Players: 1+ Player Game | Release Date: 11/05/07 | Genre: FPS
When Infinity Ward was enlisted by Activision to slay the mighty EA and their Medal of Honor Series with the original Call of Duty, I don't recall anyone in the industry thinking it could be done. Who could top the already established First Person Shooter in the crowded WWII sub-genre? It wasn't until the release of Call of Duty 2 that most began to see how great a developer Infinity Ward was and witnessed Call of Duty 2 not only be a great game but the best title available on the Xbox 360 in the first several months of its life.
Not content to wait for Infinity Ward to finish their Modern Warfare follow-up to Call of Duty, Activision decided to go along with Call of Duty 3. But because Infinity Ward was not involved in the development of the title, players could tell that this was not the CoD they knew and love. Although CoD 3 wasn't a horrible game, it was nowhere near the same league as part 2. Now that Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is here, it is clear that this is what CoD 3 should have been. For the first time in the history of the franchise, we have a title that is not set in World War II. Combine this with unbelievable graphics, an engaging single player campaign, and arguably some of the best multiplayer action of the year and you have a game that makes choosing Game of the Year very difficult.
There are many things that make Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare an amazing game. The most evident thing, besides the fact that CoD is finally out of the WWII era, are the visuals. To call Call of Duty 4 jaw-dropping, beautiful, amazing looking, and a visual masterpiece would be setting the bar a little short to what the team at Infinity Ward has achieved. Instead of just using a slightly updated CoD 3 engine, Infinity Ward has been hard at work in creating a new engine for this title since they released CoD 2. All of this visual goodness comes in a package that runs well no matter what platform you play it on. Whether it is PC, PlayStation 3, or Xbox 360, the only big difference you will find are the achievements only found in X360 titles. Some may argue that Mouse and Keyboard controls are always far superior and that alone makes the PC version the one to play. For me, I find that controllers are fine and make a great interface for shooters.
The single player campaign in Call of Duty is always fun. Part 4 delivers some moments that have never been seen before in First Person Shooters. Early in the game you will encounter something that, once played out, will leave you wondering why nobody has thought of doing it before. Later on in the game you will encounter even more of these moments. I really don't want to spoil them and because the campaign is relatively short, there is no reason for me to do so.
The biggest downfall of the single player campaign is that it is very short. This is in contrast to how past CoD titles have been. While it can be argued that the quality has never been this high before, I would have liked to see the story span at least 10 hours instead of the roughly 5 it takes to complete it. Sure you can always go back and replay the game on a harder difficulty. But is it really fun to be killed every few seconds with the incredibly accurate AI on the higher difficulty settings? Personally for me the answer is no. I am sure that there are those who would argue with me. As in past CoD titles, you play the single player campaign out from different perspectives. But I still wish the single player campaign was longer.
Once you finish the single player campaign, there is plenty left to see and do. Players can take up the fight in the tubes of the Internet for some multiplayer skirmishes over sixteen maps, with up to eighteen players, and over six game modes to choose from. But the biggest innovation to the online mode is the inclusion of experience. Players start at the bottom and have to earn experience to gain new skills and abilities. Once you max out your class, you can start over two more times. For players who choose to start over, they will be given special recognition in the game and you will know that these are the best players online.
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is an incredible game that offers both a single player and multiplayer experience. However, if you are the type of gamer who prefers a single player campaign, you may find that the five hours of gameplay may warrant only a rental instead of a purchase. However, if you even slightly enjoy multiplayer First Person Shooters, you will find it very difficult to find a better FPS title. Call of Duty 4 is good enough to stand toe to toe with Halo 3 and The Orange Box.