I started to get bored of all the FPS games that had the Second World War as main subject. After all, we’ve had games like this since Wolfenstein 3D and it all started to seem like a clone of the others before it. The Medal of Honor series continued to follow that trend, something that can be attributed to the Call of Duty games as well; with the side note that the CoD titles were much more appreciated, quality wise. Surprisingly, the third part of the CoD series was launched as a console exclusive title, which allowed the people at Infinity Ward to make a strong comeback on the PC, with a title based on a new graphic engine and with a transfer of the action from WW2 to the conflicts of the modern age.
Throughout the single-player campaign in Modern Warfare you will control two main characters (and even a few more for shorter periods of time), which are part of the British SAS British and US Marines Corps respectively. And although both soldiers are members of an elite team, their peers will be controlled by the AI, so we won’t have a direct interaction with our comrades in arms, as was the case in, say, Clive Barker’s Jericho.
The scenario is well written, with both Special Forces teams having to complete missions that run in parallel but are part of the same story, so the fates of these soldiers will intertwine many times in a manner that does not seem forced at all. The missions are as varied as they come; even from the first training it’s clear that Modern Warfare is not just another FPS game where you are placed on a battlefield, there are enemies behind corners which have to be shot so that you may proceed. As such, there will be fighting on water, in the air, in underground bases, in villages and cities under siege.
But before I start to contemplate the game in awe again, I have to mention its main problem: it’s really short! The single-player campaign can be finished in one day… but what a day! The intensity of the fighting is fantastic and greatly contributes to the development of an emotional attachment to the characters, something that other games cannot transmit in 20 hours of gameplay or more.
I am sorry I cannot say more about the story. It’s so well written and it will grab you so hard with both hands and it will not let go until the end, that the way you’re pushed towards the next missions will allow you to get passed the fact that it’s so short. I can, however, say that you will get to fight on multiple continents, to be part of a mission that takes place 15 years before the events in the main story or control the guns in an AC-130 plane, similar to the recordings we are used from the war in Iraq. There won’t be even a slight dull moment, whether it’s being part of an assault done with two separate teams or stealth missions in areas crawling with enemies.
I have almost nothing bad to say about the Modern Warfare single-player campaign because it’s not even so predictable, as one would come to expect from such a title; except maybe the fact that the producers exaggerated with the use of the situations when the main character loses consciousness (as we have recently seen in Half-Life 2: Episode Two). Barring this minor quirk though, I could not move away from the monitor until the end and if the producers had created another 10 hours of gameplay of the same quality I would have went on playing until the end without missing a beat.