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Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Review

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Developer: Infinity Ward Publisher: Activision
Release Date: November 6, 2007 Also On: PC, PS3 and Xbox 360

I was not the first person jumping out of his chair when Call of Duty
4: Modern Warfare was announced. I played and loved both Xbox 360 Call
of Duty titles, but for whatever reason I never really followed it
until the beta came out. I was definitely excited to see Infinity
Ward’s return to the reins, and it seemed then that it was Infinity
Ward after all who was needed to bring Call of Duty to its highest
level of greatness. It is hard not to call Call of Duty 4: Modern
Warfare one of the best first-person shooters of our time, with its
campaign’s most epic, intense battles and its Halo 3-smashing online
multiplayer modes.

I liked Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare’s campaign more than Halo 3’s.
I felt that it was more intense, and each mission and situation felt
more rewarding if I could survive without dying or failing my
objective. The missions take place throughout three different Acts,
and there are a lot of things to do in each Act. From start to finish
you’ll run through a Marine obstacle course, man the guns of a
helicopter, bombard and destroy groups of enemies with an AC-130 gun,
call in air strikes, sneak through enemy encampments, and more. There
is just so much stuff going on throughout the course of this game—none
of these actions I just mentioned were placed into context, and it is
the situations that you are put in as you go through the game that are
so crazy. I was blown away by some of the missions—the “All Ghillied
Up” mission involves a ton of sneaking, and even though you can run
through most of its situations, there are some that you just want to
experience without alerting the enemy—outsmarting the bad guy is
always a lot of fun, and in Call of Duty 4, it is something you can
very often do.

The game plays like a charm, and very much like the last two Call of
Duty games. I felt like Call of Duty 4 moved a little faster than the
others, and I thought that the modern-day guns made the fights a lot
different. A lot of guns can perforate thin walls, so there are a lot
of situations where you don’t have to wait as long to pop-and-shoot at
enemies; oftentimes you can just shoot an enemy through the object
he’s standing behind. This doesn’t necessarily make the game easy—the
A.I. is very good, and will pursue you diligently. There are a lot of
encounters with tanks and helicopters, although you’ll get to destroy
a lot more of them in this game than you did in previous games. You
don’t get to drive anything, but Call of Duty 4 maintains its on-foot
perfection and feels just as good to play as Halo 3.
There are plenty of things for you to do in the game as well. The
campaign isn’t the longest ever, but casual gamers will probably want
to play it on its default difficulty before moving up to Hardened.
Veteran is as difficult, if not more difficult than Halo’s
Legendary—earning the Achievements for beating missions on Veteran
difficulty is a challenge, and so are some of the other ones.

Online multiplayer is another one of those things for you to do, and
quite frankly, it’s the multiplayer that should have you going out and
buying Call of Duty 4. After playing both the Halo 3 and Call of Duty
4 multiplayer betas, I claimed that the latter was the best online
game. I didn’t think my opinion would change, and it didn’t. Call of
Duty 4’s online multiplayer is made so great by its different classes.
You can earn experience points and rank up, earn levels, and unlock
weapon attachments as well as more classes. There are also
customizable slots called “Perks” that let you change how you play the
game quite a lot. You can equip a Perk that increases your health, one
that lengthens your running stamina, and one that lets you shoot at
enemies after falling to the ground. There are others as well, and
changing these different options is what makes the experience
different for everyone. Since you can switch between classes at every
single respawn, the game can become quite hectic but also very
strategic. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is a game whose online
experience should go down with the same prestige as Halo 3’s and

All of the little details are what make Call of Duty 4 look so damn
good. As you sneak through buildings, taking out enemies with quick
bursts of fire while looking down the sights of your MP5, you’ll
notice a lot of blurring that is incredibly realistic—your soldier’s
eyes focus just like yours do, and this makes for a pretty impressive
effect. The explosions are unrivaled in gaming, with some of the best
particle and smoke effects to date. Everything in the game looks
wonderfully real. Whether it’s the tattered and war-torn, shabby
streets ravaged early in the campaign or the hilly Russian countryside
later on, the environment will absorb gamers into each and every
firefight. Next to Halo this effect has never been pulled off as well.

If Call of Duty 4’s intense situations and incredibly beautiful
graphics don’t pull you into the game, the sound effects probably
will, particularly if you are supporting a 5.1 surround-sound setup.
Although I myself don’t have this sort of setup, I spent quite a lot
of time playing the game with people who had it—it changed the game;
it made finding enemies a different process, it made hearing the
bouncing of grenades absolutely terrifying, and the firing of any
single gun sound like the man-killing thing that it is. The battle
cries and shouts of your squad mates are a lot more realistic this
time around, and although Activision took the high road and avoided
the use of overly-profane language, they certainly did a good job
capturing the stress of the battlefield in the dialogue.

Call of Duty 4 doesn’t have a lot of flaws, to be honest. Rather than
flaws, it seems to have qualities that just don’t dominate other
games. The graphics are absolutely wonderful with all of the small
touches, but overall the game doesn’t look a whole lot better than the
best-looking Xbox 360 games. This is a silly statement, really, but I
am just saying that Call of Duty 4 is so good that it takes
comparisons to the best of the best to really distinguish the
explanation for an imperfect score.

Overall, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare joins the ranks of Halo 3,
BioShock, The Orange Box, Super Mario Galaxy, Mass Effect, Metroid
Prime 3: Corruption, and Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction
as one of the best games of the year, one of the games in a group of
titles that truly separate themselves from the competition and have
proven that they are worthy of purchase by anyone with even the
slightest trace of interest or connection to the subject matter. Call
of Duty 4: Modern Warfare will have stiff competition going up for
Game of the Year awards, but it surely is one of the best games for
anyone sporting an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 to own.

Graphics: 9.5
Sound: 10
Gameplay: 10
Creativity: 9
Replay Value/Game Length: 10
Final: 9.6
Written by Cliff Review Guide