2. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 General hints and tips

Modern Warfare 2 is a common First-Person Shooter. All the achievements associated with this game can be done in the games two of the three modes, Spec-Ops (co-operative missions) and Campaign (single player story). Here are my general hints and tips for this game. Some of which will be patronising, but I'm just covering all the bases.

Get Used To The Controls

While many players will become quickly used to the control system as it is unchanged between various Call of Duty games, be aware that the control isn't the same as other shooters. The default settings are as follows:

  • Left stick controls movement and strafing.
  • Left stick button starts your character sprinting.
  • Right stick controls aim (the sensitivity can be changed in options).
  • Right stick button uses a melee attack.
  • Left bumper fires a special grenade (stun, flash or smoke).
  • Right bumper uses equipment (primarily frag grenades).
  • Left trigger aims down the sight on your gun, or with Akimbo (dual) weapons fires the weapon in your left hand.
  • Right trigger fires whatever weapon you are holding, or the weapon in your right hand for dual weapons.
  • Y button switches weapons between your primary slot and secondary slot.
  • B button is used to shift between stances standing, crouching and prone.
  • A button is used to jump or climb.
  • X button is used to reload your weapon, or swaps weapons with the one on the ground when the prompt comes up. It is also used for other actions.
  • Start button pauses the game, as if you couldn't work that out yourself!
  • The D-pad access attachments and other weapons, which will be shown to you via your HUD

There are various different control schemes within the options menu so you can find the one that suits you best.

Sprinting makes your character sprint in the direction you are facing. If you push the left stick in at an angle you can also make the character run at an angle (useful for when sprinting with the Riot Shield). Pushing the button starts the player sprinting and won’t stop until you let go of the left stick, move the left stick in the opposite direction, press X to reload your weapon, press B to shift stance, hit any bumper or trigger or you run out of sprint stamina (which isn't shown to you, but after playing for a while you will realise where the limit is). Movement speed and sprint speed is determined by what the heaviest weapon in your primary and secondary slots are. Sub-Machine guns, Handguns, Machine Pistols, and Shotguns offer no penalty. Assault Rifles and Sniper Rifles have little penalty. Machine guns and launchers offer a noticeable penalty and Riot Shields have the worst effect. While sprinting you cannot fire or reload your weapons and at the end of your sprint you will have to ready your gun again so don't overuse it. Sprint stamina will recharge while not sprinting.

There are three kinds of melee attack; the standard melee attack will use a knife to kill the enemy in front of you. It doesn't have a far range and should only be used as a reaction attack. The second melee attack is for the attachment of a Tactical Knife on a Handgun. The Tactical Knife decreases ready time after a melee attack before you can do anything, thus useful for two very close enemies in quick succession. The third melee attack is the Riot Shield Crush. Whilst unlike the two other melee attack which kill in one hit, the Riot Shield usually takes two hits. There is no real advantage other than the protection you have before, during, and after the melee attack, so it very useful as a last resort in a crowded situation.

The special grenade is different depending on which you are equipped with. The flash grenade and stun grenades both have the same effect - it stuns enemies hit by lowering their defences. The only difference it seems that the flash grenade has a wider range and the stun grenade has more stunning power (stuns longer). They are both pretty useful. The smoke grenade on the other hand is useful for hiding a group of people. Say you and your teammates need to cross a street which is being scouted by an enemy sniper - using the smoke grenade in the open space will fill the area with smoke allowing you and teammates to move across mostly unharmed.

Firing weapons from the hip is very useful, as it allows you to maintain your top mobility and aiming speed while still aiming and firing at enemies so you can still strafe at enemies while keeping them pressured (or better yet killing them). The downside is that this is inaccurate and accuracy worsens the faster you are moving. At most times you should be shooting from range via the sight. Aiming down the sight offers incredible accuracy whilst sacrificing moving and aiming speed. You should always be using a combination of both to get you through the game.

Switching between weapons allows you to change weapons. Yes, that was obvious, but what people don't realise is that there is a ready time before you can actually use your gun. While the time is usually small (no more than two seconds), if you need a weapon desperately in a heated firefight, waiting two seconds can cost you your life. Under this purpose, I personally always try to carry a handgun just in case I've run out my primary magazine/clip, so I can quickly pull it out fire and use it to escape and reload. Others usually carry two strong weapons to use in different situations which are also useful, but in a pinch, they aren't likely to come out on top. Your starting loadout is also pretty strong, so I would not advise from swapping weapons for others in the level. That doesn't mean that you shouldn't do this though; swapping weapons are useful if you need a stronger weapon, a weapon intended for a different situation, or if you are running out of ammo on one of your weapons.

An important tip is to use your mini-map to locate enemies and teammates in comparison to where you are. Use the pause menu to do this and plan ahead!

Difficulty

There are four difficulty settings for this game within the Campaign (difficulty is different for Spec-Ops mode)

Recruit makes the game considerably easy, enemies will take a while to aim at you, teammates have much more stopping power, you will be able to withstand much more damage, and there is a subtle aim assist to help you. This difficulty is recommended for players new to first person shooters and aren't comfortable. Regular is similar to Recruit difficulty but you will withstand less damage and the aim assist dissappears. This difficulty is recommended for players new to the series. Hardened is a challenging difficulty making you withstand less damage. Teammates will also have less stopping power and enemies will have better reaction times. This is recommended for people who are comfortable with the series. Veteran is the hardest difficulty setting, and makes you withstand much less damage, enemies will seem to spot you out of nowhere, there are considerably less "checkpoints", and you will encounter grenade spamming from enemies. This difficulty isn't recommended.

I personally found Modern Warfare 2 considerably easy even on Veteran difficulty, though other players have found it hard. Whatever difficulty you pick you shouldn't really worry about it, 'cause you’re playing for fun right? Even if you’re not comfortable it's still a good idea to pick Veteran difficulty as the game comes with a new Lower Difficulty feature - If you are finding a mission difficult you can hit the pause menu and go to lower difficulty, the game will give you a confirmation if you want to do this and if you confirm, will lower the difficulty by one mark. Veteran goes to Hardened, Hardened goes to Regular, Regular go to Recruit, and Recruit doesn't have the option. The game will change the difficulty without disturbing your situation in game. So you won’t have to go to the last checkpoint or anything! Be advised though it doesn't give you an option to increase difficulty, so if you want to go up a difficulty you will have to start the mission again.

Communication

I am going to assume that you have the ability to listen and speak. You do? Good. Use It. I cannot stress enough the amount of times I have heard people complain that something is too difficult because they won't listen to what was going on around them. There are two separate uses for it in this game.

Campaign (single-player)

Most people will notice that the commander or commanding officer will issue you with a set of instructions for you to follow, and most people will follow. Whatever difficulty you are playing on don't say to yourself "I'll take that under advisement!". If someone tells you to do something, you do it. I don't care how, and I don't care when. These people are trying to help you and ignoring them will hinder your progress in game. Very rarely not listening to them will help you.

The other thing I want to point out which you may not have noticed is your teammates report system. Squad members in a firefight will usually say things such as grenades and enemy positions (sometimes with what weapon they are using such as a Sniper or RPG). Keep an ear out for it and use it to your advantage, if you hear "RPG" or an RPG in itself for that matter, look for the enemy using it and take it out quickly before he injures you or your teammates. If you hear "Sniper", get down and look for him carefully before he renders your body useless. Keep an ear out for grenades and enemy speech as well.

Spec-Ops (co-operative)

Spec-Ops missions are usually completed with a friend or a partner. These missions are considerably more difficult than the story and require you to have good cohesion with your teammate, so communication is essential. Asking simple questions like "Do you need help?" or "Where are they?" are actually very useful, so keep talking to each other.

Make your talking constructive however, don't argue at who's better at the game, or brag about your boyfriend/girlfriend. Unless of course you find a mission easy and boring, then don't let me stop you.

I know these seem like obvious statements, but you would be surprised by how many people seem to be oblivious to these.

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