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July 7, 2008 | by  | in Games | [ssba]

Game Review: Call of Duty 4

Game: Call of Duty 4
Platform: Xbox 360, PS3, PC (windows)
Genre: 1st person shooter
Developer: Infinity Ward

I remember about five years ago when I arrived at a mate’s birthday party ready to party hard (in a non-drunken, adolescent and nerdy manner). However all plans for social interaction on my part were lost when his father handed him a copy of Call of Duty for his birthday present. It was installed by my mate and I then proceeded to hog the computer for the next 6 hours and managed to clock it in one night. Now I would be the first to admit that that I have sexual fantasies involving Issac Newton and get pleasure from analyzing linear time-invariant systems using Fourier transforms. However I can normally interact with the human race. But everything changed on that night five years ago. Killing Nazis was the only task I could fathom doing. The original Call of Duty was and still is one of the most engrossing first person shooters I have ever played (and subsequently worshipped). Call of Duty, Call of Duty 2 and Half Life are games which, when I played them, caused me to become so emotionally involved that I would start shouting at the computer screen.

Add Call of Duty 4 to that utterly orgasmic list. There is something incredibly unique about the first two CoD titles which I have never experienced in any other game series. Call of Duty 4 manages to retain and refine that experience. Infinity Ward, the developers of 1, 2 and 4, has always done an amazing job at engrossing the player in the storyline and this game is no different. The incredible range of environments and scripted events encountered in the games are a level above any FPS shooter I have ever played. These games will make you believe in God (albeit a violent God which condones headshots).

When I initially heard that Call of Duty 4 was going to be based on modern warfare I was pretty disappointed, because the WW2 angle of the first two games was done so well. The only qualm I have with the game is the story. It is pretty absurd. It really didn’t engross me as much as the first two games but that is to be expected. It is pretty hard to beat the heroic epicness of the Normandy landing and the subsequent Nazi slaughter seen in the second installment.

Unlike the other games in the series, the game is based in the present day and is mainly focused on a fictional civil war in Russia and a vicious military coup in an unnamed Middle Eastern country. Throughout the game you play as either a United States Marine, who mainly deals with the Middle Eastern conflict, or a member of the British SAS, who really loves hanging out in Russia. I won’t spoil it, but you also play as a well-loved character in a flashback that is one of the most intense, unforgettable levels you will ever play.

The start of the game mostly explores the Middle Eastern part of the storyline and definitely wasn’t up to the highs of the second portion of the game. That is not to say that the first part is bad, you still get the amazing scripted events and visceral intensity of the end but there is something less authentic about it. The best mission from this game is the middle mission, which involves infiltrating Pipryat (the abandoned city next to Chernobyl) and taking part in an assassination attempt. Think of the Arnold Schwarzenegger film masterpiece End of Days. Think of the scene where the Devil takes over Arnie’s body and he sacrifices himself to save mankind. Now multiply the emotion and sphincter clenching intensity you felt when you saw that by ten and you have a semblance of how I felt during the assassination mission in Call of Duty 4. Fucken good shit.

Infinity Ward have always invested a lot of time in sound and attention to detail and Call of Duty 4 is no different. There are great new editions to the gameplay, including having your neck being ripped out by a dog (it’s better than it sounds) and flashbangs. There are the classic firefights on moving vehicles, slaughter by fully automatic machine guns and a new feature of being able to call air strikes. The graphics are top notch and the lack of health packs, which was such a revolutionary innovation in the second game, makes a return. The weapons are stunningly ruthless and knifing enemies is just as compelling as in previous versions.

The multiplayer is top notch and is definitely something to tell the kids about. Ryback and shinigami were regularly slaughtered by HansMoleman2000 as I stalked through the map like a tiger. shinigami won’t regularly admit he is worse than me at a game, but after I knifed him more than five times he started to admit it. What a n00b. [Ed: We will settle this in Company of Heroes. Fucking Bring it]

At the end of the day, Call of Duty 4 is a superb game on the PC which all FPS enthusiasts should play. If you have played it on a console, give it a go on PC. Regardless of how much you have wanked over the strippers in GTA4, the PC will always hold the gaming/FPS crown. If you are dorky enough to want to argue that, come and see me at an undisclosed location (Laby/Cotton).

PS: If you cared, I have upgraded my BUOC into a ruthless beast with a dual core processor and 8800GT. Suck on that bitches.


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