Call Of Duty Modern Warfare on Wii has a funny little subtitle: Reflex Edition. It's a little out of place because one thing Activision hasn't done with this Modern Warfare is display particularly fast reflexes! Despite releasing a version of Modern Warfare on DS in 2007, it has taken them two more years to bring out a version of their world beating shooter on the Wii.
But here we are at last and amazingly it's almost exactly the same game, in structural terms at least, as the hi-def version. Obviously it falls down on the visual front but you're not so shallow as to judge a book entirely by its cover, or a war game by how well it does whacking great explosions, so we'll put that aside just for a moment.
So faithfully does Reflex stick to the Modern Warfare template that we don't actually get any Wii-specific levels. The firing range is our first port of call, where we're called a 'muppet' just like in the other versions, and then it's the assault course and killing house. So far, so old. But here we come across a major Wii trump card in the ability to completely customise your controls. Attempt the speed run again and you can fine tune everything, completely rearranging commands and controls to suit your play-style. Wii wins its first skirmish.
So it's on to the first mission proper, with those friendly SAS chaps aboard the rolling tanker, and a chance to scope out how the game feels for real. The first time you clap eyes on the wildly undulating seas chucking the ship about, well, you might mistake it for a giant, dark tablecloth being flapped up and down by thousands of hands. Or, as someone pointed out behind us, a mountain range. It was hard to tell.
But steaming through its cargo hold, and indeed the rest of the game, is a lot of fun. There's a fierce level of intensity to the big setpiece fire fights, enemy AI is relentless and there's even a Wii co-op mode called Squadmate which allows a second player to drop into the action follow you around, mopping up straggler gunmen. For those of you who have yet to come into contact with Modern Warfare, you'll enjoy the fast-paced chopping and changing between British and American forces' viewpoints and the claustrophobic Eastern European and Middle Eastern levels.
And for online gaming, there's support for up to ten players, two more than World At War managed. Search & Destroy, Free For All and Domination will be where you spend most of your time and, best of all, the comprehensive perks and unlocks are included. That means you will be playing this solidly for months online.
Yet despite packing in all the features from the original and the comprehensive online modes, Reflex isn't the perfect shoot 'em up experience and predictably it's the visuals that let it down. The whole fuss around the original Modern Warfare arose because it was a punchy depiction of modern, dirty combat and unfortunately, this Wii version with its flat and muddy textures and short draw distances just can't compete. Given the extra two years Treyarch had to squeeze every last drop of polish from the Wii, this is underwhelming visually. It looks okay for a Wii game - that's the dreaded caveat - but it's not even up there with Metroid Prime: Corruption.
Having said that, Modern Warfare is still an excellent shooter packed with options and it should be a big player online so we can welcome it to the Wii family. It's about flamin' time!