph Allen participates in a military operation alongside the U.S. Army Rangers, stationed in Afghanistan, by assisting them in taking back a city from insurgents. Impressed by Allen's capabilities, Lieutenant General Shepherd, who oversaw the operation, recruits him into the Task Force 141 – an elite, multi-national counter-terrorist unit under Shepherd's command. While Allen is prepared for an upcoming assignment, two other 141 members, Captain John "Soap" Mactavish and Sgt. Gary "Roach" Sanderson, infiltrate a Russian airbase in the Tian Shan mountains to retrieve an Attack Characterization System (ACS) module from a downed American satellite, narrowly escaping capture.

Allen is soon sent on an undercover mission in Russia for the CIA, joining Makarov in a massacre of civilians at an airport in Moscow. After escaping the main lobby of the airport and defeating the security forces and even fighting an F.S.B squad on the tarmac, Makarov, who has been aware of Allen's true identity, kills him during extraction, leaving his body behind to spark a war between the Russian Federation and the United States. Outraged by what was believed to be an American-sponsored terrorist attack, Russia retaliates by launching a surprise invasion on the East Coast of the United States after bypassing its early warning system, triggering the war between Russia and United States as the military forces in the mainland are scattered to defend against the invasion.[b][22]

Because the evidence of Makarov's involvement in the airport massacre died with Allen, Task Force 141 is sent to a favela in Rio de Janeiro to capture Makarov's weapons dealer, based on intel on the weapons used at the airport. There, after capturing the dealer, they learn that Makarov's worst enemy, known only as "Prisoner 627", is incarcerated in a Russian gulag east of Petropavlovsk. Task Force 141 assaults the prison and manages to free 627, who is revealed to be Captain Price.[c]

Price agrees to aid the 141, but insists that the war in America needs to end. He leads the 141 to raid a Russian port and gain control of a ballistic missile submarine. Once inside the vessel, Price launches a ballistic missile towards Washington, D.C. and sets its nuclear warhead to detonate in the upper atmosphere. The resulting EMP disables all electronic devices across the eastern seaboard, leaving Russian and American forces without logistics, tanks or air support, but giving the Americans a much needed advantage.[25] U.S. National Command Authority stationed in Cheyenne Mountain Operations Center sends the U.S. Air Force to bomb Russian-occupied strategic structures (including the White House) across Washington D.C. but the strikes are aborted, when green flares are lit on top of these structures, showing that the Americans have recaptured them and that the city remains in American hands.[22]

Meanwhile, the 141 narrows down Makarov's hiding place to two separate locations, with the group splitting up; Price and Soap travel to an aircraft boneyard in Afghanistan to intercept a suspected Makarov arms deal, while Roach and Ghost raid Makarov's safehouse on the Georgian-Russian border. At the safehouse, Roach and his team obtain Makarov's "operations playbook" and escape. However, when they reach the extraction point, Shepherd betrays them by shooting them with his .44 Magnum and then orders their bodies burned. Price and Soap, already aware of Shepherd's betrayal, escape a battle between Shepherd's Shadow Company and Makarov's Ultra-nationalist forces with help from surviving Task Force 141 personnel, but are branded as terrorists as a result.

It is revealed that General Shepherd had been conspiring with Makarov to spark the war between Russia and the U.S. with the intent of generating a massive wave of American enlistment and drafting along with defense spending and production in a time of emergency. Shepherd allegedly provided the ACS to the Russian forces to be compromised, provided Allen to Makarov as a scapegoat, and eventually managed to secure a blank check from the government to fund his war effort.

During the escape, Price contacts Makarov on an open radio channel, where Makarov reluctantly reveals Shepherd's mountain base in Afghanistan. Price and Soap raid the base in an attempt to take revenge on Shepherd in a suicide mission; during the infiltration, Shepherd sets the base to self-destruct and attempts to escape on a boat, with Price and Soap pursuing him. At the climax of a boat pursuit, Shepherd sails into an MH-53 Pave Low, but Price shoots it down as he and Soap tumble over a waterfall.[22] A dazed Soap stumbles towards the crash of the helicopter, where it is revealed that Shepherd had survived. Soap follows Shepherd and attempts to kill him, but Shepherd stabs him in the chest. Price arrives and engages Shepherd in a hand-to-hand fight. Shepherd slowly gains the upper hand on Price, but Soap manages to pull the knife out of his own chest and throw it back at Shepherd, piercing the general's left eye and killing him. In the aftermath, Price helps evacuate Soap for medical attention, in which his closest ally, Nikolai, reveals he knows somewhere safe.

Development[edit]

Modern Warfare 2 was originally announced as Call of Duty 6.[4] The game was first announced under the title Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 by Activision on December 3, 2008.[26] Activision subsequently retracted its announcement, stating that any information about an upcoming Call of Duty game was "speculative."[27] Infinity Ward then asserted that it had not officially confirmed its latest project at that time.[28] On February 11, 2009, Activision officially announced Modern Warfare 2 and set a tentative release date for "Holiday 2009."[2] The game was tested in an internal beta by the development team. While both Call of Duty 4 and Call of Duty: World at War had been preceded by public multiplayer betas, no such beta was released for Modern Warfare 2 because it was determined that, according to Community Manager Robert Bowling, no public beta was needed unless the internal beta did not provide adequate feedback.[29]

Infinity Ward announced on October 2009 that the PC version of Modern Warfare 2 would not support the use of user-run dedicated servers or in-game console commands. Such announcement was received poorly by some members of the PC community,[15] a negative response that eventually drew Infinity Ward's own response on the matter in an effort to put the community at ease.[18][30] During brainstorming sessions, an idea came forth on what if the ending of Modern Warfare was a loss, leading to the sequel.[31] In an interview with Jesse Stern, he talked to producers of Infinity Ward with ideas such as "outbreaks, viruses, chemical warfare, and even outlandish things such as aliens and the living dead."[32] Stern mentioned having the game based on real-life conflicts before they halted further planning at first due to events in the 2008 South Ossetia war and in the Mumbai terrorist attacks.[32]

Audio[edit]

On August 20, 2009, Robert Bowling revealed through Twitter that Kevin McKidd, Craig Fairbrass, Barry Pepper, Keith David, and Glenn Morshower were confirmed voice actors for the game.[33] It was later confirmed that McKidd would voice the protagonist, "Soap" MacTavish.[34] Fairbrass, who voiced Gaz in Call of Duty 4, provided voice work for "Ghost". Billy Murray reprised his role as Captain Price from Call of Duty 4.[35] Rapper 50 Cent provided voice work for the Special Ops and multiplayer modes, portraying "one of the squad [member] voices."[36][37] The main theme of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 was provided by Hollywood composer Hans Zimmer,[38] while the rest of the score was composed by Lorne Balfe.[39] The soundtrack was released on June 1, 2010.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (Original Score)
Soundtrack album by Lorne Balfe
Released June 1, 2010 (2010-06-01) (Digital)
Genre Video game soundtrack
Length 52:31
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Opening Titles"   Hans Zimmer 3:25
2. "Extraction Point"   Lorne Balfe 3:35
3. "Breach"   Balfe 3:22
4. "Guerrilla Tactics"   Balfe 2:58
5. "Siege"   Balfe 4:06
6. "Infiltration"   Balfe 4:28
7. "Esprit de corps"   Balfe 3:07
8. "Retreat and Reveille"   Balfe 2:58
9. "Ordinance"   Balfe 1:58
10. "Contingency"   Balfe 2:16
11. "Onwards"   Balfe 2:28
12. "Code of Conduct"   Balfe 2:09
13. "Chain of Command"   Balfe 2:01
14. "Safeguard"   Balfe 2:43
15. "Deadline"   Balfe 3:56
16. "Protocol"   Balfe 3:47
17. "Coup de grâce"   Balfe 3:22
18. "Kashmir"   Led Zeppelin 8:28

Game engine[edit]

Comparison of in-game screenshots with the texture streaming technology enabled and disabled.

The game utilizes the in-house IW 4.0 game engine, which is claimed to be a generation beyond the capabilities of the engine used in Call of Duty 4.[40] Although proprietary, it is based on an unspecified id Tech engine, and can accommodate larger worlds, enhanced graphic detail, and more efficient rendering.[41] Infinity Ward has addressed the issue of enemies that continually respawn at different points of a level.[9] The developer demonstrated that the game engine uses a "dynamic AI", which has replaced the infinite respawn system and allows enemies to act more independently. These "smarter" enemies are designed to actively seek out and drive the player forward through a level, and can break away from set behaviors such as following a designated route in order to attack. The player cannot depend on enemies to be found in the same locations as a previous play-through because enemies will behave differently each time a level is played.[11]

Marketing and release[edit]

On March 25, 2009, a teaser trailer for the game was revealed at the Game Developer Choice Awards ceremony in San Francisco. The teaser was posted on Infinity Ward's website,[42] and released on the Xbox Live Marketplace and the PlayStation Network a short time later.[43] A second teaser was released on May 10, 2009 and showed gameplay features such as snowmobile driving and underwater actions. The teaser announced that the game would be "revealed" on TNT during the NBA Eastern Conference Finals on May 24, 2009.[44] The "reveal" was the first full-length trailer, which debuted extended sequences of actual in-game scenes and combat; the trailer was subsequently made available on the Modern Warfare 2 official website, which was kept updated for the occasion.[45] A fourth trailer was released on July 27, 2009, and showed the first footage of the game's multiplayer mode.[14] On October 4, 2009, a second full-length cinematic trailer was released and revealed that part of the game would take place in a war-torn Washington, D.C.[46]

On July 21, 2009, Infinity Ward's Robert Bowling revealed through Twitter that a Modern Warfare 2 controller was in the works.[47] Peripherals manufacturer Mad Catz was contracted by Activision to create a line of Modern Warfare 2 controllers and accessories for all platforms that the game would be available on.[48] Activision stated, in its quarterly earnings report, that pre-orders for the game had broken a company record; more copies of Modern Warfare 2 had been pre-ordered than any other game that the company had published before.[49] In September 2009, Monster Energy teamed up with Activision to bring special redeemable codes on the Monster Energy website,[50] where people may submit codes included in Monster Energy packs to redeem items such as Xbox 360 Premium Themes and a Modern Warfare 2 Map Pack code.[51]

Title[edit]

The original teaser trailer confirmed that the game's title of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 was officially shortened to just Modern Warfare 2.[3] After photographs of the official retail boxes were posted by Robert Bowling,[52] Activision confirmed that the standard-edition Modern Warfare 2 packaging would feature the Call of Duty brand logo in order to reflect the game's association with the Call of Duty franchise.[11] It is speculated that the decision was influenced by findings that brand awareness for the game was significantly lower without the Call of Duty logo.[53] However, the developers still prefer to simply call the game Modern Warfare 2 as they consider it a new IP.[54] The menus in the game also refer to the title as simply Modern Warfare 2.

Retail versions[edit]

Modern Warfare 2 was released in four different retail versions across the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 platforms: Standard, Hardened, Veteran, and Prestige. The standard version consists of the game and an instructional manual, and is the only version available for the Microsoft Windows platform.[55] The Hardened Edition consists of the game and manual (which are packaged in a steel book case), an art book, and a token that allows one to download Call of Duty Classic, a hi-definition version of the original Call of Duty game, from Xbox Live Arcade or the PlayStation Store (Classic was released individually on December 2, 2009). The Prestige Edition contains all of the elements of the Hardened Edition, but also includes a set of fully functioning night vision goggles, imprinted with the Modern Warfare 2 logo, and a stand modeled after the head of the character "Soap" MacTavish.[56] The goggles are powered by five AA batteries[57] and can see up to 50 feet in absolute darkness.[58]

On September 15, 2009, Activision and Microsoft jointly announced a special, limited Modern Warfare 2 version of the Xbox 360 with a 250GB hard disk. The unit is highlighted by special game product branding and includes two wireless controllers and a headset. This is the first Xbox 360 to come with a 250GB hard drive.[59] On September 18, UK and rep of Ireland retailer GAME announced a Veteran Edition of Modern Warfare 2 would be exclusive to rep of Ireland and UK. It will come with a 12" (30.5 cm) tall statue of "Soap" MacTavish with interchangeable arms and weapons; has the same contents as the Hardened Edition.[60] In September 2009, a Veteran Statue Bundle of Modern Warfare 2 was posted on the EB Games website and is available for all platforms.[61]

Downloadable content[edit]

Activision announced that two downloadable map packs would be released for Modern Warfare 2.[62] At E3 2009, Microsoft stated that these map packs would first be made available for the Xbox 360 via Xbox Live before they would be released for other platforms.[63] Robert Bowling stated that the community response to the game and the first ten downloadable map packs would be used in designing other potential map packs.[64]

The first map pack, titled the "Stimulus Package," was released first for Xbox Live on March 30, 2010[65] and for PlayStation Network and PC on May 4, 2010 in North America.[66][67] The pack contains five maps: reincarnations of the Crash and Overgrown maps from Call of Duty 4, and three new maps: Bailout, a multi-level apartment complex; Storm, an industrial park littered with heavy machinery; and Salvage, an abandoned car junkyard in the middle of the snow.[68] Within 24 hours of its release, it was downloaded over one million times. Within the first week it had been downloaded 2.5 million times, breaking Xbox Live DLC records.[69] In addition to integrating the maps into all existing game types, the Stimulus Package adds two new game modes, randomizing the built-in game types in either normal or hardcore mode.

Activision released the second downloadable map pack, titled the "Resurgence Package", exclusively for Xbox Live on June 3, 2010 in North America. This release was followed by the PlayStation Network and PC versions on July 6 in North America and on July 7 worldwide.[70] The package includes five new multiplayer maps: reincarnations of the Strike and Vacant maps from Call of Duty 4, and three new maps: Carnival, a desolated amusement park; Trailer Park, a mobile home park; and Fuel, an oil refinery.[71]

Sales and revenue[edit]

According to preliminary sales figures from Activision, Modern Warfare 2 sold approximately 4.7 million units in the United States and the UK combined in the first 24 hours of its release.[72] The total revenue from first day sales in the U.S. and the UK was $310 million, making Modern Warfare 2 the biggest entertainment launch in history, surpassing in revenue its predecessor, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare,[73][74] as well as items from other media types.[75][76] After five days of sales, the game had earned revenue figures of $550 million worldwide.[77] As of January 18, 2010, it has taken over $1 billion in sales.[78] Activision also claims that Modern Warfare 2 had 8 million players online within the first five days, constituting the largest 'army' of players in the world.[79] On March 8, 2010, Robert Bowling announced that the game had amassed 25 million unique players.[80] In June 2010, Activision's CFO Thomas Tippl revealed that the game had sold 20 million copies.[81] In August 2011, Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg revealed that the game had sold 22 million copies.[82] A month later in September 2011, Modern Warfare 3 producer Mark Rubin, said that the game's sales are between 28 and 29 million.[83] In November 2013, IGN put the game's sales at 22.7 million.[84]

According to the NPD Group, Modern Warfare 2 sold approximately 4.2 million units for the Xbox 360 and 1.87 million units for the PlayStation 3 in the U.S. during the month of November 2009.[85] In Japan, Modern Warfare 2 sold 64,000 copies for the PlayStation 3 and 42,000 copies for the Xbox 360 in its first week of sales.[86] The game later sold 117,000 copies on the PlayStation 3 and 61,000 on the Xbox 360.[87] Anita Frazier of the NPD Group reported in March 2010 that the game had sold slightly under 10 million copies in the U.S. alone.[88][89] The game is the second best-selling game of all time in both the UK and the U.S.[88][90][91]

Comic[edit]

A six-part comic book mini-series related to the game has also been produced. Announced by Robert Bowling on August 17, 2009, Modern Warfare 2: Ghost is focused on the backstory of the character Ghost, who appears in the video game as a member of Task Force 141. The series is published by WildStorm. The first issue of the series debuted on November 11, 2009.[8][92]

Short film[edit]

A fan-made prequel to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, entitled Find Makarov: Operation Kingfish, premiered at Call of Duty XP. The video was produced by We Can Pretend, visual effects by The Junction, and was endorsed by Activision. The first film, Find Makarov, was a non-canon fan made film. Activision contacted We Can Pretend about the video and helped produce a second canon short film, Find Makarov: Operation Kingfish.[93] The prequel tells the story of how Task Force 141 first tried to capture Vladimir Makarov, who was known then as Kingfish. It also tells how Soap got his facial scars, and how Price was captured and incarcerated in a gulag.

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings (X360) 93.57%[94]
(PS3) 93.42%[95]
(PC) 87.84%[96]
Metacritic (X360) 94/100[97]
(PS3) 94/100[98]
(PC) 86/100[99]
Review scores
Publication Score
1UP.com A[100]
AllGame 4/5 stars[101]
CVG 9.4/10[102]
Destructoid 9.5/10[103]
Famitsu 39/40[104]
G4 5/5 stars[105]
Game Informer 9.75/10[106]
GamePro 5/5 stars[107]
GameSpot 9.0/10[108]
GameSpy 5/5 stars[109]
GamesRadar 10/10[110]
GameTrailers 9.5/10[111]
IGN 9.5/10[112]
Joystiq 4/5 stars[113]
OXM 9.5/10[114]
OXM (UK) 10/10[115]
PC Gamer (UK) 80%[116]
PC Gamer (US) 80%[116]
TeamXbox 9.7/10[117]
X-Play 5/5 stars[118]
The Escapist 4/5 stars[119]
The Daily Telegraph 10/10[120]
The Guardian 5/5 stars[121]
Awards
Publication Award
IGN Editor's Choice[122]
GamePro Editor's Choice[123]
BAFTA PC Game of the Year (2009)[124]
GameTrailers Game of the Year 2009[125]
PakGamers Best Xbox 360 Game of 2009[126]
Gamespot Best Shooter/Readers Choice[127]
GameTrailers Best First-Person Shooter[128]
Destructoid Editor's Choice[103]
Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences Action Game of the Year[129]

Modern Warfare 2 received critical acclaim, especially its console versions. Reviewers praised the in-depth story mode, mini missions, and multiplayer.[130]

1UP.com stated "Mixing real-world locations with bombastic set-pieces MW2 continues the guided, thrill-ride experiences of its predecessor, and adds even more depth to its multiplayer offerings. It might not have fixed all the problems from the first game, but there's just so much quality content packed into this game that it will almost certainly be one of the most-played games in your library for a long time to come".[100] Game Informer noted "Modern Warfare 2 is a masterpiece of careful iteration, with an unmatched presentation and a well of content that will take months to run dry".[131] IGN commented "For those planning to check out everything Modern Warfare 2 has to offer – online competition, full co-op Spec Ops mode, as well as the campaign– you're looking at a no-brainer purchase".[112] GameTrailers stated "The air of unpredictability and the care that was paid to each separate element puts it in lofty company. The multiplayer hasn't received an overhaul, but considering most shooters are still playing catch-up with Call of Duty 4, the tweaks and twists make it the best multiplayer shooting experience in the industry. Few games manage to meet such high expectations".[111] Computer and Video Games called the game "Loud, epic and incredibly polished, [and] this year's biggest must-have shooter".[102]

Criticisms of the game are directed towards a variety of aspects, but focus on the short length of the single player campaign. IGN's Mark Bozon remarks that the single-player of "Modern Warfare 2 is surprisingly short, and doesn't live up to the standard set by previous Call of Duty games."[112] In addition, many reviewers have complained about the lack of innovation to the formula of the series.[132][133][134]

Famitsu named Modern Warfare 2 as the number one game on the top 10 video games sold in 2009, beating games such as Metal Gear Solid 4, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, Halo 3 and Grand Theft Auto IV.[135] It also gave the game a score of 39/40, being one of the few Western games released in Japan to have the same score as Grand Theft Auto IV.[136]

Awards[edit]

Modern Warfare 2 received awards from various gaming sites and publications, it gained high praise from some video game magazines. At the 2009 Spike Video Game Awards, Modern Warfare 2 received the Best Shooter and Best Multiplayer awards. Both GameSpy and GameTrailers gave the game the Best Overall Game of 2009 award[137] and received from GameTrailers overall six awards.[138] GameSpot and Metacritic, both gave it the Best Xbox 360 Game award,[139][140] the Pakistani game reviewing site, PakGamers, has awarded Modern Warfare 2 with 'Best Xbox 360 Game of 2009'.[141] and from GameTrailers received the game the Best Multiplayer award[142] including the Best First-Person Shooter award.[143]

Controversy[edit]

Various portions of the campaign have caused some controversy, including the depiction of a massacre carried out in a Russian airport, on the mission "No Russian".

Anders Behring Breivik claims in his manifesto that he used this video game to perpetrate the 2011 Norway attacks. Coop Norway, a chain of retail stores in Norway, removed the game from its shelves as a result of this attack.[144]

Technical problems[edit]

After the successful hack on the PlayStation 3 in January 2011, some Modern Warfare 2 players on the PlayStation 3 have had their stats hacked or completely deleted. Infinity Ward replied that their advice was to play in private games, waiting for Sony to fix the problems on the platform side, saying that they could not patch the security problem themselves.[145]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The game was published by Square Enix in Japan.
  2. ^ Following the invasion, Task Force 141 concludes that the ACS module had already been compromised before its retrieval.
  3. ^ In Modern Warfare 3, it is revealed that Price was captured during "Operation Kingfish" in 2013, a mission to kill or capture Makarov.

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External links[edit]