Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Top 50 Video Games: Number 11

Platform: Xbox 360
Absurdly Specific Genre: Dudes in Camo Shooting Guys
Difficulty: 7 (the final mission, in particular contains one particular structure of halls that made me want to find the level designer and punch them in the head)
Beaten: Yes

Despite what this list might look like at a glance, I'm not really that into first person shooters - especially the "you are a nameless, faceless soldier in the armed forces tasked with shooting all the enemies until you win" subgenre. By my count, only four of the games on this list are traditional first person shooters. This one just so happens to be the best of them.

To most players of video games, the draw to this game was the immersive multiplayer. I suppose I get that, and I pumped in a fair number of hours into that portion of the game, myself (disappointing countless teammates in the process, I'm sure). It certainly has more appeal in this regard than most standard deathmatches of its ilk. The controls are sharp, the kills are quick, and you can generally figure out your own style of play.

I was always a proponent of the "got shot and die" school.
The part of the game that really grabbed me, though, was the single player. Unlike its also-pretty-damned-good sequel, the first Modern Warfare game has a lean, fierce story that it tells with minimal narrative trickery. There are no crazy double-crosses, no convoluted and unrealistic motivations to decipher. This helps what shocking moments there are to be magnified.

All of that would be for nothing if the gameplay wasn't top notch, but it's a Call of Duty game, all they did was take the already tight combat out of the 40's, and bring it to the "twenty minutes from now" scenario. In short, I don't see how any standard FPS could ever beat this. I'd certainly love see one try, but it's going to be a tall order.

Other Games in the Series: I played the older Call of Duty games, but by then, I'd played every variation of Omaha Beach that I ever care to, so the WWII games don't do it for me.

Modern Warfare 2 came pretty close top cracking the top 15, ludicrous plot and all for one huge reason - tactical ops mode. Playing thirty-some short, intense co-op missions with a friend is incredibly thrilling, and kept me coming back long after Branny and I had beaten them all. In the end, though, the story isn't nearly as good, and not a lot of new things were brought to the fabled multiplayer.

I haven't actually played Modern Warfare 3 yet. I've been pretty good about avoiding spoilers, so hopefully it's decent. Since by now I have zero interest in the multiplayer, I'd probably just rent it during a weekend where I have a lot of time on my hands...

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