Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare review


Infinity Ward takes the FPS Genre to whole new heights with the 4th installment of this critically acclaimed franchise.
With breathtaking graphics, jaw dropping cutscenes, outstanding missions and an excellent Online Mode Modern Warfare is by far, hands down, with out a doubt the best First Person Shooter any console has ever seen.

Previous Call Of Duty games were all about WWII just like many other titles like Medal Of Honour however this time WWII has been pushed aside in favour of a modern day War Game. World War II games are old news. We've seen so many over the years that it's nice to finally see a developer steer away from the trend and take the genre in a new direction.
As the name suggests the game takes place in Modern times. This means all the WWII weapons that you've grown to hate over the years are now a thing of the past. Every weapon available to use in the game is what real-life soldiers use nowadays. The M1-Garand from past games is now the M16, the stick grenades the Nazis used are now proper Grenades with metal fragments and also Flash Bangs and Smoke grenades are thrown in for good measure too.
With a modern game comes modern gadgets like Night Vision Goggles, Laser Sights, Helicopters and Air Strikes.

The Story centres around 2 different perspectives of one main story. You play as 2 different soldiers throughout the game both fighting in the same war. The theme this time of course is terrorism, Al-Queda and ultimately the prevention of a Nuclear explosion.
After the initial tutorial and the Opening mission is when the game truly begins. The credits start rolling as you are being driven across town looking through the eyes of a terrorist. This alone is probably the best opening sequence ever seen in any game. The graphics are outstanding and as you are driven through hostile territory you can look around you using the right stick. You get to see a hell of a lot of fantastic sights along the way such as a prisoner being executed by a line of soldiers shooting at the poor guy, you'll see people cheering and shooting their machine guns into the air, you'll see a guy being chased over a fence by a dog and many more. I usually don't descibe cutscenes in my Reviews but that is one cutscene that has to be seen to be believed.
Anyway like I said you follow the story of 2 different soldiers fighting the same war. Every 2 or 3 missions you switch back to the other soldier and carry on where you left off the last time you played as him. Initially this might create some confusion especially if you don't pay attention to who it is you are fighting as but after a while you will appreciate the brilliance of experiencing the same war from 2 different perspectives in 2 entirely different locales. One soldier is a Rookie named Soap MacTavish. He's the guy you do the pretty impressive tutorial with at the beginning of the game and the other is a Ground unit named Paul Jackson who is already out there fighting when we begin playing as him.

Moving on to the Graphics and all I can say here is ....wow. Every single detail in every single aspect of the game screams excellence. Modern Warfare is far ahead of it's predecessors in terms of graphics. From the tiniest detail such as individual blades of grass in a field gently brushing side to side in the breeze to the specs of dirt on your hands after crawling through the grass, everything looks very real indeed. It doesn't just look real, it looks photo realistic at times.

The graphics aren't the only thing that got special treatment though. Everything around you acts as it should when it should. For example 2 Soldiers talking in a distance as they throw bodies into a lake is a wonderfull sight to see and adds realism. Acting as they should and sounding exactly right is minor yet adds to the experience of a real war. Small minor scripted events like that turns an otherwise bland mission into something of amazement.

The Gameplay is spot on too. In other games it might take an entire clip emptied into a soldiers chest before he finally goes down. Well not in COD4. Modern Warfare wants to be as realistic as possible without jeopardising the fun factor and it succeeds. 3 or 4 direct hits is all it takes to take down any enemy (like in real life). Visa versa is true too though. You are not Rambo. Take a few hits and your screen starts to turn red and your breathing becomes heavy. Those of you that have never player COD4 might think the game is too hard if you die after getting shot by just 4 or 5 bullets but that's not the case. By seeking cover and crouching down you can regenerate your health. Cover is everywhere too from burned cars to walls so don't worry, you won't be dying within seconds like the enemies do (unless you play on the hardest difficulty).
The shooting in COD4 is accurate to real life (apparently, I've never shot an AK47 to compare). Recoil happens with almost all guns meaning pointing at an enemies chest and firing a couple rounds might leave one in his chest and one in the wall behind him if he's far away. You will adjust to this though and eventually it won't pose much of a problem.

The Missions are pure brilliance. Almost every mission is excellent in it's own way. In other FPS games the first mission is usually the best and everything that follows often feels rushed and bland. Not in COD4. Each mission varies greatly to the last and each mission has it's own 'wow' moments. The one that stands out most though is 'All Ghilled Up'. Probably the best mission ever in any FPS and one you will be playing again and again just to experience the Convoy of tanks rolling past 2 feet away as you hide face down in the long grass.

The wide variety of missions takes you from being on the ground fighting waves of soldiers to being a passenger in a heli using it's on board turret to clear the way for ground troops to being a Sniper 15 years ago.
The enemy AI is superb too. You do get the odd eejit that stands out in the open wondering what to do next but for the most part the enemies are smart. They jump behind cover, throw back grenades, use flashbangs on your position, call for help and stab you if they get a chance. However the Ally AI is a bit of a let down at times. Sometimes they'll use the same cover as you and end up being in your way, sometimes as you're shooting an enemy an ally would run past your line of sight causing you to accidentally kill them which results in Mission Failed. They can be very slow movers too sometimes however lucky you never have to wait for them. They always seem to be right behind you even if you forget about killing the enemies and just run straight through to the next Checkpoint.
Speaking of Checkpoints they are everywhere. After almost every major gun fight there is a checkpoint and through every door is a checkpoint. This makes dying not a bad thing and nothing to dread as when you die you'll probably just be sent back 30 seconds or something.
Which brings me on to my next complaint. After finishing the Campaign 4 times I've figured out how it all works. If you come to an area with a lot of resistance simply staying in one spot causes the enemies to respawn 4 or 5 times before the waves stop coming however if you keep moving forward those soldiers stop spawning. So if you're having trouble getting passed an area due to high resistance simply run as fast as you can to get passed them, when you've reached the next wall or cover all the enemies that were behind you magically disappear. It's both a shame and a blessing as some areas are a pain if you try to take out all the enemies however this does take away from the realism of the game...slightly.

The Replay Value is very good. The Single Player is slightly on the short side though however finding all the collectables might improve the replay value for some gamers. The Campaign takes roughly 7 hours to complete, although it will be a memorable 7 hours I can guarantee you.
If you have your PS3 hooked up to Broadband then expect those 7 hours to multiply by 20 as the Online Multiplayer is quite simply outstanding.

Going Online truly brings a whole new gaming experience to COD4. With a ton of modes ranging from the usual CTF and Deathmatch to the totally original Headquarters, Sabatage and Hardcore the online multiplayer will keep you coming back for more.

COD4 Online brings something new to the FPS Genre in the form of unlockables, perks and ranks. Unlockables are weapon upgrades, new perks, new camo, new weapons, new options and more challenges. After every match you are rewarded points for your performance. When you reach a certain amount of points you gain a rank. That extra rank brings with it extra stuff. For example getting to Rank 4 gives you the ability to join a Clan. Another rank later and you might unlock a new weapon, a rank later and you might have more challenges to complete.
I'll break it down individually:
Weapons: You might start off at Rank 1 with a measly weapon, however as you advance through the ranks you gain access to more powerfull weapons with better accuracy and range.
Weapon Upgrades: Upgrades are unlocked by killing a certain number of people with a certain weapon. These come in the form of Grips that improve the weapons recoil, Sight/Scopes that improve the range and attachments like RPG.
Camo: Unfortunatly you can't unlock camo for your soldier however you can unlock camo for your weapon by getting a certain number of Headshots with the weapon.
Perks: Perks are where it's at. These are special abilities unique to your soldier. 1 perk might make you drop a grenade when you die, another might allow you to listen in to the chatter on the opposing team, another might allow you to carry 2 main weapons, another might make your bullets stronger, increases your health, gives less reload times, when you die you can have a perk that allows you to carry on shooting using your pistol as you lie on the ground in your final seconds.
Perks are a great addition to the game and really helps make COD4 a memorable online experience.
Options: New options can unlock the ability to join a Clan or do Prestige mode (I won't tell you what Prestige is. I'll let you discover that yourself.)
Challenges: Challenges are a great way of gaining ranks quickly. As you progress through the ranks you unlock more challenges. These can be as simple as getting 10 headshots to as difficult as killing two people with one sniper bullet. Everytime you complete a challenge you get more points which helps to advance.

Online is fierce and challenging but always great fun. The maps are very well balanced and the modes are all a joy to play.
There are some outstanding players in the world so watch your back.

As I said COD4 is by far the best shooter any console has ever seen both online and offline. It's incredible graphics, great gameplay, brilliant sound, outstanding story and cutscenes not to mention it's immersive online multiplayer will have you coming back for more time and time again. With almost zero glitches and no framerate issues this game hangs on the balance of perfection.
Well done Infinity Ward. This is the Game Of The Year.

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