|System: Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Treyarch||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Activision||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Nov. 10, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-10||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Though adamant Wii owners have had access to some acceptable, and even a few truly excellent, first-person shooters on their console of choice, it feels like they're still stuck playing catch-up to the deluge of quality FPS titles regularly released on higher powered gaming systems. The older entries in the Call of Duty series are no stranger to Nintendo's console, but the first game in the franchise to bring the fight up to speed with the flashy, high-tech zing of modern times has been conspicuously absent until now.
Most serious gamers have their crosshairs set on the hot holiday blockbuster Modern Warfare 2. Again, Wii owners get the shaft, since it seems some version of the game launched for nearly every other gaming console imaginable. However, it's not all doom and gloom. As a consolation prize for their patience, Nintendo enthusiasts finally get a shot to dig into the tense, gritty firefights and grippingly poignant present-day conflict found in the original game with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare - Reflex Edition. The two year old, dialed down graphics are certainly not as sexy on the Wii, and there are some other subtle blemishes that appear on this port. Nonetheless, it's a game you're going to absolutely want to pick up, especially if you don't have a chance to play it on another console.
Modern Warfare - Reflex features the exact same excellent plot and level structure found in Call of Duty 4. Playing as various members of the British SAS Commando and U.S. Marine forces, you'll uncover a conspiratorial plot between Russian ultranationalists and a rebel sect in the Middle East. Alongside a rotating group of soldier comrades, you'll suit up with the latest military tech and firepower, and drop into the middle of some of seriously intense combat situations in an attempt to keep the world from a being bathed in a global nuclear meltdown.
The perspective jumps around between a handful of different key soldiers and other characters throughout the game, as you'll push your way through a near constant cacophony of flying bullets and deadly explosions in sweaty-palmed missions that span the Middle East, Russia, the Ukraine, and Azerbaijan. Whether you're frantically shooting your way into and then dramatically escaping a sinking ship in the middle of the ocean or creeping along shredded alleyways in a sand-strewn city trying to avoid RPGs and explosives thrown from the rooftops, you can bet your biscuits the action doesn't let up for a second.
Some of the game's visual slickness is definitely lost in the HD-to-Wii port. It's all but expected. The frame rate also takes a substantial hit at times during extremely busy sequences, which can be frustrating when it costs you the (virtual) lives of your entire squad. Despite the downgrade in graphical fidelity, Modern Warfare - Reflex is still a pretty good looking game, and the overall impact of the settings and events you're thrust into are just as sharp and biting as before. And we're not just talking about the crazy missions where you're fending off enemy soldiers coming at you form all angles with high-powered explosives.
For instance, you'll get to experience the terrorist kidnapping and assassination of a Middle Eastern president from a first-person perspective. After being beaten, driven through the decimated streets of a the city amidst a bloody revolution, and tied up to a stake in the middle of an arena with a video camera pointed at you, a rebel soldier points a gun at your head and pulls the trigger. The screen goes black. Welcome to Modern Warfare. Unusual camera angles, changes in perspective, and jarring sequences like the one we just described punctuate the bloody and violent nature of this conflict.