In the campaign, you play mainly as Yuri, an ex-Spetsnaz soldier, who has his own reasons for hunting Makarov, and most other missions are played as Delta Force operative Derek “Frost” Westbrook. During the game, you are also tasked to play as a couple of other characters, but those are only just for a mission or two. The gameplay is varied and involving. The action is so fast-paced you rarely get more than a minute to take a break.
There are brief moments that will have you holding your breath as the action unfolds. When you start off as Frost and your mission is to take back the NYSE and destroy a Russian communications tower in order to repel the invasion of New York, you realize the scope of what the developers want as the backdrop of the game. The campaign can take any where from 5-8 hours depending on the level of difficulty. The game also brings back the violence warning at the beginning of the game giving the player (and concerned parents) the opportunity to option out of graphic violence.
One issue I had with the single-player campaign is that on some missions the NPCs (Non-Playable Characters) can get in the way and block doors and stairwells, especially Captain Price. Some people might also not like how the game moves you forward and does not like for you to run around and do your own thing. At one point when I could not figure out where to go, Captain Price was telling me to get a move on, or let’s go, or we gotta get out of here. There are also times when you will be faced with endless waves of enemies if you don’t move toward the objective marker. The game does rest on the formula for the previous games and does not offer any exciting new single-player experiences. There is a bullet-time sequence in zero-gravity on an airplane, but that is it. Some people will find the emotional tug points sappy and contrived, but some die hard fans will be screaming “NO!” at some of those same points.
New to the Call of Duty series in this game is a new Survival Mode. The development of this mode was probably influenced by the popularity of Horde Mode in the Gears of War series. You, alone or with a friend, can take on endless waves of enemies. Unlike the Zombie Mode in Call of Duty: World at War, these enemies aren’t mindless drones that spawn in the same place over and over again, they will spawn in positions relative to your location making you have to alter your strategy each time you re-spawn. Each wave increases in difficulty. Juggernauts are rather difficult to kill when they start to spawn, and they can become a pain when they start spawning in greater numbers. Survival Mode is available on all the multiplayer maps included in the game. You can earn cash which can be used to purchase upgrades, new weapons, more ammo, equipment and tactical ground and air support.