Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

GamesCom 2009: Modern Warfare 2's Spec Ops Preview - Breach and Clear

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If you’ve had any sort of experience with Call of Duty 4, chances are you’ll have attempted to endure the epilogue that concludes the game, titled, Mile High Club. A short two minute level that takes place on an airborne hijacked private plane that has you taking out a crew of terrorists in an attempt to save the VIP within a certain time. The action was hectic, frenzied and the whole experience was immensely fun - even though it was frustrating at times on veteran. Modern Warfare 2’s Spec Ops mode looks to build on this experience, offering you and a friend plenty of these short but sweet co-op experiences.

The Spec Ops mode of the game is an entirely separate third of Modern Warfare 2 and according to Infinity Ward’s Vince Fennel, is just as important to the whole game as the single player and multiplayer are. You can choose to tackle the mode alone, or with a friend in split-screen local co-op or over Xbox Live.

The mode currently is broken down into 5 stages; Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta and Echo; with each stage having around 5 scenarios in each, although the final number is still subject to change – in the current build, the on-screen indicator revealed 23 scenarios. Each scenario has a target time, a star rating (based on 3 stars for completing it on veteran, two on hardened and one on normal), your oppositional resistance (for instance, heavy) and a scenario classification (i.e. assault). It should also be worth mentioning that you don’t have to meet the target times in certain instances to pass the scenario.

On show at GamesCom was the co-op scenario, “Breach and Clear,” the second mission of the Charlie bracket, where the objective is as it says … you have to breach and clear. The scenario has an estimated target time of 1 minute 30 seconds, describes the opposition as heavy and classifies the scenario as “assault.” You’ll start the mission on the outside of a wall that leads into an abandoned, but occupied building - judging by the visuals, it was an old rundown prison shower room. The thin corridor where you start is where you’ll have the chance to choose your weaponry and gadgets before you breach the wall and attempt to clear the room, allowing players to equip themselves as they wish. On this occasion, Infinity Ward chose to go heavy with an assault rifle with a grenade launcher attachment.

(this screen is totally unrelated to Spec Ops, but due to a distinct lack of Spec Ops screens, we made do with a new, but pretty screen to act as accompanying eye candy)
As soon as the wall is breached, the combat commences with a slow-mo style breach scene that allows you to take advantage of the element of surprise. As soon as that calms down after a few seconds, normal combat is resumed and the timer starts. As the dust settles, you’ll be surrounded on multiple levels by a large group of heavies, most of them equipped with laser sights, making it easier to determine where they are. It’s not all peaches and cream though, and Infinity Ward doesn’t plan to make this easy. You’ll encounter a wide variety of goons when you’re attempting to clear out the room, including those with laser sighted rifles up top and those looking to take advantage of riot shields and close combat weapons below. The scenario is packed to the rafters with action as the local goons try to take you down by any means necessary. You’ll find them attempting to flank you, use suppressive fire, all in an attempt to force you out into the open. As previously mentioned, the main objective is to just clear the room and stay alive, the target time doesn’t really affect much here, just so long as you take down all the hostiles.

If you’re attempting the mission alone, you won’t be accompanied by an AI partner, so maybe it is best to grab a friend … unless you’re feeling lucky. It is possible to make it through alone, as Infinity Ward did, but making use of the map - which indicates enemies as red dots based on their last firing position – will be the key to your success.

(same as above ... we just went with eye candy due to a lack of assets. Oooohh, sexy orange glow)

After two and a half minutes of intense, relentless combat and plenty of strategically placed grenades from the launcher attachment, the room was cleared and the scenario passed. Infinity Ward told onlookers that this was just a sample of what’s to come, stating that they were shooting for a large variety of scenarios, both in terms of objectives and how you tackle them. When asked whether the feature would have its own leaderboard, Fennel was unsure but didn’t dismiss the possibility totally, so let’s hope that’s something we see this coming November.

Spec Ops is certainly shaping up to be a fantastic addition to the Modern Warfare franchise and on some levels is more appealing to us than maybe the multiplayer. I know, I know, sacrilegious, right? We did love Mile High Club though. Loved it a lot, which is why a series of these short and sweet scenarios sounds so appealing to us.

Modern Warfare 2 is coming to the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC this coming November 10th.


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Game Info
Infinity Ward


US November 10, 2009
Europe November 10, 2009

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