Modern Warfare 2 Updated Impressions - Complete E3 Demo

How did that snowmobile chase really end? We fill in the gaps in this in-depth look at the complete Modern Warfare 2 demo.

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Yesterday's Microsoft Press Conference showcased, for the first time, a live gameplay demo for the hotly anticipated Modern Warfare 2. Today, we went behind closed doors with Activision and Infinity Ward to get a more complete, more in-depth look at the demo. We got a great look at the impressive ice-climbing animations, the speedy snowmobile escape, and everything in between. While yesterday's demo cut away significant stretches of action with screens stating "In the interest of time..." and "Things do not always go as planned," our demo showed us exactly how it all went awry and how that snowmobile chase really ended.

First off, we'll flesh out some detail from the dramatic ice-climbing intro. Playing as a character named Roach, our demo driver shimmed around a frozen outcrop behind his team leader, Soap MacTavish. Soap leapt onto the sheer icy wall with stunningly realistic animation, and his weight swung around precariously. Roach's two ice axes are mapped to the left and right triggers. You have to hold the trigger in to swing the axe and keep it stuck in the ice. If you support your weight on one axe for too long, however, that realistic cracking in the ice will become a realistic breaking of the ice, and you'll fall to your death. When Roach makes the dramatic leap across a small chasm, you'll have to pull both triggers to stick both your axes in if you hope to survive.

Once Soap helps Roach to safety, you'll whip out the Silenced ACR with heartbeat sensor. This nasty little fellow shows enemy heartbeats on a flip-out radar window, which is a necessity in the whiteout conditions in which Roach and Soap were immersed. The whiteout is created by falling snow, clouds of white mist, and drifts blowing across the ground. This multilayered effect was compounded by the frost that gathered on Roach's goggles, slowly encroaching on his field of vision and making environmental conditions seem even harsher.

Roach and Soap dispatched a few guard patrols with little trouble, even switching to a cross-handed knife and sidearm combo for one encounter. Roach picked up an enemy weapon at one point and was promptly cautioned by Soap that unsuppressed enemy weapons would attract a lot of attention. Eventually, Soap went off to take the high ground, leaving Roach to navigate the base and airfield alone. Stealth was the order of the day, and the heartbeat sensor came on as Roach made his way across the airfield, ducking in and out of the various structures. The area was much more open and less linear than many of the levels in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Infinity Ward, in fact, explained that its revamped Modern Warfare 2 engine features streaming textures that allow for bigger, more detailed environments.

After getting caught out in the open and gunned down once (oops!), Roach respawned, planted some C4, and headed over to rendezvous with Soap. Roach silently killed many enemies as he stealthily maneuvered between buildings and darted across roads. The unseen Soap even pitched in with a few expertly timed headshots. The two rendezvoused outside of a large hangar, inside of which we could see welders repairing a fighter jet. Once inside, Soap covered their escape while Roach downloaded some mission critical data from a computer in a back office. Roach then received a muttered message from Soap cautioning him to stay low. As Roach rounded the corner, there was Soap standing on the work floor of an open hangar with about 12 enemies surrounding him. As he lifted his arms, he told Soap to "go to Plan B." And we all know what Plan B is...

BOOM goes the C4! And down go the distracted guards as Roach and Soap let their bullets fly. Up until now, the level had featured predominantly stealth action. Now it was a full-on firefight as the two blasted their way out onto the tarmac, frantically trying to maneuver away from their swarming enemies. Gunfire filled the air and enemy soldiers fell in droves, but they just kept coming. Using the MiG aircraft as cover (and as explosive distractions), the two managed to escape the airfield by sliding down an icy slope. But enemy forces were hot on their tail, and the two had to spin around to gun down their pursuers, especially the ones who came flying over the ridge on snowmobiles.

Like in the Microsoft Press Conference demo, Soap and Roach each mounted a snowmobile and took off racing. In addition to dodging trees and taking their rides over sweet jumps, there were plenty of enemies waiting to be gunned down with what appeared to be a semiautomatic sidearm. And then there were the attack helicopters. The chase was exciting on the big screen at the press conference, but in our smaller session, there was an even more intense sense of speed and excitement as trees whipped by and enemy snowmobilers flew onto the screen from unexpected angles. The two fled onto a large frozen lake, then shot up a frozen river through a canyon and out on to a hilltop. Soap's exclamations (and the dials on our own snowmobile) let Roach know that they were running on fumes and that their ride would soon come to an abrupt end. Cresting the hill, we saw a long slope laid out before Roach; much like a long ski jump but dotted with potentially deadly trees. Roach and Soap raced down the slope at their fastest speeds yet and our demo driver clenched with focus as he narrowly avoid tree after tree. At the end of the long slope was, predictably (and awesomely), a wide chasm that our heroes sailed over, arriving on the other side just as their evacuation chopper touched down. Safe, it seems, for now.

The full demo was even more compelling than the press conference demo because it painted the full picture of one of the early levels of the game (titled "Cliffhanger;" an earlier level we spotted was titled "Oil Rig"). The level went seamlessly from a stealth section to a frantic shootout to a dramatic vehicular escape all across a broad, open level (except for the chase bit), and it felt exciting every step of the way. Modern Warfare 2 is a direct sequel to Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and is clearly looking to step it up in terms of dramatic campaign levels. Those hungry for more Modern Warfare 2 should be sure to check out GameSpot's stage show live from E3, where we'll be sitting down again with Infinity Ward and delving even deeper into this exciting shooter.

Discussion

402 comments
Naicco
Naicco

modern warfare 2 also starts with Cheney-era rhetoric, celebrating "the most powerful military force in the history of man" before claiming, "every fight is [America's] fight, because what happens over here matters over there." ... strange huh? :P

m34d
m34d

well your probobly a child and you need to work in school not on your prestige level

Siimgames
Siimgames

sucks that my mom won't let me pre-order this :(

13kf
13kf

Looks amazing I need this game i cant wait This game has made me start getting all of the cods

KILLALL52
KILLALL52

i'm happy but at the same time sad because the online play is going to be the same spew of every player using the same cheap gun and shooting people when they turn there backs

XR782VT
XR782VT

I preordered this game 2 weeks ago, It sems like its gonna take forever from November to get here.

Axis_Sentinel
Axis_Sentinel

Looks interesting, lets just hope they let the OTHER modern special forces play instead of 90% SAS like in the first one!!!

Nar1
Nar1

oh yeahhh

valttu
valttu

I'll preorder this game. Never waited for any game as much as I'm waiting for this one!!! :)

nitronith
nitronith

It gona be so awsum on pc on sli;)

Bog101
Bog101

This game is gonna be totally awesome but im gonna give it a year for the price to go down.

theholyemu
theholyemu

@chainsawgamer wow you are completely wrong. I own the original modern warfare, but I got it a little after the game came out.Lets just say the multiplayer experince was not very fun. But i love the single player and do play split-screen from time to time. Also i think i'm leaning a little more towards this one now that it has that special ops thing. But why no 4-player co-op?

chainsawgamer
chainsawgamer

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

JB2B
JB2B

Stupid fanboys, I enjoy playing games just as much on my 360 as I do on my pc.

manga55
manga55

I cant wait. AND PC ROCKS ALL THE WAY!!!!!!!!!

BeckMall
BeckMall

PC rocks in online play, nuff said

theholyemu
theholyemu

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

2tank6
2tank6

yay! THIS GAME IS GAWNA ROCK THE HOUSE!

djr1118
djr1118

wit the price of games being more then a lot of us r willin to pay nowadays this is deff one of the 3 games i plan to buy for the full $60 lol the rest u just wait then go online n get em cheaper haha

mataviados
mataviados

In case you guys dont know the last picture is in Brazil (my country) more especifically in the city of Rio de Janeiro in a slum that appeared in the latest Hulk movie, wich is called Rocinha. I discovered this all by looking at the hill on the back of the image wich is called "Corcovado" and that statue on the top of it called "Cristo Redentor". Being brazilian and knowing that this slum is full of drug dealers I can conclude that a part of the game will be in Brazil. AWESOME!!!!!

solidsnake14015
solidsnake14015

looks like no prestige edition for PC, tried hard to find it online to pre-order but no use, still getting this no matter what! as the gentleman said below :D besides, PC is best for online play, massive number of dedicated servers with different modes, and that's my opinion ;)

ninjagaiden18
ninjagaiden18

this game looks DAMN good! fantastic! i am getting this no matter what

ratchetcooper1
ratchetcooper1

If they add a zombie mode again this will be the game of the century.

reeferchief
reeferchief

Soap Mactavish? sounds like he's had one too many spells in prison. Will this be cross platform online? I never got the first Modern Warfare, most the people I know play on Xbox and I'm on PS3, the online sounds good but like I say nearly every one I know is on another format and I cant afford an Xbox as well.:(

Danagan
Danagan

the ps3 version is better online i think cus the ppl are less dickish! i played it on xbox in my friends house nd the ppl wer just constantly insultin but on ps3 they are sound! just my opinion!

sMeAgOl_VaDeR
sMeAgOl_VaDeR

hopefully the campaign in much longer than the last MW, and if i may give some advice (but please dont fight) i suggest people get the 360 version, because compared to the # of people online on the PS3 version of CoD4, the 360 CoD4 online was much better by i think 5 million.

Fergocricket93
Fergocricket93

This game has all the components that made Modern Warfare a great game. Sorta like All Ghilled Up, they started stealthy and then went loud and killed people in open, dramatic combat, But now, it looks like they have been even more clever, introducing new tactics, weapons and gameplay. 2 Thumbs Up! I cant wait 4 this guys!

Triplepunk15
Triplepunk15

Omg I want this game I saw a vid by infinity ward about prestige edition with night vision goggles lol i really want with the game Grr i want now ;)

ArticRecon
ArticRecon

BIG BIG reccomendation... DESTRUCTABLE ENVIROMENTS!!!! Come on... Maps need that variation... It get's old having the same location strategy... Blow that wall/building to the ground... it all changes..

gumeh
gumeh

so cold in there...

Vasot
Vasot

This is one of my most anticipated titles along with Splinter Cell Conviction !!

wolf0
wolf0

no more talking .need now !!!!!!!!

DAKYON
DAKYON

i can't wait to play sabotage in this one :D

arsnakeheart
arsnakeheart

Call of Duty in Brazil. I hope their excuse for a war in Brazil is better than HAWX's. XD

gedbyz
gedbyz

This does look awesome.

MasterChief2k7
MasterChief2k7

I love the call of duty series and the modern warfare series are a terrific asset. But I believe it's high time for a Call of Duty: Vietnam. I think that would be so badass. Modern Warfare and the new Modern Warfare 2 are great because its something different than the same old WWII games everyone's played already. Don't get me wrong, World at War was terrific but I hope Activision and Infinity Ward will try something different and try working on a Call of Duty: Vietnam.

dave_d_man
dave_d_man

it looks really good! the updated engine makes everything look so awesome.. i saw the E3 demo and i have to say i am slightly disappointed with the lack of character interaction with basic environment objects.. (dont flame me.. please) doors still magically open in front of you without your character even lifting a finger.. and c4 still materialises out of nowhere without so much as roach priming the charge.. just a tad disappointed after they said it was going to be even more realistic than the first.. (curse you far cry 2 and your crazy fps stuff) other than that! its great! cant wait.. peace.

travis_y
travis_y

this game looks so awesome

DPhunkT
DPhunkT

I know the writer tried, but \this article doesn't give the game play justice. Check out the E3 demo video if you haven't done so already at Gametrailers.com.

slipknot1999
slipknot1999

they are working allready on call of duty 7

luke89330
luke89330

I hope IW didn't show this demo as the best part of the game. I still want my "holy crap"s. Keep the most dramatic campaign levels to 11/17/09.

pwnd-ur-mom
pwnd-ur-mom

Two spectacular looking seaquels in the same month OMG!

Sgt_Politeness
Sgt_Politeness

@Babomza I know what you mean. When I learned that you prevent infinite waves just by moving forward, it was a little disappointing. But it was much worse in WaW than MW. In WaW, you had so many squadmates that you could sometimes traverse the level without having to fire your weapon by just sprinting and lying flat behind cover, over and over again. However, I have to admit, sometimes it's just fun to blow those drones away, and I don't mind the respawning so much then. I don't mind the mechanic itself. I just hope it's more subtle than it has been in the past.