Short and shallow at "recession, what recession?" pricing

User Rating: 6.5 | Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 PC
If one thought that it impossible to have access to too much cash, I would point immediately to Infinity Ward as the poster child for the detriments of excess. This current iteration of CoD wades deep into the shallow end of the kiddie pool to deliver a ridiculous story, pacing that only the ADD crowed could love, and game length barely longer than the time it takes to install the game and watch the credits. However, it does so with such pretty packaging and summer blockbuster like production value, that IW hopes you won't notice and while your ears are ringing from the constant explosions, they'll pick your pocket for $60 because hey, what's an extra $10 in this economy?

Technically given the graphics and frenetic action, the game runs quite well. On a 8800GTS card I was able to run the game at 1920X1200 with, I guess, full graphical options. Of course since this game was made to run on consoles, it really should run well with this hardware. I did suffer 2 extreme crashes one being to the desktop and the other actually reboot the machine. Despite all the save games, both times the mission had to start completely over as a result. It's rare to see these kinds of crashes, but even more rare that the game is unable to recover properly. Given the "length" of the game though, and you are actually never far from where you started....

Following in true console fashion (oh, right this is on a PC) there is no ability to save the game. Having said that, the game saves automatically more often than any other game I have ever come across. As a result one wonder why they didn't just let you save the game when you want until you remember that this game was made for console. All the saves aren't necessarily a good thing since the game only has 1 save slot. If the game decides to save you in a bad position (as it did for me on several occasions) you will either have to try to deal with it or restart the mission (as I had to do once). If the game is going to think and decide for me, I wish it were a little smarter about it.

The story as mentioned has gaps the size of the Grand Canyon. While no one really comes to these types of games expecting deep political thrillers, it would be nice to construct something with more meat and depth. The pacing of this game is beyond absurd and requires you to develop ADD in order to tolerate it. There is absolutely no time to try and listen and comprehend the chatter or conversations (maybe that is good all things considering) nor look at and take in what is going on around you. IW seems to forget that downtime is just as important as balls to the wall action. When a game has nothing but balls to the wall action, it all becomes just a lot of noise. This game is so absolutely tone deaf when it comes to pacing and structure that it is hard to believe this is the same company who made the most brilliant FPS WWII games.

We all know that the last CoD game was about the length of an expansion pack. If you feared that this iteration was going to be the same, I can tell you that it isn't. The game is actually the length of a trailer or perhaps a demo. If you think you are going to get your monies worth out of the single player experience, I have news for you, it is worth $29.99 tops not the $60 double dip recession prices that will have the Fed considering whether inflation really is something to worry about now.

I have not yet taken on multiplayer. I am fully aware that IW, besides slapping the PC version with console pricing, also emasculated the server dynamic around multiplayer (thus accounting for the majority negative reviews you see on this and other sites for the PC). I do plan to try out Spec Ops with a friend which will hopefully add another $5 of value and 15 minutes to this product.

Instead of channeling their inner Michael Bay, IW could stand to tap into a little "King of the World" James Cameron and add about 3x the length and content to this game. It really wouldn't be that hard. Perhaps they need to go back and play some of their earlier works to better understand how they became a premier development house to begin with. As it stands, if this is going to be their development template, then this is going to be the last IW game I play. It's a shame to as these guys really are talented. Perhaps they need to suffer a little from the recession in order to tap into that talent once again.