|System: DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: n-Space||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Activision||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Nov. 5, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: TEEN||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
The Nintendo DS does not strike me as a console built for first person shooters, so when I popped this bad boy in I had no clue what to expect. How would I shoot and aim; at least walking around was obvious. The good news is the controls are not bad enough to make this game unplayable; they are just awkward, like the kids standing around the punch table at all the school dances. You aim with the stylus, which works well enough, but your hand can get in the way of your precise shooting.
With that out of the way, it all falls on the how you pull the trigger; you can use either shoulder button, but the way you have to position your hand to fire feels uncomfortable. I had to take breaks every half hour or so because I got cramps dealing with it. Another poor feature is you zoom by double tapping the touch screen; there were too many times I would lift the pen and put it back down to get ready, only to find my soldier zoomed in. As you can believe, this did not serve me well in close quarter combat. Verdict: bad, but not bad enough to distract the player from the rest of the package.
In the graphics department, this little guy packs quite the punch. The levels are sprawling and expansive. Most areas will provide a fresh look and experience for the player. There is a lack of variety in the ways the enemies look, but that is a problem in most shooters no matter what platform they are on. The graphics really impress with the flying and driving stages where you zoom across the landscape. Terrorist jeeps will chase after you, and rockets will stream towards you; a ton goes on during these sequences. One minor flaw is on certain levels it can be hard to see in dark areas.
The sound, to its credit, is the best part of the game. A game can be as intense as it wants, but if it does not sound real then it will all be quite anti climactic. Lucky for us the guns are dead on, and the background noise in the stages helps seal the deal. Teammates chatter, terrorist yell, and bombs are dropped overhead. It does the little as well as the big things right. Cutscenes are all narrated, and help set up the slim story more effectively.
Is COD 4 for the DS worth the time? Yes. Will it be the greatest FPS you will ever play? Probably not, but then again this is a DS title. What it will deliver is a campaign long enough to keep players busy, and more importantly, interested throughout. Plus if you like the controls, there is a multiplayer mode for up to four players with games like free for all and capture the flag, and enough map options to not feel too stale too fast. Sure the controls were clunky, but to heck with it, get out there and kick some terrorist butt.
CCC Freelance Writer