Monday, September 05, 2011

MW2 single player versus MW1

Having played and enjoyed the single player campaign of Modern Warfare 2 over the weekend I am finally ready to share my thoughts of how it compares to it's predecessor only twenty two months too late!

I realise that these games are most famous for multiplayer but single player is still important both because many players never get beyond a brief flirtation with multi and because the single player game will live on long after Activision turn off the online servers.

Storyline: I was very surprised to find that MW2 has a strong storyline that is both ambitious and audacious. It is certainly more coherent than the thread which ties together MW1's series of missions.

Pacing: The action has cranked up a bit from MW1 to MW2 and the game moves along at a faster pace. Indeed the pacing of the game is pretty much flawless. This is a game that is hard to put down. There are no boring filler patches and there are no unfair difficulty traps. The checkpoint timings are so good as to be virtually un noticeable.

Difficulty: MW2 is definitely an easier game than 1 but this is because there are no unfair difficulty traps in 2 while there were several in 1.

Missions: MW2 has come out on top so far but finally we have an area where it's predecessor triumphs. Modern Warfare 1 has many moments of sublime brilliance and some of the missions rank up there as all time greatest video game experiences.  Missions like "All Ghillied up", "One shot one kill" and "Death From above" remain on in the memory and I still go back and replay them regularly. While MW2 has better over all pacing and coherence there really aren't any standout moments. There wasn't a single mission that gave me an instant urge to replay it. Indeed only a day after finishing the campaign I struggle to remember an individual mission at all.

Overall: It is curious that despite the single player campaign of MW2 winning out over its predecessor in many areas I have absolutely no doubt that MW1 is the better and more important game. Modern Warfare 2 is more polished over all and exhibits significant competence but Call of Duty 4 had moment of standout brilliance.


Jayedub said...

I enjoyed the gameplay in MW2, but it's formula really annoyed me greatly. I think part of the problem was my mindset when I finally played the single-player of MW2 so that didn't help much.

I am however looking forward to MW3.

mbp said...

I was pleasantly surprised by MW2's single player to be honest because there is no doubt that multi-player has become the more important component. I too look forward to MW3 but the €60+ price tag is likely to be an inhibitor for me for some time to come.

If I was better at multi-player the price tag wouldn't be such an issue because it is always better to get in early in a multiplayer game but to be honest I am so bad it makes little difference whether I get in early or late.