Review: Call of Duty 4

by Staff January 21, 2008 @ 3:18 pm

This release sees Infinity Ward finally admitting that the World War II genre is somewhat tired. Our modern times and international affairs now require a more engaging and realistic approach to first person shooters. Although the move to terrorism and modern combat has meant the team felt the need to move to a fictionalized story to ensure they can avoid too many cultural slurs and the like. The move to a new era may have grabbed the headlines for the game, but what we want to know is whether this is simply re-arranging the deck-chairs on the Titanic or if there has been substantial work under the hood to justify this sizable purchase.

The bottom line is that Infinity Ward has delivered something of a magnum opus of the directed first-person experience. Not only that but you also get an astounding multiplayer experience to boot. Although some have criticized the length and longevity of the single player game, there is no disputing the sheer value for money when you consider the multiplayer bundle. That said it should be noted that the single single-player will be alarmingly short for some players. Particularly if you have followed the genre for some time, you will romp through the campaign in next to no time. Sure, you can raise the difficulty, but this doesn’t change the fact that you will be playing through the same game again just with harder foes.

As we mentioned above, the multiplayer experience more than makes up for any shortcomings in the length of the single player. But along side this you are also compensated by the sheer visual and story telling quality of the game. This is a team at the top its game. The game draws you out from dark rainy nights into a war theatre that requires you to save millions from nuclear death. This may not sound all that unique, but the delivery and sheer number of astounding spine tingling moments make this a particularly special experience.

To return to the multiplayer, there has been plenty of innovation and development here as well. You can challenge up to 18 players online across the 16 different maps. Although some of these levels are drawn from the single-player campaign, there re-appearance is welcome; such is the quality and dressing of every inch of the game. The multiplayer game offers are six modes including team death match, free-for-all death match, bomb delivery or destroying equipment. Finally, you can adjust the rules in any of these game types to ensure that even the most hardened hard core player has a challenge to face.

You’ll also always have something to work toward, regardless of mode, because in standard, public matches, you earn experience points for just about everything you do. Capturing control points, getting kills, calling in support, all of these things give you points that go toward your rank. Ranking up unlocks most of the game’s multiplayer content.

Again of particular note is the introduction of a class system. Each class has their preferred weapon and perks. As you develop these characters you slowly unlock a series of preset classes and abilities. This opens the possibility of selecting your own main weapon, sidearm and attachments for weapons. Not only this but you can also select special grenades. This level of customization really gives you much more connection to the game, and is one of the finest points of Call of Duty 4.

In addition to all this super stellar design the game also looks the business as well. The team have done a superb job of presenting wide-open fields, tight buildings or houses and smoke-belching silos. Every part of the game looks like it has been lived in and avoids falling into the pristine landscapes of other first person shooters. You really get the feeling that other men and women and served and died here before you. The sound too is op notch. It just sounds as you would expect it to, form the ack ack ack of guns in the distance to the voice work of narrator and comrades, it is an impressive delivery.

Overall, some would mark the game down for the short multiplayer. However we would take quality over quantity any day. Combine this with the fact that you have those lovely multiplayer online features and you have yourself a pretty compelling package. You will no doubt be aware that this game has got pretty high scores, and we have to admit that this is not without reason.

* Perks system is inspired
* Visuals and sound are some of the best yet
* Single player story telling is compelling and unique

* Short single player experience
* Novice players may find it hard to get into multiplayer games
* Levelled players can have unfair advantage.