Call of Duty: Modern Warfare: Reflex Edition
It’s been an additional two years in the making but Activision have finally given Wii gamers the chance to play the much loved Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. However, have they destroyed an epic title in the process of porting it to the Wii?
The campaign mode is a direct copy of the original version of the game. It would have been nice to see maybe a few new levels after enduring two additional years waiting for its release but instead you get a product no different to that seen on the 360 and PS3, except sadly it’s not as pretty. You do of course start of as ‘Soap’ MacTavish going through the training area so the game can determine what difficulty you should play on. As said before if you dive straight into the training you will struggle to even make it around the course in less than sixty seconds, simply because you need a bit more time to become accustomed to the Wiimote and its button layout. Once you’ve had a few practice runs though you should see your time slowly decrease.
You get to be either Soap MacTavish of the Special Air Service or Sgt Jackson from the United States Marine Corps, each following their own storyline through the game. There’s is also a co-op mode where a friend can simply use another Wiimote as a pointer and help you dispatch the oncoming threats. It’s not the co-op you might think it’s going to be and as soon as your friend moves his player off to one side you get disorientated and lose what you were shooting at it, but it’s better than nothing.
The story itself, if you haven’t seen it before, is actually quite enthralling, much like what we’re seeing out in Afghanistan and Iraq today, with presidents being overthrown and rogue armies trying to control the country.
The first thing you’ll notice is the control scheme and just how many different button configurations there are to choose from. Plugging my Wii-mote and nunchuk into Nintendo Wii Zapper peripheral I’ll admit I did enjoy the prospect of taking out many a terrorist on and offline. What’s more, the Wii zapper well and truly put me into ‘war’ mode and within seconds I was holding the gun as if I was a trained-twenty two year veteran sniper. There are six different button configurations (one specifically for the zapper) that you can choose from in the game, each with subtle differences, although in essence you can customise each and every one within the options screens to suit your playing style.
The game even has precision aiming which mirrors aiming whilst using a mouse on your PC. At first, you may struggle getting to grips with the game’s controls and you’ll find yourself constantly spinning in circles while your gun barrel is pointed towards one side of the screen. The thing is after a few hours in campaign mode you’ll slowly ease into whichever control scheme you have chosen and you’ll be ready for the frightful world of online multiplayer.
Online has to be the game’s greatest feature. The campaign mode is great fun all be it a little bit short (running through it in five to six hours) but once you get online it becomes a whole new beast. Sadly there’s is no Wii Speak, so you can’t go chewing the ear off the guy you just shot and the lobbies only hold a maximum of 10 players. There’s also no local multiplayer on the game. Despite that, the online is still so addictive. You might wonder if porting it over would result in a poorly hashed together game online, but it’s just as fun, if not more than its Xbox 360 sibling.
You still get the Call of Duty ranking system forcing you to work for those goodies at the top of the ranking system. Sadly at first you will struggle grabbing a foot hold within the game, facing hundreds of ‘leet’ online players who take but a second to hunt you down and dispatch you. The thing is once you take the multiplayer world by the scruff of its neck and get a few treats under your belt you’ll be floating around the levels as if you were the officer commanding 22 Regiment SAS.
You might assume that the graphics would be where the game would falter and although it’s by no means perfect, it’s still an above average attempt at making the game look good on the Wii. Grenades, Bazookas and using your Light machine gun don’t pack the same punch seen on the Xbox and PlayStation version, despite that Reflex still looks quite well polished for a Wii FPS. It makes for a very tense atmosphere, which is perfect considering the plot and layout of the game.
It’s just when you stop and take a look at everything, without a round flying over your head, you start to see the many imperfections that Treyarch didn’t bother to iron out. When you’re aiming at one of the opposition forces you can see their faces are almost flat at times, with few colours being used making for a rather bland scene. The blood spatter is also very strange; it almost looks like gunge coming out of their heads which does affect the realism. Your gun on the other hand does look like the real thing and not like a plastic toy, although again its slightly toned down in comparison to the Xbox version, are carefully recreated in the Wii version and have been cloned quite well. It’s by no means the worst game you’ll encounter visually on the Wii but it’s got a fair way to go before being the best.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Reflex Edition does have a few little niggles that bring the game down, but this is the best FPS on Wii and will have you hooked for hours on end, both online and offline. Even if you have previously owned it on the Xbox or PS3 you can still happily pick it up and play for hour upon hour. The online multiplayer adds so much depth to the game and even being able to have a friend play alongside you in the style of a House of Dead arcade shooter does make for a very fun night all be it novel. Yes, it’s far from perfect – better co-op and graphics would also be nice – but pound for pound it’s worth every penny and is a must buy for any first person shooter fan.