My friends are bragging about how they are picking up the MW2 gear to ‘play like pros’. My cousin is ignoring the rest of the holiday releases to pick up a MW2 360 (already has a 360) and I myself have decided to pick up the Veteran edition of MW2.
Activision are pushing it down everyone’s throats, “MW2.” “MW2.” “MW2.”, every blog or site or anything you visit will have mention of this. It’s all one big giant advertisement – “Buy our products”, “Join in the gaming event of the year.”, “Purchase MW2 gear now!”, it’s all getting out of hand.
So let’s go through how much STUFF there is out there, branded and labelled with MW2 until the product loses its purpose. Simply functioning as an item with ”MW2” scribbled on it. That’s what Night Vision Goggles are, they’re not a collectable statue or a DVD giving you true insight into Infinity Ward or even a little nice trinket. They’re expensive but cheaply made, tacky night vision goggles with a MW2 sticker on them.
Anyway, here are the best prices I could find.
– MW2 Regular Edition (£44.99)
– MW2 Hardened Edition (£59.99)
– MW2 Veteran Edition (£99.99)
– MW2 Prestige Edition (£119.99)
– MW2 Branded Throat Communicator (£19.99)
– MW2 Branded Faceplate and Console Skin (£24.99)
– MW2 Branded Sniper Mouse (£34.99)
– MW2 Branded Keyboard £???
– MW2 Branded Bluetooth Headset for PS3 (£24.99)
– MW2 Strategy Guide (£12.99)
– MW2 Collectors Edition Strategy Guide (£16.99)
– MW2 Branded Wired Controller 360 (£34.99)
– MW2 Branded Wireless Controller PS3 (£34.99)
– MW2 Branded Controller Skins £???
– Modern Warfare 2 Super Elite 360 Console (£249.99)
Regular Edition, Hardened Edition, Veteran Edition, Prestige Edition. Never before has any other game had so many ‘editions’, even Halo 3 had a magic number of 3. It seems to me that they’re trying to offer a nice ‘Collectors Edition’ but you’re just really spending another £20-£60 on stuff you don’t need or want to display.
What comes with Hardened? An Art book, steelbook and COD1. Wow an art book. Really generic with Collector’s Editions nowadays, unless it offers real insight into MW2 then I suggest just not signing up for this edition. COD1 is a real nice touch but you can just probably download it off the XBL marketplace or PSN store for cheaper.
It’s £60 too (best price I could find), and it doesn’t really offer much for your money. Just for comparison, the Far Cry 2 Collectors Edition had a FC2 T-shirt, actually collectable map, an art book, making of DVD and a giant sized wooden box to keep it all in. How much was that? £50, now that’s value for money. Not cheap tacky items bolted on with the MW2 ‘brand’.
Veteran Edition, comes with all of the above and , I’ll admit, a very nice looking Soap MacTavish statue. Time will tell whether or not this edition is worth the money, but I’ll go ahead and say it now. It’s better than Prestige Edition… I mean honestly what is the point?
Prestige Edition. Includes all of the above sans the statue. It’s one of the worst ‘Collector’s Editions’ I’ve ever seen and I’m a ten year vet (military reference, hahahaha). You could look and try to find one, but this offers nothing. What do you get? Night Vision Goggles for a full £120. They’re just cheap, plastic ones. You’ve seen the photos right? They’re made in China, by cheap labour, Activision isn’t exactly the one to push the whole nice image label but come on. They’re acting like Nike here.
You’d expect it to be an actual collectable item. True it will be rare, but is it really collectable… honestly? It comes with some sort of mould, grey blobby replica of Soap MacTavish’s head. It looks awful, I would not even want Night Vision Goggles in my home, let alone some sort of plastic face of an old man. Argue with me all you want, but you can feel that little bit of doubt in your mind. It’ll be okay won’t it, right? It’s costing you a lot of money, it’ll be worth it right? Yeah, you just keep telling yourself that.
MadCatz Gear. Here we go. ‘Throat Communicators’, modelled after stuff they use in actual wars. Pretty clever premise, a premise that spills into their whole line-up of gear. The actual communicator looks like torture to me, it’s dangerously close to your neck’s blood veins (I looked in a mirror and compared with a photo I found) and I wouldn’t want those things poking into my neck anyway. Still, time will once again tell if this is a good headset or not…
Speaking of modelled after military equipment, does anyone find it suspicious that Activision is just about selling war. They’re not selling the actual equipment but they’re still pushing the image through your mind that you’re an actual soldier. Maybe a clever marketing tool by the military? I don’t know. This whole paragraph was useless.
Faceplate and Console skin are really overpriced, I can get a MW2 faceplate on eBay for just £9.99. Who’s going to actually want to have MW2 on their 360 for the rest of their gaming years? They’re removable of course, but I still don’t get the point of all this customisation. I want something unique and splendid on the face of my 360, not a marketing tool or a brand image.
I haven’t found the PC MW2 keyboard in the UK so I don’t think it’s available here. But I have to say, what is the goddamn point of the mouse? I don’t do PC games much, and when I do, it’s largely just Civ or Sims. I talked to a few of my online friends, who use their computer to play FPSs. Most of them are vets of an age old community clan of COD4 and they’ve took one look at the MW2 PC lineup and thought it was useless. The Sniper mouse for a start would actually worsen your aim, according to them anyway, and the keyboard is just a MadCatz PC keyboard with MW2 branded on top.
Strategy Guides. Okay, I guess there are still some noobs out there who don’t know how to just hammer and burst LT and RT/L1 and R1/INSERT PC CONTROLS HERE. I can’t disagree with Activision putting these out, but what I can disagree with is a Collectors Edition of it. For an extra £4 you’ll probably get some flashy cover or a CD or a video thing. Ugh… next thing you’ll know, we’ll get collectors editions of NHS leaflets.
Controllers. This is where things start to get a bit “What the heck.”. These are really just PS3 or 360 controllers spray painted with the MW2 image. The PS3 one has a lithium battery used in the official pad but does not come with rumble. Whereas the 360 does. Pretty bad in my opinion, as it was what made a difference between COD:WAW and COD4 for me PS3wise. I can tell whether I’m getting shot immediately in WaW because my controller vibrates, but in COD4 I have to wait for the red hue to show up to know I’m taking damage.
Also, you can apparently map some of the buttons onto some back little buttons. Just below the battery cases. I think you can map circle, R3 and L3. To each of the 2 buttons. Really, these buttons look hard to reach and it would take a pretty fast index finger to press these. Would probably hurt after a while too.
The whole of the controller line-up is to give the false impression that if you buy these, then you’ll play like a pro. You’ll get a good score and you’ll be happy as can be. But in the end you’re just going to play the same way, or a tinesy tiney little bit better or even a lot worse. Probably with some pain too. It’s false advertising, and you’re going to be paying for it.
Controller Skins. Short paragraph, short sentences. I can sum these up in one word. Tacky.
Okay, I will have to admit this is actually kind of a good deal. You get a 250GB HDD, a 360 console, 2 wireless controllers and a copy of MW2. But here is where the problem lies, newcomers who want a good deal will buy this console. They’ll get a fun game and love the thing right up until MW3 comes out. Then they’ll have to buy new skins and faceplates to camouflage the whole MW2 branding. Minor annoyance, but I can’t really complain. But I don’t see the whole benefit of having a spray painted Xbox in place of a regular, in my opinion, better looking one
I could go on and on about all the gear, how Activision is raping your wallet, how that the game industry will change over night. Okay let’s actually push those points. How much will all of the above cost you? Well if you get the whole of the PS3 equipment (Prestige + all the knick knacks) then it’ll cost you in the area of £500 alone. With the 360 equipment (Prestige + console + all the knick knacks) then it’ll cost you over £800. That’s a whole lot of dosh.
‘Game industry will change overnight’, you’re confused aren’t you? Well let’s just say that there’s a certain something that might just happen. Games will no longer become standalone titles, they will become events. All the big releases will just engulf the rest of the titles around them, not from sheer awesomeness but from accessories and marketing.
Everyone knows about MW2 right? So this was the right time to suck all the money out of the customer as much as possible, and leave a future example for publishers. This is when things go sour. Not just MW2 costing more in the UK, games costing more everywhere. Periphrals, accessories, tacky collector’s editions just devouring the market. Leaving publishers to question whether to pick up an innovative indie title or a big mass market cow cash like call of duty.
Yeah, be scared.
Another thing, MW2 itself. I can rant on about multiplayer, but you can hear from anyone else that there’s a lot of things wrong with it. But what I’m going to push forward here is Soap MacTavish. Yeah, the scottish guy, the guy you played in COD4. Cool thing to do right? RIGHT. RIGHHTTT?
You see his face GODDAMN EVERWHERE. On console skins, on controllers, the 360, the Prestige Edition, the statue. His face and the names Afghan soldier thing on the regular boxart. It’s baffles me to already be tired of a character, before the actual game comes out. By this time, I’ve worked out every aspect of what he is and I’ve seen his face way too many times.
Remember Captain Price, that moustache you attached yourself to in MW1? You know, the good guy and that powerful moment at the end when he died. Remember the plastic bust of him that you could display night vision goggles on… no? Remember his face sprawled on every promotional material… no?
I can rant on MW2 forever, until the actual initials of MW2 mean something else entirely. I could go into detail about how much it’ll blow, how big it’s hype, what it really means to gaming and the Call of Duty series. Because gone are the days of brave WWII men, gone are the innovative titles that Infinity Ward single-handedly kept the WWII genre alive. Now we’re just stuck in a big fat mess.
Thing is, Activision are smart boys. They chose a killer title, a title that we’ll all play. I’ll buy it, you’ll buy it and everyone else in the world will buy it. We’re all going to feed this cash cow because our friends are all doing the same, we’ll all march into a new gaming industry. Invented and arranged by Activision. We’ll all run like sheep into the new flock of the gaming market, it’s inevitable. Everything that has a beginning has an end.
And MW2 is just the start.