|System: X360, PS3, PC, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Infinity Ward||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: Up to 16||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Pete Richards
September 28, 2007 - Fans of the series can look forward to something pretty new to the Call of Duty franchise with the upcoming Modern Warfare. The game is actually going to take place in a modern-day setting, hence the title, as opposed to the World War II theme Infinity Ward worked so hard to re-create. This may make fans of the series nervous, but fret not. This is still a Call of Duty title, but with astoundingly improved graphics and modern day warfare technology.
But it's the game's highly detailed and unique multiplayer experience that appears to be most intriguing about Modern Warfare. Infinity Ward have worked hard to make the COD 4 online multiplayer modes different from other warfare games alike. The objective of the development team was to actually create two games in one, focusing on perfecting the multiplayer experience just as much as the single player game.
Something never before seen in a Call of Duty game will be a class system of soldiers you will be able to select from and play as. Each class comes with their three individual perks, a different primary and secondary weapon as well as a special grenade. But what's different about the COD4 class system is that Infinity Ward have come up with some pretty cool ideas for the different types of soldiers as opposed to the typical health soldier, sniper or engineer we see in other war games. Last Stand, for example, is a soldier who, once he is shot enough times that he would normally be dead, has the capability to lie on the ground and pull out his pistol to take more casualties with him before he croaks. Of course this soldier is not invincible, but Last Stand gives you the opportunity to empty out a full clip before you go. Or you can even take your own life with the pistol if you choose. Another class is known as Dead Silence, a soldier who has the capability of walking with incredible stealth. Another is called GPS Jammer, who has the capability of staying off of the enemy's radar. Other classes in Modern Warfare will include Assault, Heavy Gunner, Spec Ops, and Demo. When you first start playing Modern Warfare, only Assault and Special Ops soldiers are available, but more classes are unlocked fairly quickly as you play on.
What makes the online experience with COD4 really interesting is the fact that players will be able to create their own soldier classes once they have unlocked the ability to do so. You will choose the three perks, primary and secondary weapons, grenade, create the uniform, and name your class. Then, you take your crew online. Online, you will be able to play in a variety of modes including the typical Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, and Search and Destroy. Infinity says they have been working on some new game modes which will also be made available for online play, but haven't gone into detail about them yet.
Something else Infinity Ward has done is offering special bonuses while playing multiplayer. For example, if you kill several opponents without dying you will gain access to certain things such as your radar or the capability to call certain tasks such as an air strike. Keep the killing spree going and you will be able to call in a helicopter to open fire on the enemy. The developers have added literally hundreds of challenges that will allow you to earn such bonuses.
As for the single player mode, plot details thus far are vague. Modern Warfare will take place somewhere in the Middle East where a group of men known as the Four Horsemen threaten the world with terror. In a mission to stop these evil men, the player takes on the lives of several different soldiers and sees the war through their eyes. The player will become members of both the British SAS and US Marines, and as you play on, the viewpoints will switch around frequently. For example, at one point during the storyline, you play a soldier who is shot in the face then move on to take on the role of another soldier. It's said the plot unfolds something like a television miniseries.
Since working on COD 2, Infinity Ward spent time not only on the gameplay experience in COD 4, but have focused greatly on detailing environments and characters. Graphically, it is anticipated to compete with titles like Epic's Gears of War or Ubi's Rainbow Six. Perhaps bringing Call of Duty into the modern world is Activision's plan to compete with the success of such games, and a trailer released in April looks extremely promising.
The in-game environment is frantic, with a simulation of a real-life war moving at 60 frames per second. Lighting effects and the sunrise to sunset transition looks amazing. The characters are more detailed and realistic than any COD game in the past, from their textured flesh and self-shadowing capabilities. You can see the particles that are left in the air after you fire off a weapon and tall grass sways naturally in the wind.
And since COD 4 takes place during modern day, along with it comes modern technology to the COD world. Soldiers will have the capability of night vision that allows the player to see the beams of UV laser light coming from enemies' scopes. Also, all soldiers in COD4 wear tape on their helmets that isn't very noticeably during daylight, but is highly visible while wearing night vision goggles. The javelin is a weapon of note. The hefty missile launcher allows soldiers to take out large objects as you lock onto a target, including blowing the top off of an enemy's tank.
Only time will tell if the switch from World War II theme to modern day warfare is a bright move for the Call of Duty franchise. For fans of the series who don't like the idea, this may only be a one-time thing, and then switch back to WWII warfare in COD 5. Who knows? All we know is COD 4 looks pretty promising and will have no trouble competing with other shooter war games alike.
CCC Freelance Writer