I should preface this a little. Generally, as far as first person shooters go, I go for the games like the Unreals, the Halo series, the Doom series, and all the Quakes. I never really was able to get into war shooters. And how many WW I & II games can people endure? The more modern game, Battlefield II I enjoyed. But they are generally not my thing. Then came the first Call of Duty. I still play it occasionally on my PC. Infinity Ward raised the bar on a genre. Since then, nothing has really grabbed me except for the more sci-fi shooter types. I realize that in the FPS genre of games, comparing sci-fi shooters and war shooters is liking comparing apples to oranges. But one thing the former had over the latter in most cases were games with more intense and tense action, and (except for the arena type games) they generally had a storyline that gave the games momentum. War games for me had been bland, with the feel of a bad history class, and as far as gameplay was concerned: they all played alike.
Now let me preface this review further: I recently got back from working out of town for two months. I did take my 360, PSP, and DS with me, but didn't have much time to play, not to mention the abysmal internet connections were I was. So I have been dying to get back into some hardcore gaming. And, prior to my leaving NYC I had just finished playing the beta
of Call Of Duty 4
on the 360.
Now to the review: OMG! The beta was nice. It looked brilliant, and the three maps and limited game types we had during the beta were more than satisfying. So, on the road I was chomping at the bit to get home and pick up Call of Duty 4. When I came back to NYC, I rewarded myself with some retail therapy: the purchase of a beautiful new PlayStation 3 and COD4 for it. I had played the beta on my 360, and it was amazing in that machine. The graphics were so photorealistic, I just had to see what it would do on the PS3. Well, I chose well. Damn! There were points in the game where the action looked so real that it pulled me in. But, I'm getting ahead of myself.
First, this is, as the title states: Modern Warfare
. Infinity Ward got it right. We were ready to get away from the historic shooters. And they delivered a single player campaign, that although short, has a tense, taught action-filled well paced story told from several perspectives. The story, combined with the stellar graphics on the PS3 alone were enough to keep me on the edge of my seat, sucking me deeper into each mission. Holding my breath, listening careful for tell tale footsteps or the sound of someone reloading, scrambling for cover when the enemy has me pinned. Factor in some incredible weaponry with impressive firepower, the ability to pick-up and swap weapons, reloading times that are not unrealistically short or arduously long and being able to call in airstrikes and you have some incredible action-packed gameplay. As for the story, the prologue starts you off with a raid and escape from a ship. It's a nice warm-up to the real action, and what follows is nothing short of breathtaking. From Middle Eastern cities to regions of the former Soviet Union you'll play as different soldiers along the way, whose paths cross and lead into each other offering various perspectives in a story revolving around trade in weapons grade plutonium and the nuclear crisis that ensues. As for production value, this one packs in everything a blockbuster movie does - a lavish, yet atmospheric score and sound design, and well done voice acting. It is so well paced, with action that is unrelenting and even nerve-racking, that I will totally forgive it shortness. Try playing it on veteran mode or hardcore and that short story becomes much longer as you replay and replay certain parts. Finishing the game unlocks a totally replayable arcade mode, and collecting intel (there are 30 of them) will unlock some cheats. Just the single player was worth my $59.
Now on to the multiplayer. I mean, that's why we by these type of games. right? Right. Well, friends, if you haven't tried it, I just don't want to talk to you until you do. It's that damn good. The maps are thoughtfully laid out. They look real. They have depth, and they are pretty vast. There is always cover to duck behind. Some levels have grass and vegetation to crawl through. Sniping points are attainable, and with the new kill cam where once you've been killed, you see your death through your assassin's sights, so camping on a good sniping spot is dangerous. (Campers really chapped my ass in other games!) The multiplayer game types are familiar, and the more objective driven ones have a fresh feel to them, although we've done them before. In multiplayer, there are some interesting tactical moves you can open as you play. For instance, get three consecutive kills without dying enables a UAV radar, and seven consecutive kills will give you helicopter support. As you start the multiplayer, you have a few clsses to chose from, each with it's own weapons and perks. As you advance in rank and level, you open up more as well as new perks. These "perks" are an ingenious and satisfying upgrade system. They are anything from deep impact, which allows for deeper bullet penetration to juggernaut which allows you to sprint further, to last stand, where upon being dealt a fatal shot, you pull out your pistol in an effort to take 'em with you. Oh, and I almost forgot - those grenades being lobbed way, they can be tossed back with a pull on a trigger. Loving it.
All in all, this ranks among my top games of 2007, and one of the best shooters of all time. Look for me on my PS3. I'll be up for a match.