So when we reported about copies of the game being sold early, turns out Amazon had a miscalculation with our order, meaning we've had it all day to playtest.
Turns out, it's everything that we've expected.
The story is short and (quite frankly) of utmost pointlessness when compared to the jaw-dropping action scenarios. The missions through London have to be some of our favourite shooter levels we've played all year. All of this is maintained with graphical superiority at a cool 60 fps (the trademark of the genre's speed), and the audio makes for a general presentational smorgasboard of crescendos and fades of destruction and tension.
But we know that's half the story...or maybe even non-existent compared to the primary reason why you'll buy this game.
The multiplayer: simply put, they've managed to encapsulate the habitual nature of social networks (Facebook for example) and put it forward into a game. It's been a while since we've lost track of time playing a game; but the fantastical grandeur of the online delights surrounding the game make the hours melt away into the pool of your social life which will disappear inevitably.
It's everything you know and love from previous, just more of it. It's utterly brilliant at times; but we feel that this has to be the final time Call of Duty may use this tried and tested 'Michael Bay-esque' format, before it gets awfully stale. So, in that perspective, it's a fitting end to the FPS formula that some of you love and some of you will, imminently, hate...that is, of course, if they make another one (they will) and we realise just how overused the concepts really are.
Be warned Activision. 9
Check out IGN's live-stream here.