Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Review (Xbox360)

When someone thinks about World War 2 videogames, two big names come up: Call of Duty and Medal of Honor. As the current generation watches this sub-genre fall out of place, and the Medal of Honor series following it, developer Infinity Ward saw opportunity. Opportunity for greatness, for revitalization, and for some serious kick-ass fun. Welcome to Modern Warfare.

With an opening scene looking this good, it's already hard to not appreciate the game no matter how good it is
This isn't your grandfather's war. They didn't put flashlights on helmets back 60 years ago

For those who donít know, Infinity Ward is responsible for all standard Call of Duty titles save for COD3 (not including any un-numbered extension titles), and even though COD3 was a good game in its own right, it wasnít the same. So when news came that the Ward was back and not just doing another WW2 title, we were mighty excited.

After the public beta, it was fairly obvious how the multiplayer aspect would fare, but everyone wanted to know about the campaign. There are two serious gripes: itís short and thereís no cooperative play. Short meaning it can take anywhere from six to 15 hours to play through, depending on the difficulty level, and the fact that you canít ever replay it with a friend. Ever.

No, it wouldnít make sense with the given storyline, but when do they ever. Yes, a few parts would be nonsensical, but they could be worked out. The point is that most games these days with a serious online presence have some form of two-player mode, cooperative or in an online match, but COD4 lacks that entirely. Only one person can sit and enjoy it at any given time.

This is a huge problem because, like many, when you find a good game to play you want to share the experience with others. And by Mary and all her little lambs, COD4 is a good game.

COD4 follows the story of two soldiers, one US marine and another British SAS soldier. Unlike prior COD titles, the game doesnít shift from one storyline to another at any given level. This time the story is interwoven between these characters, so one successful mission for one character will bring about the next mission for the other. They donít know each other, but they are inexplicably connected.

Paul Jackson and ďSoapĒ MacTavish respectively have their hands full, the former spending the majority of the game in the Mideast and the latter running around the lot of Eurasia. To make things more interesting both in terms of gameplay and to flesh out the story, additional characters will be playable at certain times. One mission involves being on a machine gun in the chopper Jackson rides on to get to his next objective. Another takes place fifteen years back in Chernobyl, giving us the beginnings of the whole current-day dilemma.

Watch as the number of friendly NPC's dwindles down to nothing if you don't help them out
Calling in a chopper can make all the difference in an online match, so long as they don't shoot it down

The best word to describe the events witnessed during gameplay would have to be Ďawesome.í Not in the way that Bill and Ted, and now most people use the word, but rather it will make players sit back in their seats for a moment with gaping mouths and the possibility of drool sloping out of it. They will be awed by some of the scenes that take place, feel emotion for the characters, laugh and cry, and in the end cheer wildly as though it were V-E day all over again.

All this is done by a few different methods. First is the amazing use of visuals, which are just so stunning on both the 360 and PS3 that it is literally breathtaking at times. Like when we first saw the water effects in Bioshock, it is easy to look at nearly everything in the game and once again fall into a stupor. Differences between the two versions were almost insignificant as well, a testament to Infinity Wardís programming prowess.

Next is the obscenely generous amount of intense action sequences. It may be a firefight on a bridge with helicopters flying around taking out enemies and crashing into far-off buildings, or having a mission to shoot rockets into the air and destroy tanks hundreds of feet away. Or ordering air strikes on hundreds of enemy soldiers. The sheer number of these scenes would be superfluous if each was less flattering than the last, but that doesnít happen. Each time something new comes up, its just as good or better than the last blood-rushing moment.

Add these two to the intelligent enemy AI and itís a triple threat that makes COD4 one of the most realistic shooters out today. They will stay hidden behind cover, force feed you grenades and refuse to go down without a fight. Each battle will feel like you just went through hell and back, just as it should be.

On that note, there are some sections that border on ridiculous in how difficult they play. One level forces you to wait six minutes for a rescue chopper to arrive all while you and one friendly NPC have to stay alive. Meaning that enemy forces are storming you every second, coming from every angle. Some have complained not that shooting dogs is unjust and shouldnít be done, but rather that the canineís are simply too difficult to hit and survive an attack from. The only way to stop them from ripping your throat out is to hit the right button at the exact right moment.

Multiplayer is nothing short of spectacular. At first it may seem very limited, but thatís only because every new player starts out with zero experience points. Meaning the more you play, the more options are available to you, as long as you play well. Each new rank gained gives another gun to use, accessories for those weapons, and additional perks.

Perks are two or three special abilities that enhance how you play. They donít actually enhance your character so much as change how you can use him. For instance, one perk allows you to take less damage, while another makes you give more damage. It doesnít change how the game plays, just how you play. And since everyone can choose their own perks to use in any way they like, thereís always a huge variety of things that can happen on the battlefield.

The use of experience, perks, and upgraded weapons sounds like it would be difficult for new players to join in because they would be instantly pummeled by everyone else who is already at least a level 10. But this isnít so, unless those new players are simply bad at the game. Even at level 1, there are a few perks available to choose from, and of course leveling up is easier at the lower levels and taking out enemies generally isnít much harder if they have better weapons or perks. It just means they can take you out much easier, thatís all.

Air strikes, on the other hand, won't go down but require pin-point accuracy to be useful
You're doing it wrong! Don't shoot from the hip unless its point blank. Chances are you won't get the kill

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is exactly what the Call of Duty franchise needed. An exquisite title with an awe-inducing single player campaign, fast paced and exciting multiplayer, and the grand shift away from the overbearing mantra of WWII titles. Though it lacks a few key features expected of it, namely multiplayer on the same machine, Modern Warfare is a must have first person shooter, which anyone should be able to see by the steep decrease in games of Halo 3 being played.

Top Game Moment:
Dropping a chopper in an online match and accidentally shooting off another shot at it and killing 2 guys across the map with it.



By liamb589 (SI Newbie) on Oct 14, 2008
This game is class!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

dale witney is killer d + e is fat