Without question, this is one of the most overrated games - and game franchises - in the whole history of gaming!
As far as I’m concerned, the CoD series held the title of ‘Best WWII Shooter’ only because it was marginally better than the woeful Medal of Honor series. Fast forward through a handful of identical games, progressively easier game play, modernised weapons and uniforms and you’ve got shops opening at midnight just to shift copies off the shelf to us ravenous gamers!? Forget the fact that it’s impossible to enjoy an FPS game without a mouse and just concentrate on the fact that the series is apparently now so popular (despite the fact that its predecessors were not) that we can’t suffer the torture of waiting overnight to purchase it during normal trading hours. It can’t be that popular, can it?
After CoD2 I felt like I'd had my fill of the franchise, but given the frenzy that surrounded the release of this game I thought they must've come up with something incredible and that I'd surely been missing out on gaming brilliance! I was wrong.
My main problem with this game is that so much is recycled from CoD 2. The way your enemies die, or more often than not don't die properly, is so frustrating and all of the death animations have been reused straight out of old CoD games. You can happily empty a clip into some soviet scumbag and it will stop registering hits half-way through the clip just because that guy has to clamber back up onto his elbows to start blasting you with his sidearm. Yawn. The grenade indicator and health system is identical to CoD 2 also. In fact, the only difference between this game and CoD 2 is that the players have different skins and different weapons. They've reinvigorated nothing except the mission loading screens - they're getting away with murder.
On top of this, I completed the campaign mode after five hours on the penultimate difficulty setting. £30 well spent! It seems in a bid to prolong the campaign they've just ramped up the frustration factor. Now, dogs are almost impossible to kill and they hone in on you like heat seeking missiles. Heat seeking missiles that are so weirdly animated that they are impossible to hit and skip quite readily over landmines. The incredible accuracy of a street urchin with an AK47 over 100 yards is also so good it would put the special forces to shame. There's also no room for stealth on missions that don't specifically hold your hand through the sneaking process, too. Everybody always knows where you are and they could readily hit you with a salvo from 100 yards with a terribly inaccurate weapon even if they were pulling the trigger with their tongues and using both hands to read a newspaper.
Having said all of that, the game still isn't difficult. The plot moves fast and deposits you all over the world to fight multiple different factions and foes. Whilst this keeps the levels fresh, it drains the life out of the plot and the characters. It's quick, clean and slick cuts from one part of the world to another are reminiscent of a C.S.I episode which serves to dazzle with protocol and oddly lit backdrops in place of actually humanising the characters or storyline. From memory, your character dies in a cut scene at the end of the mission about three different times. You stop caring about the characters long before this.
As a gamer I am a big fan of carnage, and at times MW2 delivered it in bucket loads. I loved skirting The Mall in a chopper whilst mini-gunning encroaching Russian soldiers. Likewise, the helicopter assault on a soviet gulag was great fun. But I did have a feeling like I'd seen so much of it before. With just a bunch of special ops missions (which were rehashed from in-game missions) and online multiplayer left to grind out some money's worth, I couldn't help but be thankful that this present was a gift, and I hadn't actually parted with a penny for it.