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Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
(hx) 11:02 AM EDT - Mar,23 2008

Developed by Infinity Ward, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is the fourth installment in the Call of Duty FPS series. Many people know the Call of Duty series as the intense cinematic WWII first person shooter that started some years back and now they are finally bringing war to today. The story is set in a fictional near-future war between the United States, Europe, and Russian Loyalists against Russian Ultranationalists and Middle Eastern rebels, and features real-world weapons and vehicles. It is told from the perspective of both a United States Marine and an operative of the British SAS, and is set in multiple locations, including the Middle East, Azerbaijan, Russia, and Pripyat. During the course of the single player campaign, you complete missions for both the SAS and Marine Force Reconnaissance in a two-tiered plot. Several of the Marine missions involve conducting battlefield oriented urban warfare, while the SAS missions are of the more classical covert and deniable kind.

If you have played previous Call of Duties made by Infinity Ward (excluding Call of Duty 3) then this game is right at home for you. I myself was surprised when they announced that the game would be in modern times, and had very mixed reactions, but when I finally got to sit down with the game, it was like I just jumped in a time machine. The gameplay feels just like the first two PC games (to be more exact, this game is even better), and if you're into immersive, spectacular kind of gameplay, then this is for you.

The first impression you'll get from the gameplay in Call of Duty 4 is just how well rounded and solid the engine is. The feel as you move about is very authentic, from the kick back on the game's many included real world guns (M4A1 + M4A1 Grenadier, AK47, M1911, W1200, M21, MP5, Dragunov, M9, M16A4, G3, MiniUzi, RPD...) to the earth shattering physics of explosions. The controls haven't changed much from previous two Call of Duty games, which is totally fine considering that the franchise already had fantastic controls. You'll use real-world modern weaponry and gadgets like night-vision goggles as well as are able to call in airstrikes and helicopter support. Just like in other Call of Duty games, you can press the left trigger in order to aim down your sights, and your zoom will depend on what weapon you are using. You can throw of grenades at your opponents (flash, frag, and smoke) as well as pick up and toss back grenades that they've thrown at you. The controls aren't complex whatsoever and feel intuitive after only a very short time of play.

Call of Duty 4's level design is phenomenal. You'll go through several different areas, like an enemy cargo ship and a destroyed Middle-Eastern city, each with their own unique feel to them. The action in the campaign is usually very straightforward. You have a compass at the bottom of your screen, and the direction of your current objective is very plainly marked. But getting from point A to point B is never as simple as running in a straight line, as you'll be conducting full-scale assaults in Middle Eastern countries by moving from house to house, taking out what seems like a never-ending stream of enemy troops along the way. You'll also get an opportunity to raid Russian farmhouses in search of terrorist leaders, disguise yourself as the enemy and in one sequence don a brushlike ghillie suit and crawl through the brush as enemy troops and tanks roll right past you. It's a breathtaking moment in a campaign filled with breathtaking moments! There is even some vehicular missions that have you as the gunner of an AC-130 gunship as well as helicopters. The pacing in the game is simply fantastic, and there's never a dull moment. If you decide to purchase the game, make sure you play on a level that is challenging to you, as the more you work to play the game, the better you feel when you actually complete it. Try the harder difficulties rather then just zipping by with the easiest one. Some missions are pretty difficult and I myself did have to restart the mission multiple times. It is short, but at least the game is good at being short.



My only complaint about the single-player is that enemies in some levels have the same color scheme as your own mates. Frankly, in the fray, it gets tough to recognize friend from foe. When you are looking down the sight, there is no indicator informing you that your target is an enemy. I have no problem with friendly fire as it's an unfortunate part of war, but firing on friends/civillians, even by accident, can instantly end a mission. That sucks! :-)

Playing online is fun, playing online is challenging, playing online is addictive! Call of Duty 4 offers 16 maps and thirteen multiplayer variants out of the box. Up to 32 players (PS3 and 360 support only 18 players online) can get online and get into a match on one of 16 different maps. The MP works on a ranking system in which you gain experience for kills and scenarios won. As you gain ranks you unlock new perks and weapons to use. As you may be winding down a session, you hit a level, unlock a new gun or perk and decide to reconfigure one of your custom set-up slots. Along with new weapons for leveling up, there are challenges specific to your weapon, game mode, or skill as a player. These challenges can unlock things such as skins for your weapons, modifications for your guns (like scopes or silencers), or just give you a boost to your experience. For ranked servers, there is the option to choose from 6 game modes. One of them is Team Deathmatch, which requires that teamwork is used to kill opposing players. The game ends when a team reaches a predefined score limit, or when the time runs out. Another game type is Domination, where flags are placed in strategic points around the map. All flags start neutral, and teams fight to hold the most flags. The game ends when the time limit is reached, or when the score limit is reached. Finally, Search and Destroy involves two teams, one that attacks and one that defends. Attackers attempt to plant a suitcase bomb at one of two bomb sites, and defenders try to defend the bomb sites. If the explosives are planted, the defenders must defuse them. In this game mode, players do not respawn if they die. Another interesting difference between this game and other online shooters is that you are rewarded for killing streaks. After three kills in a row without dying you can send out a UAV drone to see where opponents are, and this radar is shown to your entire team. After five kills you can call in an air strike to a specific location. After seven kills without dying you get an automatically piloted helicopter flying around picking off any enemy out in the open, and yes, these kills count as your own!

Overall, from single player to multiplayer, there isn't a single part of the game I don't enjoy. There's enough variety that you never feel like you're 'grinding' in multiplayer to get XP or awards, and various single player missions are worth replaying in order to try something new or beat an old score. Call of Duty 4 is a must buy!!!

related links: homepage, demo, patch v1.5, Linux Server, cheats, trainer +6, trainer +6 (v1.4), savegames, glitches tutorial (video), Song Made From Call Of Duty 4 Gun Shots (video), get DVD

Minimum system requirements: Pentium 4 2.4 GHz or AMD Athlon 64 2800+ processor or any 1.8Ghz Dual Core Processor or better, 512MB RAM (768MB for Windows Vista), NVIDIA Geforce 6600 or better or ATI Radeon 9800Pro or better, 100% DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card, 8GB of free hard drive space, Broadband connection and service required for Multiplayer Connectivity, Windows XP/Vista.


snd: 5/5 - great voice work and incredible battlefield sound effects - the explosions will shake you & your ears will bleed :-D, plus great music score by composed by British composer Stephen Barton
gfx: 5/5 - top notch (who needs DX10?!), extremely realistic character models, dynamically changing environment and tons of excellent details, phenomenal level design
playability: 5/5 - completely intense thrill-ride from start to finish, addictive+brutal+sweet+short (singleplayer ~6-8 hours)+highly replayable, some friendly fire issues (sometime it's difficult to recognize friend from foe), solid AI, robust multiplayer (5 classes, 6 modes, 16 maps)
genre: first-person shooter
platform: PC (also available on PS3, Xbox 360, DS, Mac)
release: November 2007
developer: Infinity Ward
publisher: Activision
Excellent
Overall: 96%


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