Call of Duty Modern Warfare: Reflex Edition

Despite its drastic flaws, Reflex still feels and breathes like Call of Duty 4.

By azn_pride, Posted 14 Jan 2010

The Nintendo Wii hasn't had a good standing reputation in regards to mature shooters lately, mainly because they're a rare sight on the platform. A handful of those first-person/rail shooters such as the Metroid Prime series, Call of Duty: World at War, House of the Dead Overkill, and Dead Space Extraction have been met with considerable praise, but a few others such as The Conduit have been looked down upon. Either people are just hating on the console, or maybe the Wii just doesn't have what it takes to make high-quality shooters on an everyday basis.

Maybe I'm just focusing too much on games' graphical qualities. While the Wii has its limitations, it still has the potential to make solid first-person shooters, Call of Duty Modern Warfare: Reflex is no exception. Though the game has been toned down, Reflex retains the highly enjoyable multiplayer that made Call of Duty 4 exceptional for its time. Despite its daunting problems, Call of Duty Modern Warfare: Reflex is a first-person shooter that shouldn't be missed by any Wii owner.

Call of Duty Modern Warfare: Reflex Edition Review
Hey, it's like, not as good as like, the original, but like, it still plays like it.

I'm sure you already know Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare's story and how it unfolds. But for those who still aren't familiar with it, basically Call of Duty 4 is set in the modern era, where a terrorist group led by Khaled Al-Asad has taken power in an unnamed Middle Eastern country. Meanwhile, the Russian Ultranationalist faction led by Imran Zakhaev acquires weapons of mass destruction and seeks to threaten the whole world with it, desiring to bring Russia back to its former glory in the days of the Soviet Union. You initially play as "Soap" McTavish of the British SAS, but you will get to inhabit the shoes of different soldiers involved in the conflict. As in the regular editions of the game, Call of Duty 4's single player campaign is a short but intense experience all the way through.

The only significant differences between Reflex and its HD counterparts are the lack of co-op gameplay, nonexistent killcam, host migration, and the 10 player cap in multiplayer (unfortunately, no Ground War). I wouldn't exactly call Squadmate Mode 'co-op' entirely, because adding an extra reticule on screen basically means the second player is more in a guided experience than feeling like they're in on the action. Other minor changes include cheats, such as "Ragtime Warfare" being replaced with "Paintball." And due to the lack of Wii Speak support, the Eavesdrop perk is absent, although that doesn't really matter anyway.

Multiplayer, surprisingly, remains as enjoyable and addictive as ever. The create-a-cIass, perks, weapons, challenges, and the leveling up system have been preserved, so it's Call of Duty 4 fun all over again. You'll still acquire challenges as you level up and gain experience points, and unlocking perks and weapons that will prove useful in racking up headshots and kills more than embarrassing deaths. Oh and yes, there's also Prestige Mode to show your bragging rights, which is good.

Call of Duty Modern Warfare: Reflex Edition Review

Modern Warfare Reflex's controls are very uncomfortable at first, and would take the average player a long time to get used to. Pointing the Wii remote and just trying to aim doesn't feel good at all, because of the lack of steadiness compared to using a regular controller or mouse. If you're somebody who's played the original versions of the game, Reflex will feel like starting over from scratch in terms of skill and how adaptable you can be with the Wii remote. You can customize and remap the Wii remote/Wii Zapper's controls to your liking, but it would still take some time to get used to it regardless. Reloading feels awkward; I'm not really a big fan of waving the Wii remote back and forth--or the nunchuk for that matter. I feel that the nunchuk would have been better suited for a knife kill option or something. Like you would press and hold the C button and move the nunchuk towards the screen (as if you were really performing the action). Sadly that mechanic doesn't really exist.

Unlike the game's Playstation 3, Xbox 360, and PC counterparts, Reflex's visual presentation isn't as sharp-looking, and has many rough edges. You'll notice right away that some of the textures and environment details look blurry and unappealing. The lighting/shadow effects don't appear quite right, and various animations and effects seem awkward and unnatural in movement. But despite the game's visual flaws--not to mention the Wii's technological limitations - Modern Warfare Reflex is still a pretty decent looking game. The environments and CG animations may not look so high-quality, but the game still feels and breathes like Call of Duty 4. Treyarch hasn't really added or modified anything special to the port, other than the fact that the graphics have been toned down in scale. Overall, they did a damn fine job carrying everything over from the original versions.

Call of Duty Modern Warfare: Reflex Edition Review
Multiplayer's still fun, as long as you don't mind shaking that Wii remote, if you catch my drift.

That said, Reflex is a very glitchy game. The frame rate is altogether uneven and low, and the constant lag makes the game a disorienting experience overall. Those very noticeable problems even make it seem like the Wii cannot keep up with the game's activity. Shooting dudes in the face can be rather annoying sometimes because my bullets tend to take at least half a second to reach their targets, even though my enemies are only 5 feet in front of me. As a result I end up missing and wasting quite a lot of bullets, which is extremely frustrating at times.

Majority of the sound effects have retained their familiarity, from the voice acting, the 'click' you hear whenever you trip a claymore mine, to the deafening barrage of the M249 SAW light machine gun. Thankfully the soundtrack has also been left intact, so the game will still sound similar to a dramatic war movie. The only problem I had is when a song track plays too late and doesn't match the action happening on screen. A good example of that is during the end cutscenes of the game, where the dramatic music that was supposed to play 2 minutes ago comes in too late and the credits are already rolling. Regardless of that flaw, hearing all these sounds will feel somewhat nostalgic for many players who've previously played the original versions.

Call of Duty Modern Warfare: Reflex Edition Review

Everybody has moved on to Modern Warfare 2, and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Reflex doesn't really do much to attract those gamers back. Although many things about this port may turn away fans of the regular editions, multiplayer retains its high replay value and addictive nature, making it seem like they're missing out on something of a slightly different experience. This game is probably one of the few first-person shooters that Wii enthusiasts need and have been looking for in a long time. But with all of Reflex's noticeable, drastic flaws, I believe Wii owners deserve something a little better.

David Gabriel, NoobFeed.

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  • If a game is glitchy, then why do they publish it? Isn't it better to wait, fix it and then release? And, it's clear from your review that whey the game didn't move on to MW2.

    Posted Jan 16, 2010

  • Every game has its flaws, even the Call of Duty franchise...

    Posted Jan 17, 2010

  • Yeah this game has its flaws, and the CoD franchise altogether is no exception. But that doesn't necessarily mean Reflex is a bad game entirely.

    Posted Jan 17, 2010

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General Information

Platform(s): PC, Xbox 360, PS3, WII
Publisher(s): Activision
Developer(s): Infinity Ward
Genres: First-Person Shooter
Themes: Action
Release Date: 2007-11-05

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