Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare E3 2007 Preshow Impressions

Call of Duty is leaving World War II behind for more modern conflicts, and we get caught in the crossfire.

As intense as firefights in video game combat can occasionally be, they're obviously nowhere near as intense as the real thing. That said, Activision and developer Infinity Ward have made a franchise out of creating some of the most harrowing, as well as draining, combat games out there with their Call of Duty series. While the previous games in the series have dealt solely with World War II--a time-honored, but well-worn subject--the developers behind the series have taken the bold (and necessary) step of moving combat into the modern day with its upcoming Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. We had a chance to see the game in action during a pre-E3 Activision event a few weeks back, and our ears are still ringing with all of the intense action promised in the game.

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The demo of the game started off with a nighttime assault of a cargo ship in the middle of a violent storm. A team of heavily armed soldiers boarded the ship from ziplines and made their way up to the bridge where the squad took out the officers on deck with extreme prejudice. From there, it was through the lower decks of the ship, blasting enemies as they went in typical fast-paced shoot-'em-up Call of Duty action. The soldier's mission was to grab a manifest located on board, and just seconds after grabbing it, the entire ship is rocked by a massive explosion. Immediately, blasted holes start appearing in the side of the ship, leaking in tons of water per second. Seconds later, the ship begins to teeter to one side under the weight of all that invading water, while the soldiers are literally scrambling for their lives through the skewed bowels of the rapidly sinking ship. Back on the deck, with minutes to spare before the ship goes under, the soldiers sprint toward a helicopter waiting to take them to safety. With all the soldiers on board, save for the player in the game, the game ratchets up the tension one more notch by having you slip as you jump into the copter. With inches between you and the stormy sea below, our hero is pulled to safety by a comrade and the mission is complete.

As you can tell from that example, the level of intensity and action in Call of Duty 4 is going to rival the best summer blockbusters. In the game, you'll be taking on missions as members of two special ops military units: the British SAS fighting against a Russian enemy and the elite Marines Force Recon unit involved in a Middle Eastern struggle. That's right, no more Nazis in Call of Duty, though you will be dealing with a formidable opponent in the form of a Russian ultranationalist and his henchmen, affectionately known as "The Four Horsemen." How's that name for foreshadowing their intentions?

While there will be plenty of run-and-gun combat, what makes Modern Combat so intriguing is the addition of all the modern-day technology to spice up the missions. In some missions, you'll be riding as the gunner in an attack helicopter; in another, you'll be manning the weaponry on an AC-130 Spectre, raining down hell on enemy combatants during a night mission that looks and plays like something straight out of the US military footage vaults. Flying high above the combat zone during a night mission, you're using thermal vision and are tasked with taking out enemy combatants as they scurry around looking to escape. But there's no sound as you blast them with your Vulcan cannon; instead, you're met with the calm voice of one of your squadmates who records your kill with a level-headed coolness that is a far cry from the madness of ground combat in the game. It's cold, it's calculating, and it's thoroughly modern combat.

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In another mission, known as The Bog, you're tasked with securing a stranded M1A1 Abrams tank, fighting through a dusty, chaotic urban landscape while bullets buzz by you and careening copters crash around you. Snaking through the buildings on your way to your objective, you'll need to make liberal use of your night-vision goggles as you pick off enemies as you go. From what we've seen of the game so far, The Bog mission seems to be one of the toughest, most action-packed fights in the entire game; it's certainly one of the loudest with explosions happening all around you and the chatter of your squadmates keeping you up to date on the ever-changing face of the battle.

Beyond the promising single-player game, the team at Infinity Ward has been working since day one on the game's multiplayer features. The same team, in fact, that worked on the multiplayer on the first two COD games is back for the fourth game, and as a result, the game is looking to match the in-depth yet accessible experience found in previous games. One of the most exciting new options in COD 4's multiplayer is the ability to create a class of your design. As an example, producers created a stealth-based class to show off the different options; they outfitted the soldier with a silenced submachine gun, a light sidearm, a GPS jamming device that would prevent him from showing up on the game's minimap, and an increased sprint ability. This is just one example of the kind of options you'll have available to you, but how you design your character will be up to you. However, should you get killed in the game by an opponent, you'll be able to check out his or her makeup, which may perhaps spawn some new ideas for how you might like to modify your character in the process.

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At the time of this writing, the multiplayer beta for Call of Duty 4 had not yet begun, so we're eagerly looking forward to seeing what the game has in store for us once we get our hands on it for some expanded play testing. Expect to see plenty more on this amazing-looking game in the coming months.

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Discussion

40 comments
kirbdog13
kirbdog13

game looks sick cant wait for release

ShadowShuyin
ShadowShuyin

which console did they originaly made CoD4 for and which consoles are getting the port?

Urmanok
Urmanok

Is there online multiplayer in COD4?

alwo
alwo

The game looks absolutely amazing. I am glad they have decided to move away from the tiring WWII genre. One of the reasons why Russia is the 'bad guys' is probably due to the American market, don't think some Yanks could handle playing a game where they are the 'bad guys'. Additionally, nowadays, you can't really identify the good and bad guys, it ain't black and white. The multiplayer should be good, hopefully the maps and player limit is nice and large. Hardcore Mode sounds like a blast. Hope the game is modder friendly.

BDANick
BDANick

why would they do this? because they want to move themselves out of a franchise which is on the brink of cholesterol induced heartattack.. WWII is just getting boring... They wanna move themselves into a more dynamic element.... this ensures that in the future they will secure a more diverse array of game oppourtunities, and diversity is the fruit of life! this game looks better than rainbow six vegas... which is one of my top games... would you want to develop the same goddamn games over and over and over again?... no... this is why...

SpeedMan72
SpeedMan72

i think this is goin 2 be awesome!!!!

AxisPower
AxisPower

why?......why would they do this...completely murdered the series

ghost_Ver76
ghost_Ver76

must say, ive been blown away by the game play trailers. totally agree with kittykiller897 about the modern tec! bring it on!! :D

kittykiller897
kittykiller897

i cant wait, call of duty 2 was , in my opinion, the best 360 release game, and i think it'll be even better with some modern technology.

LtTora
LtTora

Sounds Good but only time will tell.

cimbomboy2
cimbomboy2

never liked the other COD's but this looks amazing!

hotplayer220
hotplayer220

This game has huge potential. It's not that we hate Russia. If you follow the news you will see that they are taking aggresive action in global events.

amareen18
amareen18

(Why in the hell is russia always on the bad guys side? :-( ) i agree with sridanu why russia is always on the bad guys side?:-[

ProPa1N
ProPa1N

I'm still waiting for a FPS as good as Sof2, this might be it ;)

Warhearted
Warhearted

This looks like it will basically be one of the best shooters ever. With all of these amazing titles coming out before the year is over, it's a great time to be a 360 owner.

Edgemaster666
Edgemaster666

This game looks incredible, and the gameplay trailer ran unbelievably smoothly, made me think they had sped the play speed up to x2. It's literally that smooth.

mentalhelp
mentalhelp

I will kill you all.......... with my pea shooter! Muwahahagahagahhahgahagh!

w00t911
w00t911

Sounds to be a strong competitor in the line of next-gen action games, plus I'm SO glad they finally moved on from the tired old WWII days!

SM2099
SM2099

This gonna rock all other COD. Modern, made by the guys who made the 2nd one... PLus the graphics and realism is stunning. Best camo since MGS3 came out.... Of coarse MGS4 will have better camo, but for the time being its gonna be COD4. Can´t wait to play this game.

cubeman
cubeman

Will be the best Call of Duty ever with out a doubt.

s0njas0n
s0njas0n

looks like they did a really good job with this game.

bigpimppapa
bigpimppapa

COD4 is gonna smoke that overrated GEARS OF WAR that was a puffed up version of KILL SWITCH anyway. They just need to work on the hit detection and it will send RAINBOW SIX VEGAS to sleep as well

sridanu
sridanu

Why in the hell is russia always on the bad guys side? :-(

ChiefFreeman
ChiefFreeman

This will rival Halo 3. what if it were to become more popular?

jakeboudville
jakeboudville

Can't wait to get my hands on cod 4 since i played the last 3 before

Chainblast
Chainblast

Looking forward to getting impressions from the beta. The multi-player on this one should be killer.

comthitnuong
comthitnuong

COD4 surprised me. I am really looking forward to this.

Riddle015
Riddle015

This game is going to be the best ever!

AnFangs_Endes
AnFangs_Endes

Looks better than the old ones by a loooong shot

7Ezra7
7Ezra7

I've been looking forward to a good story based modern warefare game,lets hope this game can fill in that gap in my life.

Pete5506
Pete5506

The game looks way better than I thought it was going to

Thorpe89
Thorpe89

Looking awesome from the screenshots.

Does_not_expire
Does_not_expire

did they say when the beta would start? i know the website but it says nothing about how to get the beta.