There's very good reason for the lack of blog entries in recent weeks: Modern Warfare 2!
I see little point in writing a review of what is undoubtedly one of the greatest titles of this generation (although some would argue that it's more of an add on than an entirely new game!). Suffice to say, it gets a hearty slap on the back from me - and those foolish enough not to snap it up on release day should rush out to the shops immediately and stump up some cash.
Since I posted my initial thoughts a few weeks back, I'm no less enthralled by the scale and diversity of the game. Granted, it's much the same as the original Modern Warfare - which departed from the exhausted Second World War environments and cliched storylines. And therein lies its brilliance.
The game is not only instantly accessible to anyone who's played before but is equally easy to grasp by the newbies out there. Run about, stare down your gun barrel and unload at unsuspecting bad guys. A winning formula!
Must admit that after picking up my disk, I pretty much neglected the single player campaign and immediately went online to try my hand at the multiplayer maps. There's huge variety and I'm loving the new death- and killstreaks that Infinity Ward have added to shake things up a bit. Nevertheless, the game does seem a little generous compared to the last edition... I'd only been playing a short time but found myself shooting up the ranks. Hell, after only a day or two since its release I bumped into players who had already made it to Prestige level - am sure it took longer to reach such high rankings in the original Modern Warfare?
Last night I decided to take a break from shooting and stabbing people online and sat down for a few hours to play the solo mode.
Right from the off, the pace is frenetic - from running through the snow to jumping about the rooftops in Brazil, scurrying around the streets of some suburban US town to storming a prison complex. The story is bewildering and a little disjointed, the gameplay formulaic and not that tough - even on veteran difficulty.
I can understand the moans from those in some of the forums who argue that MW2 isn't much of a step forward but I say, what the hell? It does what it says on the tin. There's lots of weaponry, plenty of explosions, a smattering of blood and some gorgeous-looking visuals - all of which amounts to a mighty fine game. And there's no mention of zombies, for once!
Add the fantastic Special Ops mode to the mix and, even though Infinity Ward have cheekily raised the price a little, you'd be hard pushed to argue that you're not getting value for money. There's plenty of replayability with all these challenges too as you try and beat previous scores, and you can also join forces with a mate.
I'm loving this - and it seems that the gaming public do too. It's literally taken the world by storm - I've overheard people talking about it in the street, at bus stops, on the train and in the pub! It may not be very original, it may not advance much on its predecessor - but it's almost certainly a dead cert to be Christmas number one this year!
Saying that thought, could Assassins Creed 2 sneak up on it and take the mantle instead?