A very long time ago, I played a game and thought it was basically fine, compelling even, but not particularly worth following up on the sequels. I cannot tell you a good reason why I would have thought that, beyond the part where I don’t really play all that many games. But considering this was a game I was highly impressed by and able to play through in just a handful of days, you’d think the next one would have gone on the short list. My best guess is I’m used to the rest of the series’ WWII roots meaning I’d be playing the same game over and over with slight variations. Certainly, the thought of a true sequel never crossed my mind.
But then I got the third entry for Christmas in 2011, and when I popped it in to take a look, I quickly realized that, nope, this has some of the same characters and really is a sequel. Which meant I had to get the second entry and for that matter relay the first one and remind myself what was going on even before that. And then, as it does, time slipped away. Which explains why fully a year later, I have only just now played Modern Warfare 2.
On the bright side, it has every last one of the same benefits of its predecessor. Intricate and exciting storytelling, rapid yet challenging gameplay, characters to care about who face ethical dilemmas and real consequences, plus the added benefit of characters you have already previously cared about. My only complaint, minor though it be, is that a couple of the scenes really felt like replays of the previous game; and this is easily balanced by the plot following directly from the plot of the previous game, with amplified stakes and a dark ending that leaves me entirely excited for Modern Warfare 3, whenever I get around to playing it.
 I finished over the course of a single weekend!