The videogame equivalent of a series of 24, this is a Republican's worst nightmare fully realised: Russia invades America and nuclear war breaks out.
You play the role of one of several special forces soldiers in the run-up to, and during, these catastrophic events. The story plays out such that there are several major turns and a couple of unexpected, brutal twists as well. These work well and give the game a good sense of narrative, holding these global events together. Some of the scenes in the game are breathtaking and terrifying in equal measure, which many games just cannot acheive.
Graphically, it is high definition gaming all the way. Environmental effects such as weather and explosions are all handled very well with no drop in framerate. Sound too, is very good - but not quite as deafeningly realistic as the Bad Company series.
The gameplay is absolutely solid, just as you would expect from a COD game. The single player campaign is maybe a little short but is action-packed until the end. There are also a new set of short, bonus missions which add to the playtime but have not yet enticed me to play through thoroughly. Basically though, if you don't have an internet connection you just aren't going to get your money's worth with this title.
On that point, I should say that the online aspect is as frantic and enjoyable as ever. I would like to have seen more features or a better selection of maps on this title but alas, apparently we have to wait until Black Ops for those goodies.
The one major gripe I have with this game is the controversy. The now-infamous "No Russian" level sparked masses of public outcry against the content, so much so that the level comes with an optional "skip disturbing content" feature. Now I can accept that the political premise behind the level could be controversial, but the role the player carries out is to shoot a few innocent people in an airport. All Grand Theft Auto games for the past 15 years have allowed players to carry out far more violent and disturbing acts against innocent people! And if this is the case, why didn't the rest of the game have a "skip disturbing content" option, such as in the scenes where you shoot, stab and blow up hundreds of soldiers? Yes, they signed up for war but that doesn't make killing them graphically in the face any less harrowing.
Overall - 74% - Not quite as improved as it should have been, undeserving of any controversy, but still a thrilling and top-quality FPS.