Modern Warfare 2
- Best polish, attention to detail, and perfection of many finer points.
- Deepest character progression system and load out configuration. This really rewards long term play.
- Lots of gameplay variety in terms of different game modes and options.
- Kill Cam: It’s a small feature, but it’s really helpful to see exactly how you got killed.
- Spawn Trapping: Lots of matches devolve into one side blocking the other side from leaving their spawn points. The helicopter/attack planes can really make these spawn traps impossible to break out of.
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (based on demo)
- Best vehicles. Most vehicle variety, well integrated into play, and very fun.
- Highly polished and detailed core mechanics. Excellent tech, play balance, and strategy.
- Environment destruction.
- Have only played the demo (obviously). Does this game hold player interest with extended play?
- Battlefield 2 (on PC) had similar pros, but the game was unusually buggy, and I found the DLC fragmented the community and was too frequent and overpriced. Will this have similar problems?
- Rotating missions/objectives within a single match delivers a lot of variety.
- Most stylized visuals. Coolest particle effects, wild environments, and helghast soldiers look the best.
- Most unique character progression + load out options
- One you reach general rank, you feel like you have pretty much seen everything.
- Best human chain of command squad/platoon system.
- Unique sense of being part of a larger coordinated conflict. There are other games that support large player counts and squad management systems, but this game does it the best.
- Control points, secondary abilities, and support actions are well done and add a lot of strategic replayability.
- The visuals are very good by most standards and are more than adequate for this type of gameplay, but they are way behind the competition.
- Lack of variety. There is really one main game mode (domination) that you will spend almost all of your time playing.
- Least amount of overall polish + detail.
- Unbalanced factions.
I left out plenty from this list. Rainbow Six, Metal Gear Online, SOCOM, Resistance 2, Uncharted 2, and many others all have respectable competitive modes that I just haven’t put enough time into to really comment on.
If there is one genre of game that the current crop of game developers have really nailed with exceptional quality, variety, and polish, it is the competitive shooter. The range of choices and the level of quality is amazing.
Written by: Darrin
- Contributing Editor