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Call of Duty 4 Review

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Cover


Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare introduces a variety of game play klass into the single player campaign completely new to the Call of Duty series. The game moves away from the standard three country-specific campaign styl and allows the plot to play through more like a film styl plot with interlaced story lines from the perspective of the player as Paul Jackson, a member of the United States Marine Corps 1st Force Recon and "Soap" MacTavish, a member of the British 22 SAS Regiment. There is also a variety of cameo-styl missions where you play as various other soldiers such as an AC-130 Spectre Gunship gunner, or as one part of a two-man sniper team behind enemy lines in a flashback-styl mission.

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare focuses on the variation of modern warfare as an infantry soldier by allowing the player to control soldiers in a vast number of different scenarios, straying away from the constant "at eleven" action of previous Call of Duty titles and allowing for both heavy intensity fire fights and slower paced drama clash intensity. The series' move to modern warfare has also introduced a variety of new modern weapons and technology to be introduced to the Call of Duty franchise. Such showcased weapons and attachments include M203 grenade launchers, and the AN/PEQ-2 Target Pointer for use in conjunction with night vision goggles, MP5SD submachine guns, the M4A1 Grenadier, and the FGM-148 Javelin portable anti-tank guided missile among many others.

"Soap" meeting Captain Price early in the game.


The story is told from a perspective of a British 22 Special Air Service Regiment operative in Russia and an American 1st Force Recon operative in the Middle East. The game also features a flashback mission set 15 years ago in Pripyat, Ukraine, an abandoned city within the Chernobyl Zone of Alienation, which features a younger incarnation of Captain Price from 22 SAS Regiment, the only character to appear in both of the first two games of the Call of Duty series.

A Russian ultranationalist by the name of Imran Zakhaev is set on returning his homeland to the times of the Soviet Union by revolting against the current government and seizing a nuclear weapons stockpile. Zakhaev has the support of several rogue divisions of the Russian army, but he knows the United States would never allow this to happen and so funds a coup in the Middle East, organized by his ally Khaled Al-Asad, to draw attention away from Russia. The British and U.S. governments discover the plot while monitoring Zakhaev's recent activities, and quickly initiate a police-action to quell the uprisings in both regions. During the conflict, a Russian nuclear weapon is unexpectedly detonated by Al-Asad's forces in the capital city of the Middle Eastern region, annihilating most of the invading U.S. Marine forces. Sgt. Paul Jackson, delayed from escaping the blast radius due to the last minute rescue of a downed Cobra pilot, is aboard one of the helicopters caught in the blast radius. Although Jackson initially survives the crash of his Sea Knight helicopter, he soon succumbs to radiation poisoning and wounds sustained in the crash. Al-Asad, the target of the invasion, had already escaped to one of his safe-houses in Azerbaijan, but is later executed by Captain Price when he and his SAS squad learn that Zakhaev supplied Al-Asad with the bomb.

It is at this point, when Price speaks the name 'Zakhaev', that the game enters the flashback portion. The flashback, told from the perspective of Price, tells the story of a black-ops mission into the Zone of alienation in order to assassinate a Russian ultranationalist. Price, then a Lieutenant with the SAS, is paired up with Captain MacMillan to carry out the assignment. Together, they sneak past several guard stations as well as tank and infantry patrols in order to reach their shooting spot. The entire flashback mission takes place in the partially irradiated Ukrainian city of Pripyat, within the Chernobyl Zone of Alienation, and they must avoid certain radioactive patches to prevent death. Once in position at the top of a hotel, the target, identified as Imran Zakhaev, is shot by Price. Zakhaev survives, however, and only loses his left arm. The ultranationalist forces track the shot and begin to pursue the snipers across the Zone of Alienation. During the chase, a pursuit helicopter is shot down and crashes, injuring MacMillan and forcing Price to carry MacMillan the rest of the way. The pair finally reach the extraction point and engage the ultranationalist forces in a stand-off until the pick-up helicopter finally arrives and they are able to escape.

Back in the present, the British SAS attempt to capture Zakhaev's son to learn of his father's whereabouts but this mission ends in failure; Zakhaev's son commits suicide when cornered by the SAS and Russian loyalist Troops and about to be captured. The loss of his son incurs Zakhaev's wrath, and he launches two ICBMs in desperation at the American East Coast. A joint strike force of the SAS and the USMC breaches the missile launch center, and is able to deactivate the missiles over the Atlantic Ocean. Their mission complete, the strike force attempts to escape from approaching ultranationalist forces, but during their escape, an enemy helicopter destroys a bridge they are attempting to cross, cutting them off. Zakhaev's troops arrive soon after, and begin executing the remaining members of the strike force. A gas tanker explodes, killing or incapacitating everyone except Griggs. Zakhaev himself then arrives, accompanied by two soldiers. Griggs is killed trying to pull Soap to safety, and Gaz is executed by Zakhaev. He is on the verge of executing Soap, but is distracted by the arrival of a loyalist helicopter. At this moment, a heavily wounded Captain Price slides his pistol to Soap. After Soap successfully uses the pistol to kill Zakhaev and his guards, the Russian Loyalist reinforcements arrive, but Soap is the only known survivor of the escape. Price is never confirmed to be dead or alive, though the player sees a Russian soldier attempting to revive Price as he is loaded into the helicopter. After the final cutscene, a short news message plays, mentioning "nuclear missile tests" in Central Russia and "leadership struggles" arising in the Ultranationalist party, and then reports on the failed attempt to locate a Russian cargo ship lost at sea (that the SAS infiltrated in the Prologue), implying that the recent police actions in Russia were conducted in secret, and were not public knowledge. After the credits roll the player is also given the chance to play through an airplane hostage-situation epilogue mission, Mile High Club.

Characters Playable
  • Sgt. John "Soap" MacTavish - 22 SAS Regiment
  • Sgt. Paul Jackson - United States Marine Corps 1st Force Recon
  • Lt. Price - 22 SAS Regiment (15 years ago; Captain Price in a flashback mission)
  • Un-named Gunner - Thermal Imaging TV operator on an AC-130 Gunship
  • President Yasir Al-Fulani - President of an unnamed Middle Eastern country
  • Un-named SAS operative
Non-Playable Characters
  • Capt. Price - 22 SAS Regiment, MacTavish's commanding officer
  • Gaz - 22 SAS Regiment, MacTavish's section mate
  • Capt. MacMillan - 22 SAS Regiment (15 years ago)
  • Lt. Vasquez - USMC 1st Force Recon, Jackson's platoon leader
  • SSgt. Griggs - USMC 1st Force Recon, Jackson's squad's support gunner-later joins Soap MacTavish's squad as a part of joint SAS/USMC operations
  • Nikolai - Captain Price's Russian informant
  • Sgt. Kamarov - Russian loyalist, SAS ally
The Four Horsemen

'The Four Horsemen' is the term used by developer Infinity Ward to refer to the antagonists of the plot, although only three of them are named and have any apparent plot significance.

  • Imran Zakhaev - Russian Ultranationalist party leader, main antagonist
  • Khaled Al-Asad - Zakhaev's ally in the Middle East
  • Victor Zakhaev - Zakhaev's son (in game his name appears as "V. Zakhaev", but full name is mentioned in the official strategy guide)
  • Little is known about the other Horseman, but an Xbox 360 achievement suggests that he was killed in the nuclear explosion


The multiplayer mode in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare includes a klass system which has five preset **** with default weapon load outs and perks assigned to them, as well as allows users to create five custom klass where the user can customize their weapon load out and three perks to assign to their soldier. The five default klass include Assault, Special Ops, Light Machine Gunner, Demolitions, and Sniper. Only two of the default ****s are available to a first time player; the rest are unlocked as the player gains more experience online and gains higher rank. Create-a-klass can be unlocked at level 4; players can name and save their own custom klass for quick access in multiplayer matches.

Experience Points (XP) are earned by either killing opponents or completing certain objectives, such as defusing the bomb in Sabotage. The amount of XP gained varies depending on the type of match the user is playing. When the user gains enough Experience Points their rank/level increases. The highest attainable level is 55, which unlocks Prestige mode (which is only available for the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 versions of the game). In Prestige mode, the player can trade in their rank and start over at level 1, in exchange for a special in-game insignia by their name. The player can trade in their rank with Prestige mode up to ten times, with a different prestige insignia awarded each time, effectively giving the player 605 total ranks to achieve.

Most of the new weapons and perks that players can use to outfit their custom ****are unlocked as they gain higher ranks, but there are also a number of challenges associated with each weapon that subsequently open up new add-on gear as players complete them. These unlocks, such as camouflage or attachments for the weapon, are unlocked after attaining a certain number of kills or headshots. Completing these challenges also gives the player XP.

Game modes
- Every man for himself.
Team Deathmatch
- Use teamwork to kill opposing players and reach score limit or time limit.
Ground War
- Big team games-TDM and Domination.
Team Objective
- Domination and Search & Destroy. Capture flags in Domination, with respawning. Destroy and defend objectives in Search & Destroy, no respawning.
Team Tactical
- Small team Deathmatch and Search & Destroy.
Search and Destroy
- There are two teams: attackers and defenders. Attackers try to plant a bomb at one of two bomb sites, and defenders try to defend the bomb sites. If explosives are planted, defenders must defuse them. Players only have one respawn per round. A round is over when all players on one team are killed, or when the bomb explodes or is defused.
- A laptop spawns somewhere on the map. Your goal is to capture the laptop for your team. If Team A captures the laptop, they must defend it from being destroyed by Team B. Team A only has one respawn until the laptop is destroyed or the max time limit for the laptop is reached. Team B respawns at set intervals. Team A earns points for every second the laptop is held. To capture/destroy a laptop, you must stand in the area of the laptop. The more players, the faster you destroy it. A new laptop spawns when time limit is reached or the laptop is destroyed.
- There are flags at certain points around the map. All flags start neutral. Teams battle to hold the most flags. Game ends when the time limit is reached, or the score limit is reached.
- Similar to Search and Destroy, only the bomb is neutral and there are objectives located in both teams' bases. Each team's goal is to take the bomb and blow up the objective in the enemy's base. The bomb carrier can fire his weapons, but his position will be announced periodically throughout the game. Also, unlike Search and Destroy, players have unlimited respawns as opposed to just one per round, although it is not instantaneous like Team Deathmatch or Free-for-All.
Team Hardcore
- Hardcore Team Deathmatch and Search and Destroy. Limited HUD, extra bullet damage, friendly fire on.
Old School
- Old School TDM and FFA. No ****s. Weapons are pickups, health is increased, and jumps are higher.
- Old School pick-ups and jumping. Hardcore limited HUD and extra bullet damage.

An example of the lighting, shadows, and weather effects in the game's single-player mode. An example of the lighting, shadows, and weather effects in the game's single-player mode.

Game Engine

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
runs on a proprietary engine, and has features such as true world-dynamic lighting, HDR lighting effects, dynamic shadows and depth-of-field. "Bullet Penetration" is calculated by the engine, taking into account things such as surface type and entity thickness. Certain objects, such as cars, and some buildings are destructible. This makes distinguishing cover from concealment important, as meager protection such as wooden fences, thin walls and such no longer provide sufficient protection. The bullet's speed and stopping power are decreased after penetrating an object, and this decrease is calculated realistically depending on the thickness and surface of the object penetrated. The game also makes use of a physics engine, which was not implemented in previous Call of Duty titles for the PC. Death Animations are a combination of pre-set animations and ragdoll physics. Some mistook the game's graphics to be DirectX 10 based, but it is stated that the graphics use DirectX 9.