Modern Warfare 2 - Spec Ops
While the multiplayer aspect of MW2
is less complete than what PC gamers have traditionally been offered thanks to some surprise culls
does go a long way towards making up for it with the inclusion of a new mode.
Dubbed Spec Ops, this new mode is a self-contained set of co-operatively focused missions that are totally removed from both the single and traditional multiplayer portions of the game. It’s built for two players (read: no three player games), but you can play them through on your own too if you’ve not got a big friends list.
Speaking of which – the Spec Ops mode is, like the multiplayer, tied into IWNet exclusively (which is in turn built on Steamworks and so uses all your Steam friends). That means that there’s no LAN co-op option and no split-screen play on the PC version either.
Those who’ve completed the original Modern Warfare
will have some idea of what to expect from Spec Ops – a little bonus mission was tacked on to the end of the original and it tasked the player with clearing out an airliner full of terrorists in the fastest possible line. For Modern Warfare 2
Infinity Ward has taken that idea and not so much run with it, but run, jumped, hopped onboard a helicopter and laid down a barrage of mini gun fire with it, creating a range of highly replayable co-op levels that span a wide range of game types.
You start with an array of just five missions which range from running the game’s training course in record time (35 seconds if you want the top rank) to running some very narrow gauntlets, but you’re soon able to unlock more levels.
Spec Ops is an incredibly addictive mode and the levels have a pitch-perfect learning curve too; finishing most missions first time out on the lowest difficulty isn’t too tough as you can revive downed allies, but dial up the difficulty or start chasing the faster times and things soon get tricky. Communication with your partner is vital, and it’s amazing how quickly you’re formulating on-the-fly tactics and ideas of how best to execute your objectives, calling out hostile targets or deciding which path to take. A microphone really is vital for serious players.
The graphics are gorgeous
The variety within the Spec Ops missions is fantastic too, and it’s very rare that any two are noticeably alike. Our particular favourite sees one player stranded alone in enemy territory, but with the second circling the battlefield overhead in an AC130 gunship, raining down 105mm and 40mm rounds on otherwise overwhelming force of enemies below as the player races to an extraction point on foot. Fun? You’d need a belt sander to wipe the smiles off our faces.
Getting more stars by pushing your times down or your kill counts up unlocks yet more missions and with a total of 25 on offer, there’s bound to be something to suit your playing style. Some have you and your partner holding off ever larger waves of enemies; others see you sneaking through snowy forests trying to avoid detection.
As with the singleplayer game, there really is something for everyone here and while we’re aware there are many people disappointed by the features dropped for the PC version’s multiplayer (such as lean controls and dedicated servers), Spec Ops is an unquestionable triumph that adds a great deal to Modern Warfare 2