COD4 is a great game, although it is in no way perfect
For a while now, the Call of Duty series has just been based on WW2. The previous games in the series were great, all recreating famous battles from World War Two. The series also had its trademark iron sights, which was the key to aiming successfully and killing your enemies on the battlefield.
But, as somebody pointed out, people have been making games about WW2 for longer than the war actually lasted. Infinity Ward obviously realised this, and decided to give the series a much need overhaul and update, leaving us with Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare for the PC, Xbox 360 and PS3.
It has to be said, CoD4 is one of the most cinematic and immersive games ever made. The cut scenes don’t feel as if they are dragging you away from the experience. Most of the story is told in game, while you are playing, so you only know as much as the solider you are playing as. The basic (fictional, but very plausible) plotline is that a group of Ultranationalist Russians have gained possession of Nuclear Weapons, and being good sports have decided to share them with the . To make things even worse, the President of one of the Middle Eastern Countries is executed in a spectacular sequence played out in first person. Obviously, the West doesn’t like the situation and decides to do something about it.
During you game you will mainly play as two different characters: John “Soap” MacTavish from the 22 SAS, or Sgt. Paul Jackson of the US Marine Corps. The levels in which you play as Soap and the SAS are more geared towards small scale operations, whereas Sgt Jackson’s missions are large scale battles which take place in the . Although, there are a few other missions where you may play as some other characters and one of these levels is probably one of the most intense stealth action experiences you will ever play (without giving too much away!)
Although the levels are sweet, they definitely are short. Some missions will only take you about 10 to 15 minutes to complete, but that said there are quite a few of them. In total the game comes to about 6-7 hours long, which is quite short, but it’s definitely worth a couple more run-throughs on Veteran to really test you.
Graphically, CoD4 is a mixed bag. Some of the environments look stunning, and have obviously been worked on for some time. The character models and animation are also superb but some elements detract from the overall experience such as the mediocre textures and appalling skyboxes, which look as if they have been taken from an N64 game.
If you are a serious multiplayer gamer, or just a long time Call of Duty fan, you are going to love the multiplayer aspect of the game. There are some great ideas that Infinity Ward has come up with, and they all seem to fit perfectly into one of the most deep and rich multiplayer experiences ever known to mankind!
Obviously, you have your basic death match and CTF modes, but there are also some very cool new modes. One is Sabotage, a cross between CTF and attack/defend, where each team must arm and defend a bomb. Couple this with insane fun like Cage Match (one on one) and you have a great package.
You can also customize your character in “Create a Class” mode where, as the title suggests, you can create multiple different classes. These can all be different. Want a custom sniper class for some games? Do it. Want a shotgun class for one on ones? Do it!
Then, there are perks, which are part of each custom class. Perks are options that unlock during the course of game play. They can change minute things, such as reloading faster, or sprinting for longer distances. Then, there is my favourite one, Martyrdom, which automatically drops a grenade every time you die, leaving opponents with a nasty goodbye surprise! Bear in mind that only three perks can be used in each class, and the best perks are usually together in a set, so you must choose wisely.
But, despite the actual multiplayer game play being great, the actual online system is flawed in many ways. Firstly, matchmaking can take forever. Then, once you have found a game, you’ll find yourself playing two second team based games because when the host quits, the game is ended. Why can’t the game transfer hosts? Couple this with confusing menus and you think that perhaps IW could have tested for usability bugs.
Ignoring all of CoD4’s flaws, this is a fantastic shooter that definitely refreshed the series, without straying too far away from its roots. Perhaps the series will stay in modern times in the future, and provide us with more experiences that feel “closer to home”. Fantastic!