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Modern Warfare 2 Day#3: Join the Army, See the World

Day 3 on Modern Warfare shows an improvement in gameplay, with firefights that I think I actually do have to fight in and admittedly beautiful graphics. The narrative, on the other hand, remains just as completely idiotic as it has been so far.  It’s a better session today, and the combat is clearly showing that it could be fun in other contexts, but there are still moments of pure stupidity and absolute frustration. Spoilers within.

We pick up running out of the South American village to get away from enemies. Good soldier I am, I accidentally shoot my own guy in the chaos and have to restart. I get up onto a street and die lots of times, and then get out of that street and die lots of times. At least this feels like a game with  lots of pretty fun shooting combat. It ends with a timed run to a helicopter to get out. I die once cheaply because I think I can auto jump over a gap. PLEASE EXPLAIN TO ME THE FUCKING CONTROLS. I am so sick of dying in this game when I think I know a control and it turns out I don’t. This is followed by another roof running scene which is pretty intense but pretty unclear — ultimately a nice end run.  Okay, that scene was pretty good.

This transitions to more truly stupid fighting in Virginia.  The mission is to guard a vehicle from enemy fire, and I have no idea where the fire is coming from. I am just stumbling my way through this. We end up killing enemies in suburban houses and then getting blocked by a barricade. In the middle, there is a STUPID respawn point has me facing the wrong way and getting shot as I appear, so I end up doing this same scene like 50 times trying to get it straight. It is so frustrating, but we do get past the barricade, and then die 50 more times when I cross to the other side. (Did I mention that I suck at these games?) The scene ends with a weirdly Scarface moment of running through a mansion, and when we exit on the other side, I have to call artillery on some missile vehicles.   Watching the artillery destroy the vehicles is cool. We then have to rescue a target from a safe room. We run through the suburban streets up to the panic room, but we find it open and the guy’s dead. The NPCs babble on about how there’s no sign of entry, but I am long since carrying about the plot and I totally ignore them.

Back to the other team, now going after the prisoner that the villain wants for some reason or other. This apparently requires taking care of SAMs on oil rigs first. That makes about as much sense as anything in this game. We begin on a sub and exit on some underwater vehicle. Okay, the surfacing from underwater looks very cool, I mean top-notch graphics here. We silently take out a couple of guards in a quick-time event. Then I have to breach a door (press X and wait a second) and then save hostages behind it. When the door opens, there are a few moments of slow-motion where I have to kill some guards holding the captives. I keep killing a hostage I can’t even see. Oh I see it now – a guard is using the hostage as a shield. It takes four times but I clear those hostages. We head upstairs, and save more hostages the same way. I’m told to use C4 on bodies to distract coming guards, and then we run up to a platform out of sight and blow the C4 when the enemies show up. This is followed by a fight up to roof as hostages are extracted below. Entering a room upstairs, I die so many times because I reached this checkpoint with the wrong weapon, and it’s a hard struggle past that scene. I then have to fight through smoke using thermal vision, another cool set of graphics.  We end with having to save last bit of hostages, and I realize these hostage scene are basically Time Crisis snippets, which is pretty cool.  I win, and I’ll admit the game is improving in terms of the quality of the gameplay.

We stick with this team, and we’re heading to get the guy I think. We start on helis and see some navy jets strike something, and then our helis strike. We have the chance to snipe some guards on some towers. This is very fun to do, even though I’m confident that I could have done nothing to the same result. The heli’s land, and we snipe more on the way down, but sniper rifle sucks close in so I switch away from it. I get into the gulag after 5 or so deaths. We are trying to get to cell but our computer guy has to find it. We  get through the corridors pretty easily. There’s a point where we have to rappel down, and then we go into tunnels which are much harder.  I die a few times because I don’t know fire comes out of pipes that are shot near me. I have to breach wall at the end of the tunnels, and we enter what looks like a bathroom. It is a death-trap of snipers, and I die like 10 times just trying to clear twenty feet. I’ll tackle this tomorrow. I call it a night.

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  1. Douglas Yee says

    I’ll let you in on a secret re: the storyline.

    A friend of mine was watching a video interview with a couple IW guys. The reporter asked them about some of the plot holes. The developer then admitted that they’d just designed the levels to be cool set pieces and then made up a plot almost after the fact in order to tie everything together.

    So if it seems like the game designers were just making stuff up as they went along, then it’s because that’s exactly what they were doing.

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