REVIEW: Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

By Shaun Hatton - November 22nd, 2007

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Published by Activision for Xbox360. Also available on PS3, PC, and Nintendo DS.

2007_11_22_callofduty4score.gifThe Call of Duty series has been a long-standing favourite of FPS gamers, and it’s no surprise why. It has consistently delivered realistic, high-quality action. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare puts players in control of a U.S. Marine and a British S.A.S. Soldier in alternating, high-intensity, action-packed stages in single player mode. The game also has a robust and fun multiplayer match setting that is a lot more enjoyable than Halo 3‘s multiplayer campaign.

Modern Warfare is one of the most realistic war games available, particularly on the Hardened difficulty setting. The graphics and general atmosphere of the game are so incredible that it gives the player some level of appreciation for what real-life soldiers go through daily. In fact, some of the missions, such as “Death From Above,” where you provide air support for ground troops by controlling the guns of a Spectre AC-130 gunship, are realistic to the point of being unsettling. The entire stage plays out in black & white, as seen on many news reports showing footage as taken from air units during air strikes. Shooting at enemies and watching their lifeless bodies fall down or get tossed around by larger blasts is downright disturbing – but a necessary evil.

The entire single-player experience is squad-based action. As a soldier within the squad, players must keep an ear out for what their Commanding Officer has to say regarding the mission objectives. Oftentimes, disobeying a direct order results in severe consequences for the entire squad. Stealth plays a big part in the game, as the squad is small compared to how many enemies are lurking around. Players can carry two weapons at a time, typically starting with a long-range rifle and a somewhat useless pistol. Getting close enough to an enemy to strike a melee kill is rewarding but very difficult.

There are tonnes of different weapons at your disposal in COD4, and some cool elements that add to the franticness of the action. Players feeling daring enough can choose to toss back enemy grenades before they explode. There’s a side quest of obtaining enemy intelligence (finding laptops and securing them) that opens up cheats later in the game. And the constant chatter between squad members makes it all a very enthralling experience. A great plus COD4 has over other squad-based games is that the members of your team are not stupid. They’ll actually cut down enemies and save your ass from time to time.

As previously touched upon, the game follows what is initially two separate plots. The British side of the campaign involves taking on Russian soldiers who’ve staged a coup to gain possession of Russia’s nuclear weapons, whereas the American campaign takes place in the Middle East and has the player chasing down the armed forces of military leader Al-Asad. Instead of the standard loading screen between stages, Infinity Ward has cleverly used slick mission briefing visuals and voiceovers as preparation for the next stage.

Overall, there isn’t much to be said against Modern Warfare. It’s simply an outstanding title that deserves a place in any FPS fan’s library.

Score Breakdown:

Graphics: 10
Sound: 10
Control: 9
Fun: 10
Replay Value: 9

OVERALL SCORE: 9/10

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+ four = 5