Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Back in November I started playing Modern Warfare 2 on the PS3, and since then I’ve sunk well over 3 days into the game. The multiplayer is fast and furious, and highly addictive. This is my first Call of Duty game, so I can’t say much about anything previously in the series, but it’s super polished and plays great. The customization of classes is fun and gives some variety, and the use of death and kill streaks gives the game momentum. Getting rewarded for going on a roll and being able to call in air strikes and killer helicopters can really push the outcome in your favor.
There are some negatives. Despite the different game modes, some of which include holding flags in Domination (like battlefield) or capture the flag, it all feels very much like deathmatch. My personal favorite is Domination, where your teams wins by holding flags and accruing points, but even in this mode, there is usually little communication as a team. To compound the problem, people spawn at different times and places, so organizing isn’t easily done. And because of all this, the game begins to get very repetitive.
There’s a mode called “prestige” which adds some replay value to the game. Your level in multiplayer is capped at 70, but prestige mode lets you start all over and do it again. This gains you a special emblem, and there are 10 levels of prestige. So theoretically, you can play the game through 11 times in multiplayer.
I picked up MAG a couple weeks ago because I had to check it out. This is a game promising 256 players in one battle, and everything is about communication. So in a way, it’s the opposite of what Modern Warfare 2 is.
My first impressions were not good. I think I was expecting MW2….just bigger, and that’s not what I got. The game is much slower, and it took a while for that to feel OK. It runs at a slightly lower framerate, and the controls aren’t quite as tight and quick, and for the first few hours I had some serious buyer’s remorse. But the more time I sunk into the game, the more I got used to how the game played, and now it’s great. The game is much more like a simulation, where MW2 is like an arcade game.
The best part of the game is the teamwork. You and the members on your team attack or defend certain positions from the other PMC groups you’re battling against. You can custom design your player for different purposes, like being a medic, heavy weapons, or a sniper. You earn skill points with each level that you get to spend on these different attributes. One of the best ways to level up is to research healing and resuscitation early on, because it gives you tons of experience. Once I researched this, I was able to come out number 1 or 2 on my squad with ease.
And this is one of the things that makes this game more rewarding than MW2. Healing someone on your team so they can continue to fight with you feels good. Spawning with other members of your squad at the same time and place means you march into the fight together. Your squad leader tells you were to concentrate your fight to help your team win the battle. It’s this communication and teamwork that make the game standout.
If there are any drawbacks…it would be the learning curve. MW2 you can just start playing…and you might suck at first, but that’s because you have to develop the twitch skills needed to be good. MAG on the other hand comes with very little training or info on how the game works, and that makes it feel overwhelming at first. I’ve just gotten to the level where I can be a leader in a game, but I feel vastly unprepared to lead people into battle (especially on the biggest and most complicated maps).
But this is where the MAG community comes in. There is all sorts of valuable information at the MAG forums, and people are generally good at helping you in the game. But having a mic is an absolute must! Why anyone would get this game without a mic, I don’t know. Without being able to chat with others you feel isolated. You can’t request a medic, or call out snipers, and it really takes away from the game.
I’ve come to the conclusion that the games are very different, and both are quite fun. I’ve gone back and forth now between the two, and they both fulfill a different need. When I want fast paced action, it’s MW2. When I want something slower paced and more “intellectual,” then it’s MAG. I know a couple guys with MW2, but no one with MAG, so I’m sure I’d enjoy MAG even more if I had friends that played it, but finding good random people to play with is still fun.
If you can only pick up one, it depends on what you’re looking for. MW2 also has a good single-player game, so that might be important to you (MAG is online only). It also depends on the type of game you want to play. I’ve never played a SOCOM game, but MAG is by the same people. I’d compare MW2 more to a quake or counter-strike style game.
Hope this helps anyone looking to pickup one game or the other.