Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Review

The Call of Duty franchise was one that I never really got into. Sure, it was a decent game and all, but it never had that extra bit that would really draw me in and keep me playing the game for an extended period of time. Honestly, I never even completed the 2nd iteration of the series and it was mostly due to what I thought to be a drained genre: World War 2 shooters. Fortunately the fourth game of the series moved away from that and towards a more modern approach which made me decide to give it another shot.

This first thing that comes to mind, and mouth, is that this game is outright beautiful. The particle effects, the smoke, the fire, and the textures are all so close to real that you often spend time looking at your surroundings and not the baddies aiming for you. It has its minor flaws with clipping, a bit of slowdown at times and some dull interior levels, but it’s nothing that would keep you from thinking the game is anything but remarkable in the graphics department. The experience is further enhanced by the subtle camera effects, such as a boat swaying from side to side or the shake of the screen as bombs go off around your person. The best part is that although the graphics take a slight hit when going online, it stills maintains most of its allure and shine.

The story isn’t much of a departure from the usual Call of Duty formula, with the usual good guys vs. bad guys scenario. You’ll play as two soldiers with separate stories, one British and one American. The plot is played out during in-game cutscenes and allows you to see through the eyes of a character, major or not, during these scenes. For example, an opening sequence in which you see through the eyes of the Middle East president as he is kidnapped. There are a few little plot twists that aren’t exactly unexpected and I’m sure you won’t be surprised to find out that not everyone comes out alive in the end, however it’s not bad enough to where I’d want to fast forward through the cutscenes.

The sound is a bright spot with well done voice acting and solid sound effects. There is currently a small glitch with the 5.1 audio in which it seems that the game may have been recorded with 6.1 in mind, but it’s fairly hard to tell with all the action going on around you. The movie buff in you will get a laugh at the various one-liners taken from movies such as Aliens and Apocalypse Now, and the characters have enough personality to keep you caring about them enough to attempt to keep them alive. It still has the standard fare of FPS sounds with guns shooting, explosions and metal clanging but the additional voices of your teammates yelling at one another is a nice touch that really sucks you in.

Now as us true gamers know, while it may look and sound good, that doesn’t account for much if the game isn’t much fun to play. However, you need not worry as I wouldn’t hesitate to label it as the most immersive and fun to play game to be released this year. The pacing of the game is fantastic and while it may not be the longest, clocking in at around 4-6 hours to complete the single player, you will most definitely be satisfied when you put down the controller. The action is almost non-stop, with a few quiet moments thrown in to tie in the various plot points. Your AI teammates will usually take point but there will be a few times that you’ll be thrown into the leading role. The game is fairly linear, which is the standard fare with Call of Duty games, which is a bit frustrating at times when you attempt to flank an enemy only to find a pile of boxes that you can’t break through. The controls are intuitive and won’t pose a challenge as you’ll become accustomed to the scheme within 15 minutes or so.

With the terrific yet short single player, most people will look towards the multiplayer to get the most of their money and this is another area that Infinity Ward excels in. While some players will gripe about the lack of vehicular combat, I found myself enjoying it more as the playing field is balanced and fair. An RPG-like element has been added with the ability to gain experience points as you play, which in turn ups your rank, which unlocks extra features. The extra features are a wonderful addition as they unlock “Perks” and weapons upgrades. With the addition of Perks, you‘re no longer locked into a single class. You can mix and match skills and abilities to fit your playing style and the various maps but it is balanced enough to keep any single person or playing type from dominating the game.

In conclusion, I think its safe to say this game is a must-have for any FPS fans and definitely a game to try even if you aren’t one. The single player is one of the best in the genre, and you’ve also got a solid multiplayer backbone. A few minor issues here and there are going to arise from time to time, but it shouldn’t keep you from experiencing what is truly a work of art. Infinity Ward comes back to the series after Activision went with a different developer for number 3, and they came back swinging for the fences.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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