|System: X360, PS3, PC||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: 1-16||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
The sound effects in Call of Duty 4 are stellar. The voice acting from the various soldiers and enemies are all realistically portrayed, with teammates working in unison to yell out enemy locations and possible dangers. While in some games it is easy (and almost necessary) to ignore the background chatter of your allies, it would be in your best interests to listen to your comrades in CoD4. The only problem is that they are a little heavy on the military speak, which is understandable considering the game's setting, but the jargon can get a little thick for those that are uninitiated.
There are also times that, when you aren't doing what is expected of you or you find yourself stuck, your allies will loop or repeat themselves. It isn't a really noticeable thing in other games, but CoD4 is so immersive otherwise that any minor flaw seems to stick out. The weapon's fire and other sound effects all seem nearly flawless, with reports having the appropriate level of volume depending on distance. The visual and sound effects for stun grenades are so well done that they nearly dizzies the player.
Overall, the single player campaign is an intense, incredible experience, but it is short. To enhance the game's replay, Infinity Ward has included hidden Intel pieces in the game that, when found, unlock in-game single player cheats such as the ability to slow down the game temporarily, turn the game's colors black and white, or get infinite ammo. After finishing the game, the player also has access to an arcade mode, in which you try to get through the game or a single level with a limited amount of lives for the chance to get the high score. Finally, and most anticipated, Call of Duty 4 comes with innovative and incredibly fun multiplayer.
The multiplayer game in Call of Duty 4 is different from the average fragfest that most shooters have online. Instead of merely competing for most kills in a game, CoD actually awards you experience points based on your ranking and performance in the various matches. With enough XP, your character "levels up", getting a promotion to a new rank, which brings different benefits. One of the first noticeable benefits is the ability to create a custom class, which means that you can choose your starting weapon, sidearm, and your perks, which are abilities in the game. Perks include talents such as Juggernaut, which gives increased health, Steady Aim, which increases hip-fire accuracy, and Eavesdrop, which lets you listen in on enemies' voice chat conversations. Higher levels give better perks, such as Last Stand, where a critically injured player falls to the ground and pulls out his pistol in attempt to get some kills in his final seconds of life. In addition to classes, you earn access to new weapons and challenges for those weapons open up attachments and alterations like scopes, camouflage, and silencers. In effect, the higher your rank, the more rewards you have access to, which gives an incentive to keep playing, although the multiplayer is fun enough even without the promotion system.
The multiplayer consists of sixteen different maps with modes that include the traditional deathmatch, team deathmatch, and free-for-all. Other game modes include Domination, in which players fight to secure objective points, Sabotage, in which players must plant bombs by an enemy objective, and Search and Destroy, in which one team defends an objective while the other team attacks. The multiplayer is set up for fast, frenzied gameplay, with wide open maps that have multiple methods of ingress for most areas. There aren't a lot of places in any of the maps that are conducive to camping, which forces most players to stay on the run to survive. Also, whenever you are killed, you are shown your death from the enemy's point of view. This is a cool feature, which lets you know who killed you and how, but it also reveals hiding spots and other player's strategies. The savvy player will watch the killcam replay and seek out their killer's hiding spot, which is a point of controversy, although the killcam can be turned off in private matches. Ultimately, the best strategy in multiplayer is to keep moving at all times and keep a pair of eyes in the back of your head.
Overall, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is an intense gaming experience from start to finish. The story is conveyed much better than the average FPS, the gameplay is varied enough to stay fresh, the graphics and sound both deliver, and the multiplayer is addictive. If Call of Duty 4 can attract enough fanboys away from Halo 3 to experience it, we may have a new contender for FPS of the year. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare proves that you don't have to have Spartan superwarriors, wrenches, portals, or sci-fi to create a great shooter game.
CCC Lead Contributor / News Director