The Modern Warfare 2 campaign is a masterpiece, in the worst way

I feel it from the spirit call of duty modern warfare 2 To try to be as honest and planned as possible, so at first let me make it clear that there are 17 missions in this campaign. Six of them are good. Five of them are what we would describe to the conversation as “okay”. Three of them are bad. The other three are some of the worst that Call of Duty developers have made, be it Infinity Ward, Treyarch, Sledgehammer Games, or others.

By this forensic assessment, Modern Warfare 2’s campaign is generally good, and verifiable, in the sense of being impartial. If this is a set of Bluetooth headphones or an 18-button mouse, and I’m advising you how to invest in a new, competent electronic device on a large scale, Modern Warfare 2 would be a “buy” recommendation. I can hereby confirm that the product you receive from Activision is worth a $70 trade-in — or $23, if you roughly split Modern Warfare into a third and consider the campaign its own product only.

Photo: Infiniti Ward / Activision

But writing with the spirit modern war 2 – as in, Schematically, Honest, Boundless – also means writing about it in such a way as to be tricked or deceived during many of its 17 missions above (at a rate of about $4.11 per mission, excluding multiplayer); To play ball with developer Infinity Ward, who repeatedly tries to convince you that its game is palliative, free of conviction and not trying to do anything provocative. swears.

Its writers use a technique in which each character, hero or companion in the game can be repeatedly congratulated, praised and encouraged each other:

“How do we get it back?”

“Breaking in.”

“That’s why I love ghost.”

Or, in the same scene, about 60 seconds later:

“While Rudy finds Al, I will use the cameras to help Ghost install cargo in key areas.”

“Diversions and sabotage. Beautiful, Johnny. “

“I learned from the best, LT”

“Alejandro is the toughest guy in the regiment,” Rudy says during the rescue mission. Then Bryce appears and blows up a helicopter so that Rudy, Alejandro, Just, and Swab can escape. “Who?” Alejandro asks. “Friend,” the ghost answers. “I really like him,” Alejandro says. Along with this catchphrase from all the teasers – “The ultimate weapon is the team” – it’s like all the characters in modern war 2 They belong to some kind of emotional support group for modern humans, where at the beginning of each meeting they pledge to always build each other’s confidence and give positive affirmations. It sounds just as silly and easy as bad writing, but I think it’s actually a really clever approach on behalf of Infinity Ward: the bright light of the teamwork of heroes and their comrades becomes that kind of beard or smoke grenades to hide, or at least soften and make anything the game does seem innocent and plausible. It can be considered controversial or obnoxious.

Soldiers from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2022) sitting in a helicopter, bathing at the red light

Photo: Infiniti Ward / Activision

We see, modern war 2 You’ll do all these nice sporting things in teamwork, but then you’ll go the other way, seeming to, as it were, stamping on these pedals named Meaning, Subject and Pictures, and suddenly crossing a Trump wall over the US-Mexico border, or playing as a real missile that kills the General Iranian Qassem Soleimani. But then there is reversal or refraction, where everything you think you have just experienced that might be meaningful, objective, or relate to any kind of real world image is altered and undermined. It’s kind of genius.

The general, though Iranian with white hair and a white beard and died in a missile strike, is not Soleimani but “Ghorbani”. The mission in which you just bombed a Mexican city, in which each of the characters was full of civilians, is followed by a mission where if you accidentally shoot a civilian, you are disciplined through the game and forced to restart. The greatest example of this kind of narrative sleight of hand, this cool trick of making you think you saw something and then insist you didn’t, in some way without removing the thing you thought you saw, comes into the aforementioned frontier mission. As a Mexican special forces, you cross into the United States where people are yelling at you to get out of their yard, and eventually you are arrested by the US police, who then realize who you are and let you go, saying, “It’s hard to tell you boys away from the cartel” . And for a moment, it seems as if modern war 2 He says something – it will take a long time to express it, but something – about race and prejudice. But then you go to another house, and there are people yelling and yelling at you to get out of their yard, and they are Hispanic.

I mean, do you see the genius in that? Do you see how modern war 2 Saying something, then dismissing it, but in a way you might not notice, but also leaving the writers, developers, and Call of Duty entity a way to escape any accusations of intentions or self-belief? In the postmodern world of alternative facts and the end of the grand story, where there seems to be no answers or truth or anything that you can fully believe or trust, and everything changes all the time, I guess modern war 2 It is kind of a masterpiece. And now I imagine them using this quote, “Modern Warfare 2 is kind of a masterpiece,” on a poster or something later, and everything around it wouldn’t matter.

call of duty modern warfare 2 It was released on October 28 on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X. The game was reviewed on PS4. Vox Media has affiliate partnerships. These do not affect editorial content, although Vox Media may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links. you can find Additional information about Polygon’s ethics policy is here.

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