Call of Duty 4 Review

Infinity Ward‘s latest shooter, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, was recently released on almost every platform available … except the Wii-munchers (haha).  I recently completed the single player campaign and below is my opinion.

Introduction

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is (obviously) an updated first-person shooter.  No longer are Nazis the enemy; now we (US Marines and British SAS) are fighting Russians and some radical Middle-Eastern baddies.  The story is quite riveting; the current president is captured and killed by a hell-bent crazed psychopath who is pissed-off about his shit-can country being ripped apart by the West.  Blah-blah-blah …  He’s nothing but a huge whiner with access to Soviet-era nukes.  I guess the civilized world has to (once again) come to the rescue.

You alternate missions playing as a US Marine (Force Recon) and British SAS (Special Air Service).  For those who like trivia, Infinity Ward gives you a NPC called Captain Price.  Trivia buffs will remember that in Call of Duty 2, Price is a central NPC.  I guess the old Price in CoD2 found some hot french chic to mate with and produced a similar bad-ass, which you meet at the very beginning of CoD 4.  Nice job!

Throughout the campaign, you’re engaged in non-stop action.  However, if you’ve played through any of the other Call of Duty games, it will be very familiar to you … take this town, stop these guys, call in air-strikes, etc.  But, killing bad guys never gets old.  IW did mix things up a bit with a very cool AC-130U mission.  You fly above a small town with your white-hot view (or black, if you prefer) and you have access to a few guns.  Needless to say, if you’ve seen some footage of the Apache helicopter “taking out” Iraqi insurgents, this mission will blow you away.  It was a riot firing a 40 mm gun from a few thousand feet and watching vehicles explodes and bodies flying.  Just don’t damage the church!

Eventually, you’ll make your way to Launch Control and begin the arduous task of infiltrating the War Room.  You’ll encounter many foes that will test your will to live.  You’ll eventually enter some codes and save the day.  All in a day’s work.

So, I beat the single player campaign on Normal difficulty.  My next task was to try Veteran (You will not survive is the tag-line).  Holy shit … I thought Call of Duty 2 and 3 were a pain in the ass on Veteran, CoD4 blows them away!  It was insanity!  There were only a few missions that gave me fits (i.e. 2 days of frustration just to progress to the next checkpoint).  Those were the TV Station, No Fighting in the War Room, and the Epilogue.  I never-again want to experience that much frustration!

Sure feels good to get 1000 Gamerscore though … few players will achieve that monumental task.

Graphics

IW certainly stepped-up the graphics from Call of Duty 2 (Treyarch handled CoD3).  You’ll see no difference between the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions as they are identical.  I don’t remember encountering any frame-rate drops during heavy action.  The environments are outstanding (trash flies around in the street, snowflakes whistle in the wind, etc).  You will actually feel like you’re there.  Maybe the only beef some might have with the graphics is that the we still haven’t see ultra-realistic buildings and maps.  I don’t know … I’ve come to appreciate what the developers have been able to squeeze out of the consoles hardware.  Perhaps the PC version is better.

Sound

If you have the capability to crank the volume up to 11, you’ll want to take advantage of Call of Duty 4’s superb audio.  Bullets whiz by, explosions rock, and bad guys gurgling to their death is something to behold.  Your sub-woofers will get a workout.

Final Thoughts

I was thoroughly impressed with this game.  I don’t buy a lot of games throughout the year, so it was a treat to actually buy a good one.  My next phase is to tackle the multiplayer part … but given the fact that I chose to play through the single player portion of the game, I’m betting that I will get my ass handed to me by 13 year old boys once I do go online.  I will have to be prepared to Mute a bunch kiddies before I can really enjoy the game online.

I hope IW releases some new maps/missions for those of us that prefer the single player experience.  I have a strong feeling that will not happen.  I guess Valve is the only developer that caters to SP gamers (Half Life episodes come to mind).  CoD4 does ship with 16 online maps, so maybe I’ll just need to be content with what I’ve got.

Overall, I give this game 4.5/5 stars.  I wished the SP campaign was a little longer.  That is why I don’t give CoD4 a perfect rating.

Here are some Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare links:

http://www.charlieoscardelta.com
IGN Review (Xbox 360)
Gamespot Review (Xbox 360)

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