Charlie Brooker on Modern Warfare 2

The British ex- video game reviewer, tv critic and tv writer Charlie Brooker has this to say about the much-hyped war game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2:

The previous Modern Warfare title featured a chilling level set in the immediate aftermath of a nuclear explosion during which the player could do nothing but crawl agonizingly through the flaming carnage for a few moments before expiring with a gasp. Modern Warfare 2’s big attention-grabbing setpiece is a terrorist atrocity in an airport in which the player (taking the role of an undercover agent) reluctantly takes part. It’s upsetting, chilling and horrifying.

You’re supposed to be upset and chilled and horrified, of course – so on that level it succeeds. But if you must directly evoke the Mumbai massacre, it’s probably best to do so with good reason. Since the rest of the game is effectively a dumb Tom Clancy romp (full of characters who say things like “I’ll see you in hell”), it feels jarringly misplaced, like a cartoonish Bond movie containing a 20-minute scene in which Blofeld tortures his cat to death. Ultimately it’s only there to make the game’s main villain seem more “villainy”. Not good enough.

Read the rest here.