Friday, December 28, 2007

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Review

By Tyler Barber



In his comfortable apartment an overweight man sips coffee in-between respawns playing Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare multiplayer. Perking up, Fatty notices a man in a business suit.

"Excuse me sir, but we've secretly replaced your testosterone-inflated shooter with a deep RPG experience."

Lowering his coffee mug, the well-girthed gamer's face shifts. Perplexed at first, then slowly changing shape into an angry-scrunched-butthole face exclaiming, "you son-of-a-BITCH!'

With one swift movement, his potato-sack-like arm flips over the coffee table along with the aforementioned coffee mug. The ensuing frenzy destroyed both the fat man's apartment and his macho facade. How could he admit to his buds that he's been playing a role-playing-game? That stuff's for pale losers who watch Anime all day about blue-spiky-haired 15 year olds' inability to confess their love to red-spiky-haired 9-year-old-transvestites-with-double-D's.

Not to worry my rotund friend. Yes, we have been playing an RPG, but it's not the type of RPG that removes your testicles. It's the fucking Call of Duty 4 multiplayer RPG. Well, technically it's not an RPG, and no one's calling it an RPG, but if you look at its core: a persistent character that you level up, unlock new weapons, perks and challenges, the lines start to blur.

CoD4 offers aggressive campaign and online modes set in the modern-day war-zone. If you've never played the previous Call of Duty games, then you're in for a treat, but if like me and you’ve played all the previous games, expect that same on-rails shooting-gallery experience of that established the series. Though its structure is a bit played-out, the campaign mode still offers some of the best tour-guide combat this side of Half-Life 2.



If the campaign is just good, consider the multiplayer excellent. Infinity Ward, the developers behind CoD4, have broken ground on the consoles offering a wide-range of customization, unlock-able items and challenges.

But be prepared to have your ass kicked. CoD4 easily hosts the most competitive online shooting on any console. And with matchmaking that isn't quite as good as Halo's, you'll be out-ranked almost all the time. Even so, with so much frantic action going on, even the lowest ranked member of the team can help.

Balancing all of these elements could be a nightmare, but for the most part, CoD4's weapons, perks and stages are balanced. But, one area that will have you calling foul are the bonuses you get with multiple kills without dying. Cap enough dudes in a row and you can call in an air-strike on any section of the map. Kill enough guys in the air-strike, and you'll unlock the ability to call in a helicopter that mercilessly guns down the opposition. Sounds sweet right? That's unless you're on the receiving end. If your team's getting their ass kicked, you could fall victim to several back-to-back helicopter and air-strikes, making it even harder to come back.

With a glut of excellent shooters hitting the consoles this season, CoD4 is definitely in the top ranks. Ultimately, between Halo 3, The Orange Box and CoD4, its more a matter of taste than pragmatic truth to which game is "better." I'd find it hard to believe that any fan of the shooter genre would be disappointed with CoD4.

Final Grade: A

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