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Call of Duty 4 Review 183

Posted by Zonk
from the reporting-in-sir dept.
The Call of Duty series is a benchmark for first-person shooters. The first title refreshed the already-tired World War II setting by added a gripping gameplay-based narrative, while the second was an important launch title for the Xbox 360. The newest chapter in the series, Call of Duty 4, is a new standard for the series and the genre. Set in modern times, the title breaks the mold of previous CoD titles in other ways as well. Most intriguing is its online 'character' development system, which takes some of the great ideas used in Battlefield 2 to the next level. Though the game suffers somewhat from overly-familiar gameplay in the single-player component, you'll probably be too busy gawking at the scenery to care. Read on for my impressions of this extremely attractive series update.
  • Title:Call of Duty 4: Modern Combat
  • Developer/Publisher: Infinity Ward/Activision
  • System: 360 (PC, PS3)
  • Genre: First-Person Shooter
  • Score: 3/5: This game is par for the course in many ways, but is likely to be a classic for the genre. Any gamer might enjoy renting it.
The fact that it's even worth mentioning the story in a warfare-focused First-Person Shooter sets Call of Duty 4 above most of its contemporaries. As in previous CoD titles, Infinity sets you in the midst of an epic combat. With the new modern setting, instead of facing down Nazi Germany or Imperial Japan, terrorists are the order of the day. The game avoids any uncomfortably weighty questions of nationality by placing the conflict in fictionalized nations, but the themes will be familiar to anyone who has read the newspaper lately. What makes these confrontations even more meaningful is that, like in previous Infinity titles, we get to see the conflict from multiple angles. In this case, by swapping between British and American troops as they work to quell the epic conflict boiling on the edge of the Middle East and former USSR. Though I felt the characters were better developed in CoD 2, you'll find yourself appreciating recognizable voices and names over the course of the game. The story accomplishes its goal admirably; you always feel a sense of purpose as you move through the game, and rarely are you left confused about what your current objective should be. The game also has one of the most amazing credit sequences I've ever seen in a title before. It's powerful on a visceral level, and shouldn't be missed.

How you accomplish your objective-of-the-moment is going to feel very familiar to anyone that's played a warfare FPS in the last few years. Yourself and a small group of soldiers move through a map, accomplishing minor goals in preparation for a larger set-piece battle near the end of the level. The tried-and-true core of the CoD series remains almost unchanged, and there's nothing wrong with that - because it's fun. Gameplay is tweaked in a few notable ways by the modernization of the setting. You'll occasionally do a stealth-style mission aided by nightvision (obviously absent from WWII), weapons now fire right through walls, and it's no longer a requirement to ditch the terrible American weapons for their superior German equivalents a few seconds into each level. In fact your default assault rifle is quite serviceable, and I found no real need to snag another weapon over the course of the game. Grenades felt a bit sloppier, likely due to their weighing less than WWII potatomashers. Both shooting through walls and tossing grenades back at enemies (another new move) are tactics the terrorists can make use of as well, improving their combat effectiveness. These groundpounding elements are broken up by some very enjoyable rail-shooting sequences. They are welcome diversions when they're injected into the story, with one nightvision-only sequence particularly well done.

For many players, the par-for-the-course gameplay and well-done single player story are just sidelines to this game's best offering: a full melding of RPG sensibilities with online FPS play. Much like the accolades offered in Battlefield 2's online component, Call of Duty 4 features a wealth of medals and awards to be handed out via multiplayer. The difference with CoD 4, though, is that these accolades are wrapped up inside a 'leveling' and 'class' structure, netting you the warfare FPS equivalent of superpowers. The ability for your bullets to pass through walls more easily, a larger inventory, new weapons, and a tweakable 'character class' all lead you through 55 levels of advancement. It's probably one of the most ambitious persistent elements to an FPS yet, and certainly the most advanced to come to a console. I haven't had as much time as I would have liked with this element, but it's quite a sight to behold the first time you enter that part of the game; it's sort of like opening a menu and stumbling into a MMOG hidden inside your FPS.

"Quite a sight" was actually one of the first things I thought when I began playing the game. There's an early level that places you at the far end of a broken and battered highway, raised up above street level. Your vantage point when you first enter the mission has you looking out over the battle-scarred ruins of a city. The terrorists are everywhere, and as a result smoke and anti-aircraft tracers light the sky. There are fires off in the distance, the sound of combat, and the occasional blast of a rocket explosion. It's an amazing image, a centerpiece for the title's visual imagery in the same way the title sequence is a centerpiece for the game's story. The sound in the game is likewise impactful, with 'Saving Private Ryan'-esque head ducks and dodges required by the zip of bullets and whiz of shrapnel. Probably the game's strongest suit, Call of Duty 4's presentation is a masterwork of modern gaming. It's easily one of the most beautiful games I've seen on the 360.

Overall, though I quite like Call of Duty 4, its core gameplay tries very hard to be humble despite the amazing presentation and strongly told tale. The basic, moment-to-moment activities you'll be performing in the game are so rote at this point that it's hard to get overly excited about the experience. When compared with titles like Rainbox Six Vegas, it's also hard to understand why I can't more effectively duck behind cover. In a game ostensibly touting modern military tactics, it's altogether unclear why 'duck' and 'crouch' are my only two real options when avoiding withering enemy fire. Even still, this game is a watershed for the CoD series. It's a breakthrough in technology and story for Infinity Ward, and sets the bar incredibly high for future modern warfare FPS titles. Via the online shooter component the game also has quite a bit of 'replay' value, and is a quality showing in the midst of a very busy holiday gaming season. Call of Duty 4 is worth a look from any fan of the genre, if only for an example of how to tell a story in the midst of a terrible (and timely) war.
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Call of Duty 4 Review

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  • Review (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Haelyn (321711)
    Though the game suffers somewhat from overly-familiar gameplay in the single-player component, you'll probably be too busy gawking at the scenery to care.

    I think that sums it up. Zero innovation, prettier eyecandy.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I don't get this whole anti-graphics attitude on slashdot. Are you trying to argue that having better visuals *isn't* a good thing? A game doesn't have to be revolutionary to be good. If it has no flaw in it, doesn't that make it a great game? If the existing gameplay is already good, why should it be completely overhauled?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Its not that visuals aren't a good thing, but if game developers are going to put more time into a game, I rather it be developing gameplay than making it look nicer. Doom 3 was a very pretty game, but it got boring very quickly. Prey wasn't revolutionary in anyway when it came to graphics, but boy was that a fun game. But I guess thats the name of the game; if video games came out that had excellent gameplay, then people might keep playing those same games for years, without putting their money into the ne
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          Doom 3 was a very pretty game, but it got boring very quickly.

          Clearly, Id's forte isn't in good storylines, character development, or anything else that would make a good story to play through. They are in the business of making game engines that provide excellent visuals and then making a lot licensing these engines to other developers who in turn will make great stories using Id's engines. Quake 3 was only really popular because of it's multiplayer (did it even have a single player?), and mods.
          • You're equating good gameplay with good character and story development. For me, if I want character and story, I read a book or watch a movie. I play games to experience playing a game. Sometimes a story can make the gameplay compelling, but without gameplay, it's dead to me.

            And that's why I take issue with your swipe at Id. I never played Quake, but Doom (and especially Doom 2) represented amazing gameplay to me. The level design and re-playability were phenomenal. They weren't just about aiming and shoo

            • A single player game (yes I know Doom 3 had multiplayer but it is a regression from present-day FPS) should have a decent storyline, I'm not saying that a video game needs to have deep character development but it should have some elements that make up a story.
              • Really? One of the most popular single-player games out there is Tetris. What's the storyline for that?

                Same with Serious Sam. Great first person shooter that didn't even pretend to try to have a story-line. Just lots of monsters, and shoot them and live. Sorry, I just don't buy that a story is necessary for a game, and for me (and I know it's just an opinion) I think trying to shoehorn a linear storyline into something that's inherently non-linear hinders the game.

                • Tetris doesn't pretend to have a storyline, nor does Serious Sam. I didn't say that a story is a necessity either, what I'm saying is, if your game is going to have a plot, it should be decent, and that's not Id's strong suit, but it doesn't matter, since Id uses their games to showcase their engines.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by packeteer (566398)
          Man you just can't make gamers happy. If they change the game play and keep the graphics nearly the same people complain its not what they know and like. Look at Starcraft and Counter Strike, 2 of the most popular games ever. The gameplay is so solid nobody wants it to change. Notice how CS:Source didn't really take off other than the fact it has to be played in the big tourneys. Solid gameplay is important and once you get the perfect gameplay dont change it too much. People will happily play add ons
      • I don't get this whole anti-graphics attitude on slashdot

        I don't get the false homogenization (I may have just made that up -- (c) moderatorrater 2007) of slashdot users.

        Some people (like the reviewer) value pretty graphics , some people value a new gameplay experience through new mechanics (like the gp). When you get right down to it, a game is a set of mechanics with a story thrown around it. The new brand of casual games cut away the story in favor of emphasizing mechanics, as do board games and most non-computer games. For some people, these mechanics ar

      • Have you played a game recently? I have, and usually I can't play more than 30 minutes at a time due to it just feeling like a total chore. Less graphics, more actual innovative gameplay, please.
        • by LKM (227954)
          I agree. I own a PS3. Games like R&C or Uncharted get great reviews, but I did not even finish the demos for these two games. Sure, they look incredible, but R&C plays basically the same as the PS2 versions: follow a predefined path and shoot everything; and Uncharted is Gears of War on an Island: follow a predefinied path and shoot everything; plus, you can take cover.

          I've played these games before. I see no reason to play them again. The game I play the most right now is EA Playground. Sure, it's
      • by hairyfeet (841228)
        Well I can't speak for the poster above, I for one am sick of games with great eye candy and A.I. that is dumb as a sack of hammers. I personally would be happy to trade eye candy for opponents that aren't retards. And I am sick of most games just sticking an online multiplayer like that makes it better. Because I'd much rather play offline than deal with a bunch of foul mouthed 14 year olds that get pissy if they lose and rude if they win. I know that A.I. is not as easy to sell as eye candy, but hopefully
        • "that get pissy if they lose"

          Even more annoying - to me at least - is when the players on the losing side quit before the game ends just because the don't want to be there at the end.

          It always deflates the win for me.
      • So as long as you have pretty eye candy, you'd be happy eating dots and being chased by ghosts around a maze?

        A game doesn't have to be revolutionary to be good, but a sequel should improve gameplay. It should not be a graphics update plus maybe a new map pack.

        Side Note: A good mod community will increase the lifetime of any game.
    • Re:Review (Score:4, Interesting)

      by clubby (1144121) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @04:41PM (#21354317)
      And thank goodness for that. The last thing I want in a CoD sequel is innovation. Give me more of the same, but prettier and with new stuff. Innovation is for non-sequels, IMHO.
    • Not quite (Score:5, Insightful)

      by TheMeuge (645043) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @04:44PM (#21354375)
      Repetition is not ALWAYS a bad thing.

      All of the Call Of Duty games feature a familiar type of gameplay... but the fact is that the creators of the games have gotten this down to a science... and have repeatedly(!) created a very immersive gameplay experience. Because every level and game are slightly different, and have their own perks, COD has not devolved into a mindless rehash, but has rather brought an opportunity to purchase a title that has a good chance of being as enjoyable as the last, with a non-existent learning curve.

      Are they being original with every iteration? Certainly not. But they've provided enough of a variety of environments, stories, and settings, that COD is still enjoyable, years after the first one revolutionized the WWII FPS arena.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by xhrit (915936)
        Repetition is not ALWAYS a bad thing. All of the *Madden NFL* games feature a familiar type of gameplay... but the fact is that the creators of the games have gotten this down to a science... and have repeatedly(!) created a very immersive gameplay experience. Because every level and game are slightly different, and have their own perks, *Madden NFL 08* has not devolved into a mindless rehash, but has rather brought an opportunity to purchase a title that has a good chance of being as enjoyable as the last
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mike2R (721965)

        Repetition is not ALWAYS a bad thing.

        Quite, I'm not a huge FPS fan and I doubt I'll play this game, but I'm always pleased when a sequel is made to a game I like.

        There seems to be a carry over from the dislike of movie sequels into games as far as I can tell. I hate sequels to great movies - almost without exception they're made simply because they're a safe bet; an attempt to recreate a previous success by doing more of the same with the expectation that name recognition will ensure a profit. They don't

      • by mcmonkey (96054) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @09:18PM (#21357681) Homepage

        Repetition is not ALWAYS a bad thing.

        You can say that again.

    • by MBCook (132727)

      That's what I got from this review. It actually sounds kind of fun (I only play FPSes once in a while) and sounds like an improvement of the "purer" FPSs that I've played (never played a CoD). But is really doesn't sound like too much more than an incremental improvement.

      Yet I've seen reviews placing it at 90-100%. Super Mario Galaxy (a game that is quite a bit of a leap compared to other platformers) is in the same territory.

      This game got a very fair score here at /. I'd have even called a 4/5 fair. But

      • Re:Review (Score:4, Insightful)

        by modecx (130548) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @06:44PM (#21355987)
        I've only played the demo, but I will be getting the game for PC later on tonight.

        Here's my perspective: I'm an FPS hog, but have never laid my hands on a CoD game prior to starting the demo. Basically, I've been playing Battlefield 2, 2142, Day of Defeat, Counterstrike, America's Army and some other recent title for a while. I recently upgraded my gaming computer and haven't laid my hands on a lot of the shiny, newer FPS games.

        I'm all for improved graphics, if it adds to atmosphere. The thing with CoD4 is that it's got a metric assload of atmosphere. After an hour of messing around with the various difficulty levels in the demo and trying stuff out, I got a little motion sick, to be honest. I mean, I didn't have run to the bathroom to retch, but it's the closest I think I've ever come to that due to motion related stuff, and I do not get sick on planes, boats, or anything else, even if I'm watching someone empty their stomach--probably due to my love of FPSs.

        If someone strapped a high def camera to a soldier's helmet and put him in a similar situation, I imagine the result would be pretty close to what you see in the game play. My second run the next day didn't hit me that way, but it's still pretty powerful. Actually, the detail in the game isn't all that noticeable when you're running and gunning.

        Sure, if you sit there and look around, it's pretty stunning; but if you sit there, you and your squad are dead! For the most part, the game keeps you going pretty much constantly. One cool thing I noticed in the demo is how an overhead illuminating flare is used to light up the battlefield in the last encounter of the demo. I mean, it looked pretty freaking good, created shadows all over the place, etc. Likewise, the night vision segment was really good, and it just feels real unlike it does in most other games.

        I think a problem the /. crowd has with super snazzy graphics is that games with great graphics are often poorly done in other areas, simply because the game studio concentrated only on graphics and not other (more important) game mechanics, and as a result the game becomes generally un-fun and disappointing. IMHO, from what I've seen, CoD4 is not one of those games--I do think it's going to be a very fun, compelling game, and the graphics, sound and play do make it an immersing experience.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by McFadden (809368)

          I think a problem the /. crowd has with super snazzy graphics is that games with great graphics are often poorly done in other areas, simply because the game studio concentrated only on graphics and not other (more important) game mechanics, and as a result the game becomes generally un-fun and disappointing. IMHO, from what I've seen, CoD4 is not one of those games--I do think it's going to be a very fun, compelling game, and the graphics, sound and play do make it an immersing experience.

          If I could mod

    • I will continue to pay $50 for this sort of story telling and immersion, even if it is only 6 hours a game.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by ad0gg (594412)
        COD4 is more like a movie than a video game. Haven't passed the game yet but gameplay and story are quite enjoyable though I wish the AC130 gunship level was a little longer. On a side note, games can be too innovated. Forexample, mario galaxy. Great game only issue is that its gameplay is so innovated that my brain has not adapted to it yet. I get motion sickness after an hour of play. I wanted to continue playing but couldn't. Maybe i'll buy some dramine for tonight's gaming session.
        • I enjoyed the gunship as well. The problem that I had was I had a hard time picking out which guys were mine. I wish they had made them a different color rather than a non-obvious 'blinking'.
    • by JPriest (547211)
      I tend to be one of the "same game, different graphics" kind of grieffer. It took just one Saturday for me to beat the game, but it was definitely worth renting. It was one of the few games that left me thinking "man I would like to see this on an HDTV". It felt way more real than many other similar games I have played before it. it certainly sets raises the bar. I don't have time to play the game online, but if I did I would probably buy it.
      • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Saying Java is nice because it works on all OS's is like saying that anal sex is nice because it works on all genders.

        it isn't?

    • Re:Review (Score:5, Informative)

      by JohnnyBigodes (609498) <[ten.etnemlatigid] [ta] [enihprom]> on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @05:14PM (#21354785)
      Despite agreeing with the general statement, I'll have to say:

      "In this case, not correct".

      What the review has totally failed to mention is the sheer intensity of the combat in this iteration. I've played CoD1 and 2, and 3 was god-awful. Now *that* was totally no innovation, same game as before, with shaded and bump-mapped graphics.

      In Call of Duty 4, the best rough description I can give for the combat is that "there's shit flying EVERYWHERE". From the smoke to the flames heat effect, HDR (eye brightness adjustment) exploding cars, tracer bullets, laser beams (w/ Night Vision), the debris, all the bullet marks, a copious number of corpses left around, the really neat depth-of-field as you aim down the ironsights, etc... All of this contributes so that despite that, intrinsically, nothing here is *revolutionary*, it is a culmination of all the good stuff from before, which only happens because Infinity Ward built such a great (and fast!) graphics engine. It's very *evolutionary*, and has a good amount of little touches. The story, all the character voicings, the immediate briefing-to-mission fades, the "mini-missions" (one of the coolest things EVER is the mission where you're shooting shit below from an AC-130 plane), and so on. The combat system has some minor changes. Now you usually have 2 or 3 paths to pick to get to your target, and many larger locations present additional strategic challenges. There are also some new weapons, like Claymores and C4 for snipers (the sniping mission in Prypiat is one of the coolest).

      Oh, did I mention the engine is FAST? Probably one of the fastest engines ever written, in terms of "prettiness/speed ratio". It's just "another FPS", sure, that's a fact, but it's also by far one of the best. Played Crysis, next to this it's just "pretty, but meh".
    • I think that sums it up. Zero innovation, prettier eyecandy.
      Doesn't that describe 80% of all human endeavors.
    • by NMerriam (15122)

      I think that sums it up. Zero innovation, prettier eyecandy.


      Man, I'd pay $100 for an updated, prettier version of Fallout or Star Control. Sometimes there's no point in messing with a winning formula, just update the engine and add some bling so that it doesn't look dated.

      I played the single-player CoD4 all the way through and loved it. I'm glad I suck at FPS, otherwise I'd be playing multiplayer all the time.
    • I won't claim to have played all recent first-person shooters, but I've played quite a few, and there were many things in Call of Duty 4 I've never seen before. Examples:
      • The AC-130 mission
      • The sinking ship mission
      • The sniping from a mile away mission, particularly since you had to carry around your wounded partner and "place" him before you could fight
      • The shocker at the end of the "shock and awe" mission. That knocked me on my ass.
      • The way bullets penetrate surfaces depending on the gun and material the targ
      • by rkanodia (211354)
        Not to nitpick, but Counterstrike has had material- and weapon-dependent bullet penetration since forever. I haven't played it long enough to remember if it has flashbang grenades, but Rainbow Six certainly had them. And Metal Gear Solid 3 had a sniper duel in an open environment with lots of paths and cover that had you crawling around the jungle with a scope and a laser mic.
  • I've beaten it once, and I'm looking forward to doing it again! Excellent production values, solid controls, amazing performance given how good the graphics look. On my machine (MBP) CoD4 looks much better than Crysis at equal frame rates. Good job!
  • Its a tough time for any new FPS game released right now as Crysis and Unreal Tournament are both on the shelves within a few days.
    Seems like they should have released earlier or waited a few weeks. COD4 will just get lost in the noise.
    • by insanius (1058584)
      um....considering, last night there were 60,000+ people playing it on xbox live last night around 9pm eastern, i would say CoD4 is making the noise, not getting lost in it.
    • by mobby_6kl (668092)
      Ehm, I don't think COD4 is the game to "get lost in the noise". It might not have been hyped up nearly as much as Crysis, but it's one of the most popular FPS series which seems to rank pretty high on google trends [google.com].
  • by polar red (215081)
    But when will 5 come out ?
  • i hope they release a Playstation2 version, i rolled the credits on "Call of Duty 3" and did enjoy the game very much...
  • There are still some bugs to work out though. I like the choice of guns and the fast leveling up (to get more guns).

    The perks you can give your character (2 of them) are cool, so people can assign them to their own strengths as a player.

    I do notice some people who seem to be able to see through smoke / through walls (google it). Admins can catch it, but it's so early I don't think many know what to look for. The kill cam helps anti-sniping if it's enabled on the server you play on.
    • You actually have 3 perks, but having an M203 grenade launcher attached to your primary weapon replaces Perk 1. So if you remove the M203, you can select a total of 3 perks.
  • by mikeasu (1025283) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @04:50PM (#21354469)
    Got my copy of CoD4 yesterday. Gorgeous game, but knew that from the demo. Gameplay is pretty typical I think - actually comes pretty natural. Comparing multiplayer to BF2 or BF2142...just different. CoD4 seems a bit quicker paced. Understandable, since there are no vehicles in CoD4, therefore, the maps were made smaller. Vehicles - FPS players seem to either love them or hate them. I think in the BF series, esp. 2142, they did a good job of varying strengths and weakness in the vehicles. Allowed for wide variety of tactics. And the maps in 2142, esp. Titan mode lent themselves to interesting strategies. The round or two of multiplayer CoD4 last night - first impressions...very good. Quicker action, but still (at least the map type we were in, Sabotage I think) playing as a squad makes a difference. All in all - a very good purchase for a FPS fan - not a replacement for 2142, but a good change of pace.
    • by ninjagin (631183)
      Question:

      One of the greatest setbacks that CoD has suffered within my gaming group is the lack of CO-OP multiplayer on the LAN. We prefer to start our own server and play with the bots. 2142 forces you to gain rank -only- in online PvP play, which we think sucks big donkey dick (though we just found a cheat that allows you to build rank for LAN-only play). Does CoD4 offer a CO-OP LAN multiplayer option?

      • by mikeasu (1025283)
        Ninjagin, There are rumors about co-op as downloadable post-release, patch or something, but nothing like that right now.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Don't try it right now if you are thinking about it.. the online multiplayer mode is 100% jacked up right now and has been for several days. Can't join matches unless its a private match.

    this is on the 360..

    when it worked it was hella fun.. but it dont work anymore
  • Am I being overly critical or is anyone else bothered by the monochromatic look to most MP maps?
  • I can't think of a better single player game I've tried in ten years.

    It was simply amazing.
    • In ten years? Seriously, if you think CoD4's single player was the -best- in the past ten years, you've been deprived.

      Bioshock and Half-Life 2: Episode 2 destroy CoD4's single player experience and thats just this year. Granted the C-130 mission is absolutely amazing to play (they could probably make a game based entirely on that kind of gameplay), but the bulk of the missions were your bread and butter FPS which became a bore immediately after the first playthrough. Scripted enemy appearances and a lack o

  • 3/5? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Zebra_X (13249) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @05:19PM (#21354861)
    Nah - maybe 4/5 or 4.5/5. There are a number of aspects of this FPS that set it apart from others:

    1 Physics. In the first level you are on a ship, as you walk around, run, and aim, you have to compensate for the roll of the ship. This is one of the first examples of this I've seen - it was a great effect and I'm pretty sure not super easy to do.

    Bullet penetration through "soft" targets such as walls is really realistic - it also makes you re-think what "cover" really is.

    2 Sneak. In most games of this genere it's kill or be killed. Taking a page out of metal gear solid, there are some levels where sneaking can keep you from getting into a fight - especially as a sniper.

    3 There is one level entitled "Death from above" where you are a gunner on an AC-130. The level was very easy - but the dialog from the "crew" of the Spectre was really cool. When you scan over an area where there are bad guys the spotter will say "Get those guys" or "Yeah take them out". In some cases it's difficult to see because of cover and things - so the added verbal confirmation that you are about to kill the right guys was really impressive.

    4 The enviroments flowed well.

    5 Online play is challenging and engagning with a wide range of matches and game play, some lag though and "replay" is not always what you "saw" right before you died.

    6 Wide range of weapons

    7 Air support, UAV, and Helicopters as added bonuses for killing streaks

    A FPS is an FPS but CoD 4 has really pushed the state of the art - you have to play with your eyes and ears not some crazy HUD that will always tell you where the bad guys are. There is the element of "maybe i can get that guy through a wall" - in a way this game redefines "cover" for the FPS genere. I also like the fact that dying is easy enough - it's not like it take a clip to take you down, three bullet strikes in a row is about all you can take.

    Also, in the second to last level in the missle silo - there is a computer that looks remarkable like J.O.S.H.U.A. of war games. Mad props to the designers for including that.

    Overall - a ton of fun to play.

    Hoorah.
    • by anethema (99553)
      Just to let you know, the actual last level happens after you go through the credits. It is on an airplane. Basically killing highjackers. Kind of neet.

      Gunship level was by far the coolest.
    • by Darth (29071)
      In the first level you are on a ship, as you walk around, run, and aim, you have to compensate for the roll of the ship. This is one of the first examples of this I've seen - it was a great effect and I'm pretty sure not super easy to do.

      I used to know a guy whose father worked for a defense contractor. His dad worked on a system to aid targeting systems in compensating for the roll of ships at sea when firing their guns.

      It amuses me that after many years we've finally developed the physics of our games to
  • ... tossing grenades back at enemies (another new move) ...
    Call of Duty 3 allows you to pick up and return live grenades. See "#7. Hot Potato" [achieve360points.com].
  • The Call of Duty series has been my favorite of the FPS games on the PC. I couldn't wait for COD4 but after I installed it I wanted to take it back to the store. It was missing my favorite game type - Capture the Flag.
    • if it's like hte xbox 360, it has it.. but you need to unlock it by lvling up. i think you need about lvl 15 to unlock all the multiplayer types.
  • by lattyware (934246) <gareth@lattyware.co.uk> on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @05:25PM (#21354943) Homepage Journal
    I think it's a better game than you give it credit for. The single player was extremely fun, far over and above the average game, and the multiplayer has enough grip to it it's above average too. I'm not going to go into details because, frankly, I can't be bothered (Maybe it's good for lazy gamers, who knows), but it's definitely worth 4/5, at least.
  • by Pojut (1027544) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @05:41PM (#21355135) Homepage
    As others have stated, I don't really understand what the problem is if a game has good graphics, good gameplay, but doesn't do anything new. Much like Gears of War, the graphics are a major part of what make COD4 so immersive and so good...the action in the game is downright intense, the sound is fantastic (definately one to put the stereo up to 11 for) and the story is engrossing. The game is a bit short for my tastes (10-15 hours is the sweet spot for shooters, IMO) but what is there is still great.

    Liek others have said, a game doesn't have to be original or super innovative to be a great game...with COD4, it's clear to me that the team focused on multiplayer moreso than single player (hence the "lacking" single player campaign). While I personally would choose gameplay over graphics, in some cases the graphics directly impact the gameplay.

    Or would you prefer Ace Combat 6 to have the same graphics as the old 5 1/4" floppy game MiG-29?
  • Intense (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Malenfant (607119) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @05:53PM (#21355269)
    I've played a lot of FPS games, and this is the first ever to give me nightmares.

    The realistic graphics, and human enemies take things to a whole new level.

    Video games now have the power to move people emotionally even more than film can.
    • Hell, Super Paper Mario moved me with its story and characters. Graphics may help, but aren't necessary. I think what you hinted at is correct, though, in it's all about the level of interaction that you feel in good games.
  • some nitpicks: (Score:3, Informative)

    by Simulant (528590) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @06:04PM (#21355417) Journal

    the first title refreshed the already-tired World War II setting by added a gripping gameplay-based narrative, while the second was an important launch title for the Xbox 360.
    The first TWO titles were developed by Infinity ward for the PC and the the third title, for the Xbox 360 only was devoloped by someone else.

    terrorists are the order of the day.
    This "you are fighting the terrorists in COD4" thing is starting to get annoying. I've seen it crop up in more than one review. It's my impression that you are up against highly organized and well armed, fictional, middle eastern bloc army. The sides are definitely equally matched which almost by definition would not be true if one side were terrorists a la Al Qaeda. I'm also not aware of any terrorist attacks taking place in the game (though I've admittedly not finished the single player campaign yet) unless you count the assassinations by the 'good' side, or the maryrdom perk which any side can use in multi-player. If you want to think you are fighting terrorists then fine but... it's not even a remotely realistic depiction of fighting terrorists, which IMHO would make a seriously disturbing & boring game.

    Score: 3/5
    I respectfully disagree. At least 4/5 if not better. Multi-player will give this game legs.
    • by Boronx (228853)
      "The terrorists are everywhere, and as a result smoke and anti-aircraft tracers light the sky."

      Thanks. I was wondering whether the terrorists were using tracers everywhere or flying ground support.
    • by MMaestro (585010)
      I won't nitpick on the justifications, but roughly mid-way through the game (without giving away spoilers) WMDs get involved and it becomes clear that this is not a (ultimately) not a war for oil or big businesses. Oh and you don't spend the entire game in the middle east so you're not always up against a "middle eastern bloc army."
  • by Tibor the Hun (143056) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @06:41PM (#21355949)
    Anyone looking for depth in multiplayer combat should check out the fantastic Enemy Territory: Quake Wars.
    Tons of options, development, and best of all no persistent unlockables.
    Smart teamplay is the name of the game there.

    Yes, it is arcady, and not a strategic shooter a-la Rainbow Six, but who wants to sneak around on silent footsteps for half an hour, just to be finished off by one bullet...
    It is not a standard deathmatch, or capture the flag. It has many elements and different play modes, asymmetric but balanced teams, vehicles, deployables and absolutely beautiful maps.
    It is not a clone of COD, BF, but a successor to Wolfenstein Enemy Territory, which was released for free by the same team that developed Quake Wars, set in the Quake universe, during the Strogg invasion of Earth (Pre- Quake II).

    Check it out...Link. [enemyterritory.com]
    And to boot, it has a free demo map you can download and get a taste of the action. But noobies beware, this can be an overwhelming game at first, and can take months to master even a single class on one side.
    • How could I forget the most important part? It runs on Linux!!! (I guess it was the fanboy frenzy.)

      It actually seems that half the playerbase runs it on Linux, as well as half the servers are Linux servers too.


    • Yes, Quake Wars does look good and I liked the demo. I'm kinda bummed that so many good multi-player FPSes came out all at once. I can only handle one at a time and out of this crop, I think it will be COD4 that I keep on playing.

      When I try to play more than one, I never get competitively good at any of them, but if I stick with one I can do pretty well. Had these games been staggered six months to a year apart, I probably would have bought all of them (QW:ET, TF2, Crysis, UT3 (soon), and maybe even SOF
      • One thing that I like about quake wars is that it's an enemy territory kind of a game. I used to play team fortress, which was just a capture the flag, with maps being pretty much mirror images of an area. Then I tried half-life 2 deathmatch, but it didn't keep me as entertained as wolf: ET, which I've ended up playing for close to 7 years. I expect QW:ET will have the same long life, allowing me to enjoy it for a long long time.
        And like you said, all those games cost an arm and a leg, and with a wife and 2
  • by Anach (819405)
    One of the things that killed the replay value for me, is the NPC spawns are endless. No matter how many you kill, they will keep popping until you pass certain areas of the map. This unnatural prompt to move forward, coupled with the lack of being able to fire effectively from behind cover is what turns this into an arcade shooter more than a real world combat shooter.
    • In the first Call of Duty, that didn't happen. So you could pick many different strategies to clean out an area. Starting with the first expansion pack, you started to get these endless waves of orc-like enemies that you could shoot until you ran out of ammo. Really damaged the immersion factor a lot. I hope someone figures that out for the next game in the series.
    • One of the things that killed the replay value for me, is the NPC spawns are endless. No matter how many you kill, they will keep popping until you pass certain areas of the map. This unnatural prompt to move forward, coupled with the lack of being able to fire effectively from behind cover is what turns this into an arcade shooter more than a real world combat shooter.

      Oddly (or sadly) enough... one of the original design tenets of CoD (version 1) was that endless NPC spawns were a bad game decision. So
    • by llevity (776014)
      I actually disagree. It turns certain sections of the game from a "hide behind cover and take out everyone you can see" sort of gameplay to a "take out the biggest threats, pop a flashbang/smoke grenade and run for your objective" sort of gameplay.

      It doesn't use the infinite spawn thing everywhere, either. Usually just where there's heavy, heavy fighting. It simulates the fact that you're outnumbered, and standing your ground and killing everyone won't win the war. You have to complete the mission in sp
  • Other reviews by world leaders who have reportedly played this game:

    Vladimir Putin --> http://youtube.com/watch?v=Ddg7reIOjL0 [youtube.com]

    Kim Jong Ill --> http://youtube.com/watch?v=Nu8fG0aASTM [youtube.com]

    Qaddafi --> http://youtube.com/watch?v=O7mYJRSilvU [youtube.com]

    Castro --> http://youtube.com/watch?v=7aFqZ3AenQ0 [youtube.com]

    Some of these were quite good. ;)
  • The game can be summarized as a "carnival shooter". Unlike a lot of FPSs, for the most part, enemies appear in windows and you shoot them like in carnival games. Like carnival games, the enemies keep reappearing. After the 5th time I head shot the same guy, I realized that the game will give you terrorists "as needed". Which is fine, except they spawn with grenades and RPGs, which kill you in one shot. About three times so far, I've been killed by a dead enemy respawning six inches behind me and shooting me
    • I would have given it a solid 4/5 if it wasn't for the endless spawning. I got killed so many times trying to run away from that stupid farm..
  • Zonk always rags on about "genre" in his reviews, and it sets my teeth on edge. Mention the type of game if you must, but don't use it as a metric for how good the game is. Zonk often writes something like "This is a good example of the genre, and the great game, 4/5" but this is redundant information. Would you ever see "This is an awful example of the genre, but a great game anyway"? Of course not!

    The old "you'll like it if you like this kind of thing" is a hoary old gaming review cliche, right up there w
    • by pimpimpim (811140)
      I don't agree completely. I'm not much of a hardcore gamer, didn't play an FPS since Heretic. But since someone showed me the UT demo on Linux I started to like it a lot. It's not a dumb FPS, the variation in game play is good enough to make it an interesting game for a long time. I can imagine that there are a lot of FPS games out there that are interesting for the 'hardcore' FPS people but not for me.

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