Game Reviews: Modern Warfare 2 and Dragon Age: Origins

Why so many sudden video games of late? This is a build-up, my friends, to my upcoming review of Mass Effect 2. Be on the look out for it over the next week, and in the mean time, enjoy these other selections:

CALL OF DUTY: MODERN WARFARE 2
The long-awaited sequel to the multiple game-of-the-year award winner of 2007. This game had the biggest game launch in history, raking in over $310 million on its opening day. And let me tell you, this one is worth the hype.

First: the bad. The single player campaign is incredibly short—but then, so was its predecessor’s. But this one also lacks the flow of Modern Warfare. There’s one particularly controversial and (for some) unsettling mission tossed into the mix—but the creators also kindly offer you the opportunity to skip that mission at no penalty any time you wish. Though the already lackluster, nonsensical plot will then consequently make even less sense than before. Also: Don’t get it for the PC. A distinct lack of servers for the PC release means you’re going to get to enjoy the glories of the multiplayer far less than this game deserves.

Second: the good. Everything else, really. The game is intense, the action incredibly satisfying, and the multiplayer has improved upon an already phenomenal system. Quality cooperative missions have also been tossed into the mix allowing for a good party game with friends—and quality split screen was one thing that was definitely lacking in its predecessor. It looks good, sounds good, and plays good. Plus: you know Infinity Ward will have some quality DLC on the way, to keep the multiplayer as interesting as ever.

Judgment: Two thumbs way, way up.

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

DRAGON AGE: ORIGINS
Ah, RPGs. They’ve always held a special place in my heart. Alas that in this era of the main stream, when games find their time limits constantly shrunk, it has been an unsettling bit of time since I’ve held a good one between my grubby mitts. Cue Bioware back to the scene.

This game’s a great pick if you’re looking for a solo adventure through some quality storyline. It’s a rather dark game for mature gamers, though, so it may not be the most seasonal of gifts—but the right people will absolutely adore the thought. But now that Christmas and the holidays are over, what are you waiting for? Bring on the blood and guts!

So what’s the pitch? Well, as I said, this game thrives on story. It’s long, intricate, and populated by interesting and memorable characters bolstered by quality voice acting (which even today seems to be tough for a lot of games to manage). The world is enthralling, matching the plot for twist and turns and a living, breathing atmosphere that continuously draws you in deeper. The spell and ability system is also well-done, making for some quality encounters as you work your way through the game.

The visuals are good, not amazing, but good—best on a fully upgraded PC, of course.

And that takes me to my final point: this one gets my full recommendation, but with a clause: get it for the PC or the Ps3. The Xbox version is buggy and the interface can be frustrating at times—though it’s still a good game, in the end.

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

~ by Chris G. on February 1, 2010.

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