For a game series I keep saying I have no interest in playing, I’ve done a terrible job of avoiding them. During a rash of cheap game buying, I ended up picking up the every Call of Duty game on the XBOX 360 that I didn’t already own (which was everything but Modern Warfare 2). My first experience was Modern Warfare 2, which has made enough of an impact on me to try out the rest of the series.
It just turns out that I’m working backwards from Modern Warfare 2. I felt that World at War at its best was pretty good, but it oftentimes felt like a knockoff of Modern Warfare 2 and at its worst, infuriated me to the point that I don’t want to play it ever again. I know that World at War was made by the Call of Duty “B-team”, so I was looking forward to playing the Infinity Ward game that first took the world by storm.
As with World at War, I beat the single player and passed on the multiplayer portions of the game. At this point, I’d rather get my multiplayer shooting goodness from Modern Warfare 2.
With that said, I just wanted to share my thoughts about the single player experience. Just like it’s sequel, the production values of the original are still ridiculously good. I think you can tell the difference if you’ve played both, but no one is going to call Modern Warfare 1 ugly. There was one moment in the game where the frame-rate dipped and I was actually a bit shocked. Modern Warfare 2 amazed me in that it never dipped, even during the most hectic moments. This one did at one very specific moment. It wasn’t a game-breaker at all, just something I took for granted in Modern Warfare 2.
The two biggest factors to compare and contrast are the story and the gameplay. Let’s talk about the story first. Now that I’ve played the first Modern Warfare, I can see why Infinity Ward did what they did with the story for Modern Warfare 2. There were a few truly shocking moments in Modern Warfare 1 that really had an impact on me, and I think Infinity Ward got caught up trying to out-do themselves. Instead, Modern Warfare 2 tried way too hard to shock the player. By constantly trying to up the ante, the story got really stupid really fast and the constant shocks wore me down.
Modern Warfare’s story I feel just about hit the nail on the head. The story is still crazy, but just believable enough and paced out perfectly to keep me interested the whole way through. Playing through that story was also a pleasure. It was a breath of fresh air to play Modern Warfare 1 and pretty much avoid all of the problems I had with World at War. I didn’t die excessively due to grenade spam. The game did a much better job of giving me context for shooting dudes. In a few spots, you could tell that soldiers were infinitely spawning, but this happened far less often than in World at War. Event scripting also worked much better, as the scripted events were far more interesting and didn’t break.
Modern Warfare 1 to me, was a lot like Modern Warfare 2, with arguably slightly less exciting action but clearly a better story. Not to say that the action wasn’t as good. If anything, you could say that the action was better in Modern Warfare 1 because the context of what you’re doing is better. However you want to slice it, I think that Modern Warfare 1 deserves all the credit it has gotten to this point and I’m glad to have gone back and played it.
I also have Call of Duty 3 and Call of Duty 2, but I’m in no rush to tackle those, nor do I think anyone is interested in hearing my impressions on them. If my gaming stash gets lean, I’ll take a crack at them and see how it goes.