Genre: First Person Shooter/Action
Audio: Dolby Pro Logic II
Players: 1-2 (Campaign)
Nintendo Wi-Fi: Online Multiplayer
Treyarch and Activision finally bring 2007’s “Game Of The Year” to the Wii. Staying true to the Call Of Duty formula, the title places you in the fatigues of mainly two soldiers; a Sergeant from the USMC, and a British SAS operative. The games acts (levels) will have you switching back and forth between the two soldiers; offering you a different view of their distinctive story lines and the war they fight.
Controls: Taking a page of out the “Conduit” playbook, Treyarch has implemented a wide range of control options enabling players to tweak their motion control sensitivity and camera speed to perfection.
The game also supports the use of the Wii Zapper; a rather underrated peripheral that enhances the immersion and experience of this title. Whichever way you choose to play, you’re sure to find the controls to be very natural feeling and adjustable to your liking.
Gameplay: A huge part of the fun found in this title lies within the diversity of gameplay found throughout its different missions. In some missions you’ll be infiltrating the enemy territory while in others missions you could be conducting an extraction of friendlies from a live war zone. It’s this approach to diversifying the players role in each mission that keeps the experience feeling fresh all the way through the game’s campaign mode, and makes it enjoyable from start to finish.
Score: Composers Stephen Barton and Harry Gregson Williams craft a catchy and moving score that perfectly captures the atmosphere of the games different locales as well as the intensity of the action.
Sound: Modern Warfare: Reflex Edition was mixed in Dolby Pro Logic II and makes great use of it as you can hear the war taking place all around you.
The games voice work sounds very authentic and believable. The character scripts are very well written and every line delivered sounds and feels true to life. There’s no campy voice acting or lack of writing talent found anywhere in this title.
The sounds of combat add a whole other level of immersion to the experience and transmit a visceral sense of realism not found in many titles of the genre. The gunfire echoes of real live rounds and you can almost feel the shrapnel from the in game explosions. Everything about this title sounds live.
Immersion: From prologue to epilogue, you feel immersed within the game’s story and a part of the squad with whom you fight along side of. The characters are fleshed out and have a lot of personality; so much so that you may be surprised to find out how much you care about them by time you reach the campaign’s end. As the title denotes, the game’s setting is war. The atmosphere is an almost palpable chaos with a tension that you can feel every moment of. This becomes evident as the game starts to feel more like a combat simulator than just another FPS with a war motif. Don’t go AWOL soldier!
Story: Another trade mark of the Call Of Duty series is their addictive story telling, and this title is no exception. Being that you take control of a few different soldiers during different events in the game, you’ll get a good look at the back-story of Modern Warfare’s more major characters, and I as I previously mentioned, you’ll probably take a liking to them.
The story’s progression is flawless. It unfolds at a very satisfying pace until hitting its stride. It’s at this point that the game builds to a crescendo where twists and turns abound until the very end of the campaign; where it all ends with a great payoff for the players. Magnificent.
Visual Effects: Modern Warfare: Reflex Edition boasts some very impressive visual effects on the Wii. A few of the more notables are the explosions and smoke effects, camera blur (while taking damage), and the visual and mental distortion that takes place when being within he proximity of a grenade after it goes off. This lends the game a more polished feel and adds to the already incredibly immersive experience offered the games other elements.
Multiplayer: Simply addictive. I can’t remember the last time I felt this excited playing a video game. The online experience is nothing short of amazing. The multiplayer mode in Modern Warfare: Reflex Edition is built upon a leveling system not unlike that of a role playing game. Getting kills and completing challenges gains your character more experience points which in turn raises your characters level and rank. Gaining levels and moving up the ranks in multiplayer is as satisfying as it is beneficial as it unlocks new weapons, accessories, perks and challenges which is all the motivation you’ll need to keep you playing for months, and maybe even years to come.
The game also offers preset weapon selections as well as player customizable weapon sets so that you can find which combination of weapons, accessories and perks best suits your style of play. Without doubt, this game offers players an online gaming experience for the Wii that must not be missed.
Presentation/Production Values: From the time you insert this game into the Wii, and gaze upon it’s title screen and hear the immediate intro audio you know that you’ve got something special. From the games introduction to its menu screen Modern Warfare Reflex screams triple “A” production values.
The level of detail and polish put into creating this experience is nothing short of amazing. It’s obvious that Treyarch took a great amount of care in the development and port of Infinity Wards masterpiece, and it shows.
Graphics: The breach point of this title is definitely the visuals. Now it’s not to say that it’s all bad, in fact a lot of the game looks excellent. But the parts of the game that are graphically unflattering really stick out. For example; the horizons and back drops of the games levels aren’t even rendered objects; they’re just gaudy looking, low resolution images. Another example are the water effects of the games opening act. The ocean that you see from the chopper looks like it came out of a N64 title; no exaggeration.
The games other graphical flaw is the pop-up of the weeds and plants that seem to grow before your very eyes in some of the levels. Lastly I’ll mention the character models. They don’t look horrible but there’s still definitely a lot of room left for improvement. I will say in defense of the visuals that when you’re enveloped in the experience of the game the graphics don’t noticeably detract from the experience overall; but this in no way excuses what I feel are some horrendous graphical flaws on the part of Treyarch.
Friendly A.I.: The other gripe I have with this great game is the A.I. of your squad. A lot of the time they’re on point; but then there are times when they just allow enemies to rush right past them and attack you while you’ll be preoccupied fighting off other combatants. So be warned, just because the squad leader may yell out that he and his mates are covering you; it may not always be so. This brings up another flaw found within the members of your squad which is their ineffectiveness in battle. During my experience with the games campaign mode I felt largely unaided by my squad mates; almost as though I was watching a gun battle from an episode of G.I. JOE where there’s a lot firing going on between JOE and COBRA, but no one is really being eliminated. This of course is almost completely, if not always left up to you which can become quite frustrating at times when you’re dying as a result of your squads incompetence in battle.
Choose Your Own Adventure: In between missions you’ll be shown a world map view of your teams next targets and destination. This got me thinking; “Why not offer the game’s story in such a way that players get to decide what locale to travel to next or what missions and objectives to complete?” This would give the series a serious shot in the arm and provide a greater replay value of the campaign mode as the story could unfold differently depending on what mission you decide to take on and in what order. It would also allow for the ending of the game to be a bit different each time which could seriously strengthen the story side of the game. If nothing else it could allow players to visit different locales and complete a different set of objectives each time they play through instead of just offering a static experience to everyone.
I Don’t Want To Wait In Vain: Do not make Wii owners wait two more years until the release of Modern Warfare 2. The sales from World At War and this title should provide all the money motivation that you (Treyarch, Infinity Ward, Activision) should need in order to have the sequel released sometime early next year. Don’t let us down.
The Verdict: Worth Owning (The definitive Wii F.P.S.)
Back when the Wii was originally announced as the Revolution, and its motion controllers were first unveiled many of us saw the great promise and potential that lay in store for the next generation of games on Nintendo’s new platform and more specifically for games of the FPS genre. More than three years have passed since then and the Wii has seen its share of FPS titles come and go, but none of them have really ever lived up to the potential which we once hoped for since the launch of the Wii.
I can proudly report that Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare Reflex Edition is the game that finally makes good on the promise that we beheld during the introduction of motion controls . Not only that, but this game is one of those rare instances where the motion controls are appropriately implemented into a game where it actually enriches the experience without ever feeling gimmicky.
So was Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare: Reflex Edition worth the wait? To answer my own question; absolutely. But that’s not to say that it didn’t arrive without any flaws. I personally would’ve been willing to wait a few months longer if it meant that the graphical side of the game could’ve been cleaned up more. But most important thing is that the Modern Warfare gameplay experience stayed intact, and definitely deepened through the use of the Wii’s motion controls.
If you’re playing this game on a standard format television (4:3 aspect ratio) with only the built in speakers for audio then you’re missing a tremendous part of the experience that this game offers. It’s an experience which deserves the luxury of a nice sized flat screen and surround sound system in order to be fully appreciated.
In closing, Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare: Reflex Edition is the first person shooter experience that you’ve been waiting for on the Wii. Go out and secure your copy today!
About the Author: Jason Tanner is life-long video game enthusiast and a new contributor here at Nintendo Everything. He also writes for his own Wii game review site at: Wiivolution Now.