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Platform

PC

 

Genre

Shooter

 

Publisher

Activision

 

Developer

Infinity Ward

 

ESRB

M (Mature)

 

Released

Q4 2007

 

 

- Quasi-realism? Sign me up!

- Could this game look better on this generation equipment? Not by much

 

 

- Single campaign over already? Please, sir. I want some more.

- Multiplayer is a slaughterfest until you can level your gear

- Spend the time to re-map your keys, otherwise you will die…. Frequently

 

 

Review: Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (360)

Review: The Orange Box (360)

Review: Half-Life 2: Episode 2 (PC)

 

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Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

Score: 9.5 / 10

 

Despite the insistence of some, the Call of Duty games are in fact not a lifestyle choice, but they are damn entertaining games to play. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is no different, using two different characters to drive a single player campaign plausible enough to be a Hollywood movie.

 

call of duty 4 modern warfare          call of duty 4 modern warfare

 

You take up the mantle of two different men: “Soap” MacTavish, a member of the British Special Forces (SAS) who gets highly involved in an investigation of an Ultranationalist Russian group; and Private Paul Jackson, a United States Marine who is involved in the invasion of a Middle Eastern country looking to recover nuclear weapons from the hands of a regional despot. (Sound familiar? I’m not going to go there.) The two story lines do intertwine and eventually meet up, but not before they tell a good story.

 

It doesn’t hurt that the game looks like a high-definition war, even the most mundane of puddles looks spectacular. If you spend too much time checking out a puddle though, you may get that Section-8 that you were looking for, soldier! The world itself is malleable to a degree, you can break some of the scenery and you can definitely shoot through walls and window frames into your camping enemies.

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The sound track is the typical energy driving entity, keeping you sucked in to the action while the in-game sounds make it worth the investment for a proper surround sound system for my computer. Distance fighting sounds garbled and confusing, nearby gunfire snaps sharply and the character yelling keeps the blinders on the screen.

 

As you progress through the single-player campaign, you will swap

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between Soap and Pvt. Jackson between missions, which helps to progress the main storyline. At one point, you get to even participate in a past mission as an SAS sniper (your commanding officer, Lieutenant Price in his younger years), infiltrating a heavily defended terrorist meeting with a ghillie suit in the abandoned area of Chernobyl . Taking advantage of the technological superiorities of these two nations, most missions will be rather well defined – you have a well explained objective to meet, and it’s your goal to complete it. How you do so is open to some leeway. The British missions tend towards small group movement – most missions are infiltration and rely heavily on small area management or sneaking in on enemy positions. The American missions are all heavy conflict affairs; those amongst us who like to kill everything will be completely overwhelmed in these ones. The Marine missions are line engagements, so you will spend considerable energy trying to break the enemy line to press towards your objectives. All missions trend towards size, and so there is a ton to see and explore in these missions and you’ll never want for enemies to slaughter or building to explore. Needless to say, replay-ability is there for those who enjoy trying a completely different tactic.

 

For soldiers, the standard equipment outpack is a primary weapon – carbine, assault rifle or sniper rifle and a sidearm. Most missions, it is highly advisable to ditch the sidearm in exchange for any useful weapon you can come across. (Some love the shotty, give me the naval G3 and watch the carnage.) Ammo isn’t really a big concern in this game; however, you do tend to run out for your favorite weapons on the longer missions and will inevitably end up with something miserable (AK-47 or the bloody awful Skorpion). Besides the guns, you get an assortment of grenades and other explodery – Smoke and Stun grenades and flash bangs always make a great entrance, C4 annihilates objectives, and claymores help watch your back against enemy movement. Some missions give you the opportunity to call in airstrikes against positions – a definite helper against those fortified positions where you just can’t get a bead on the window positions. The campaigns will inevitably have specific objectives requiring those pieces, so watch your inventory of them – try to keep one or two in your back-pocket just in case.

 

The entire single-player campaign took me approximately 7 hours to run through, with a  couple of missions inspiring a few choice words – but for the most part it was an interesting series and am definitely looking forward to an expansion pack for the single player campaign if just for another chance to use the guns on the AC-130 Gunship.

 

As with most good FPS games these days, if you want to be popular, you need to have a bad-ass multiplayer mode. That’s definitely not a problem here. With 16 multiplayer maps available on the game, and a bevy of downloadable ones available you’ll never be wanting for more areas of combat. To create separation between gamers, Call of Duty 4 uses an experience system as well as the accumulation of “perks” and achievements to keep people playing and collecting. There are 55 levels to go through – killing enemies, supporting, and achieving mission goals nets you experience. Higher levels net you better perks – and you get to choose 3 for every sortie.

 

call of duty 4 modern warfare          call of duty 4 modern warfare

 

Group 1 – Tend towards explosives; carry C4, claymores, RPGs, more grenades, more ammo, or the ability to detect them. Group 2 – Physical talents; faster reloads, double tapping your shots, more health, more damage from explosives, or ability to remain hidden from UAV scans. Group 3 – Conditioning; stealth, better penetration on shots, better hearing, better lungs, whatever. Making the decision making process even more complicated is the class system; you can initially choose one of up to 5 premade classes – Assault, Demolitions, Heavy Gunner, Sniper, or Special Ops. Once you get to Rank 4, you can create your own class. Want to play as a sniper who loves shotguns? Sure. Want to walk around with pistols like an extra on a John Woo film? Ok! Want to walk around with a knife and a penchant for explosives that would make the Evil Midnight Bomber What Bombs At Midnight jealous? Go nuts.

 

The only problem is getting to the top of the multiplayer heap, the learning curve on most servers is brutal. Don’t expect to start with anything that resembles elegance, because you are going to be stuck with the worst weapons and worst perks until you earn them. For the first 15 hours, I would follow around a guy carrying the G3 and pick it up whenever he got dropped – that was how I survived. (Not pretty, and I’m not proud of myself – but it’s better than using double-tap and a mini-uzi, I have standards dammit.) After an appreciable amount of time is banked into the game (say 40 hours), you’ll have some decent kit to work with and then you can start playing for the better achievements, if just for the “nyaa-nyaa” factor.

 

All in all, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare was one of the best FPS games that I’ve played in the last 5 years and hope that the designers can be enticed into additional single player campaigns or a quick release of the next game if not.

 

- Tazman

(February 8, 2008)

 

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