Great when it works, but it usually doesn't.
maxwell97 wrote this review on .
The good news is that the single-player portion is great fun. It runs well, there's a lot of variety, it looks good, and the story is well-written (in an action-movie sense, don't be looking for realism here).
The bad news is that the multiplayer is a beautiful, lofty castle, built on a sandbar that's being washed away by a flood. More literally, the structure and gameplay of the multiplayer mode is probably the best in CoD so far, which is really saying something - but the game is just too poorly-programmed to enjoy. My personal experience went like this:
I tried the MP game, and found the stuttering to render it unplayable.
I tweaked the configuration file to fix the network issues (which is something you should never have to do in a modern game). I then found the framerate to render it (though playable) unenjoyable, even though my system beats the requirements by a fair margin and I had dropped the settings substantially from what I would use for MW2, which runs beautifully.
I tweaked the config file again, to turn off the apparently buggy glow effects (again, something you should never have to do in a modern game). This made it playable and mostly enjoyable, though the framerate was still uneven. I then proceeded to enjoy it immensely for two days, during which time I made it past the first prestige level before the game stopped allowing me to alter my user-created classes or purchase new weapons, and then forgot that I had prestiged, resetting me to prestige-less level 23. At this moment I still can't do anything with create-a-class.
There is no excuse whatsoever for these levels of technical problems. I was patient through the up-front issues with stuttering and framerate, but when I lost about 12 hours' worth of advancement in the multiplayer and the crucial feature of create-a-class, I also lost any desire to put up with it further. The release of such a high-profile, triple-A-class game in this state is an absolute disgrace for Activision and Treyarch. I hope that they will address these problems with patches - and hopefully that's the last of the game-breaking bugs - but until they do, multiplayer is a complete loss. The score of 4.5 is based on the single-player alone; although excellent, by itself it is a poor value at $60.