Modern Warfare 2 won't just be about a chunky single-player campaign and endlessly playable multiplayer, it's also going to be bringing quick drop-in-and-play single missions meant to be tackled as a two-person team or solo.
The levels, Activision told Kotaku today, were inspired by the single Mile High level that unlocked at the end of Modern Warfare. That level wasn't tied to the story, instead it was a single mission with objectives.
The same will be true of the Special Ops levels which can be accessed from the main menu of Modern Warfare 2.
While Activision wouldn't say how many of these levels will be included in the game, they did say that it would be a robust portion of the title. That's back up by the front screen of the game which includes three selectable boxes, one for the campaign, one for multiplayer and a third for Special Ops.
Special Ops levels are broken down by difficulty, type of play and type of enemies you will be facing. The start up screen for the mission shown today listed the level's estimated completion time as 1 minute and 30 seconds, classified it as an assault mission and noted that the estimated opposition would be "heavy."
Players can go through the level by themselves, with a friend online or on a single, split screen. They can choose to play the levels in regular, hardened or veteran difficulty. The harder the difficulty, the more stars earned.
Those stars, we were told, can be used later to unlock more content in the game.
The missions we were shown started in a dingy brick-walled room. The player was able to decide which weapons he wanted to use from a the selection strewn around the room. When the player was ready to start they walked up to a demolition charge attached to one wall and pressed a button.
The time starts when the wall blows in. That initial explosion sent a nearby enemy rocketing backward through the air. Time slowed for a second as a player squeezed off two shots into the airborn enemy and then turned to shoot another nearby and slightly dazed foe.
After that momentary slowdown, game play returned to full speed.
The objective in this particular mission, which we watched being played by a single gamer, was to survive a dash through dilapidated tiled rooms. Enemies swarmed in from the other end of the room, snaking around stalls as others charged down second floor hallways and started to target the player with red laser sites.
The first time through the gamer died was about a minute and a half in with 17 kills. The second time it took him two minutes and one second to work his way through the rooms, take down 22 enemies and escape through a hole in the floor of the far room. A couple of enemies were still standing when he dropped from view.
Special Ops isn't a reason to buy Modern Warfare 2, but there are already plenty of those. It may be another reason to keep it once you've picked up the game though.