E3 '07: Call of Duty 4 Updated Impressions

The latest Call of Duty is shown off at the Microsoft press conference, and we're floored by it.

If you had any doubts that Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is going to be one of the biggest games of the year, Microsoft, Activision, and developer Infinity Ward managed to wipe most of them out with a stunning live demonstration during Microsoft's E3 press conference. Not content with just showing off an incredible cinematic trailer consisting entirely of, according to Activision, actual gameplay, Infinite Ward's Grant Collier and Jason West appeared on stage to play a level of the game level, showing off the incredibly realistic graphics and a new twist on Call of Duty's intense gameplay. Rather than pound you with the constant roar of explosions and gunfire, Infinity Ward relied more on stealth and guile to build tension.

As the game suggests, this Call of Duty 4 is set in a modern-age setting. No more World War II. No more Nazis. Now there's a new Russian ultranationalist bad guy, and he's teamed up with someone in the Middle East. The trailer shows off the results of that, as combat erupts from the forests of Russia to the sands of the Middle East. You should have a good idea of what the new trailer consists of if you saw the 60-second commercial or watched the original trailer. There are glimpses of many different levels, from a shipboard assault to a fierce battle in a city. It's clear that one level in the game is Pripyat, which was the city built to house the workers who operated the infamous Chernobyl nuclear power plant that exploded in 1987. There are explosions and gunfire galore, lots of explosions, helicopters flying everywhere, night vision shots of combat, and a glorious nuclear explosion.

In fact, the level that Collier and West played through was actually set 15 years prior to the events in the rest of the game. That's right, it's a flashback level. You play as an SAS sniper, part of a two-man sniper team, operating in Soviet territory. A voice over a radio tells you to be careful about the lingering radiation, and then you're off. The level, titled "All Ghillied Up" in reference to the sniper's ghilly suits that make them look like walking plants, is all about stealth. At one point, you have to take out two guards with your silenced sniper rifle. Your spotter tells you to shoot one while the other isn't looking to minimize detection. And in a few seconds, both soldiers are down thanks to shots to the head. At another point in the level, the snipers approached a house occupied by four soldiers, with one patrolling outside. Though you can engage the soldiers, your spotter warns you not to so that you can avoid detection.

Though we're assuming at this point, it sounds like you'll have quite a bit of control over how the gameplay unfolds. It looks like you can be aggressive or you can avoid conflict and sneak around. One nice touch was that at the end of the demonstration, both snipers lay prone in the middle of a field, one that's full of an advancing company of Soviet soldiers and tanks. The spotter warns you not to move suddenly or quickly because that would be detected. Rather, you're told to move slowly and gradually. Whether that actually works is yet to be seen because the demonstration ended there.

Everything about this game looks spectacular. The graphics and animation are absolutely top-notch. Watching a camouflaged sniper suddenly rise out of the grass in front of you and start running is a scene that's just incredibly well done. Even more amazing is that it's happening in real time. Graphical effects, such as depth of field, are in full effect. The entire level had a cool atmospheric post-processing effect that gave a dull radioactive haze to the setting. As you lay in the grass, the individual blades in front of you blur. As the sniper approached one of the buildings housing enemy combatants, you really got a sense for the game's astounding lighting and shadow effects--with numerous tree branches casting their shadows over the body of your soldier. The sound is also well done, you hear the hushed whispers of the sniper, the ominous rumble of oncoming tanks, and the wonderful weapon sounds.

Considering that this was a Microsoft press conference, Infinity Ward had some good news for Xbox 360 fans. Though Call of Duty 4 will also come out on the PlayStation 3, Infinity Ward announced that the upcoming beta test that will let you play the game before release is only going to be available on the Xbox 360. Details are to come, and we'll get them to you as soon as we know. Still, Call of Duty 4 looks like it's going to be an incredible ride, and we can't wait. The game will ship for the PC, Xbox 360, and PS3 later this year.

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Discussion

96 comments
davonas
davonas

I've beat this game got all the cheats I rocks

gbrading
gbrading moderator

When I saw the stage demo I was very impressed, especially with the lighting and other effects. They seem to have made the transition from WWII to a modern setting very well. I hope that it can live up to all the expectations, and be as good as the predecessors.

murano28
murano28

Looks and sounds amazing!! cod4 will be the best game of the year.

Geek-God
Geek-God

Hey taco4life the term modern can just mean within the past 20 years..... its still counted as modern, look it up.

Ashkanhoss29
Ashkanhoss29

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

rendallchoc
rendallchoc

cod2 pc fans I Think will be disappointed about Cod3 so pc ppl dont get your hopes up if COD3 comes to pc...

selbie
selbie

I love the way this game flows so well through the events in the storyline. This is going to be a winner for sure

X-7
X-7

hey acidic COD3 is not on PC.

acidic_dude
acidic_dude

scuppster you dont want to play cod3 on your pc, just play cod2 even more because you are not missing out on anything, the only reason why its cool on the 360 is because cod2 was only 8 players online and cod3 is 24 that is why, cod2 on the PC is fine.

taco4life
taco4life

Chernobyl happened in 1986........

Scuppster
Scuppster

Wonderful. When can I play COD3 on the PC?

DooshBIGELOW
DooshBIGELOW

Dude I will never look at another fps again once this comes out!! and a beta is comin out?? NOICE!!!

aznkid254
aznkid254

im definitely getting this....mainly becuz its back in infinity ward's hands

Merodach
Merodach

I'm more impressed by what i've seen from this game than from what i've seen in both Halo 3 and Killzone

LSX_Suisyde
LSX_Suisyde

gotta pre-order this soon...looks amazing!!

dekomania
dekomania

whgresiak : It'll never stack up to the oirginal I agree. I played it when I was on holiday in Macedonia. Almost gave up my holiday to playing this game. But looks like one of the better shooters we'll be getting this generation. Hope they make the 360 and PS3 version on the same level. Not like COD3. Which sucked on PS3 compared to the 360 version.

DouglasBuffone
DouglasBuffone

This was one of the highlights of the Microsoft press conference

grafkhun
grafkhun

nice, the game looks amazing, wish i had a 360 or a ps3 :(

SaintRasmus
SaintRasmus

looks really cool. Will PRE-Ord it today.

djc509
djc509

dhamyr246 shut it it would work great on console maybe not last gen console or the wii but will be g8 on the 360 or ps3

dhampyr246
dhampyr246

This is gonna be a great PC shooter. The consoles should just stay away.

Czaczer
Czaczer

CHERNOBYL - the explosion @ Chernobyl Power Station happened in 1986 not in 1987as you stated!!!

aaronbarlow
aaronbarlow

The game looked amazing @ the E3 conferance. I can't wait to sign up to the beta testing :)

ntnimara
ntnimara

Very nice looking trailer.. I might get this game

Jared_Vegeta
Jared_Vegeta

Game looks so good. The graphics are far better than I expected. Man, I really must play the beta.

Homes225
Homes225

It looks real hot. The MS conf demo looked amazing and was shown off in a nice way.

Pete5506
Pete5506

The gameplay video was so cool

aspif
aspif

I didn't expect Assassin's Creed to be so appealing. Wow! That game is awesome! Call of Duty 4 is just stunning. I haven't played the previous installments but this just looks so good I will probably get it.

ffgothic
ffgothic

I've been a fan of COD since the original, this one will hopefully amaze me even more!

Hobbies230
Hobbies230

That was a fantastic glimpse of Call of Duty 4. I cannot wait till it's release!

JaMeS4418
JaMeS4418

looked absolutely amazing. What was that beta website again?

Jerell_rast
Jerell_rast moderator

This was truly a stunning presentation. Great environment, nice visuals, very exciting!

reverehomeboy31
reverehomeboy31

i just hope its not like ghost recon.. i cant stand tacticle shooters

whgresiak
whgresiak

It'll never stack up to the orginal

ayotaylo
ayotaylo

this game and assassin's creed were the most impressive to me during the press conference. let's hope they both turn out to be great.

GenoBaby
GenoBaby

ChiefFreeman @ I agree... I'm not really in WWII shooters but I bought Call of Duty 2 because I was in the store and they had the game on in HD and I was blown away with the visuals so I bought the game and it's funny that it now looks dated compared to CoD4. This looks like it will be an exciting year for gaming.

XxDarkxxWrathxX
XxDarkxxWrathxX

Man...this and Assassin's Creed and of course Halo 3 are the games I'm the most excited about playing.

ChiefFreeman
ChiefFreeman

Its amazing how far the game has come in graphics since Call of Duty 2. Call of duty 2 looks like crap now compared to this! Can't wait to play the beta!

Tomdogg
Tomdogg

Man...I can't WAIT!!!!!!

selbie
selbie

I'm glad they chose the modern theme. The whole WW2 idea was wearing pretty thin for me. It looks like a brilliant game.

SavoyPrime
SavoyPrime

I'm not even a shooter fan and CoD4 had my blood pumpin! It looks fantastic.

football_legend
football_legend

Damn...the more I see it, the power it looks so so so good. Now I am so glad it is in modern era. Gonna get 360 version.

Gainwardrobe
Gainwardrobe

I am so stoked about this game, it looks awesome!

mjwickstrom1
mjwickstrom1

The COD4 gameplay at E3 last night was great!

conflict_rules
conflict_rules

uncharted,GTA IV, COD 4, BIA hells highway the end of this year is gonna rock