Tango Down

How our heroes have fallen. As Batman said; you either die a hero, or live long enough to see yourself become the villain. Dr Who, apparently, appears to be living proof of this, and so it is with Modern Warfare 2. For those of us that care to cast our minds back to 2003, the original Call of Duty was a breath of fresh air in an increasing stagnating genre of first person shooters, but now it seems that Modern Warfare 2 marches onwards representing exactly that which it sought to change.


As with that first game, MW2 casts you in a series of roles; as a British SAS-type commando and as a lone Private in a war zone, with a few others thrown in along the way. Its purpose is, ultimately, to give you an insight into the horror and excitement of fighting in a global conflict. It sticks very closely, however, to one key element; it’s linearity. What we therefore end up with is an immaculately polished and handsome game that doesn’t really deviate from constant action, where you’re given just enough freedom not to feel restricted.


It all comes across a bit Hollywood, as does the plot, which is harmless but nothing less than a Tony Clancy cast off that is just the right side of competent and dramatic. All it really does though is provide a catalyst for the action, which is shameless and excellent but doesn’t do anything that Doom didn’t do over a decade ago. Likewise, the guns feel satisfying and powerful, and the enemies are just convincing enough to offer you a real challenge. Level design, too, is top-notch and looks absolutely stunning, especially when a plane or helicopter comes streaking across the sky.


The only real let down is That Level in the Moscow airport which feels forced and lacks challenge. Unlike so many of the other levels, Moscow is simply a case of gunning down (or not, depending on the health of your soul) innocents, which is easy and serves no purpose but to upset the Daily Mail. Generally though, the levels do enough to keep you occupied.


So, is it really any good? Well… yes, it is. If we judge games according to whether or not you play them through to end and whether or not you enjoy them, then MW2 is one of the best games I’ve played all year. It’s solid, action-packed and bucket-loads of fun. But it’s also short, predictable and probably not worth the high ticket price.


However, if we look back to GTA IV – a game that courted media attention and hype in a similar way – we find a game that despite being great, didn’t quite deliver. MW2 does deliver – oddly – despite all the hype, and while that might be because we knew exactly what it was going to be like, it deserves praise for that.

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5 Comments on “Tango Down”

  1. Scruffy Says:

    That’s it? Nothing about the cluster-bomb sized holes in the plot? Not a mention of the awful system for joining multi-player games?
    Ok, a few hours to swich-off and wind-down while playing the single player game it manages quite well, but for a title billed as an “epic story” and “great multiplayer experiance” it fails spectacually.

  2. Paul S Says:

    Wotcha Scruffy.

    These are all things I’ll be having a look at in the PC version later this week, so not to worry. Probably also worth pointing out that Gilbo was playing it on the XBOX three hundred and sixty, which has none of the multiplayer issues of the PC version.

  3. I thought the plot was OK, bomb sized holes aside. Sure, it’s got some daft bits and some huge plot holes. But ‘epic story’ doesn’t mean ‘faultless narrative.’ Besides, it’s Call of Duty, not Dragon Age. The multiplayer I played was – as Paul says – the Xbox 360 version, I’ll come back to review that when I’ve had more time with it.

  4. Paul S Says:

    As a follow up; what the Dickens does Oscar Mike mean? Americans keep saying this to me. I never say a word. I imagine that I simply stand their dazed and slack jawed, bewilidered by people shouting manly things about Tango.

  5. Scruffy Says:

    “Oscar Mike” is a silly US acronym for “On the Move” why they don’t just say “Moving Out” I don’t know!

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