High Hopes Crushed, Check Bitter Taste, Check High Quality Experience, Nope
The single player campaign was an interesting experience, drawing you into the story in the beginning. It seems to start off where its predecessor left off. Terrorist, check, secret military organization, check, lots of violence, double check. The story starts to make no sense about half way through, falling into chaos by the end. You beat one of two majorly bad men, but that leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. You only get to kill one of the two, seemingly leaving it open for a sequel.
How long does this campaign take? For me around three hours at the default difficulty. If one only bought the game for the single player experience, they would be very disappointed with the bang they got for the buck. But that isn't the case for the cod series. I know I bought them for the multiplayer. At least since COD4.
All in all id rate the single player experience at a 5 out of ten. I was not overly impressed, but it's not as bad as it could have been.
Now for the multiplayer review. I would have to say, I am not impressed. For now let us set aside all of the debates about dedicated servers, and all of the controversy over the decision to cut it.
I began my first match of multiplayer fairly fast. The matchmaking removed the ability to search for the best server, instead it "automated" this. Fine, i'd prefer to search for one, but I am willing to give this a shot. I sit an the lobby for about a minute and I am in my first Free-For-All game of COD:MW2. The pace seemed slow, but I attributed that to my lack of playtime. Somehow, I ended up first in score, I win the match. Great, no. Not really. I wasn't excited, but again I blamed this on my lack of play time.
Two days later, I write this review. I see all of the negative comments being made, and if you haven't, I recommend going to the Infinity Ward forums and seeing what the people are saying in the pc section. It's amazing how slighted alot of PC Gamers feel. Admittedly IW said there would be dedicated servers. They didn't deliver this, instead you're hosting off of one of the people you're playing with. This causes issues of course, especially lag. Hopefully when your playing, the host doesn't leave. If they do you have in my experience a fifty fifty chance of the game ending. Not so good.
I also noticed some issues with host migration, in fact when you see this error. It will direct you towards an Infinity Ward web page, explaining that your router may be the cause. What they aren't saying on there is, that it may have selected a host other than yourself who hasn't left their computer completely open to the wilds of the internet.
Now, for all of the anger and hatred being directed at Infinity Ward. I understand some feel mistreated, especially since IW got it's start and popularity from the PC Gaming community. But don't forget, they are a business first and foremost. This means that alot of people got together and made this decision before launch. That being said, removing the ability for the community to create content is, in my humble opinion, a mistake, and one that you will see with future releases.
I won't take the time to argue why or why not dedicated servers are important. I will just say that they are a better idea than peer-to-peer, and client hosting. I wait and hope that like left for dead, they patch and allow us to have dedicated servers that we may pick from.
I will also say, that since I purchased this game and have played it online, I am very disappointed with the community I have played with. While there are a few people that understand teamwork, they are few and far between. When I play any of the First Person Shooters that I own, which is alot, I have the ability to play one specific servers, and take part in many communities. I have the choice, I am not lumped in with people I don't know, I am allowed my choice of map, settings, ect. This is a blow to the PC Gaming community, in an epic way. I suppose I will finish this thought with laughter at the quote I recently read from an interview with IW staff. While I won't post the quote here, you must be crazy to think that gamers want to play a game exactly how YOU think they should, not how they want to. We don't live in a communist dictatorship. We can choose a different company's game.
Overall I would give the multiplayer portion of COD:MW2 a very low 3.5 out of 10. This brings the average and overall score for the game to a 4.25.