Saturday, November 10, 2007

Early Review of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

What I did not want to hear when I know Call Of Duty 4 would be of modern times: squad based gameplay, just like another Ghost Recon games promoting another bravado saturated gameplay. I do not want to replay every game about modern war shooter that tries to combine planning, ordering, military tactics and brotherhood.

Here is what I wanted bad enough: Call of Duty with the terrorists instead of Nazis, nuclear weapons instead of V2 rockets, each named after an angry communist not Adolf Hitler and yeah that's what we got.

In Call of Duty 4 it is like any other Call of Duty game, but in a radically different setting, and with an ounce of smart dust sprinkled on top. Why mess with a winning formula, right? Originality, you say? Well, it was a rhetorical question ...

In fact, it is a little unfair Call of Duty 4 is growing strongly in the series. The landscape is in the Middle East and Russia, while remaining linear, feel much more open than the ruins of France towns and each mission contains at least one piece of mild surprise and pleasure (that is, for most scripted events that make you want to push Swivel out of the office and screaming, "Wow, that was kind of cool, I loved it").

Take one of the first missions, for example, in which you get to use your night vision in a house occupied by Russians who can not afford candles.

Having reduced the power before you enter the building and turn on your glasses to find enemies literally fumbling about in the dark. Upstairs a panic-stricken man cowers and whimpers in a corner of pitch black, firing at random in the dark as you enter the room.

Wow...I really having fun!

It's as if the folks at Infinity Ward has created a series of regular missions to Call of Duty, then went home and thought of every five things that would make these missions memorable, or at least significant. Then they all sat in a meeting room and put these ideas in the game, while smiling.

But what about all this in between storytelling and narrative? What about projecting pieces where you subjectively trouble directing people? Well, they are always there too, and they play very well as they have done in the past, games Call of Duty. It is based on Call of Duty 2 in that the cue related to the combat progress is less obvious than ever, meaning offensive grows more fluid and are led by player.

You will not be sitting around waiting for your commander to give the order to move forward, but instead to choose and choose your cover, you simply have some sort of freedom.

In Call of Duty 4, it does not feel as simple either. Even if the world around you is carefully designed and seemingly devoid of sharp edges, you rarely feel compelled to take refuge at specific points. The enemy is fairly flexible, but there is no massive renovations in the AI department.

They cover, they run from grenades, they shout things in their own gibberish language, sometimes they chuck grenades when you return to you, but they are about the as clever those Nazis we killed before.

I grossly simplified the story so far, which is inappropriate because it is part of the game that Infinity Ward tried to improve.

This is not so much a moronic "terrorists obtained the bomb" story (although terrorists have "had the bomb '), but rather a story of a Russian villain provision of a country in the Middle East with nuclear weapons to stage a coup and keep the Americansoccupied while Ruskies having some fun in the USSR.

There is not a single instance where being seen by the enemy, you have to start over (not a problem in the sense that we are used to, anyway), which makes it instantly SAS missions ruddy brilliant.

Very shortly after that moment of brilliance, the game hits a brick wall of mediocrity and you are then trudging unenthusiastically through the final hours of the game.

A mixture of poor control placement, difficulty spikes bizarre, lazy design and lousy enemy spawn points sucking the fun out of the gameplay.

Such a drop in quality can bet attributed to the constraints of time, but it is certainly there. If I had a virtual highlighter pen I could draw a fraction of the game that is simply, inexcusably garbage. And then, magically, it surprises us with a superb jending in typical fade to black at the closing of Call of Duty.

So Call of Duty 4 remain a superb game, a stylish of departure for the series.

We have essentially been given everything that we asked of Infinity Ward-Call of Duty with better graphics, better songs, a story, characters and ending.

Right at the credit's end there is a surprise for those who have patience to wait.

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