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Big in the GAME: CoD is good

November 16, 2009

They say a week is a long time in blogitics, and so it is with sincerest apologies that Dope on a Rope returns after a short hiatus. The reason for the absence, as we’re sure all of you learned types have garnered, is the arrival of CoD:MW2. Like the second coming for geeks, the Call of Duty franchise’s newest release has been more hyped than the H1N1 virus.256px-Modern_Warfare_2_cover

Assuming you haven’t been living under a Nintendo Wii-shaped rock for the past year, I will spare you the logic of why this is big news. All you need to know is that Modern Warfare 2 is the latest first-person-shooter or ‘war-em-up’ (spread it, kids) to come from the Activision stable. It is also handy to know that 4.7 million units were shifted on the first day alone. What was that you were saying about video games not being a valid cultural medium, Bonnie Greer? We didn’t quite catch what you said over the very distinct sound of people switching off Newsnight Review and turning on their XBoxs.

And so the feted disc sat before the PlayStation – curvy and happy like Charlotte Church, not skinny and aspirational like Cheryl Cole – ready for insertion. With copies of von Clausewitz and Sun Tzu at hand, a good bit of warring was on the cards. The campaign mode promised much the same as the first game, opening with a city siege from Humvees reminiscent of Generation Kill, before we were Oscar Mike and thrust into a dense snow storm. Grappling up ice walls, our character was charged with planting explosives on some Ruskie or other’s house or something, before making off at high speed on a snowmobile.

At the next level, proceedings took a slightly more sinister tone. When you first set up the game, a message pops up warning you that one of the levels could be deemed offensive and asks if you would like to skip this particular vignette. Not being a total girl, Dope on a Rope respectfully declined.

The level in question sees your character undercover, infiltrating a Russian terrorist cell or something. Conducting a massacre in an airport, the objective is not to be found out as an enemy. Walking slowly through the crowds, your gang begin to open fire on the civilians and you are encouraged to take part. There was some unease at this notion. The moral panic whipped up by the base press around games like Manhunt and Grand Theft Auto seemed silly in their condemnation of what was essentially cartoon violence. But this seemed all too real and a little close to home. Dope on a Rope reflected on current global events and the effect that the game’s content may have on Cohen’s deviancy amplification spiral model. I began to empathise with the hacks I had once pitied and realised this may be a step too far.

Then I woke up, stopped being a massive pansy and let rip on the civilians with a SAW before switching to a grenade launcher to mix things up a bit.

Despite a short but sweeet campaign (Dope on a Rope famlay Buck 2 completed it in five hours), the real star of the show is once again the online multiplayer mode. With an absolutely insane amount of unlockables and weapon attachments, this really is the best CoD ever. Watch the trailer below and Dope on a Rope challenges you not to get just a teensy bit sexually excited…

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