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Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Review

Ok so here we go with Activisions' 8th instalment of the Call of Duty franchise, this time with the best people for the job back at the helm in the form of Infinity Ward. I state 8th instalment as it literally is the 8th game to appear from the Call of Duty (or from now on in CoD) franchise womb.

Firstly we had CoD from IW then the expansion pack United Offensive (thanks to Grey Matter Interactive) and console spin off Finest Hour. IW hit a home run again with CoD 2 and again console spin off, this time developed by Treyarch, CoD2 Big Red One. Then came the obligatory black sheep, the outcast offspring, the hideous deformed abomination that was CoD3 developed again by Treyarch and was only available to the ghastly console peasants. Then there is CoD: Roads to Victory, developed by Amaze Entertainment and was released only for the PSP in march of 2007.

Now to the present with the gleaming beacon of joy from IW again in the form of CoD4: Modern Warfare and as you can guess from the game title that this is no longer a goose step slapping jaunt across the frozen wastes of Bastogne, no no, IW has brought the franchise into the era of today's Middle Eastern conflicts and the threat of terrorists with nuclear weapons.

To kick things off for us the first mission is regarded as a training mission, and as you would have noticed if you fired up the game before reading this review is that you are unable to select what difficulty you wish to play the game through on. This training mission actually judges your performance and selects a difficulty based on the time you complete the "exercise". But if you wish you may select your own difficulty level after the short mission if you don't feel up to the suggestion.

Now you start off the game as "Soap" MacTavish, the latest member of 22nd SAS Regiment flying to a container ship somewhere in the Bering Sea, with Estonian registration number 52775, after the confirmation of a nuclear device. Not everything goes to plan though as your group barely escape to safety with just a cargo manifest as evidence of ties between Russian nationalists and terrorists in the Middle East.

This pretty much sets the tone of the game, with jaw dropping visuals and exciting game play, making you feel more immersed in the experience and falling into the deadly trap of the "just one more map" mindset which can leave you at your PC playing for hours on end and you only realize that you haven't had anything to eat as its 6am with your alarm clock blazing away and the sun beginning to rise outside. Soap isn't the only character that you gain control of during the playtime of this outstanding title, USMC 1st Force Recon Sergeant Paul Jackson and also a section controlling Captain Price back in the days when he was just a "Leftenant" accompanied by Captain MacMillan are also key roles which you switch between during the course of the game.

Infinity Ward have managed to combine a story line that would have taken more than 1 bar napkin to write on and combine it with an adrenaline packed FPS without having to gimp one area or the other. It is truly remarkable, especially the gem of a level where you gain control of the weapons onboard an AC-130 Gunship, if you don't know what one of these are, may I forward you to the tool of the Google so you may search for such a beast, circling and covering the escape of Captain Price, blasting the enemy with massive cannons all viewed through the grainy TV sights that are installed in the aircraft. Now I assume you've all seen footage from the Gulf war or more recent the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, where we see missiles with TV sights flying into buildings etc. Well it's that sort of TV sight footage that makes this level so good; it's another step into immersing yourself into the game, making you feel for the characters.

To increase the single player game appeal there is also an arcade mode build into the game which is available at some point during the main campaign. This allows you to attempt each mission or the whole game at once to achieve a high score. But nothing much more than that and I suspect this mode was aimed at those dirty console peasants.

But this game is not without it's faults, for example the friendly AI can be a pain in the arse by waiting for you to do something first before they act, or they simply get in the way acting out scripted sequences whilst you just want to get past and blow away the bad guys. Also the enemy AI at higher difficulty levels can seem utterly relentless in their onslaught whilst also having the combined accuracy of 40 trained SAS snipers and the eyesight of superman on steroids.

Another flaw is that of the regenerating health. Now my personal preference is that if I get hit, I lose health or I die, I also wish to see a health bar showing what I have remaining. What I don't like is this idea of "ow I got hit, I must hide behind this conveniently placed wall so I may regenerate back to my optimum level before I step out again". It's really annoying and removes some aspect of the realism of the game, now if in real life we had regenerating health then the outcome of world war 2 may have been somewhat altered and I may have obtained my copy of CoD4 by goose stepping down to the local Das Tesco, or by driving into town after I filled my car up at the local Schnell garage.

Right maybe it's time to sort out the multiplayer section of this game, to begin with may i point out a word of warning. While playing multiplayer you will gain XP to gain higher ranks to be able to unlock weaponry and perks, this information is stored locally so please make backups incase you may have to format your PC otherwise you will lose your XP and rankings.

Now to begin with we have the multiplayer modes, Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Search & Destroy, Headquarters, Sabotage, and finally Domination. Now DM TDM and S&D should be familiar modes from the CoD series so I shall briefly cover the new modes.

Headquarters is a capture and hold objective based scenario with a random point, or headquarters, will spawn for either team to capture. After capture that team gain points over time so the longer they hold the area the more points they acquire while the opposition seek to destroy the H.Q. so they may stem that flow of points then try to capture the new point that spawns. If, however, the opposition fail to destroy the H.Q., it will destroy itself after so long so that they still have a chance to capture and gain points for their team.

Sabotage is a mix of S&D with some TDM, now there are 2 bomb points, 1 at each side of the map for the 2 corresponding teams, so 1 bomb point for 1 team, the other point for the opposition team. Now the aim is to defend their own point whilst trying to obtain the only bomb in the map, usually spawned in the centre, and blow up their oppositions point.

Domination is a variation of a capture and hold scenario. There is 3 flag points within the map and the aim is for 1 team to hold the majority, if not all points, to gain an overall total therefore winning the map. Along side these standard modes you may customize them further but if I waffled on any longer about the game then there would be nothing for you to discover.

Then we have the issue about classes and rankings, now each kill in the game gives you XP, along with completing map objectives and such. This XP accumulates up to allow you access to higher ranks in the game therefore unlocking more weaponry and perks. There are 5 default classes to choose from each with different weapon setups and perks with some more slots for you to create custom classes with weapons you prefer.

The aforementioned perks are pretty much like marmite, some people love the system while some others do not. These perks customize your character with abilities to give yourself an advantage on the battlefield, now I won't go into too much detail but the perks range from simply letting you sprint farther to allowing you to carry a primary weapon instead of a secondary sidearm, for example equipping yourself with a M4 rifle while having a MP5 as backup instead of a USP or .45.

So overall the experience of Call of Duty 4 is one of thorough excitement and delight and should be an essential title for PC gaming enthusiasts.......Oh and I suppose those dirty console peasants too.

9.00/10 9

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (Reviewed on Windows)

Excellent. Look out for this one.

Ok so here we go with Activisions' 8th instalment of the Call of Duty franchise, this time with the best people for the job back at the helm in the form of Infinity Ward. I state 8th instalment as it literally is the 8th game to appear from the Call of Duty (or from now on in CoD) franchise womb.

This game was supplied by the publisher or relevant PR company for the purposes of review
Neil 'Wedge' Hetherington

Neil 'Wedge' Hetherington

Staff Writer

A purveyor of strange alcoholic mixes and a penchant for blowing shit up in games. Proud member of the glorious PC master race.

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