I’ve talked about Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 even before it hit the stores. Given that I am one of the people who actually boycotted the game, I never got the chance to play it. Instead, I chose to wait for a couple of months to support a game that actually supports the PC gaming community: Battlefield: Bad Company 2.
By chance, Activision decided to let the game be free this weekend. They also lowered the price, possibly both as a bid to deal a blow to the continuous migration of players from their game to the competitor’s, or as a last minute move to promote the game before shit hits the fan. Whatever the reason, the key here is that I get to play MW2 and compare it with BC2.
So how does the “biggest launch in entertainment history” compared to the current underdog?
As expected, MW2 is more of a tactical game than BC2, which in turn is more strategic than the former. By “tactical”, I mean that MW2 game revolves around maneuvering and camping because of the close quarters nature of the maps. On the other hand, BC2 is strategic: because the teams (4-9 in MW2 vs 12-16 in BC2) and maps are much larger (around 2-4 times that of normal MW2 maps) there are multiple ways a team can achieve their objective, whether it’s a frontal assault with armored vehicles, a flanking assault with infantry, a long range bombardment with snipers who double as spotters, an unexpected airdrop using Black Hawk choppers, etc.
Now while that might sound like BC2 is much more “fun” than MW2, in reality it isn’t that simple. You see, not everyone in the current generation of gamers are that patient to run hundreds of meters without killing anyone (since indiscriminate firing will alert the enemy of your position and you’ll get cut down in seconds). MW2 caters to these types of gamers, giving them a fast paced gaming experience wherein they expect to kill (or get killed) in the first minute of the game.
Now let’s move to the “controversial” part of the game: the lack of dedicated servers. In my personal experience, the gameplay is “ok” in terms of lag especially if you’re paired with Filipino players. It’s when we go outside of the lag issue that it gets ugly.
With dedicated servers, you can keep a list of servers that you know are frequented by nice people. With matchmaking, you don’t know if you’re going to be put in a game full of assholes. You could exit the game lobby when you realize that the lobby has a couple of assholes in it, but that would mean that you need to wait for a couple of minutes for that lobby to start so as not to be stuck there the next time you click “Find Game”.
There’s also the wait. Granted, BC2’s server browser sucks, but at least you’ll know if there is really an available server. In MW2, you can get stuck waiting if you’re playing in off-peak hours (eventually getting put in a high ping game).
Sorry IW, dedicated servers is still the way to go in PC gaming.
My other major comment about MW2 is its overuse of achievements and unlocks. Sure, BC2 has its own achievements and unlocks, but MW2 just takes the cake for the sheer amount it has (e.g. callsigns). If not for these “fabulous” addition to the MW2, this review would’ve just said “MW2 is to Counter-Strike as BC2 is to Battlefield 1942 8 years ago.”
And the point system… it’s as if MW2 makes everything you do look special. I mean, MW2 calls kills at this range:
No, that isn’t a long shot.
is a long shot: a head shot at an enemy on another island (see map, B is the 3rd green dot and A is the 4th; the enemy is on the island to the south). It’s so long that I have to aim above the head to compensate for bullet drop due to gravity.
Heck, it’s not even that much of a long shot since I’m just using a 6x scope. In some other maps, I could hit targets that are about 200-300 yards farther than those and still get a head shot.
Now when we talk about sniping, we talk about camping, another problem with MW2. Memorizing all of the camping areas is a necessity in MW2 whether for camping or counter-camping.
BC2 doesn’t have this problem simply because all camping areas can be blown up.
From sniping to camping to blowing things up, the discussion will always go to the grenade launcher, aka the “noob tube”. In both games, the grenade launcher is a powerful weapon capable of killing enemies without the need for accuracy.
On the other hand, it’s a relatively normal weapon in BC2. It’s a necessary weapon for a team because of the destructible environment, and the wide open spaces means that people don’t clump together for noob tube double kills unlike in MW2.
Both games are ok, but since I’m more of a strategic player, I’ll stick with BC2.