Review by Myviewing

"War: It's Good for the Reflexes"

When Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare debuted in 2007, it wasn't anything that revolutionized the way people saw gaming, but it's huge focus on multiplayer and lasting appeal was something that was able to appeal to a huge medium of gamers everywhere. Not only this, but the game also brought the franchise beyond its World War II roots and gave the franchise a tremendous boost in popularity to rival that of big name shooters. While PC gamers, 360 and PS3 gamers everywhere were able to enjoy this huge shooter, there were two next-gen console users who were left out of the deal: PSP gamers and Wii gamers. There was a DS game, but number of people who bought it was small in comparison to the people who bought the PC, PS3, or 360 version. Now with Modern Warfare 2 out, gamers everywhere are pouring out their wallets on the game to dwarf this year's Halo 3 ODST, Killzone 2, and really every other sequel that's come out this year. Now there's one question for this year, “Do Wii gamers get a taste of Call of Duty this year?” Actually the answer is a yes from Activision to an extent. With the surprise commercial success of Call of Duty: World At War on the Wii, it was a wonder where Activision would go with the next franchise. Now after two years of waiting, Wii gamers finally get to have their taste of what they've been missing out on for two years. Now there's just a question of whether this game it worth the wait or not, or if you're just better off sticking with last year's World At War.

Call of Duty games aren't exactly at the point where you can proclaim, “What an amazing story I just witnessed!” though Modern Warfare didn't really get it's critical acclaim for that department anyway. In traditional Call of Duty fashion, you play as soldiers on several sides, in this case being British soldier Soap MacTavish and US Sergeant Paul Jackson. It takes place in modern times (hence the name) and your goal is to hunt down terrorists who have taken over a country in the Middle East to threaten the world with nuclear weapons. By now you've probably figured out 95-100% of the story at this point, and there's not much to write home about the characters, but despite the pretty generic story there are quite a few awesome action sequences that make your play through of the single player.

The most obvious change you'll find in the Reflex edition of Modern Warfare is presentation wise. Graphically, Reflex does a good imitation of the looks from the original game for what hardware it does on the Wii. It doesn't really graphically impress, but the smoke, shafts of light, and drifting ash do well in keeping the war-torn atmosphere alive on this interpretation. There are parts where the framerate chops at one point or another in demanding scenes, but not to the point of unplayability. In terms of sound, almost everything has been kept in tact aside from Al-Asad's broadcast. Otherwise the sound effects, music, and voice acting are all there to show what gave Modern Warfare its cinematic appeal.

Finally the most important part you might be wondering about Mordern Warfare: Reflex, the gameplay and whether or not it's worth playing through. For controls, Reflex has a very wide range of control settings be it in terms of aiming schemes or dive. If you've played any other first person shooter on the Wii be it The Conduit, Metroid Prime 3, or last years World At War, you'll feel right at home with Modern Warfare: Reflex. Use the cursor to aim (which of course makes the game as awesome as it is), like World At War select your gadget by holding the left nub on the D-pad and pressing the nun chuck stick in the direction for your preferred gadget, hold A to run, and press Z to use COD's traditional aiming down the sights mechanic. The sensitivity of the pointer is about the same, but you can change the sensitivity in the Options menu to your preference.

Modern Warfare wasn't really known for it's long campaign clocking in at about six hours to beat. For these short six hours though, it's quite a lot of fun to play through. You'll defend a tank, sneak into a key sniping situation via camouflage, ride as a gunner on a helicopter, and bomb your enemies in an AC 130. Also living up to the name of “Modern Warfare,” you have access to many modern day gadgets the military uses. In traditional Call of Duty fashion again, you have to make the decision of fighting in the firefight, rushing forward, or standing ground to face against the enemy. As said before, it's not long lasting but the campaign does offer a fair amount of variety and fairly memorable missions that you may find yourself replaying for the fun of it.

Easily the most important part of Modern Warfare: Reflex though has been brought over to the Wii very faithfully, that being the multiplayer. The game includes all of the perks, the 16 original maps from the game itself, modes, and challenges. When you gain more experience, you gain more ranks, and you gain more modes, weapons and attachments to make yourself into a killing machine on the battlefield. The matches are limited to groups of 10 but matchmaking is quite easy, allowing you to jump into any of your preferred modes at any time be it a free for all or any of the objective based modes. The big sacrifices that come from the Wii version's multiplayer is that there's no voice support which you can take as you will, there are no kill-cams, and every once in a while there's a bit of lag to the point of where the server ends up outright closing your match abruptly, though this only happens about once every 50 or so matches. A setback that players may find more common is that due to a lack of server migration, if the host of the match quits then the match ends with the current scores as the final scores. Even if the multiplayer isn't the same or as polished as the 360, PC, or PS3 version, the game manages to hit all of the high notes necessary to show Wii owners why over 10 million people were playing this game for the longest time, you'll find yourself enjoying multiplayer hours in the double digits at least if you're waiting for next years The Grinder on the Wii or Call of Duty 7 next year.

Overall, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Reflex isn't the rip-off of a deal that some may have the conception of. Chalk up another awesome first person shooter for the Wii considering that it has everything that makes a Call of Duty game, and you'll find yourself enjoying maybe 30 or so hours of shooting other people up that rarely ever gets old. Although whether or not you absolutely should buy Reflex depends on what kind of Wii owner you are, if you only own a Wii and haven't had a chance to play Modern Warfare on the PC, then you'll defiantly want to pick this up. $50 for a game guaranteed to last you 30 hours is a deal that you shouldn't pass up on. If you have played your copy of Modern Warfare on the 360, PS3 or PC to death, then there's not much on the Wii iteration that might make you want to play what's basically the game again with the exception of the control scheme, especially with Modern Warfare 2 out right now. If you are willing to give Modern Warfare another go on another system though, then there's nothing to warn you about other than a few technical difficulties. There's just a ton of appeal, content, and fun factor that will make you enjoy Call of Duty's latest venture on the Wii, and hopefully it only gets better next year.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 11/30/09

Game Release: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare - Reflex Edition (US, 11/10/09)


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