You've seen the Modern Warfare 2 demo video by now, no doubt. Probably as many times as you've ranked through COD4's multiplayer and started from scratch. It was definitely my favorite game-related highlight from the Microsoft press conference, so I was a little disappointed that the hands-off demo Activision gave me was essentially the same thing.
Can't blame a guy for wanting more. But I did get to see those little parts they fast-forwarded through during the conference "in the interest of time." The highlights were Col. MacTavish and Roach (that's you) taking their time carefully stalking towards the snowy airbase, pulling triggers on the count of three for simultaneous kills of a two-man patrol, and MacTavish getting discovered while Roach was downloading the objective files in an office above the hangar, where the press conference demo picked up with Roach enacting Plan B, i.e. "blow everything up and run."
Modern Warfare 2 Direct Feed Video
The ensuing firefight on the runway and the snowmobile chase were just as exhilarating as the first time around, but the real treat was seeing the gaping chasm just before the chopper evac zone, and MacTavish giving the order to hit the gas. The conference demo faded out right before this moment, so I guess launching a snowmobile a hundred or so feet through the air counts as a nice surprise.
This level, "Checkpoint," is apparently in the early stages of the game, so that's a good indication that there are plenty of these big moments left to be revealed. My one remaining concern about the game has to do with what's probably the series' biggest crutch: endless and unnatural streams of enemies. I brought this up to the Infinity Ward team giving the demo, and though it wasn't a flat-out declaration that these “soldier spouts” aren't completely shut off, they are definitely aware of the combat pacing and balancing the need to keep the player active within the game while maintaining some semblance of natural behavior. I asked had MacTavish and Roach stuck around on the airstrip, would they run out of enemies to fight? The answer was no, but they are, after all, on a fairly large military base -- so in that situation, it would make sense.
They wouldn't say a word about anything involving multiplayer, but Activision always likes to keep events and demonstrations focused on one aspect of the game. I'm certain we'll be hearing about your next leveling addiction in good time. Until then, I'm going to watch the video a couple hundred more times.