Modern Warfare 2: The Multiplayer Experience

It all begins in boot camp. I learn that I am part of the United States army and that I belong to the “Rangers”. I have to demonstrate my incredible marksmanship in front of the local population. After doing this, I decided to press escape with the hope that the button could rescue me from the PvE loneliness and show me the way to the multiplayer. After my ‘escape’ to the menu I clicked on the multiplayer, and with a short delay, I could finally get a taste of the multiplayer experience of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.

Why did I skip the single player? That is because I like to kill other people instead of the bots which do the same thing over and over again. The multiplayer is one of the main reasons people buy CoD MW2 and it has a gigantic promise to fulfill. The game had a huge release party and Infinity Ward’s marketing bill reached a new high. Modern Warfare 1 is a great game, but can Modern Warfare 2 top it? The single player is great; there is no doubt about that. But how does the mutliplayer compare to the other great games out there?

What makes a good online FPS?

  • The gameplay has to be good
  • The lag has to be minimal
  • Enough people have to be playing so that the multiplayer experience works as it was intended to.

In short, I like the gameplay, though the lag at times can be unbearable, and the community is large enough for some quick fights. They used the same game style as in MW1 and they expanded it by adding new weapons and new ‘perks’. Perks are passive abilities which you can set before the game starts. So first off, the gameplay.

Reviewing gameplay is challenging. People have different tastes and this is why I am not going to say that the gameplay is great or terrible. I like the gameplay, but it is not the sort of gameplay I love. Let me explain this by using my own experience as an example. I always become frustrated after a couple of hours. The reason I become frustrated is because I like to increase in skill. There are certain FPS games that allow you to increase your skill and stand out among the rest of the players, and there are certain FPS games which do not allow this. CoD MW2 is one of these FPS games that doesn’t allow this.

In MW2, its the weapons which you can choose from that make it to easy to kill a person and so decrease the skill required. They implemented a grenade launcher which made it possible to kill everyone in an entire room. In a game like Counterstrike: Source they do not have a grenade launcher. Nor does CS:Source have an overpowered dual wielded shotgun. Sadly, Modern Warfare 2 does have these shotguns. The choice of weaponry makes the game more realistic, but this is a mixed blessing. It makes it nearly impossible to stand out among everyone else, but for people who just want to have a good time, it is perfect! I enjoy playing with friends and bullying them with the overpowered shotgun. But if I want to show off my skills, I would rather play Counterstrike: Source.

The community of MW2 is great. Infinity Ward’s marketing plan did pay off. I never wait long for a game to start, but you will if you are looking for a game with a good host.The lag can be unbearable if the game gives you a bad host. Instead of using dedicated servers, Infinity Ward chose for a matchmaking system. This means that a main server will search for a group of people who are waiting for a game. It chooses the group by measuring their skill and looking at where they live. This is a system which could work, but which could be improved too. For instance, instead of looking at each of players computer specifications, it only looks at a player’s position in the world. This means that it could even choose a person with a laptop which connects through a
wireless network connection as the host. This will result in a lot of lag. I have had several situations where this happened. I would rather see a dedicated server system, but we will have to make the best of this.

Overall, MW2 is a good game. If you do not want to play hardcore FPS and you want to play a FPS just for fun, this might be something for you. You can laugh at people crying over your grenade launcher or you can massacre the other team by using an overpowered selection of hardware. If you like to play a game where you will improve your FPS skills, I recommend you look for something else. The lack of dedicated servers has made a huge dent on the game’s success. People quit the game because of the selection of hosts and the lag that follows from that. However, the amount of people playing this game is sufficient so that you never have to wait long before the game starts.

If you like this game and do decide to buy it….please don’t make me camp your arse because you like to nade people all the time (^_^)

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