236: Finding Meaning in Modern Warfare

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To everyone defending the game: No, jumping around 4 different characters every half-level, and having two of them die is not cool or edgy. You don't need to top yourself in a sequel. Same thing with having a ridiculous action movie story. You don't need to make each installment more and more insane and moronic, with little story or explanation except during fucking loading screens. Random events that seem to have little collection or point happening in rapid succession with no time to even figure out the little bit of story is just confusing.

MR T3D:

CAW4:

Tiamat666:

CAW4:

Copying Yatzee doesn't make you look cool, it just shows how weak your argument really is, if you're just copying someone else's opinion, or can't come up with their own material for why it's bad.

*sigh*

I don't need a review to realize how over-the-top ridiculous some of MW2 story elements are. Let me give you some insight:

1. Russia launches surprise attack on US
This is the most ridiculous of the whole bunch. Do you have any idea how many merchant-, cruise-, and military ships travel the oceans these days? Not to mention airplanes and civilian satellites in orbit? The notion of a massive invasion going unnoticed is just as stupid as the existence of a single "kill switch" that disables the entire US survaillance system.

2. Russia invades the US over a terrorist attack
This is almost- but not quite as ridiculous as number one. You don't start a direct war against a nuclear armed superpower because some nutjobs shot down your countrymen. Not even India dared attack Pakistan after the Mumbai attacks. And that even though Pakistan is Indias arch-enemy, India is the stronger of the two, and they are constantly engaged in conflicts over Kashmir.

3. Russia launches massive attack without preperation
You don't send a massive invasion force anywhere with just a few days or weeks of preparation. Doesn't work that way. Not to mention the fact that contemporary Russia doesn't have nearly the power-projection ability and servicable equipment to perform such a task.

4. Helicopters and Fighter jets raining from the sky
The sky must truly be infested with metal cockroaches for three of them to fall within a 20m radius of the player within a few seconds. I guess the Russians secretly built 10 aircraft carriers over night to carry them all along.

5. A nuclear missile taking out the ISS
The chances of an ICBM heading for the US being anywhere near the ISS must be like winning the lottery twice. Anyway, the destructive potential of a nuclear detonation in space is very diminished, as most of the destruction is caused by the shock wave, which will not exist in space due to the vacuum. The only damage a warhead could do is "melt" the station with the plasma energy, take out it's systems or a direct hit.

Obviously most of my grudges stem from the whole idea of Russia invading the US. Which is a cheap way of having combat on US soil. It would still be ridiculous even if it was 1980 and the agressor was the Soviet Union. But todays Russia? That is just outrageously stupid and cheaply implemented story-wise. Kinda reminds me of how humanity beat the aliens in "Independence Day" by uploading a computer virus on their mothership. I'm sorry, but that is just insulting my intelligence.

And the -heartbreaking-, impossible to disable music during the US levels was truly a test of willpower.

By the way, it doesn't make you look cool to smart-ass people. That just makes you look like a smart-ass.

1) Remember the ACS (Attack Characterization System) that you recovered from a Russian Military Base? And during the intro to The Hornets' Nest, where MacTavish says "The Russians must have copied the ACS module. Got the key to every lock in America."? You're right, there's no 'kill switch' for the US surveillance system, but having as much as the Russians had at that point was enough to fool it. And for civilian satellites, which ones are looking for signals of a Russian attack, and not just broadcasting reruns?

2) You don't attack another country because of a bunch of nutjobs. Unless your country is made up of the nutjobs that you fought in CoD4 and the foreign nutjob is a current service member of that country with ties to that country's intelligence services. (Newspaper from the mission Loose Ends)

3) Once again, arcade shooter, not complete realism (plus, you might as well put the word 'important' before each date [i.e. 'Important Day 1, 15:43:52]).
And if you're going to try to go after that, remember that after a revolution there's still some of the old guards left, and the Russian military might still be putting down Resistance from the Loyalists that you fought with in CoD4 (i.e. Kamarov).

4) Right, because the effects from a nuclear emp only affect some vehicles, right? And no army would ever attack the enemy nation's national capital, with its federal government all in one place, in force, right? And the Russian Air Force is made up of about 2 paper airplanes and a kite, right? And the Russian economy isn't (IRL) in the shitter because of them spending all their money on a massive military, right?

5) You must be right, no satellites would go down from a nuclear explosion in outer space, even though satellites have gone IRL down because of high altitude nuclear tests. (Yes, it was because of radiation belts over time, but once again, it's a game. Being told that a radiation belt caused the failure of a minor satellite doesn't have exactly the same impact.)

And completely forgetting that this is a fucking sequel doesn't make the story bad, it makes you an idiot.

Also, correcting someone isn't being a smart-ass, it's just being smart.

1) because the US is the only power that could detect a massive fleet of ships, apparently there is no NATO, because i'm pretty sure great britian could and would be able to detect the russian fleet, especially if it went north sea route, or if it went though the red sea, and be able to dispatch some RAF aircraft.

2) it still reeks of handwavium, the notion that the essentially leaderless ultranationalists whom have lost a large amount of their hardware would win. (in the events of CoD4)
3)huh? are you supporting tiamat's point? because it is true, and i have brought up some points in my response to 1)

4) he is saying that the notion of literal RAIN of choppas is unreasonable, which it totally is.

5) there is a lot of difference between radiation exposure and GETTING FREAKING BLOWN APART.

who's forgetting it's a sequel?

even still, the story is pretty damn bad because of the plot hole big enough for the russian navy to sail right through.

1) Remember how Russia is closer to America's West Coast, where they could get there without any NATO countries getting in the way? They could use international airspace to fly around the Americas and get to the East Coast as well. It's all easily explained if you know how to think.
And even if that doesn't work for you, remember - during the intro to 'Takedown' - "Now, in the eyes of the world, we're the bad guys. No one's going to say a word when the Russians club every American they can reach." They've got politics working for them, just as American had against Iraq back in 1991. It would be very easy for them, in that situation, to get through sympathetic countries.

2) Remember how they've said so many times in trailers that Makarov took the place of Imran, in about 5 different ways per trailer? They weren't leaderless, and by taking over Russia completely, they've got the entire Russian army and all their weapons at their disposal.

3) What? I'm not supporting him, I'm simply saying that it's possible that there are time gaps, and they would probably still be ready for combat, as Loyalist rebellion in Russia could keep the Russian Army ready at all times.

4) I didn't know that 5 choppers counted as a rain of choppers. Do you also try to get flood insurance paid to you if you have a leaky faucet?
You are completely exagerating it, and it's more than reasonable that around five of the hundreds of helicopters going around D.C. could fall on one street.

5) I KNOW! CAPS LOCK ISN'T NESSISARY! Did you even bother reading my reply? What video game/movie/tv show/guy telling a story would simply have it be disabled over time because of radiation? It's a god damned exaggeration. Someone needs to learn what the saying 'It's a video game' means.

The guy I was replying to, as he mentioned it a "modern day Russia," when it's a fictionalised version being run by Ultra-Nationalist Rebels who were fighting against America during their uprising.

See: The Random One's post

Unless someone put this disc in a Operation Flashpoint case, you can't expect it to be fully realistic. Once again, it's an arcade shooter.

I just wrote up a point for point counter argument to your argument, including the reaction of say Canada to a violent invasion of the US, but then i realized that i'm giving the games story way too much credit. MW2's story is ridiculous, filled with gaping plot holes that could fit a whole invading Russian army.

CAW4:

1) Remember how Russia is closer to America's West Coast, where they could get there without any NATO countries getting in the way? They could use international airspace to fly around the Americas and get to the East Coast as well. It's all easily explained if you know how to think.

I'm just thinking, there is no country on either of the American continents that would allow an ultranationalist Russia passage through their territory; there are too many risks involved with such a venture. So the only option is for the Russians to either get through the Panama Canal without the Americans noticing (???) or going all the way around South America, in which case the logistics for such an invasion would be terrible. One decent raid from Hawaii or California, and the Russian boats would likely sink of their own accord.

CAW4:

And even if that doesn't work for you, remember - during the intro to 'Takedown' - "Now, in the eyes of the world, we're the bad guys. No one's going to say a word when the Russians club every American they can reach." They've got politics working for them, just as American had against Iraq back in 1991. It would be very easy for them, in that situation, to get through sympathetic countries.

No.
Sorry, I'm just remembering the Russian invasion of Georgia in 2008(?) Essentially, the Russians enter maybe a third of the way into Georgia, doing large amounts of damage for humanitarian (or possibly 'humanitarian') reasons, while the Americans are, and have been doing, the same to Iraq, only on a much larger scale.
Now, as we all know, the foreign outcry against America's invasion was immense, France going so far as to condemn America. Meanwhile, other countries go along with it.
In comparison, Russia's invasion of Georgia received little to no support, and every country in the Commonwealth of Independent States (except Russia) were worried about Russia 'attempting to reinstitute the USSR'.

What we have are two situations that are essentially similar, and Russia being the only one that gets truly called out on it. There is nothing, nothing , that Russia could do to avoid international condemnation for invading America.

Not to mention that if an Ultranationalist Russia did invade America, with such force as is demonstrated from the missions in America, than the CIS and possibly China would feel it is both:

a) a huge threat to their territorial integrity
b) currently fighting its biggest potential enemy
and therefore c) currently most distracted with its potential enemy
and therefore d) a preemptive strike at this time is the best possible plan (and no one would condemn the CIS for this strike either)

Actually, that particular WW3 scenario would make a decent storyline for a prequel to MW3, if unlikely alt. history scenarios thrill you.
I think the writers of MW2 created a reasonable story base (certainly not in credibility, moreso in entertainment value) however, the writers made some incredibly odd and wrong assumptions about the consequences of an invasion of America by Russia.

By the way, (ignoring the above arguments) Did Makarov actually die in MW2? I'm guessing there's MW3. Soap, Price and the Pilot/Informant are still fugitives, they need to prove to the west that Shepherd was guilty, and go after Makarov. plus Whatever twists and turns they choose to throw in. I imagine Price will probably die, as the writers seem to like that sort of thing. and we'll get a new character called Zombie who sounds spookily similar to Gaz and Ghost. Also Ramirez is still alive, maybe he'll show up too... with EMP radiation poisoning?

Tiamat666:

5. A nuclear missile taking out the ISS
The chances of an ICBM heading for the US being anywhere near the ISS must be like winning the lottery twice. Anyway, the destructive potential of a nuclear detonation in space is very diminished, as most of the destruction is caused by the shock wave, which will not exist in space due to the vacuum. The only damage a warhead could do is "melt" the station with the plasma energy, take out it's systems or a direct hit.

The ISS would feel absolutely no effect from the nuke. It orbits an average 350km above the Earth, plus it was orbiting somewhere over Mexico. Even ignoring the fact that the nuclear shockwave would be nonexistent in space, the amount of force required to destroy the station would also obliterate the majority of North America, and would cause massive tidal waves and fallout that the entire world would feel for centuries. It'd make the Tsar bomb look like a firecracker.

CAW4:
Someone needs to learn what the saying 'It's a video game' means.
...
Unless someone put this disc in a Operation Flashpoint case, you can't expect it to be fully realistic. Once again, it's an arcade shooter.

So, basically, the illogical plot points being "easily disproved" is just "it's a video game, it's not supposed to make sense."
That's indeed some infallible logic.

MrJohnson:
To everyone defending the game: No, jumping around 4 different characters every half-level, and having two of them die is not cool or edgy. You don't need to top yourself in a sequel. Same thing with having a ridiculous action movie story.

MrJohnson... I just ask you this; How dare you spoil major plot points, you bastard?

Also, after reading the article, here is my main complaint
""We'd talk about that, but we'd keep tabling it." Modern Warfare 2 has been called 'the Citizen Kane of shooting people in the face,' but in the original Modern Warfare's final moments, you can't help but feel it's about more than just that. You have a bond with your team after all you've been through, and to see them executed while you lay there utterly helpless is gutting. You see the gun slide across to you, and it's cinematic and emotional - but most of all, it feels real.

"At the end of Call of Duty 4 you forget about the politics, you forget about whatever it's all about: It's just two guys on a bridge trying to kill each other.""
NICE JOB RUINING THE ENDING!
Some people haven't gotten that far, (Although the reason that I didn't get that far was because I only rented it for about a week).

Tiamat666:

CAW4:

Copying Yatzee doesn't make you look cool, it just shows how weak your argument really is, if you're just copying someone else's opinion, or can't come up with their own material for why it's bad.

*sigh*

I don't need a review to realize how over-the-top ridiculous some of MW2 story elements are. Let me give you some insight:

1. Russia launches surprise attack on US
This is the most ridiculous of the whole bunch. Do you have any idea how many merchant-, cruise-, and military ships travel the oceans these days? Not to mention airplanes and civilian satellites in orbit? The notion of a massive invasion going unnoticed is just as stupid as the existence of a single "kill switch" that disables the entire US survaillance system.

Again, I complain about some one ruining a major plot point, thanks alot ):

Also, I remember someone said something about the plot of Modern Warfare 2 falling apart following the Snow Mobile section...
Great, just great. You ruin ALL of the plot points that come right after the bit that I last finished.

atol:

CAW4:
Someone needs to learn what the saying 'It's a video game' means.
...
Unless someone put this disc in a Operation Flashpoint case, you can't expect it to be fully realistic. Once again, it's an arcade shooter.

So, basically, the illogical plot points being "easily disproved" is just "it's a video game, it's not supposed to make sense."
That's indeed some infallible logic.

Naturally. But what makes it all so stupid and annoying is that MW2 "pretends" to be realistic and plausible, only to then fuck you over with a cheap and ridiculous turn of events. I didn't complain about Doom or Half Life being unrealistic. But those two games are in an obvious Sci-Fi setting. In MW2 however you have realistic weapons, realistic countries, realistic armies and special forces, realistic vehicles and equipment, realistic cities and settings, a realistic war in Afghanistan, etc. And then suddenly Russia launches a surprise attack on the U.S. Oh my god! They are everywhere!!! And John Wayne is leading them on a flying horse! Tadaa! Tadaah!

What a huge let down.

Tiamat666:

Naturally. But what makes it all so stupid and annoying is that MW2 "pretends" to be realistic and plausible, only to then fuck you over with a cheap and ridiculous turn of events. I didn't complain about Doom or Half Life being unrealistic. But those two games are in an obvious Sci-Fi setting. In MW2 however you have realistic weapons, realistic countries, realistic armies and special forces, realistic vehicles and equipment, realistic cities and settings, a realistic war in Afghanistan, etc. And then suddenly Russia launches a surprise attack on the U.S. Oh my god! They are everywhere!!! And John Wayne is leading them on a flying horse! Tadaa! Tadaah!

What a huge let down.

Agreed. I still enjoyed the game, but I'll gladly hang anyone who defends the plot as being merely reasonable. There's nothing up MW2's skirt, nothing but painful stupidity. Anyone who doesn't see that not only knows nothing of decent plots, but knows nothing of modern warfare, too.
Yeah, don't worry, I preemptively punched myself in the face for you.

...

The story was passable at best.

The Big Eye:

RaZoR GoZ:
Good article. Pity the game was so shit.

More like, good article, pity the game was the shit!

Ah, you people make it too easy...

I liked Modern Warfare 2, even its single-player mode, although I must admit the storyline did feel extremely rushed. You Escapist types are good people, but you're the only ones I've ever met who will gripe about being able to jump over a damn chasm in a damn snowmobile in a video game.

C'mon. Did Pac-Man have a believable storyline? Space Invaders? Diner Dash? Kane and Lynch: Dead Men?
And yet, are these not all games you have briefly considered playing at some point?

Slightly more off-topic, but in a different way: if Ghost truly is Gaz in the future, I would not be at all surprised if he's not dead this time, either. It could be a hilarious running gag: every installment, Ghost changes his name (maybe next time "Silent Rip?") and loses another part of his face.

But we gripe because there is no stylistic continuity between the games. The first was Die Hard the second is some Jean Claude Van Damme PoS when it comes to storylines.

I really wish the article could have found a way to say the same thing but not spoil the game's ending.
I know it's quite popular and aged by now, but still.

I did not like the story in the second game it was just really hard to follow for me.
All I got was that Russia had invaded america.
The first one was far better but the online mode was better in the second than the first.

This article has quite a few good points on the story that just reeks of bad story telling.
http://www.gamesradar.com/f/modern-warfare-2s-glaring-plot-holes-exposed/a-20091120123332495077

Like the, "Price is able to launch a nuke" to then have it detonate at a certain point in the atmosphere.

I still don't get why Shepard is mad about the nuke in COD4.

The guys TRIED to find it and when they did, they tried to get OUT from there. How is this "Just stood there and watched"? They where also able to save USA from several nukes launched by the Russians too.

If I also got it right it was those Other Terrorist and not the Russians terrorist who activated the nuke in that desert country. So why would Russia vs America solve ANYTHING? :/

It just doesn't make any sense.

I like the part where you drive on a snow mobile and then need to jump a large gap. WHY ON EARTH WOULD THEY PUT IT THERE?
It's lethal to do those things, I doubt the snow mobile could handle such jump to begin with.
The weather changed pretty quick on that mission too.

Then we have that Russian friend who actually haven't bothered to change his type of clothing. Like a short arm shirt with the same pants. Color might be different but it's generally the same.

Still that he was within a minute away with his chopper in Favela is beyond retarded. To also be flying around in it and just say, "Yea sure, I can pick you up while I'm at it".

Where did he get the chopper anyway? It was also able to fire missiles. The country he is in just ain't going to just let him fly around in one.

For me COD4 story was much more believable than MW2.

Oh and for those who whined a bit about spoilers. This thread is about the story of MW2. What do you honestly expect to find in this thread? Seriously, if you enter a thread which will be about the story of MW2 you only got yourself to blame.
If you keep reading and then find out it's spoiled it's your fault because you where curious enough.

Guys, I am pretty much a crazy MW2 fanboy but I really don't understand the people bashing its story or the people defending it.
For God's sake, it's an action game. The story doesn't really have to make sense. I am lazy to look but there are surely plotholes up the ass.
I can explain most of the plotholes like "Why did Sheppard get the chopper" or "Why was the guy just flying around in the Favela missions". IW did this so they could make a game. It could be 100% accurate but if they have to explain and change missions and cut out stuff, fuck that.

Also, on the topic of COD4 storyline, was that any good? It had little story with a ton of action movie stereotypes. And, honestly, that's how COD should be.
Modern Warfare was never about the story, it was about the moments, the scenes where you drop your jaw to the floor. I see all comments about MW2 pretending to being realistic. I didn't see that. I saw "The Rock" crossed with "Red Dawn". Realistic my ass.
Also, about that whole Russia invading America. I am Russian. I found that bit hilarious, just as I did Freedom Fighters and World In Conflict.

spiritslayr:
Lol, it does seem somewhat likely that ghost = gaz as I'm pretty sure they're voiced by the same person.

Yeah, I think its gotta be. Wouldnt be the same without Gaz XD

CAW4:

Kadayi:

CAW4:
Copying Yatzee doesn't make you look cool, it just shows how weak your argument really is, if you're just copying someone else's opinion, or can't come up with their own material for why it's bad.

Things that didn't make much sense to me.

1) Why on earth would a footsoldier get selected to become an undercover operative. Surely someone with a Russian Heritage and an undercover background would have been a better choice no?

2) What kind of terrorist leader knowingly puts himself in direct danger? The problem with No Russian from my perspective is the fact that it would only take 1 ying yang special forces with a sniper rifle to put a permanent end to Makarovs little scheme. Let alone the fact that there is no way that they'd have not been caught on camera, even if they did get away using the ambulance.

3) Shepard's motivation. That things go tits up and he's attempting to clean house is one thing, but what exactly was he trying to do before then?

If you've got logical answers that would be great.

And here's more easily countered arguments

1) The point is that he's going to die and get the U.S. implicated in the attack. It's all but said that for at least that part Makarov and Shepard are working together, since they both want a war against the U.S. but for different reasons; Makarov to simply kill Americans and Shepard to showcase the U.S. military's power.

2) Here's where 'it's a game' makes sense. Yes, it would probably be more realistic to simply let it be said that your character is working on Makarov's op, it plays more into a story perspective to show him as this evil civilian killing bastard. Who says he couldn't have had someone cut the feed for him, or have the Russian government suppress it, or as simple as when he's blowing away the guys running out of the security station, he put some rounds into the recording device as well as the security. The ambulance was simply to get out without a huge car chase.

3) And here's my problem with Escapists; they can't see a neon sign two feet in front of their faces. Remember the end of the game, when Shepard says "5 years ago, I lost 30000 men in the blink of an eye, and the world just fuckin' watched. Tomorrow, there will be no shortage of volunteers, no shortage of patriots. I know you understand." He's saying when the nuke went off in CoD4, none of the U.S. people cared about that little backwards nation being blown off, nor about the soldiers and Marines that died, so he wants to show the people of America that war is hell and we need people to fight in them by bringing the fight home. After Loose Ends he's simply trying to get rid of the evidence that Makarov has against him, and all the soldiers involved, so that the American people don't distrust their military leaders because of him.

P.S. Before people start going off against my comments in #2 (specificly "it's a game"), remember that, despite what some fanboys might say about its realism, the CoD series is, at its core, an arcade shooter. It's not a sim like Operation Flashpoint, and should be given leeway with the amount of realism in it. Anyone who doesn't take it as an arcade shooter has no right complaining about the game, if they can't be bothered to learn anything about it.

Makarov simply wants to kill Americans? Seems a little bit nebulous to me. I mean why exactly does Makarov want to kill Americans? What did they do? Bully him at school and steal his lunch money? See wanting to kill someone might be a desire, but it's not in itself a motivation. I want to see a motivation and you're not providing me with one. Sherpard wants to showcase the U.S Military power? So his grand plan is to go to war with Russia? Seriously? Why not instead use his elite special forces to crush the threat he's fighting in Afghanistan? Plenty of glory and no necessity to say, potentially kick off world war 3?

Also you don't get to cop out with 'we'll it's a game' as a counter argument I'm afraid. That's a clear a concession of defeat. You've argued that people have missed the point regarding the plot, yet when pressed you don't actually have a cohesive answer to the criticisms. The groping you make in your response to the issue of the airport surveillance demonstrates that in spades (as well as your telling omission in responding to the sniper aspect).

I had fun with it?

I mean, if I didn't, I'd probably be one who hates a lotta games then...and then I'd be one who'd spend all the time not gaming thinking about why I hate all those games, and then telling the Internet about it o.O

ah y'all are starting to make sense now...

but no, really
just have fun, guys (unless all this forum fighting is somehow fun)
and if you don't like it...stop thinking about it!
it's a great life style discipline, especially if you are in a real life/in person argument or coming out from one

All in all, I considered MW1's story much more epic and meaningful than MW2.

The entire flow and team-building in MW1 was awesome, switching from stealthy warfare to open-combat with the USA army. I loved it and the bad guys were not the typical bunch trying to conquer the world. The atomic bomb detonation and the sight afterwards just crushed my jaws. "Did this REALLY happen?" I was just sucked into the immersion so easily.

Also, the ending of MW1 was damn right epic. Seeing everyone die infront of me just enraged me and still being helpless. Shooting Zakhaev and his companions was the best shooting I've ever accomplished in any game. So much rage emptied with one single clip of a pistol.

Ok who the fuck called Modern Warfare 2 the Citizen Kane of anything? I'll shoot them in the face.

Tiamat666:

And the -heartbreaking-, impossible to disable music during the US levels was truly a test of willpower.

How could you ever want to turn off Hanz Zimmer?

I agree with all your points... thing is none of them bother me, I still found the game super fun. I enjoy the OTT silliness.

JourneyThroughHell:

Also, on the topic of COD4 storyline, was that any good? It had little story with a ton of action movie stereotypes. And, honestly, that's how COD should be.
Modern Warfare was never about the story, it was about the moments, the scenes where you drop your jaw to the floor. I see all comments about MW2 pretending to being realistic. I didn't see that. I saw "The Rock" crossed with "Red Dawn". Realistic my ass.
Also, about that whole Russia invading America. I am Russian. I found that bit hilarious, just as I did Freedom Fighters and World In Conflict.

GODDAMN YOU, JOURNEY! (loads up MW2 campaign for the 6th time)

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