Amazing game or Gaming Failure?
First of all when I got my package I was still excited so I ran up stairs and started to install the game. "36 minutes remaining" and that is after a 10 minute preparation. 'ok' I said to myself I'll just read the manual. 10 seconds later I had read the manual. Now, I don't know about most gamers but first impressions for me a crucial and the manual is ALWAYS the first impression for me, especially with PC games, so when I get a 4 page manual with no information whatsoever the excitement dies a little. After taking a shower and playing some brain training (yes, I am that cool) the installation was finally over, after 2 DVD's it bloody should be! Anyway…I was introduced with a screen which, basically, said "this game offends people do you want to skip the offensive parts" What is up with censoring these days… people need to stop suing companies all the time. Obviously I said let me see all the nasty demons you put in here Infinity Ward!
So, I figured since it's a new release I'll avoid multiplayer for a bit until more people get the game so launched up single player. After s series of flashbacks of you're old team-mates dying and then another talk from a man called 'Shepard' during the standard COD4 loading screen I was put in the shoes of an American soldier for another round of tutorial goodness. Pretty much identical to COD4 – shoot targets through walls, use a grenade, then switch between side arm and primary weapon a few times then an assault course which was easy enough; then you would get the recommended difficulty. Without wanting to become a story teller, from here on you continue with the story and there are some very nice surprises and "OMGBBQ" moments in the single player but only if you played COD4. Eventually you figure out that a dude named Makarov is pissed off at America and wants to kill everyone for a reason you have to find out for yourself.
Overall the single player is extremely fun though short, there are bits in the story where you will find unique twinkles within each level which means you can't get too bored of killing a billion enemies, like you had to in some of the COD4 missions. There are plenty of toys to play with, with a mass array of guns and don't worry about running out of ammo because even if you run out of your 12 magazines there are supply drops in a lot of levels and the bad guys carry some pretty nice weapons too and there are more weapon mods and extra things to play with like predator missiles which you guide to destroy anyone you really dislike. You will find yourself almost always in constant action so long as you aren't sniping and sneaking up on people. The terrain ranges from wide open spread areas to claustrophobic shanty towns. The AI is a little more intelligent that COD4 and the enemies know how to flank you and move from cover instead of running straight for you, they also know how to use flash bangs and ambush, so you need to keep on your toes a little more than before. Oh and it's still pretty easy.
After you finish single player which can be done in one sitting (5-6 hours or less depending on how much you look around) you'll want to play multiplayer. Now, before I continue I just want to say that when starting MW2 I said to myself "don't complain about the non dedicated servers and how its small number of players…and how IW are screwing PC gamers" and I tried for so long but eventually I just had to give in to the fact that I was extremely bored with it. High ping no players (at peak time) and I had no ambition to gain more levels. I did feel like IW was ignoring the PC gaming community and I couldn't help but feel like how some other reviewers felt. "I fell like I have been spat on" "this is ruining PC gaming" etc.
Luckily my only friend in the world also bought MW2 so we tried Spec-Ops. It isn't that big of a deal, there isn't any "HOLY S***T" moments there are no real points where you NEED Co-op (like in the R6Vegas games) so Spec-Ops doesn't save the multiplayer.
Overall this game is actually fantastic – it's just that the people who made it made a huge mistake by bending PC gamers over and giving them, essentially, a console port. But who knows maybe more people will start to play and the servers will open up more over the world so Ping won't be so high. Or if we are really lucky and IW look at some of our comments they will patch up and give us dedicated servers and make the PC world a happy place once again. Let's just hope that the devil and his minions at Activision don't charge us for it.
EDIT: So I changed my score - again - to a little higher. The MP experience isn't all that bad. If you consider that the problem is the in-exhistance of dedicated servers which will cause high ping especailly when connecting to a user whoes interenet speed isn't almighty. However if you are lucky enough to find a VERY local server (im talking same country in asia, or state if you're in america, or county for England, or city etc) the gameplay is just as amazing as i nthe singleplayer. I thoroughly enjoyed about 3 hours of fully feldge lag free gameplay. The customisation is so large and challenges give you reason to keep playing. I wont go to say that this game deserves anything near a 9 because of its MASSIVE flaw in not having l dedicated servers (which really doesn't make any sense) I'm expecting a lot of people who fully read my 2nd edit to scoff at my sudden change in view of the multiplayer but I had to be honset to myself and so do a lot of other people who totally blacklist this game JUST because there are no dedicated servers yes I will wholehartedly agree it is the stupidest decision in the history of gaming and IW should be banned from making any kind of change like this forever. But please give it a chance, even if you rent it/borrow it whatever. MW2 is a game worth playing.