Strap on your SK’s and get ready to hit the ground running, soldier. This ain’t your granddaddy’s war—this is Modern Warfare.
Yes, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and 3 have been out for a while, but thanks to the folks at Aspyr, they’re now good to go on the Mac platform. The particular version I got play was via Steam (which offers single player and online multi-player).
So, you logged into Steam and want to fire up some combat action. Each of the games (MW2 and MW3 for short) has two launch icons for your desktop—one for single player and one for online multi-player, as well as individual listings in your Steam catalog. Be ready for a nice long intro, but once the intro is done it’s time for the action. Most of the stop points will give you a moment to get briefed and oriented so you’re not lost in the fog of war. On the other side of that coin, pay attention; if you fall behind, you will be shown no mercy.
For the gamers who have played other installments of the Call of Duty series, Modern Warfare 2 and 3 should be a comfortable bit of “more of the same.” You get some new missions, new characters and maybe some new toys, but it is the standard first person shooter. The controls are WASD+mouse for movement, left click on the mouse to fire, etc. The game will prompt you for other special controls for moving or using things, though not always as well as I would have liked. There were a couple spots where a nice, obvious “press the (whatever) key to (do what you need to do)” early in the game would have been helpful, but you can start over from the last checkpoint once you have a handle on things, so no biggie.
The games come with a fair bit of narrative and back-story to help provide a sense of mission. The visuals are very detailed and contain enough blood and violence to earn the 17+ rating. There is also some fairly foul language, but nothing you would not expect from combat troops. The game does have a setting to reduce some of the “offensive” content so you can have it toned down a bit (it still gets the 17+ age rating just for the nature of the game, though).
The in-game environment is extensive and realistic. The sounds are well done, including having things go quiet or muzzy when an explosion goes off near you. Mercifully, the developers didn’t add a lot of the “ringing-in-your-ears” sound. With a good set of headphones and a large screen, it’s easy to really get into the game.
Now, let’s talk multi-player. When you go shopping for a team or campaign to join it may take a few minutes to line everybody up for a run.
Once all the players are on the field and the game throws you into the mix, be ready to die very quickly unless you have a good deal of practice time. I think the first time I entered the Thunderdome it took all of about three seconds for another player to cap me from behind. Like a roller coaster, you get to see the wonderful moment (short video replay from your attacker’s point of view); unlike a roller coaster, after you die your character is respawned and you can try again.
If you are already a fan of the Call of Duty franchise, these games will be a dose of “more of the same” so you may or may not be thrilled. If you are new to the CoD games or to first person shooters in general, this will challenge and excite. The realism is impressive and sometimes a wee bit disturbing. It doesn’t take very long to get the basics of game play, but it takes a good deal of practice time before you’re racing around shooting baddies on the fly.
Speaking of time, don’t expect large chunks of time in playing through the single player version. The story can be run through in anywhere from 6 to 10 hours of play. The bigger point of interest for the game franchise is the online multi-player aspect. There is a large following for this series, and a lot of the players are all about the online experience. In this arena you can play as long as you like (or until the choice becomes eat or pass out). If you don’t really want to get into the online thing then make sure you weigh the entertainment budget accordingly. CoD: MW2 is only $19.99 which isn’t too bad, but CoD: MW3 is going for $39.99.
Genre: First-person shooter
Format: Digital Download
Developer: Infinity Ward
Mac Publisher: Aspyr
System Requirements: Check sites for individual game requirements
Network Feature: Yes
Price: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2: $19.99, Modern Warfare 3: $39.99
ESRB Rating: M 17+ (blood, drug reference, intense violence, language)
Availability: Out now