Tuesday 15 January, 2008
In Call of Duty 4:Modern Warfare the player assumes the role of Sergeant John "Soap" MacTavish a member of the 22nd SAS Regiment, and Sergeant Paul Jackson a part of the USMC 1st Force Recon. The objective of the game is to locate and kill two terrorist leaders who after publicly executing president Yasir Al-Fulani, gain control of an unnamed middle eastern country. Through joint efforts between both agencies the character is able to travel and fight through diverse locales from middle eastern cities, to abandoned towns, even to surviving for a few brief moments after a massive nuclear attack. After playing as Sergeant Paul Jackson in several missions for Act I, the player resumes playing with Sergeant John “Soap” MacTavish in reaching the objective of assassinating both targets, after Sergeant Jackson is killed in a nuclear attack.
The game begins with a brief training section where the player must run through a course as quick and efficiently as possible. This quick intro basically introduces the feel of the game. Many of the objectives throughout several of the missions are to clear houses of enemies and quickly move on to next. Although it sounds very difficult, it turns out to be a very fun aspect of the game. With its quick paced action I felt adrenaline rush in several times, constantly on the look out for enemies and trying to be as quick on the trigger as possible. Often in the game you would get caught up in vicious firefights alongside your teammates, which is something I very much enjoy of war games, making them extremely exiting and fun to play. In contrast, there are also several missions that require stealth and cunning. Those levels not only balance out the intense firefights, but give the player a good chance to choose how to kill their victims and be a bit more cerebral about it, rather than simply jumping out guns blazing.
The characters in the game are essential seeing as how your teammates accompany you in practically all of the missions, you gain some connection with them. There are several instances where you as the rookie of the group are helped by your fellow teammates, as well as by your grumpy but lovable captain Price. With that, the player feels a strong compulsion to aid its fellow teammates. Most noticeably when one gets captured and you are forced to undergo a rescue operation. Not to mention whenever you accidentally fire on one of your teammates your are punished by being killed, followed by the announcement on the screen: “FRIENDLY FIRE WILL NOT BE TOLERATED.”
For me, the gameplay was extremely enjoyable. I felt as though I were in a real conflict in a real country, firing a real gun. I assume that war perhaps isn’t as exiting or fun as the game, but the game truly was an enjoyable experience. Again the realistic feel and graphics added great quality to the game, but most importantly was the diversity of the game. Unlike most shooters, where all you do is fire a gun. You actually get to control the weapons of an AC-130 gunship, a Cobra Helicopter, and even spend a few moments in a devastated city.
Upon playing the game a second time, I came to realization of the great ability to diversify your kills. That is, many of the levels are very much free roaming, if you choose you can find a good sniping position and take out as many enemies as you can, or you can get up close and personal, shooting off your riffle and throwing out several frag grenades, creating all out hell. Also the amazing cinematic element of the game further enhances the enjoyable experience. For example: In one level you and your partner shoot down a helicopter, however as the helicopter begins to loose air you realize that it is rapidly crashing towards you and you need to really hustle in order to not get splattered by the helicopter. That truly gives the game a very exiting feel, you are anxious to discover what is going to happen next or how differently you are going to play the next level. Who knows, maybe one level you are trying to storm a house, while the very next level you are trying to pass by several guards undetected.
What fell on the low end for me was the general story, I found it to common. However, it was very well executed with the varying levels. Along with that the game itself is quite short, but its main drive, as with many games today, is its XBOX Live capability.
The Call of Duty franchise is known for its innovative game design. However, they truly outdid themselves with this game. Instead of adding a few new moves and weapons to the old WWII franchise, they completely retooled the game. Bringing the game into present day gives the player the ability to use today’s most powerful tool, technology. The player can use night vision, laser precision aim, and the ability to call on different air strikes.
The combat element of the game is very much the same as its predecessors, but great nonetheless. The enemy AI(depending on the difficulty you choose) can be extremely challenging. Many of the enemies are as smart as you, taking cover when they feel exposed, using the environment for their advantage, and even playing possum once and a while. This of course keeps the player very alert and weary of his enemy. As stated before, the diversity of this game is what keeps this game extremely interesting and fun to play. You cannot simply pass through one level as you did with the previous one, one level is much more challenging than the other. But one of the most interesting aspects of the game is to pass through these varying levels at your own accord. There are no specific guidelines as to how to executer your goals, you are really in command of your character and are able to interact with your environment accordingly, something new to the old point and shoot shooters.