My system: E8500 core2duo, 4 gig OCZ platinum/ (1gigx4), MSI P45 Platinum , Sapphire HD 5770 OC vapour 1gig DDR5.
My background is also pretty close to this as well, I was an Canadian Army RANGER for years; back when the Russians were STILL refered to as 'USSR/CCCP' and there was still a 'West Germany'. I also have a post graduate degree in Computer animation and production.
online my system will play MW2 MP in full 1080p, 16xAA/4xAnistropic, everything MAXED between 95-120fps, MW2 SP at over 140, ( re-overclocked the already OC'd 5770 now sitting at 945mhz cpu and 1400Mhz memory ).
SO I lined up for this thinking the game play would live up to the pre release press, given that this is Treyarch's chance to shine as IW is now mostly dead.. mostly. The screen and commercials sell this as the next level, the features offered to MP players is very col ( how many of have always wanted to customize your WHOLE rig, not just the title/tag..). the action and modeling 'seemed' to be where you would expect as the next iteration in the franchise, you'd expect all this wouldn't you?
Oh how wrong I was..
The good: The game variance is a plus, vehicles both 2 and 4, flying tanks, river boats and even an SR-71, pretty cool. The look of the game was allot better in game, menu systems was kinda creepy and very much like something I'd expect to see in Fallout 3, the water and plant life especially is beautiful and at one point, before a new way point, I stopped to look around for a few min. I would say the only person who went over and above was the environment team.. everyone else was surfing porn apparently. Some aspects of the mechanics and coding were also good.. collision detection is better then MW2 and much better then FNV ( In FNV, I managed to get stuck inside a rock on the side of mountain trying to get a better sniper angle..!?!? The game was allot longer then most, MW1/2 were done for me in an evening, this is going on night 2 for me, the story seems to be much 'fulller', ( you know those adventure movies where they just feel like they are 3hr's long because there is so much in them.), that takes some good scripting and better layout planning, kudos.
the Bad: Wow, where does one start.. Ok, how about right out of the box, I was pissed that ONLY the 360 owners could buy the 2 upgrade sets, the one I wanted was the RC car/plastique, set. Nope, PC owners have to suck wind on that one. Next on the list is the design, Trearch decided that everyone who owns a PC. has at least a high end quad processor or i7 setup, because they built the game to tied/tethered/slaved to the CPU.. who does that anymore?!/ no one. this is just simply a bad/lazy way to port to PC from the 360. Motherboards have fast bus speeds for a reason but this game seems to ignore everything from 16x E-PCI2 a and retardedly fast GPU's and DDR5 to FSB speeds that make the 360 look like at relic from Stonehenge. So no matter how fast your RAM/graphics car/bus speeds are, unless you have a super fast CUP your busted back to playing the game like it was from 1999. ( just to give an example, my specs from above; I had to drop from 16xAA and 4x Anisotropic to 2xAA and 1st. position Anisotropic and I still only get 15-60 frames depending on how fast I move and how much in the way or particle effects I've got going on.. and that leads me to the rest of the graphics, the models were a team effort you could tell, sometimes you have some great work other times I thought I was on the Wii..texture wise, I don't care what you might think my skin and most peoples skin to not have specularity, even sweating like stuck pig you don't shine like your grandmas silver wear. This annoyed me as an animator greatly. The close up faces in the game.. ( and there are allot of them??), were horrid. Tip to Trearch, when you know your going to have cut scenes with EXTREME closeups make sure to dial up the texture size, detail and quality.
One big problem is this game is STILL!!!!!!!!! Dx9c...WHY!! your expecting people to have high end CPU's but your still expecting a gamer to NOT have a matching level graphics card? wth! you can buy consumer level DX11 cards now for under $100, allot cheaper then the CPU's required for the game. But again this is yet another port over legacy from the 360 where the GPU is 9c. Do yourself a favor try DIRT2 on 360/PS3 then try it on a PC with DX11.. the difference will have you back in pull ups, as you will be peeing yourself silly at things like oh, displacement mapping real cloth effects and volumetrics effects.. all of which would play right into the hands of this game. Image running through the water ( you do that allot in this game ??), with sun beams that are interrupted by your passing and water that ripples and displaces as you move through it. flags, clothing even plants and objects that flow with you or on the wind. But again that requires the game to be reworked for the PC, Treyarch and Activision are not cool with that apparently, ( oddly enough it was the PC world that saved Activision's twice from going out of business.. now they are simply giving 'us' the ass.).
Game play wise I felt boredom at times, the WWII game play was frankly boring, someone mentioned that game play felt like an episode of X-files at times.. I hated that show for being boring!! so he was right on. Again, because of DX9 limitations, the ability to have instanced characters is limited and you can tell, the bad guys all came in 3 flavors, no matter if it was the Russians/viet kong or whoever. you had 3 characters, do 3 different clothing styles and 3 different types of moves. I remind you again to check out DIRT2, the grand stands from a 360-dx9 to PC-DX11..
Online play is USELESS.. I contacted Activision to give me my $78Cad back for it, ( minus $3.50 for the price of a 4 day rental of the game from a local store). You simply cannot play this game online after you've played MW2, even MW1 was better in bother server coding and graphics and to top it off, Activision has the Audacity to try and SELL you server rights. Expensive server rights too. I'm going to name it the ' lag tax'. I so dearly wanted online play to not suck so badly, I would have put up with bugs here and there, but really this is a base line issue, from the ground up the code needs to be rewritten, but that will never happen, so the best you will probably get it's reduced freezing.
Tryarch dropped the ball, hard. a small nuke in the pants of management needs to be implemented for not taking the time to actually build the game for the PC, properly.
But this may all be part of the plan, as with IW and MW1/2 Activision and EA seem to be looking at the PC as an after thought, something they will support only becuse they feel they have to.. (a good way to get a few extra bucks for doing almost nothing to get it?). It seems to me that more and more games are being 1/2 assed ports from the consoles now, they just don't seem to give a crap, ( remember the launch for MW2, the interviewing media was almost dumbfounded at both the lack of respect for the platform and the gamers nor were they apologetic in the depths of laziness they showed int he port.. But I say to Activision and EA; If your not interested in the PC then stop jerking us around and stop lying about the quality of game play, the online play and the level of " realism you've worked so hard to implement".. I don't know too many bad guys that will do the funky chicken in front of you because they are 1/2 way inside a collision object and you haven't quite hit the way point trip yet..