Still one of the most impressive shooters two years after release
If Crysis was the thinking-man's shooter and Bioshock was the story-driven shooter of 2007, Call of Duty 4 is the the most pure blow-the-crap-out-of-everything-and-hope-you-survive shooter of the year (and then some). This is a game that moves briskly, will push you and often drag you through incredibly intense combat that you really just need to navigate. It really pushes your reflexes more than any other shooter I've seen in recent memory.
It's also a beautiful game, full with rich environments. While the level designs aren't necessarily interactive to the degree set in a Crysis or Bioshock, the creative and realistic layouts will draw you into the game world and make you excited to push through to the next huge set piece.
While the single-player is notoriously short (like expansion-pack short), there's zero fluff and that's something to be thankful for. It's a complete joy ride from start to finish. The storyline will actually get you pumped to kill these villains, and I was genuinely impressed by how dramatic some key sequences are played out for maximum emotional impact.
While there's little replay value in single-player, the well-fleshed out multiplayer will keep you busy for eons. It's a bit daunting at first, but if you stick it out, the excellently balanced multiplayer will keep you captivated for dozens (and likely more) of hours. CoD 4 uses a stripped-down version of MMO leveling. As you play, you'll unlock new weapons and abilities. New players shouldn't be discouraged, however, because the levels don't tip the scales like they would in World of Warcraft. You can be just as competitive as a Level 1 player as a max Level 55 player because the weapons and perks are more about tailoring your play style, rather than giving higher-level players more brute force power in-game. You'll create memorable moments on the battlefield each time you play, and your engagement with the game just grows and grows. Like the best in Blizzard's catalog, CoD 4 is easy to learn, difficult to master.
Overall a fantastic package and easily one of the most impressive games of 2007 (and still one of the most impressive games well into 2009).