Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (Xbox 360) Review
When asked to review Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare, my main fear was not doing the game the tremendous amount of justice it duly deserves. This game comes as the fourth installment of the Call of Duty saga, and is made by the very same developers who brought us Call of Duty 2; Infinity Ward.
After the very short lived anticipation brought about by Call of Duty 3, it seemed that Modern Warfare had a lot to prove. an well, It delivered more then we could ever imagine.
Read on for the rest of the review..
The story starts by following Sergeant “Soap” McTavish along with his squad of Captain Price, Gaz and other SAS operatives. After eliminating the crew of a ship bearing Nuclear Weapons, and seizing the operations manifest proving the ties between Russian Ultranationalist leader, Imran Zakhaef and Rebel leader, Khaled Al-Asad, you are alerted of Zakhaef’s plans to return his homeland to the days of the Soviet Union. His uprising begins with the execution of President Al Fulani on national television, the British and American Governments then initiate police action to try and stop the plans.
From here, the SAS are deployed to save an informant named Nikolai that has been held prisoner by Russian Ultranationalists. Following the rescue of the informant, the group have intentions of flying to safety in Hamburg, Germany, but before they could leave, their helicopter was shot down over Central Russia, leaving the group to fend for themselves before an AC-130 Gunship is sent for assistance.
Here, perspectives are switched and the player follows Sergeant Paul Jackson of the USMC 1st Force Recon, led by Lieutenant Vasquez. You search a city in a middle eastern country for Al-Asad and eventually secure the television station that he is said to be broadcasting from, but your efforts are futile to find the revolutionary leader. The US forces are notified of a nuclear weapon in the area and are ordered to evacuate the area as a precaution. Their leaving is delayed as they rescue a downed pilot in the capital city and the bomb nevertheless is detonated with Vasquez’s team being thrown out of the sky as a result of not being able to escape the blast radius. That’s the last time we play as Sergeant Jackson.
Al-Asad is revealed to have fled the country before the US-led invasion, and with help from Nikolai, the SAS are made aware of Al-Asad’s safehouse in Azerbaijan. After fighting your way to the safehouse with Gaz and the others, you interrogate Al-Asad to find that Zakhaef had supplied the Nuclear Weapon. Captain Price duly executes the leader.
The player is then thrown into a flashback of Captain Price’s, a mission to assassinate Imran Zakhaef in the wake of the Chernobyl disaster and fall of the Soviet Union. Zakhaef cashes in on the opportunity to recruit soldiers from The Union to his new Ultranationalist faction. While engaged in an arms deal, Zakhaef’s death is planned by a young Captain Price, then a lieutenant, and Captain MacMillan. As Lieutenant Price, you take shot that does not kill, but wounds Zakhaef, resulting in the loss of his left arm. An alarm is sounded and from there you are made to escape the situation you have found yourself in.
Returning to the present, the Ultranationalists arrange a counter attack on the safehouse where you have just assassinated Al-Asad. The SAS are forced to hold their ground with the help of close air support before being extracted by a USMC squadron lead by Staff Sergeant Griggs, who had served with Sergeant Jackson in the middle east prior to his death.
A team of soldiers from the SAS, USMC and Russian military is formed and their first task is to find and interrogate Imran Zakhaef’s son, Victor. Unfortunately for the team, after fighting through Ultranationalists, this mission turns for the worst when Victor commits suicide on a rooftop after being cornered by the allied forces.
Zakhaef becomes enraged and blames western forces for the death of his son, his retaliation is to fire a barrage of missiles at the East Coast of America from the Ultranationalist missile base. At this point, another joint mission is launched to retake the launch facility that starts with the rescue of Staff Sergeant Griggs who parachuted too far from the landing zone and was captured by enemy forces. Many tactics are deployed, and strategies enforced until the group gains entrance to the facility, and after fighting your way to being able to disarm the fired missiles, you are chased from the base by an enemy helicopter that destroys your exit bridge. Your troops are downed. Zakhaef and his troops swarm your position. Your only option is to fight.
Similar to the previous Call Of Duty games, the player takes on the roles of multiple characters and plays through different chapters of the campaign that overlap one another and join at the end for what is usually a jaw dropping conclusion. Nothing changed with this installment. Each mission features a number of objectives that include arriving at a destination, killing a certain enemy, or defending a certain point on the map. Players are guided though their missions by the on-screen HUD that marks distances and directions. I can honestly say that I enjoyed every mission in the campaign, throughout all 3 acts I was totally mesmerized, it was only when the end came that I realized how attached I had become to all of the characters, I shall not tell of the ending, that is for you to discover.
The game’s move to modern settings means that there is a whole host of new weapons and camouflage schemes introduced. Players can look forward to the addition of the use of night vision goggles, calling in air strikes and using weapons like the M4 Carbine and the Javelin anti-tank guided missile launcher. Also furthered from the other games is the ability to pick up your deceased foes weapons and swap them with guns from your own arsenal, you can also replenish your supply of grenades in the same way. Players also have the option to differ their stances in different situations, each affecting movement, aim and stealth. The player also still has the same damage indicators that were shown in previous games, when the player takes damage, the edges of the screen glow red and the character’s heart rate increases. If in cover, the edges will fade, indicating that the health has been restored. If unfortunate enough to be standing next to a live grenade, the grenade indicator appears and the player has the opportunity to run before being blown the fuck up. Players can still throw a grenade back to avoid this ill-fated demise.
This game must have the best multiplayer segment since Halo 3, anything from a fast paced, all guns blazing assault based ‘Team Deathmatch’ to a strategic, planned attack in ‘Search and Destroy’. The multiplayer game modes cater for everyone, whether they like team based missions, or gunning their own battle on ‘Free For All’. Other multiplayer game modes include Sabotage-,plant bomb in opponents base, Domination- a capture the flag game, Cage Match- a 1v1 fight to the death and many others that will leave your heart pounding and trousers wet.
You enter the Modern Warfare Multiplayer world as a lowly level 1 and work your way up through the ranks by gaining experience in battle. Experience is gained from killing enemies, completing challenges and being a member of the winning team. When achieving certain levels, a player will unlock new perks, camouflage, challenges and weapons. Having gained enough experience, and reaching level 55, you are given the opportunity to ‘Prestige’, whereby you swap the perks and levels you have acquired for a new insignia and a little prestige. Get it?
During mulitplayer gameplay, a streak of kills will earn the player the reward of military assistance, if you kill 3 people without dying, you can call in a UAV that locates your enemies, get 5 in a row and you can call in an airstrike on your foes, and if you’re lucky enough to get 7, you’ll unleash a military chopper that hunts down your enemies until they’re about ready to explode in rage.
The music of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare was mostly written by a British composer called Stephen Barton, Harry Gregson-Williams also contributed to the composition of the scores and provided the main theme. Another cool thing about the COD4 music, you know the rap at the end of the campaign? “Deep and Hard”? That’s no rapper, that’s COD4′s lead animator, Mark Grigsby. Cool hey?
The graphics of the game are impeccable. ’nuff said. You can’t fault the work done on this game, you can crawl through grass and watch each blade pass you as clear as though you were doing it yourself. Shadows are formed with true-life dynamic lighting, and there is a calculated depth of field, meaning the camera will focus on the things you are looking at, while the object’s surroundings are not in focus.
I by no means claim that this is the best game ever. But it’s damn close. The beauty of COD4 is that even when you’ve done the campaign at least twice, the game still wants you to play it. By giving the game such an incredibly addictive mulitplayer mode, COD4 stayed in my disc tray for about 5 months, as I’m sure is true for half the people who bought it. For that reason I give Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare: