Oh, boy, you know it’s bad when there’s a whole page devoted to this section… It seems there has been a new bit of information revealed about the PC version almost every other day for the past couple weeks, each one bashing us over the head with a lead pipe.
Infinity Ward has tried to be diplomatic and smooth things over, but they tend to put their feet in their mouths, instead. You can forget about console commands or tweaking config files to fix something like FOV or anything else in the game to better suit your tastes – it’s their way or the highway! Suffice to say that, save “custom stuff” like mouselook, text chat, and graphics settings, Modern Warfare 2 is a straight console port.
A few months ago, it was announced that the PC version would cost $59.99, same as its console counterparts. The reason for this is unclear, but the bottom line is, that’s $10 extra that we aren’t used to spending on a game. Steam is the exclusive digital distributor and, in addition to unlocking a full 48 hours after the midnight retail release, there was no pre-order discount or bonus or anything like that. Strike one.
Then there was the mid-October bombshell regarding a complete lack of support for dedicated servers in multiplayer. That means no server communities or admins, no mods or other customizations, and no guarantee of a decent ping. Instead, you will play online using their proprietary IW.Net match-making service that somehow chooses one of the players to be the host. Not only does he have no say in hosting, but indeed there is a pause in the action to allow shifting to another host if he leaves the game. VAC will be used to keep cheaters at bay, but everyone knows that isn’t fool-proof, which could leave you at the mercy of a dishonest competitor in the absence of any other sort of governance. Strike two.
Finally, last week it was confirmed in an interview that even the PC version will be limited to 18 players online, or 9 vs. 9 matches. This is nearly half the number allowed in its predecessor’s ranked multiplayer, which maxed out at 32, and quite pathetic compared to the unofficial CoD 4 capacity of 64, which is also common in other competitive shooters. If I were to speculate as to why this is, I’d say it has something to do with their efforts to make multiplayer playable with their asinine listen server setup, even on slower connections. Strike three, you’re out!