Video game review: "Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare"
Published: Saturday, February 9, 2008 - 3:05pm
- Released: Nov. 5, 2007
- Genre: First-person shooter
- Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC, DS
- Publisher: Activision
- Developer: Infinity Ward
- ESRB: M (Mature)
- Price: $29.99 (DS), $49.99 (PC), $59.99 (Xbox, PS3)
WORLD WAR II is over. Just about anyone not in elementary school should know that. Now it seems that “Call of Duty” developer Infinity Ward has recently graduated to middle school with the release of the series’ latest installment, “Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.”
As the name suggests, the game takes place in modern times, unlike the World War II-themed previous installments. The shift to modern times definitely was a good move on Infinity Ward’s part seeing as there are already so many other Second World War shooters already out and WW II, in my opinion, is getting boring.
It seems that with the dropping of the WW II theme, the length of the single-player campaign also drops. An experienced player can probably finish the game in five to seven hours.
However, the quality of the campaign more than makes up for its deficit in length. You will mainly play as two soldiers, one being a British SAS agent nicknamed “Soap” and the other being Sgt. Paul Jackson, an American Marine.
The story follows a fictional plot, which was most likely based on current events. In some Middle East country (I don’t think the game specifically mentioned where, in order to avoid getting into trouble), a radical has taken control of the government with help from Russia. You play at first as the Americans in the Middle East and the British in Russia.
The story itself is first class. Unlike most games where you charge in with guns wailing and emerge unharmed with the world being a better place, “Call of Duty 4” provides a much more tantalizing and grittier tale. While the ending can still be considered “happy,” you can’t help but question how much better off the world actually is after this war.
Of course, war would not be fun at all if the gameplay were boring. The problem with many single-player campaigns is that they eventually feel repetitive, with many of the same type of missions over and over again. With “Call of Duty 4,” you never feel like you have played the same mission twice. There are so many different things ranging from stealth missions to providing aircraft support, all rolled up into one terrific story.
As good as it is, this game probably would not be worth buying if all it had to offer was a short, but sweet, single player. The “Call of Duty 4” online multiplayer is truly unlike any other multiplayer experience out there. I would even venture to say it rivals, if not surpasses, “Halo 3” in the multiplayer department.
The most unique thing that “Call of Duty 4” offers is a class system. Unlike other shooters in which everyone starts out with the same weapon and must pick up better guns scattered throughout the map, the class system allows you to choose your own weapon so the action starts right away. You can even change your class in the middle of a game. You can even pick up other people’s weapons after they die.
On top of a few premade classes, there are five custom slots where you can customize your own classes. “Call of Duty 4” offers a wide range of weapons such as assault rifles and submachine guns, as well as several weapon-specific upgrades. These upgrades can be earned through completing challenges, which are optional tasks that usually involve killing a certain number of people with a certain gun or winning a certain number of online multiplayer games.
Challenges also give you a certain amount of experience points. “Call of Duty”’s experience system makes it very easy to reach to top rank (55). When you get a kill or complete a challenge, you get experience points. When you rack up enough experience, you will gain a rank. As you do so, new abilities and weapons will be made available.
Another thing adding to the complexity of customization is “perks,” which are special abilities that give you some sort of advantage, such as increased health, increased bullet damage, more grenades, and the ability to detect explosives, to name a few.
Every class has room for three perks. At the beginning, only a few perks are available but more will be unlocked as you gain experience points. This does not mean that a rank 55 will completely roll over a rank 1; it just gives higher-ranked people more options.
The different multiplayer modes that the game offers are also diverse, with familiar game types such as team death match and free-for-all, where you just kill other people, to more tactical objective-based modes with things such as controlling flags or planting a bomb in the enemy’s base.
While the single player is good, “Call of Duty 4” is probably not worth buying unless you have a good Internet connection on your console or PC. If you do and are looking for a fun and sometimes competitive multiplayer experience, then this is the game for you.