Review by CrimsonGear80
Reviewed: 11/19/07 | Updated: 04/16/08
One duty-filled call that MUST be answered!
The guys at Infinity Ward sat down one day to discuss what the next Call Of Duty game was to be about. I'm guessing that one of the devs stood up and said: You know, people are sick of WW2 shooters. Let's set the next Call Of Duty in modern times with modern weapons, soldiers, and enemies! So that's what Infinity Ward did, and some time later, Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare was released, and made gamers forget that 8 million WW2 shooters are released a year. I hope that dev got a big bonus for this; because COD4 is one of the best shooters I have ever played and may just be the best game released this year.
A modern day Middle Eastern country is taken over by a group of well-armed terrorists, complete with the live execution of the country's former leader. Armed with stolen nuclear warheads, the terrorists threaten the entire world with death and destruction. So, who's going to answer the call and stop these madmen? Why, the British S.A.S and the US marines, that's who! COD4 puts you in the shoes of 2 S.A.S members and one US Marine as they participate in intense and grueling battles with their enemies. Unlike other COD's, this one tells one continues story, and while it's not anything you haven't seen before, it's still pretty enjoyable. This is mostly due to the interactions with your squad mates, and Infinity Ward does an excellent job in making you care for these guys. There are some very emotional and shocking moments throughout the game, and while I don't want to spoil anything, I will just say that war is most definitely hell and it's captured perfectly in the storyline. Of course, war is hell in more ways than one
COD4 controls pretty much like every FPS out there. There are different control settings you can use, but the thing that disappoints me the most is the lack of customizable controls. I feel that every FPS should have a customizable control option, and when they don't it's a little disappointing. However, all the control methods of COD4 work just fine, so I'll get over it. You still get better shots by aiming down the sites and you can still throw live grenades back at the enemy, so all the familiar COD stuff is still here and works excellent.
One of the biggest changes to combat are your enemies, who are extremely smart and resourceful. It also doesn't help matters that in almost every level of the game, you'll be in intense firefights with battalions of these guys. In some of the most intense and visceral firefights I have ever had in any game, your enemies will flank you, flush you out of cover with explosives, and basically mow you down if you aren't resource full enough. Levels, although mostly linear, can give you multiple paths to take that provide many cover points for you to flank your enemies before they flank you. Another new weapon the terrorist use against you are dogs. Although they don't appear too often, if one jumps on top of you you'll have about two seconds to hit the melee button to kill the dog or else it will tear your throat out. One of the best new features though, at least in my eyes, is the ability to shoot through most cover. No longer do flimsy-ass wooden crates and bombed-out walls protect you from certain death. I especially like doing this in multiplayer where some people seem to forget that this can happen, but more on that later.
So your enemy AI is impressive, must mean your teammates are downright stupid, right?
Oh, you couldn't be more wrong if you tried.
You don't issue commands or anything at all to your teammates, because you don't have to. They will clear rooms, take cover, and basically act like actual soldiers. They will never step in front of your line of fire (glares angrily at Medal Of Honor games), or anything stupid that teammates in other shooters might do. So, AI all around is very impressive and will keep you on the edge of your seat and your finger on the trigger for the entire campaign.
The campaign is mostly your standard Call Of Duty fair, just turned up to ridiculously awesome levels. Most of the time your participating in ground warfare with various objectives, ranging from providing sniper fire to blowing up gun emplacements. There are a few missions that shake things up though, like the impressive introductory mission where you infiltrate a hijacked military vessel. There is also a mission where you control the guns of an AC-130 Gunship, providing support for a S.A.S squad on the ground. One of my favorite missions (and I'm sure it's a favorite of a lot of others as well), is one called All Ghillied Up, where you and your squad captain have to sneak through the outskirts of Chernobyl in Ghillie suits undetected to get to a sniping point to assassinate an arms dealer. Suffice to say, COD4's campaign mode is one hell of a thrill ride, and one of the best single player modes I have played this year. If I had to complain about something, it would be that battles can sometimes become TOO intense, and it may become hard to tell friend from foe in the battlefield. You don't get any indication when you put your crosshairs over someone if they are an ally or not, and too much friendly fire will end a mission. Also, the fact that there is no co-op mode may disappoint some. I don't really care, but I can see how some people wanted to take the thrill ride with a friend.
Now then, how about the multiplayer? COD4's online mode offers the same fun class-based battles COD2 and 3 had, but with a RPG-like leveling-up twist that will keep people playing for a good long time. Basically, when you first start playing, you'll be at level one. The more kills and objectives you meet during gameplay, the more experience you earn, which is represented by a bar at the bottom of your screen. As you level up, you'll get yourself a new title complete with a new badge by your name. When you get to level 4, you are allowed to create your own class, complete with it's own name, weapons, weapon attachments, and perks that you choose.
Perks are new to the COD world, and basically give your character different abilities. Some perks allow you to hold double the grenades or carry a rocket launcher into battle. Others may give you better accuracy when firing from the hip, or increase the damage of your bullets. Others are unique, like Last Stand, where your character is allowed to try and kill enemies with his pistol before he dies or is shot again. Another is Martyrdom, where your character will drop a grenade when he is killed and hopefully take others with him. There are a ton of combination and perks to obtain as you level up, giving you tons of options. One feature I like is the Killcam, which shows your deaths in-game from the perspective of the person that killed you. It also shows their class and perks, so you can be better prepared to counter them. But most importantly, Killcam discourses camping, since your victims will know where you are. Basically, it keeps multiplayer mode entertaining and fun. You can also call in UAV recons and air strikes for having kill streaks, which can cause huge damage to enemy forces if used correctly.
As you keep leveling up, you'll unlock more weapons, gameplay modes, and challenges. Challenges are certain thing you can do during play (getting a certain amount of kills with certain weapons) to earn a lot of experience and new attachments for weapons. COD4 supports up to 18 players on 16 maps, with hardly any lag. Leaderboards, voice chat, and clans are all supported as well. Definitely one of the most fun and entertaining online modes I have ever played.
A lot of hubbub has been made about COD4's graphics, and it has earned that entire hubbub. The game looks and runs amazingly, in 60fps without hardly any framerate hiccups. Levels, textures, effects, and lighting all define what a next-gen game should look like. Character animations are excellent, as are guns and explosions. On the PS3, the game will run in 1080p, but for some odd reason only if you disable all the other resolutions on the PS3's display settings. Otherwise, 720p is just as impressive. If you wanted an excuse to buy an HDTV for your system, here it is.
Ever wonder what a war sounds like? Well, get a surround sound system, hook your PS3 to it, and pop in Call Of Duty 4. Explosions, gunfire, teammate and enemy dialogue, and everything else is loud and in your face. Voice acting is impressive. I think that's all I have to say about that.
Multiplayer will keep you going for a long time, but is single-player worth coming back to, even though it lasts only about 5-8 hours? Hellz ya! Besides multiple difficulties (anyone who is able to beat this game on veteran is some kind of gaming god in my eyes), beating the game the first time unlocks arcade mode, which lets you play the game or certain levels with arcade style rules, giving you a set number of lives and scoring you based on kills. You can also find the 30 pieces of enemy Intel hidden in the game, which will unlock various cheats. Plus, you'll come back to single player because it's so damn good!
Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is the complete package. Great Single-player and multiplayer modes coupled with fantastic graphics and sound with tons of replay value. I don't give out 10's that often, but this one has earned it with flying colors. Unless something else just comes right out of left-field (The Orange Box, maybe?), then COD4 may just be my game of the year!
+Phenomenal single-player mode
+Phenomenal multiplayer mode
+Phenomenal enemy and teammate AI
+Phenomenal Graphics and sound
+Phenomenal replay value
+Just plain Phenomenal
-No customizable controls is kinda disappointing
-Some more intense battles may cause friendly-fire accidents
-No co-op modes may disappoint some
-Not owning this game on any system makes you uncool :(
Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Product Release: Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (US, 11/05/07)
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