Infinity Ward has dare to moved to a different setting for their first person war shooter franchise and like a favorite pair of tennis shoes reissued with new colors and updated cushion, it sells. Call of Duty and the sequel COD 2, are acclaimed shooters, but the World War II genre was becoming stagnant. Instead of going the route of Relic Entertainment's Real Time Strategy affair, Company of Heroes, by having the German Wermacht to be playable in the single player campaign. Infinity Ward adds the subtitle "Modern Warfare" and brings the Mid-East conflict straight to the gamer via your console of choice.
Instead of sticking to the tried and true formula of mimicking historical battles, Infinity Ward creates a fictionalize war setting with a solid war story as its backbone. Inspired by modern war movies, especially Black Hawk Down, Modern Warfare's single player story is as action packed as any Hollywood war movie. Can Modern Warfare be the best pound per pound first person shooter, with its’ visuals, settings, scripted battles, and an extensive multiplayer component?
In previous IW's COD Games, you took a role of soldier participating in their respective theater of World War 2, as American, Russian and Commonwealth forces. Early on, as the credits are rolling just as a film, the player is front and center in the perspective of President Yasir Al-Fulani as he is being driven through a rundown city, overthrown what seems to be a military takeover.
The opening credits set the tone for the rest of the game to be a gritty in your face game. After the death of Al-Fulani, the first part of story progresses as an American Marine named Sergeant Paul Jackson, is part of the American invasion force in hopes to topple Khaled Al-Asad, the new leader of the same Middle Eastern Country and Al-Fulani’s killer. For the majority of the game, the player takes the role of Sergeant John "Soap" MacTavish a member of 22nd SAS Regiment. With each player-controlled character there is a story of white knuckle action and military drama.
The campaign’s story is one emotional roller coaster from being shot in the head in the opening credits. Performing a timed black hawk down rescue on a female American pilot, as you flee from the city the helicopter is in a nuclear attack. There is a moment where you are helpless crawling away from the wreckage as life seeps away from you. To an ending where all of your friends and your mentor are executed in front of you, with time slowed down only to be rescued ala Han Solo or Hurley Reyes style by your Russian friend, it is timeless.
Infinity Ward continues to raise the visual bar on home consoles; the artistic style of being heavily based on modern war, IW exceeds their predecessor COD2 by inventing and re-creating world locales. One memorable level pulls off multiple strings of visuals and gameplay. The puppet is Chernobyl; IW manages to successfully recreate the doomed city. One has to navigate through eerily abandon apartments ending with moss covered Ferris wheel. Heck, ravaging dogs are thrown in, but five legged dear are oddly omitted. Starting first with a sniper mission that challenges you take to effect the wind velocity during the shot from a tall building. There is only a few seconds, with only one or two shots, until the level fails by missing your target. The level continues with running through abandon ghetto, chased by wild dogs, and mercenaries.
The ultimate showdown climaxes by holding off the dogs, soldiers, and then helicopters. All is missing are the turrets from Half Life 2, but the puppeteer has left grenades, claymores, multiple assault rifles, sniper rifles and sub machine guns for the puppet to create multiple destruction. It is a puppet show that you will not forget for the sheer madness on harder difficulties.
Call of Duty 4 is a type of online fps where weapons and play style are important and class customization is essential for winning. Having multiple weapon choices, grouped by sub machine guns, light machine guns, assault rifles, shotguns, and snipers and three different perks makes COD4 an endless customization fest. Each weapon and perk combo, can be used differently for the various type of playlists. These playlists range from Team Deathmatch to Search and Destory and a Hard core mode. Basically, if you have played it on another online shooter, a COD variation will be there.
When the campaign mode is done, one can enjoy endless hours of COD4 Online, with its deep customization features and developer support via playlists changes. Hopefully map and weapon packs and additional missions via the arcade mode can be added through DLC.