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102 of 115 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Could've been better, but it's not *THAT* bad.
First and foremost.. Yes, I've played my share of both multiplayer and singleplayer. I've also been cal and cevo main, I've played games like cs (1.6, css) and cod4 among others semi-professionally. Also my review may contain spoilers. Just keep that in mind - Thanks.

So I'll start with the singleplayer. All I have to say is, wow. It's like a very entertaining...
Published on November 13, 2009 by Thomas Cila

versus
1,009 of 1,150 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
The perks of buying the PC version according to Infinity Ward (IW):

1. Text chatting. Now you can text chat to your buddies in-game while online, what fantastic innovation.

2. Adjustable graphics setting -- gotta give them points for adding that feature, while console users are stuck with their 720/1080 resolution, you can max it up all the way...
Published on November 10, 2009 by B. Lim


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1,009 of 1,150 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, November 10, 2009
By 
B. Lim (Cambridge, MA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:1.0 out of 5 stars 
The perks of buying the PC version according to Infinity Ward (IW):

1. Text chatting. Now you can text chat to your buddies in-game while online, what fantastic innovation.

2. Adjustable graphics setting -- gotta give them points for adding that feature, while console users are stuck with their 720/1080 resolution, you can max it up all the way depending on your hardware. Amazing stuff...although every game has had this feature since the beginning of PC gaming.

3. The ability to use your mouse and keyboard. Now you can unplug your xbox controller and use your computer accessories for a more accurate FPS experience(!).

4. You'll have a fantastic smooth time connecting to IWNet; its so perfect, it'll even give you XBox Live error messages.

Now, the negatives:

1. You're paying more for an inferior product. $60 vs $50. The consoles have a valid excuse for charging more -- $10.00 goes to the console manufacturer (Sony or Microsoft), Activision is just being greedy here; really quite unacceptable, especially in today's economy.

2. Dedicated servers removed -- don't even get me started; I'm sure you've heard of the petition which is nearing 200,000 signatures to re-include dedicated servers. We're left with a terrible online experience. I played the first Modern Warfare (MW) on the PS3 which had peer to peer online play and it was disastrous. Expect drop outs and poor performance. The host of the game will always have the advantage because they have the better latency.

3. No mods. This is surprising because so many other popular games were developed from mods including -- Counterstrike, Team-fortress 2 and Left 4 Dead. The only reason I can think of why IW/Activision would want to do such a thing would be to charge for content later on. I remember paying for 3 maps for the first MW -- and to tell you the truth, it really wasn't worth it.

4. Steam required. When you install the game you are required to install the Steam platform and link it to an e-mail address, and your Steam username. This makes reselling the game next to impossible.

5. Feels and plays more like a Modern Warfare 1.5 then a Modern Warfare 2.0; the graphics are alright for todays standard, but I was expecting a lot more from IW for a two year development cycle.

6. Short single player. Since they've gimped the multiplayer aspect, and the single player can roughly be finished in 6-7 hours, I suggest you rent this on the console if you have one.

7. Multiplayer only allows 9 vs 9 (18 player) matches. MW1 allows up to 64 -- does more mean more enjoyable? No, not necessarily, but at least there is choice and server admins were able to set it to their liking.

Infinity Ward have really let their fans down. The multi-player made the original spectacular; with the removal of dedicated servers, competitive and fair play is dead.

Business schools should take note because this would make a wonderful case study on how a company has ruined one of the most anticipated franchise in such a short amount of time. MW2 was literally a license to print money for Activison/IW. With such a terrible management decision, reinstating dedicated servers will be the only hope to redeem themselves in the eyes of their consumers -- however I think this fiasco will not be easily forgotten.

*** Update 11/18/09

Theres hope yet! Hackers have released a patch so you can start/join a dedicated server; its disgusting that this has to come from the underground scene and not Activision/IW. It seems that the hacked copies "freely" available over the Internet is now the superior version.

Hackers have also found hidden modes via the console -- Global Thermonuclear War, One Flag CTF and VIP mode -- future downloadable content already in the game? How low you've fallen Activision/IW.

*** Update 04/16/10

I've given up on this game and probably this series for good -- The 'impenetrable' IWNet is plagued with hacks and cheats. I suggest you all save your money and get Battlefield Bad Company 2 instead; I've been enjoying the experience so far, its a game that involves more strategy and not your standard Modern Warfare, run and gun. Even the NY Times agrees that Bad Company 2 is a better game than Modern Warfare 2. [...]
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1,126 of 1,286 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars DO NOT BUY!, November 10, 2009
By 
Nathan Risto (North Mankato, MN United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:1.0 out of 5 stars 
Do not buy this game. It is a total waste of your hard earned money. Just read some of the reviews and you will see this is nothing more than a gimped console port. Everything that makes this game a PC game is missing.

I would recommend waiting for Battlefield Bad Company 2 for the PC instead. It retains much of what is still desirable in a PC game.

Here is a break down of the differences between Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare and Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2. Take notice that almost everything is a downgrade for a higher price.

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

Networking: Client/Server
Avg Ping: 25-40ms
Console Commands: Yes
Lean: Yes
Custom Maps: Yes
Number of Players: up to 64
Competitive Mods: Yes
Mod Tools: Yes
Ability to Record: Yes
Kick/Ban Hackers Immediately: Yes
Profiles Saved Online: No
Manually Select Server to Join: Yes
Control Bad Language: Yes
0 ping Advantage for Host: No
Lan Play: Yes
Free Demo: Yes
Price: $50

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2

Networking: Peer 2 Peer (downgrade)
Avg Ping: 100ms+ (downgrade)
Console Commands: No (downgrade)
Lean: No (downgrade)
Custom Maps: No (downgrade)
Number of Players: up to 18 (downgrade)
Competitive Mods: No (downgrade)
Mod Tools: No (downgrade)
Ability to Record: No (downgrade)
Kick/Ban Hackers Immediately: No (downgrade)
Profiles Saved Online: Yes
Manually Select Server to Join: No (downgrade)
Control Bad Language: No (downgrade)
0 ping Advantage for Host: Yes (downgrade)
Lan Play: Yes
Free Demo: No (downgrade)
Price: $60 (downgrade)
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533 of 607 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Fun game, but shame on Activision and Infinity Ward, November 10, 2009
By 
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I actually bought this game even though it will be the last Infinity Ward game I support by purchasing. I've been a huge fan of said developer since Call of Duty 1, a PC exclusive, since day one. I've purchased every single Call of Duty game developed by Infinity Ward over the years (including the expansion for CoD1 which wasn't developed by them). I never had a problem purchasing their products. Until now. This is the first time I've ever felt like a total tool and a moron for purchasing their "PC game".

The game IS phenomenal. The graphics are noticeably improved over Modern Warfare 1, despite using the same graphics engine. The overhaul is there, but a lot of current gen games have better visuals. Sound design is great as always. There's a lot of recycled sounds and some new ones. Multiplayer is more of the same which isn't a bad thing, and the new co-op mode, from what I've played so far, seems fun. That's where my positive review ends. So basically you get more of the same, with slightly upgraded graphics.

Here's where things turn bad. For starters, Activision is charging $60 for this game, a move that completely goes against the grain of PC game pricing trends. Why? Because they can. It's a business move, yes, but it's completely immoral and greedy. Corporate greed rears its ugly head. Activision are the new EA. You would think for $10 you would get, oh I don't know, a longer than average single player campaign right? Well you don't. If you thought Modern Warfare's campaign was short prepare to get slapped in the face with a campaign that can easily be completed in one session. Bigger price, smaller experience.

But most people are probably buying it for multiplayer anyway, so let's discuss that. Basically it's all been said before. This is a console port, right down to being limited to 9v9. Want to get your clan together for some 32 vs. 32? Nope. 16 vs 16? Nope. Oh come on then....at least give me some 12 v 12. Sorry Charlie. You get 9v9, just like the console. And just like the console you can't sort servers and pick where you want to play, you can't tweak game parameters via a developer console (another PC industry standard that Infinity Ward think's it's too good to implement), and, OH, no dedicated server support.

Frankly, I'm surprised the PC port even allowed me to play with a mouse and keyboard....

It's painfully obvious that Infinity Ward prefer console development at this point (particularly the 360, which gets exclusive content before anybody else for the second game in row now), and it's even clearer that Activsion are greedy jerks.

It was a good run, Infinity Ward, but just like real life I won't associate with conceited, big-headed people. You won't get any more of my money. MW2 gets one star for actually being a fun game, but insulting PC gamers by lying about features that never made it to the game (dedicated servers, more people per server than the console versions, etc), and the fact that your publisher is price gouging, keeps it from scoring higher.

** APPENDED MULTIPLAYER INFO **

Okay so I've put in a few hours of multiplayer over the last few days and my worst fears were confirmed consistently. Horrible latency just ruins the experience. The game measures latency by a 4 bar system, similar to a mobile phone's signal strength. So rather than seeing what your latency is as measured by miliseconds, you will see 1-4 bars. Usually 3. Very rarely in my time playing MP did I ever have 4 bars, unless I was hosting the game. I kept a close eye on other player's latencys(using the TAB button) and probably 70% of the players had 3 bars as well, with usually just 1 or 2 people having 4 bars - one of which was the player hosting the game - and a couple unfortunate fools who were somehow getting by with 2 bars or less. The person who hosts a game enjoys a SIGNIFICANT advantage over even those with 3 bars. The killcam proves it. Time after time after time I would get killed and, through the eyes of my opponent thanks to killcam, notice that there was about a half second difference between what I saw and what actually happened. Then I'd hit the TAB button and sure enough, that guy has 4 bars and I only have 3. Ridiculous. I have a fast enough internet connection (2 MB up), and don't notice these latency disadvantages with other shooters, so I have to put the blame solely on IWNET.

It's really unfortunate and it's just the way it is which is sad as the multiplayer seems really fun and the levels are well thought out. The reality is if you want to play Multiplayer you're going to have to put up with a LOT of frustrating deaths, even if you get the drop on somebody, because he is enjoying a significant latency advantage.

The matchmaking is also broken. It's supposed to match you based on latency (therefore location) and skill, so why was I constantly in matches with people with 1-2 bars of latency, versus lieutenants and generals when I was only a lowly specialist?

Bottom line is if you have either console and a PC, just get the console version because that's all you're getting on the PC. The PC version has no right disgracing the other games on your hard drive by pretending to be a PC game itself. This game fails utterly. I would rate it half a star if I could.
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253 of 286 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I want a divorce., November 10, 2009
= Fun:1.0 out of 5 stars 
When Call of Duty arrived on the PC scene, we were given an intense World War 2 first person shooter that blew away all other similar shooters at that time. For once, Medal of Honor had been matched and beaten at its own game. The sequel to Call of Duty, United Offensive, brought one of the best multiplayer World War 2 experiences ever seen in a game to the PC platform. Both titles were only
on PC, I would like to emphasize.

Then came Call of Duty 2 and the Xbox 360. Since that point in time, Call of Duty on PC has never been the same. We were handed a game that looked better than the original but was lacking in multiplayer content and had minimally improved single-player. By the time the developers had stuck a "3" to the end of the title, the PC platform was nowhere to be found. Completely abandoned. Left to dry.

But PC gamers were thrown a couple bones with the releases of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and the most recent PC Call of Duty game, World at War. Finally, we had the games back on our platform. They weren't the best in the world, but they were solid experiences all around. Again, the single player had dimwitted respawning A.I. foes and did little to give us an innovative experience, but the multiplayer in each games provided solid, replay-value-packed shooting that could hardly be looked down upon.

And now, here we are again, going through rough times. She and I just aren't making ends meet anymore, if you know what I mean. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is a complete disgrace to the PC platform. Yes, unlike several years ago in the case of Call of Duty 3, we actually have a Call of Duty game on our platform and for that we perhaps should be grateful; but even with that being said, it's difficult to cope with what exactly is happening here. There are so many negative points surrounding Modern Warfare 2, I would probably be sprouting grey hairs on my head by the time I was finished pointing out each of them. Instead, I'll get straight to the points. And there are many of them, so bare with me.

What should normally be a $50 game at launch is now $60. Suddenly, we're being charged as much as the console kids for this game. What should normally be a PC-optimized port with support for dedicated servers, mods to change player limits and gameplay experiences, and more, is instead one in which we have no dedicated servers, no modification tools, no ability to extend the maximum amount of players in a server, no ability to record demos for the sake of footage and server moderation and administration, and even no unique PC features other than mouse control, text chat, and the ability to change graphical options. Yes, most of which were present in Wolfenstein 3D in 1992. And now, the icing on the cake: When we're not struggling to play the online portion of the game while leeching off another bum's connection, we can instead feast on a handful-of-hours, rinse-&-repeat single-player experience that features little to no replay value due to its linear, scripted gameplay.

When it's all said and done, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is the last straw for us PC gamers. We deserve more, because Call of Duty originated on our platform and if not for us, Modern Warfare 2 would not exist today. The heart and soul of Call of Duty should still remain embedded in PCs all over the world, but instead Infinity Ward has taken the path of ignorance and downright disrespect towards those who helped make their franchise possible. For these deeds, they can shove their money being horded from console gamers where the sun doesn't shine.

I want a divorce.
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50 of 53 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't make the same mistake I did, November 10, 2009
= Fun:1.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is my first review, I normally don't review things but I had to add a reasonable voice for potential buyers who are on the fence.

I bought this game disappointed that there were no dedicated servers (and thus no matches with lots of people or little lag), but hoping that IWnet would meet or exceed my expectations. It didn't. Gameplay is horrible. I'm bored after an hour or so. 6v6 doesn't cut it. Playing with random people all of the time doesn't cut it. This is not fun.

MW1 entertained me for dozens if not hundreds of hours. I've already lost interest in this game even though it graphically is very well done. Its hard to believe that such a good game (MW1) was turned into such a POS; it takes real effort to turn a masterpiece into unplayable garbage, but IW managed to do it.

I'd return this game in an instant if I could. There is truth to all of the rants people have posted online. Do not buy this.
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158 of 179 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, November 10, 2009
= Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars 
I beat the game already. Its pretty disappointing to have paid 60 dollars for 6 hours of fun. As there is a crappy multiplayer system for this game, there is 0 replay value. You'll get better bang for your buck by going to the movie theater 5 times instead of playing this overpriced game.

Infinity Ward, you can do better. Your multiplayer system is a joke. Lack of Modding capabilities is a step back. Blatant contempt for a fan base is pretty lame as well. I never thought that I would dislike a company more than EA, but congrats, you've done it.
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102 of 115 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Could've been better, but it's not *THAT* bad., November 13, 2009
By 
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
First and foremost.. Yes, I've played my share of both multiplayer and singleplayer. I've also been cal and cevo main, I've played games like cs (1.6, css) and cod4 among others semi-professionally. Also my review may contain spoilers. Just keep that in mind - Thanks.

So I'll start with the singleplayer. All I have to say is, wow. It's like a very entertaining and very good interactive movie. The action is very fast, very brutal. I had no problems playing the campaign, except at the end. The game did crash once on the very last level however, but I didn't have any problems afterwards. My first time through playing it, on veteran, I beat it in roughly 6 hours. So it's short but what a ride. Speaking about rides... There's a lot of them! You ride on snowmobiles, helicopters, jeeps, cars, trucks, boats, and even a little underwater transport (Think James Bond in Thunderball).

This game is VERY violent, which should be obvious. But I was actually quite a bit surprised with how dark this is. Several times I came up behind someone (Above and even below sometimes as well!) and had to use my knife in a pre-set action sequence that showed me pulling the guy in and then either holding my hand over his mouth and stabbing him, or pulling him in and slitting his throat. It could definitely be upsetting for some people, keep that in mind. Heck, one mission involves you disguising yourself as a Russian to get close to the enemy where you take park in a absolute massacre at an airport. You, with several other Russians, go into an airport and start shooting innocent civilians. For those who might be offended, bothered or anything else by it you can skip the level but this should give you an idea of how much darker this game is.

That being said, this had some interesting plot twists and drama to it. Fighting in Suburbs in the states against Russians was quite a powerful few missions that left me with chills. There's a lot of death in this game, not just people around you but let's just say you go through quite a few characters and it's sad to see the things that happen to them.

The voice acting is absolutely superb. It's not over the top, or too corny. The military "lingo" if you will is very well done unlike most games that try to play in a military type setting. The music is also great, I didn't find it annoying or too over the top like in some games and it helped create a great atmosphere. My only gripe was some of the sounds with the guns, I love guns personally and most of the guns here didn't really sit well with me. Some of them sounded great but some rifles just made me wanna mute the sound.

This game looks great as well, it's not quite as good as Crysis, but maybe the next call of duty, or the one after that will get there... But it's still a very beautiful game nonetheless. The gameplay is solid, and it's much better this time around opposed to the first modern warfare. You don't have (Or at least, it's not as noticeable) the same "Infinite respawn" problem that the first game had which was such a good thing. The game always tells you where you need to be going and the maps are laid out that way so you're never lost.

All in all, the singleplayer game was a great, if not dark, experience. If you can handle the violence it's definitely worth the play.

Now, onto multiplayer.

So, this is where most of the PC gamers flip out about.

So let me try to explain most of this.

Ok, first of all there is absolutely no dedicated servers. It's all match-making. Which is great for consoles. But not for PC's. For example, I've played several games where the host had problems and either the game would completely drop, or the game would try to find another acceptable host in the game. Causing for what seems like a break in the game that lasts FOREVER. There's no servers you can pick from, so you can't pick to play on a server with the lowest ping, to make sure that you're getting as lag free of a game as possible. You have to rely on whoevers hosting it and MANY times (At least in my experience) the game would get horribly laggy several times per map.

That may not seem like a big deal but believe me, after it happens a few times I can definitely see how it would piss some people off. I'm extremely laid back and it was starting to bug me, so then you know something's wrong.

Also a big thing with PC games is having a server to play. Usually most people who pub will pick a server and if they have friends who play there or just have a nice time there will keep going back to that same server. It's like, why would you pick your favorite starbucks shop over the next one? Maybe it's the people? Or just the little things. You have this sort of community in the server but now you can't have that. So I can understand why people would have a problem with that as well.

There's also no console in the PC version, which is annoying. Because I like to record some demos and maybe make a video (Not of pubs of course), a lot of people make gaming/frag videos, it's just a fun little thing to do and to show off. But you can't do that here. You can't also see your fps, ms, or anything like that.

Speaking about not having console commands or dedicated servers... Scrimming or any sort of league play is going to be quite a challenge. I honestly can't see how it will work, as far as I'm concerned there simply WONT be any competitive play with Modern Warfare 2.

However, the multiplayer is fun. The new perks, weapons, and awards and things you can unlock are great. As you progress through ranks you can unlock emblems and titles that display on your name. It might be a cool or cute little icon or whatever. There's A LOT to unlock. Perks you unlock (Things that give you like faster reloads, more damage, longer running, etc) can also be upgraded.

You can customize your kill/death streaks as well which is really cool. So instead of just having the same 3 that everyone had in the first game, some guy might have his first perk at 10 kills and it might be an attack helicopter, at 25 kills, it'd be a tactical nuke. It's just really fun. You can also play as support from an aircraft overhead and rain down an incredible amount of ordnance on the playing field.

There's no more leaning in this game, which may or may not be a good thing depending on how you look at it but I've found myself more often that not at a corner wishing I could just lean a little so I can get a peak and take some shots.

But all that said, this really does feel like a very cheap port. Don't get me wrong, I know they still put some time and effort into this but so much is missing it makes you have to sit back and scratch your head.

On one hand, you have a great, engaging and powerful single player mode but on the other is a fun, yet broken multiplayer that's lacking so much it almost feels like you're being chained down.

It'd be like if you lived in some small town in the middle of nowhere and there's 1 car dealership and you HAVE to get a car. But when you get there, the dealer will only sell you this one car, missing a lot of the basic things that you almost need in a car these days (Can we say, no power steering? LOL) and you just feel like you're just getting screwed and there's nothing you can do about it.

Ok maybe that was a bad example but you get the idea I hope. I'm not pissed off like most people, but I am a little sad.

EDIT: I also forgot to note that the matchmaking itself, is pretty awful. I don't know what it's doing but it never picks a good server, and depending on the time of day you're playing you can easily not find a single game to join. So you have to go through the menus to pick which game type you want to play (I also forgot to mention that) and then wait for the game to pick a server for you once again. Which can seriously take forever, sometimes I never even found a game but if I could see servers, I could just pick one from a list. In 10 seconds I could find a server I liked and be joining it but here I'm waiting, 5, 10 minutes. Nothing. But once again, it all just depends. It seems to average out a lot of things and I just end up with a really mediocre (At best - In regards to server quality, etc) game.

Edit 11/15/09: A few things I forgot to mention... First of all, you can't change the audio. There's just a master volume you can turn up or down, so you can't turn down the sound for music, or anything like that separately. The music in multiplayer can get extremely annoying, like if the game is about to end, it plays some music but it's so loud and overbearing that you can barely hear anything going on in the game so if you're trying to hear someone, sorry, not gonna work. There's also a lot of things missing in mp like for instance, if you join a game, and you're in a lobby.. You can't type to anyone. The only way you can talk to someone when you're in the lobby is by using a mic, if you don't have a mic, too bad. Also unless you're the one hosting the game, no one can kick (or vote kick) someone off which is VERY annoying. Leveling up is much slower compared to the first modern warfare.

I haven't found a way to host a game. You're only allowed to join a server and matchmaking picks someone to host when everyone joins the lobby but often times the host it picks, are pretty awful. Either they drop from the game, and the game has to pick another host which I've encountered the changing of hosts dozens of times and it's extremely annoying. Or they just don't know what to do so if someone SHOULD be kicked, they don't do anything about it.

I also realized I forgot to mention about spec-ops in singleplayer, it's ok. It's nothing great, nazi zombies from world at war was way more fun and had a LOT more replay value. There's some fun missions, but overall it's just not that great. Once you beat it, there's little reason to go back and even playing on veteran most of them aren't difficult because they're extremely short.

I also haven't found a single map in mw2 that I really like (In multiplayer) some are just "ok" but I definitely don't have one that I WANT to play and this isn't just me, I've heard this from just about everyone who plays it. The maps aren't that good and it really puts a kink in playing mp.
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114 of 129 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars disappointment, November 10, 2009
= Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I am a huge fan of the original Modern Warfare. I purchased it for Windows and then for the Mac when it was released. I've been playing the Multiplayer for several years now and I've even gotten several of my friends to purchase a copy so we could play online. I was excited to see the new MW2 and preordered. I should have waited. The multiplayer is a complete disappointment. No dedicated servers, no control at all for the user base. If you liked the original MW multiplayer experience, do yourself a favor and save your money on this one.
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65 of 72 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Where are my dedicated servers?, November 10, 2009
= Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars 
I've gotta echo many of the reviews here. Infinity Ward really dropped the ball here. I only wish I had come on here earlier today before I dropped $60 on this package. When there's a big hype for a game, you sort of expect the game not to live up to expectations, but this time around, it was almost as if the the developers purposed to fall far short.

Single player is pretty nice. The graphics and soundtrack are really top-of-the-line.

But 98% of the game time people look for in Call of Duty is the multi-player. The multiplayer game itself is just as stellar as past iterations of the series. IW again set the bar high on this. To summarize some of the changes, each class now has several new options. First is your primary weapon, as per usual. Second is your secondary weapon. This can be machine pistols of various sorts, handguns, shotguns, or launchers. I love this change, as it rearranges some of the old choices into means that make more sense. (Primary among these is that I no longer have to choose shotgun as my primary weapon!)

Now also, instead of grenades, you can opt for other equipment, such as throwing knives. An interesting twist, though I'm not sure how much I'll use these other options. One upside that I've noticed so far, however, is there are far few random grenades being bandied about.

Finally, there's the new perk system, which is a great improvement over the old system, as good as it was. There are new perks, tweaks to old perks, and some of the old perks are removed. In addition, the perk categories have all been rearranged in a more balanced manner. For example, 'Sleight of Hand' is now a blue perk, instead of a red one.

Additionally, there is the 'death streak' perk. The old overpowered perks (e.g., martyr) have been moved to this category. These perks are activated if you hit a certain death streak, in order to give you a slight advantage and get you a kill or two. So if Last Stand is your death streak perk, if you die four times in a row without getting a kill, the perk will be active for you until you get a kill. This nicely keeps some of those perks around, while keeping the game balanced, fun, and un-annoying.

Finally, you get to choose your own kill streak bonuses. Rather than the default UAV, Airstrike, Helo of COD4, there are a dozen or so bonuses that you can unlock and activate. If you don't like UAV, you can replace it with another similarly powered bonus, such as the new radar jammer. And the new kill streak bonuses are really fun to play with. Most are more interactive than the fire-and-forget bonuses of COD4.

Now the bad news...

Infinity Ward has completely stripped the multiplayer game of the usual client/server paradigm. Basically, what this means is you pick the game mode you want to play (e.g., Team Deathmatch) and you'll be automatched into a room with up to 18 players. Two obvious downsides to this: you don't get to pick which room you join, nor will you ever play more populated games, like 16-on-16 or larger. Clans are all but dead now. And you can forget about having a 'regular' server where can always join up with familiar players. Additionally, even the most minor tweaks that you could make on dedicated servers (e.g., disabling unpopular maps or hosting a single map 24/7) are not available.

Yes, I should mention that you can form up a team before the automatch, to ensure that you and your friends are in the same room, but this is no substitute. For one, it requires a great deal more effort to invite all your friends to the same team each time. But it also requires being actual 'friends' with someone, such that they would accept an invitation. My experience with online play of the COD series, was that I would have a large number of players who I would know, who would know me, who I'd see from time to time on certain servers, and who I know I'd always get a good game with. But this new game has been completely divested of this community feel.

The fact that these things have changed are enough to turn me off. But they have widespread effects on the multiplayer experience, as well. Because of the mandatory smaller room sizes, the game becomes more of a game of cat and mouse, where the person who can sneak around off the radar and knife people becomes the dominant player. Sorry, but that's not why I play COD. Because there's not a critical mass of players on the map, it's nearly impossible to monitor all the approaches and flanks. And gone are the days when there was a definite 'front line', so that you didn't have to check your rear every 2 seconds.

I never considered myself someone who valued dedicated servers. For example, I was never one who played mods all that much, if ever. But having actually played the new matching system, I must say, I greatly prefer the client/server system. I understand what the 'whining' is all about, even if I disagree with the whining itself.

All in all, the multiplayer aspect has great potential. I love all of the changes they've made to the multiplayer game: the new class customizations are really an improvement upon previous iterations. But until Infinity Ward fixes these problematic aspects of the PC online multi-player experience, I'll probably go back to playing other FPS games. I just don't find 9-on-9 games all that exciting. It's too bad that I paid $60 for this...
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107 of 122 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Let this be a lesson in hubris, November 10, 2009
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
The reason console games cost a little more is because of the expensive, proprietary manufacturing process (Sony, Nintendo) and license fees (Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo).

There are no proprietary technologies associated with manufacturing a PC game. There are no license fees to the platform.

This was an attempt by a greedy company to capitalize on the success of COD4 and the hype of MW2's release by charging above-market costs. The problem with hype is that you have to live up to it, which this game clearly does not.

Additionally, it looks like they made a lot of people mad with the lack of dedicated servers. People play this game on home networks with asymmetric internet access: your upload is much slower than your download. This means that to host a game without a dedicated server, someone has to use their slow upload bandwidth. Again, this looks to me like an attempt to control cost by not having to pay for and maintain dedicated servers and bandwidth without regard for performance.

Such a greedy move should be met with no less than abject failure.

So, I'll wait until I see this on the 5 dollar rack, which should be by about next week sometime based on everyone's feedback.

Activision: If you read this, please learn from your mistake, and understand that you can't charge extra money for hype nor lame.
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