Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (PS3) Review
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (PS3)
How many World War II games are there? Think about it. A lot. Way too many to count. And so WWII now sometimes feels like "Been there, done that". The guys down at Infinity Ward realized that, and did something risky: changing the Call of Duty formula. It was a huge risk, failing could ruin the series. But IW tried anyway. And they succeeded.
CoD 4 is set in a fictional war against the Middle East. A war with 15,000 nukes at stake. You switch off from two characters, "Soap" MacTavish, and Sgt. Paul Jackson, in the campaign. The campaign is amazing. The story isn't like other shooters, where you go in, shoot bad guys, and you win. In CoD 4, it's a much grittier and mature story with a lot of death and destruction. And in the end, the world is a worse place than it was when the war began. It's fictional, so there's nothing to grieve about. And that's good, cause you can enjoy the amazing campaign, and many exciting and "Holy crap!" moments. You'll look around and see if anyone is there so you can say "Did you see that!?". I found myself talking to my cat once. That's how awesome it is. The voice acting throughout the game is also terrific, the characters are all believeable, and just by hearing them you can tell that they're in a war.
But all good things must come to an end. And Call of Duty 4's campaign is a very, very good thing, so that must end eventually. And it does, pretty quickly. At the most, the campaign will take you 6 hours to complete. At the least, 4 hours. After completing, you'll get that feeling of "That's it?" which no one likes. You do unlock a cheats mode, and an Arcade mode after you beat the campaign for the first time, which adds more replay value to single-player, but playing the same campaign twice just isn't like playing a longer campaign once.
So after completing the campaign, you think "Alright, what's next?". The answer is the multiplayer. Call of Duty 4 has some really outstanding multiplayer. There are 16 maps to play on right out of the box, no DLC required. And on each of these 16 maps, you can play one of the many game modes. There's Team Deathmatch and Free-for-All, which are both self-explanatory. Headquarters is a mode where an HQ is set on the map, and both teams try to capture, and the team that holds it gets points every few seconds. Then there's Cage Match, which is a simple one-on-one match. And Search and Destroy is like Capture the Flag, but the flag has been replaced with a bomb. See how much war has changed? There are a few more modes, and there's also Hardcore mode, which can be added to any game type. It removes the HUD and makes the weapons more powerful, so they deal realistic damage.
The weapons that you use are pretty cool. CoD 4 is in modern times now, so you won't see the Thompson or MP40 anymore. What you will see are totally different guns. There's the AK-47, which you probably heard of. Then there are the others, MP5, P90, M16, etc. And some snipers are now semi-automatic, which is pretty cool. They're all not to hard to get used to, cause you'll use most of them in the campaign, and can try out the others in multiplayer.
The weapons you use in multiplayer can all be customized to your liking. Unfortunatley, it's not like BioShock, so you can't change the ammo to make enemies set on fire. But you can unlock new additions to your weapons, such as different scopes and sights, and you can add silencers, and you can add a grip to shotguns for increased accuracy. You can also unlock different camoflauge patterns for them, like Red Tiger, and some weapons you can even get Gold!
The customizing doesn't end there. You can also customize your character. You can't change their appearance (so no top hats), but you can change their abilites with perks. Once again, this isn't BioShock, so no shooting electricity from your fingertips. The perks you unlock come in three categories, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd perk. The first category is more directed to your character. In this category are perks such as Bomb Squad, which spots enemy Claymores, and Bandoiler, which allows you to hold more ammo. The second perk is mostly for your weapon. Perks here include Juggernaut (AKA Juggernoob) which gives you more health, Stopping Power, which makes your weapons do more damage, and Double Tap, which makes your guns fire faster. The thrid perk is mostly the etc. category, and includes Steady Aim, which makes your aim more steady (hence the name), Last Stand, which makes your character fall to the ground and pull out their pistol when they would have normally died, and Deep Impact, which makes your bullets penetrate deeper surfaces. There's also Matyrdom, which drops a live grenade when you die.
All that and the unlocked weapons you have chosen, along with a pistol and grenades, are saved as a custom class. You have 5 custom classes, and you can customize each of these with the stuff above I listed that you unlock. All of this is pretty cool, and is useful, because you can easily switch to a sniper or other class if the situation is right.
So you're probably wondering how you unlock all this stuff. The answer is with an excellent and well-designed ranking-up system. When you do something you get XP. You can get XP from capturing the HQ in Headquarters, planting the bomb in Search and Destroy, and from getting kills. When you get 3 kills without dying, you can get 10 XP by calling in UAV Recon, which makes all the enemies appear as little dots on the mini map. At a 5 kill streak, you can get 10 more XP by calling in an Airstrike, which levels an area you choose, and at a 7 Kill Streak, you get another 10 XP by calling in a Helicopter. It will shoot at enemies, and if it kills one, you'll get the XP for the kill. There are also Challenges, which give you large amounts of XP and some challenges unlock the additions for weapons.
So what do you do with all this XP? You use it to rank up. When you get a certain amount of XP, you level up a level. The amount of XP to level up gets higher every time. Ranking-up unlocks weapons and more challenges.The level cap is 55, but when you reach that level, you get to make a tough choice. (In case you don't understand that this isn't BioShock yet, you don't get to Harvest or Save a Little Sister.) You can stay level 55, or you can Prestige. Prestiging brings you back to level 1, but unlocks more Custom Classes. You can get to level 55 and prestige a total of 10 times, which adds a ton more replay value to the game.
So now there's just one more thing to cover: The graphics. The game looks amazing. Textures are dirty when they should be dirty, and clean when they should be. The facial expressions are great, too. Lighting looks extremely great, and textures reflect light like they were filmed from a movie. When something that i'm not gonna say to avoid spoilers happens, the destruction looks amazing, and is one of those "holy crap!" moments I mentioned.
There you have it: Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. The gritty and exciting campaign, plus the outstanding multiplayer make this one of the best shooters ever.
+ Amazing, gritty campaign
+ Outstanding multiplayer
+ Great graphics
+ Cool new weapons
+ Terrific voice acting
- The campaign is over really quick
(This review was written by myself, and was originally posted on GameSpot.com)