Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

call of duty
The new king of first-person shooters has arrived.

If this were an amusement park ride, it would be called the “Michael Bay Experience”. And what a ride it would be.

Played on the Xbox 360

Have you ever wanted to be a part of the Michael Bay virtual experience? Want shit blown up in your face and bullets whizzing by you, all the while shooting through armies getting your adrenaline going? Want tense moments by escaping a sinking cargo ship or laying in the grass waiting for tanks and a platoon to walk pass you? Then this is the game for you! Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (COD 4) will keep your butthole clenched in tense moments and experience what its like to be in an action-packed Hollywood film!

The first Call of Duty brought an intense, cinematic atmosphere to PC gamers. However after its initial success, WWII games soon over-saturated the market and gamers started wanting something new. After the first two successes, Infinity Ward (COD‘s original developers) planned on releasing a shooter on modern times, but the “bigs” at Activision decided to bring another developer in, Treyarch, to create another WWII Call of Duty game of their own before Infinity Ward had a say in the matter. Of course, this did not bode well with the people at Infinity Wardleaving the next Call of Duty game secret to Activision and the world. On November 5, 2007, Infinity Ward’s unveiling of COD 4 changed the world of first-person-shooters and the franchise itself.

modern warfare
Looks like a scene straight from Black Hawk Down.

Game’s treaded on the idea of modern warfare before, but Infinity Ward did it in a way Michael Bay would have pleasured himself to. COD 4 – I believed – popularized modern warfare shooters causing other FPS to keep up with the new king of shooters. Even if the game felt more “arcadey” than realistic, the excitement it presented left me in awe.

“F.N.G.” – the game’s first level –  introduced me to John ‘Soap’ McTavish, the new recruit for the SAS. The level ran a tutorial on basic controls and an unlimited practice run of a terrorist scenario on a boat. After a practice run or two, the first mission assigned the team to sneak aboard a cargo ship to intercept valuable cargo. Stormy weather rocked the ship back and forth, leaving me adjusting to the constant movement (not good for those with motion sickness) of the ship. Rain pelted the decks and the waves crashed into the sides of the ship as the boat’s light glistened off the floors and the guns.

Stealth was a key part in the beginning, as I was equipped with a silenced MP5 looking to take out unsuspecting enemies. As I ran onto the other side of the ship, we were ambushed and called in the helicopter for help. It was overkill as you watch the helicopter’s Gatling gun tears through the terrorist crew from one side of the bridge to the other. Once I headed deeper into the ship, more enemies stood in your way; stealth was thrown out for a full-on gunfight. Once I reached the objective, news of two fast incoming bogeys changed plans. Escaping topside is my new priority, but a couple of missiles hit the ship bringing water into the hull. Escaping became dangerous as the catwalk broke apart as I stumbled around. Running through the hallways became distorted as the ship tilted to one side; pipes cracked and fell apart flooding the hallways. Once I finally got topside, jumping became the only option to escape with the EVAC chopper.

I’m the fucking new guy.

“F.N.G.” set the tone of what you expect for the rest of the way. Quiet moments start you off and then it goes 0 – 9000 instantly. The pace kept the excitement gauge up, while experiencing some of video games greatest moments. “All Ghilled Up” is another exemplary level where players had to sneak, within inches, past a platoon with a couple of tanks in the tall grass of Chernobyl. The game offered quite a few moments like these, and in turn showed why COD 4 is regarded one of the best FPS of this generation.

cod gameplay
Shots fired in the neighborhood.

COD 4 had one of the best visuals of its generation, as it beautifully displayed the chaos and destruction. The details on each level, characters, and the guns left me in awe. Each level brought an intense atmosphere and showed a lot of work went into each detail. From the first level to the last, the developers made sure gamers were always immersed into the world of modern warfare. To match the visuals, the sound department also did a great job of upping the realism. Each gun sounded crisp, bullets whistled by, and explosions rocked the bass. Sound effects intensified each moment, keeping you immersed into the atmosphere. Great voice actors also helped deliver some great lines, while moving the story along.

COD 4 left plenty to love, but it also came with a few hiccups. The storyline could have been written better as the game set me up playing as several characters; leading me to forget the majority of the characters. The length of the single-player campaign allowed the casual gamer finish the game in about 5-6 hours on Normal mode. In harder modes, the game offered longer play, but became frustrating at a point, since the enemies had 100% accuracy and I saw red on screen except in-between the cut-scenes. The sound could have more dialogue where the voice actors didn’t need to whisper or yell most of the their lines. Another drawback the franchise brought to future games were the scripted and quick-timed events. Some moments left you amazed and others felt unnecessary, disrupting the flow of the game.

cod multiplayer
Game-changing multiplayer.

Now, I wish I could talk about the multiplayer…but I can’t. The reason? I got this game after Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 came out. From other reviewers, the game revolutionized multiplayer with ideas such as killstreaks and the points system. Huge amount of praise came from reviewers and gamers letting COD take the multiplayer reigns from juggernauts Halo and Battlefield. Simplicity helped keep the online competition at its best and did not over-complicate the multiplayer aspect leading to fewer unbalanced issues.

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare changed the FPS landscape with its ridiculous moments and innovative multiplayer. Many games are trying to keep up with the success of the franchise to this day. Unfortunately, just like the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater franchise; the franchise has changed over the years, some for the better and some for worse, but many can’t deny the experience of what it originally brought.

My Rating: 4.5/5
Metacritic: 94/100


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