Holiday season is coming, and that means that products of all categories are getting released. On the gaming front however, there hasn’t really been that much going on this fall because the developers have feared that all sales would be crushed by the biggest release this year: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. MW2, or MewTwo as I saw someone call it online (MewTwo is a Pokémon, nonetheless) is the sixth Call of Duty game but the first one that’s a direct successor, and it’s a successor to CoD4: Modern Warfare. CoD4 in itself sold 13 million copies worldwide, and was the first Call of Duty game to be set in modern times instead of world war two.
It became a massive success and the online multiplayer part was hugely successful. When CoD5 was announced, Treyarch got the job of making the successor (with CoD4 being made by Infinity Ward) and it never became half the success of the previous game. CoD6: MW2 puts the development back with Infinity Ward and hopes were high for the game that would succeed one of the most popular shooters of all time. Then came November 10, release day.
Reviews and ratings were through the roof for the game and it became an instant success with people running to buy it on release day. While the single player part was also highly anticipated, the multiplayer part of the game was what most people were after - and therein lays the problem.
Infinity Ward decided to drop dedicated servers for the PC version, something that upset so many people that the average rating for the game on Amazon US is 1.5 stars out of 5, vs 4 out of 5 for the console versions. Basically the game no longer allows people to make their own servers (they are created automatically, aka peer-to-peer), the max number of players is down from 64 to 18, no custom maps and so on. In essence, the PC version is a port of the console version, which is creating havoc in the community of hard core gamers that want to control their own gaming sessions to the max.
Infinity Ward also got a lot of heat a couple of weeks ago due to scenes in the game picturing killing innocent civilians as part of a scene in the game. This got the attention of media worldwide and the game was said to contain scenes too strong for even the 18+ rating it has. Personally I can’t see how something you see on the news every day is suddenly too harsh if put in a video game, and certainly the GTA series would be a better game to blame for killing innocent people, but media always seem to want something to complain about.
As for the game itself, I used to play a lot of CoD4 and was looking forward to “MewTwo”, but lost interest a couple of months ago. Call of Duty is simply the kind of game where you have to invest more time than most people should spend on videogames, and I don’t want to be sucked into being that unproductive once again.
Still, it’s certainly a nice title that will find its way under many a Christmas tree this winter.