My brother in law lucked out today - a store we usually go to, that's rather ghetto, for some reason had Modern Warfare 2 for PS3 on-sale today. So he picked it up... I would have too but we're cutting back on toys because of the incoming baby. ;[

Anyway he went out for a bit, so I jacked his copy. The story mode is once again, quite beautiful and engaging (I'm a sucker for "war porn"). I started playing it on "Hardened", but I found it pretty aggravating. Besides, each of the levels has two main achievements - one for completing it, and one for completing it on veteran. I might as well kill two birds with one stone and force my way through it on veteran first go. So I restarted.

Then I noticed a trophy called "Pit Boss", which you earn by running the pit mission in under 30 seconds. So I ran the pit through time and time again, until I got a final score of <30 seconds. No trophy. Okay, maybe you gotta have your first time, before the accuracy bonus.

So I spent about another 45 minutes running through the pit, and ended up getting a pre-bonus time of 29.8 seconds (which ain't bad for a controller, I think - side note: a friend and I were arguing about controller vs mouse and I challenged him to beat my time on the PC version, at which point he said he wasn't getting it because of the lack of dedicated servers) ... IIRC my final-time was something to the tune of 24 seconds!

I finish the "S.S.D.D." level, and guess what? No trophy. I'm a little upset. :(

So I rage quit and gave the game back to my brother in law, who got home a bit beforehand.

What about the negative press? Well as far as the nasty-bits go, yeah I can kinda see where people are coming from. It gives you the option to skip that level, and if you're squeamish, I advise you to do so. Spoiler alert!

You basically go undercover next to a Russian terrorist, and you stand next to him and help him and his team slaughter a bunch of people in an airport. I actually knifed a guy crawling away. I make no attachment between my behavior on a single-player game and real life, but I can certainly see why some people felt cause to get their knickers in a knot.

The multi-player? I certainly hope it's because only something like 90k PS3 owners are in possession of it at the moment (because it hasn't officially released yet) but at the moment it's terrible. Expect to wait a good 10 minutes for a game at times, because very few people have their firewalls configured correctly to act as hosts (heck, we don't even). So a lobby will start, and then it'll give up trying to find a host and kick everyone out.

Hopefully when more people get it it won't take so damn long to find a game, because the matchmaking component is having a hell of a time. Overall though, dedicated server issues aside - it's more of the same. If you liked Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, you'll like this one too.

Update: Years later I feel I can safely confess that it was I who rushed through the campaign, finishing it before official release, and posted spoilers on 4chan. Sorry. :(

Montpelier, IN, USA fwaggle

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