Modern Warfare 2 GamesCom 2009 Co-Op PreviewBy Billy Berghammer - Posted Aug 21, 2009
When I found out Modern Warfare 2 would be shown behind closed doors at GamesCom this year, dreams of single-player and multiplayer details danced through my head. When I found out we’d be seeing Modern Warfare 2's new co-op mode, Spec Ops, I was pretty excited. Unfortunately, what I have to report is all aces. In fact, I was underwhelmed by this mode.
Spec Ops is the entire cooperative mode for Modern Warfare 2. It’s not part of single-player and it’s not part of multiplayer. It’s a completely separate mode. Spec Ops is inspired by the last airplane level from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Mile High Club. It’s a bite-sized challenge mode that you can play alone, split-screen or with a friend online. Three difficulty levels are available – regular, hardened, veteran -- and by finishing each challenge, you earn stars which open up later missions.
Sadly, we only saw this mode played solo, which was utterly confusing. “Oh hey, we’re going to show you the all-new cooperative mode in Modern Warfare 2! But, er…we’re playing it solo.”
All of the levels in Spec Ops are built with cooperation in mind and the level demonstrated was called “breach and clear.” The objective is simple: breach a wall and make your way out. That’s it. Upon initiating the breach, all hell breaks loose and the enemy is immediately on you. Between snipers, hidden shooters in rafters and soldiers coming at you with shields, the firefight is intense. As I watched someone make their way through the room, it was quite apparent that this wouldn’t be an easy task. He even had to play through the level a second time because he was killed.
But within approximately two minutes, the level was over. I asked, but no one could give specifics on how lengthy each of these missions would be. The Activision representative at the demo “didn’t know” how many missions would be included in the final game, but said it’s a significant amount of gameplay. Since the missions are potentially short, this does allow for the possibility of downloadable content for these arcade-sized missions.
Now, don’t get me wrong, the game looks fantastic and I would have loved to get my hands on the controller and gave it a go, but I would hope for more from a cooperative experience from Infinity Ward. And hell, if you’re going to show a cooperative mode, let’s see it played…cooperatively?
With so many games doing cooperative (with even up to four players -- see, Halo 3: ODST and Borderlands) these days, I felt a little underwhelmed. We don’t know how long all the missions are – especially the later ones – so Spec Ops could be a fun mode when the single-player has been completed and you want a break from multiplayer. But with Bungie preparing to drop their second four-player cooperative game this fall, I'd like to see its biggest competitor – Infinity Ward - attempt to at least match their efforts.