Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
Score: 9.5 / 10
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
(February 8, 2008)
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