Once in a while a computer game comes out that becomes a classic. Examples include Falcon 3, Longbow 2, Janes F15, or maybe Counterstrike, Rainbow Six, Ghost Recon, or even Diablo. All are classics in their own right.
Then, more often than there should be, there are games that should have never seen the light of day. These are the type of games that, if they were bought, they were played for a day or two then forgotten.
Then there are games that, while not considered a classic, are worth playing once or twice, or more if you’re really into it. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is that type of game, just like the original Call of Duty. As a computer gamer, you owe it to yourself to play this game at least once. If you don’t, you will never really understand what the hype was about, and you'll miss out on an outstanding game.
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, for now on simply referred to as CoD4, is another follow up of the highly respected and enjoyed Call of Duty series. The big difference here is that it's based on current times, current conflicts, current weapons, and current equipment. Infinity Ward, the original maker of Call of Duty, has returned with a game that throws out the history books, and jumps into the current events files.
CoD4 is what we gamers call a "run and gun" type of first person shooter, but don’t let that scare you. It is run and gun for the most part, but there are plenty of missions when running and gunning will get you killed in a hurry. There is a lot more to this game then just running, and gunning, and bunny hopping.
You got three choices on how to get this game, besides the extra two choices of getting it for the Xbox 360 and Playstation3.
You can buy it as a digital download from Steam and Direct2Drive. You can by the standard box store version, or the “Limited Collector’s Edition” for an extra $10 US bucks.
The download version gives you the game to download and a digital .pdf manual.
The standard version gives you the same game content as the download, except it comes on a DVD and the manual is printed.
The collector’s edition gives you a digital download of the Brady Games Official Strategy Guide, which is actually pretty nice, and filled with a lot of information. It’s a 50 MB download, which goes to show you how big it is. You also get an “exclusive hardcover art book”, which is a book with a Bunch of CoD4 post card-type pictures.
The included manual is a 9 page pamphlet covering the basics of installing, running, and playing the game. It’s not like you need more game play-wise, but more info on the multiplayer servers, game modes, etc. etc. would have been nice.
The disk version comes on one DVD in a nice plastic case. Its install footprint is 6.19 GB’s. It comes with a serial number key code. You must have the DVD in your drive to play the single player mode, but do not need it for multiplayer. (It will check your serial number before connecting to any server though.)
Installation was without problem, and went smoothly. It was a long install time, but that’s a lot of data to copy to the hard drive.
Only the English versions of Windows XP and Vista are supported (according to the box). Earlier versions of Windows is not supported.
The minimum system requirements are:
Intel Pentium 4 2.4 GHz/AMD 64 2800
512MB RAM (for Windows XP), 768MB RAM (for Windows Vista)
NVIDIA Geforce 6600 or ATI Radeon 9800pro
Direct X 9c compatible sound card
8GB of Hard drive space
Graphics and Sounds:
What can I say, I have a new state of the art system, and this game looks and plays fantastic. I would assume that it looks so fantastic because of my new system, which is capable of playing it at 1600x1200x32 resolution at 80 plus frames per second, and that is probably so. But others also report that on “minimal” or “sub-standard” system, it looks great too.
Every map, every cut scene, every character, every weapon, and every effect looks incredible. I have witnessed no tears or wash outs, and a couple of times I’ve seen landscape that looks like a beautiful life like painting. Then two nukes shoot out from below, but was still a nice picture. Both the single player and multiplayer missions/maps are done in incredible detail, every brink, every serial number on a burning tank. Incredible visuals. Again, I am not sure if it is my new system (all my games are looking good now), but this is probably the best looking game I’ve seen so far. (Well Crysis came out a couple of days later and that looks better, but thats another review.)
Only DirectX 9 is supported; I would have loved a DirectX 10 version just because I paid good money for DirectX 10, but still, does it matter? Not in my opinion.
The sounds are equally incredible and outstanding. Voice acting is pretty dang good for a computer game, and you really feel like you’re in a movie. Background sounds are pure and clean and explosions and gunfire are always nice. Hearing the footsteps of an enemy soldier walk past your prone position is intense. I have no complaints with the sounds what so ever.
Both the video and audio are absolutely incredible in this game.
It's funny, because I usually praise the multiplayer and find fault with the single player in my game reviews, but CoD4 is just the opposite.
The single player campaign grabs you by the balls from the word go and does not let go until after the credits, and I mean really, after the credits. (There’s an extra bonus mission, no relation to the story, to play after the credits roll.)
The story is one of the greatest I have ever seen/heard/played on a computer game. The characters are true and unique, and you build a virtual bond with each and every one of them. Yes, most parts of this game are “run and gun” and at times you fight against incredible odds, but you have to keep pushing because you can’t stop till that next auto save. But it’s not just about running and gunning down the bad guys. I have done more in this game then I could have ever imagined. I stormed a ship, I chased a felon, I sneaked into an enemy compound, I laid for over a day to take the one shot, one kill, I ran for my life… a lot, I repelled down a burning building, I fireman carried my partner for ten miles, I fired a stinger, a javelin, a mini-gun, and tons of other weapons. I called in air support, chopper and airplanes in this 10 to 12 hour single player game, I almost did it all. It took me 10 to 12 hours despite others' claims that it takes 6 to 8. But even with a game I play it more slow and tactical then it probably should be played.
And then, after all of that, I cried. OK, maybe not cried, but my eyes did get watery and I got up from my computer desktop, my Windows gaming platform, and said, “that was one of the most incredible games I’ve played.”
If Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare was a book, it would be a best seller.
If Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare was a movie, it would be a blockbuster.
It is my opinion that everyone who calls themselves a computer gamer should play this single player campaign. Be a star in this interactive movie. You will not be disappointed.
OK, you have read all that gushing praise with no negatives. I don’t think so Infinity Ward.
Though CoD4 is an incredible story, an incredible movie, and incredible experience, it does have a few game play issues. Now really I guess I can’t say these are negatives because that’s not the purpose of the game. The game lives up to its purpose but some things are just out of whack.
The game is on rails, meaning you follow the scripted story. Like I said, you’re an actor, someone has already written the story and you just follow it. It is an easy game, a little too easy; though I did get stuck a couple of times, usually when it was me against the hordes. But then if you jack it up to a higher level it is insanely difficult. There’s no middle in my opinion.
Another thing that bothered me is that you, and only you, can push the story forward. You can send enough rounds downrange to destroy a village, but until you move up and reach a certain spot, the bad guys will keep popping up in the window. You can’t really tactically engage the enemy or flank them much. To end the rush of enemies you have to move up to the front line, danger close, and kill those ones there at point blank range.
Then, there’s the one guy, or two, or three, that must be your responsibility to kill. Your AI teammates do a great job, and Capt. Price is hard core through and through, battling with you, but certain bad guys are for you only, and they will ignore them so you can get the kill.
I’ve flash banged a room, the team goes in to clear, but they walk right past the guy standing there waiting to engage me. I know this is true, because I threw the bang, but then stayed outside then looked through the window. The team had cleared their targets but not the one enemy 3 feet next to Capt. Price. There all just standing around, waiting for me to enter and get my kill.
These negatives aside, this single player campaign is a must play.
Oh, and let me add that a couple of hardcore things occur that will blow your mind in the single player story. These things are some of the same things were seeing in the news about torture and executions etc. etc.… I won’t ruin anything for you, but modern warfare is not all about good morality. Your team will do some questionable things at times. And I'm not just talking about killing dogs, even though that was hard for me to do as a real world dog handler.
I bought both versions of CoD4: the PC version, for this review and my excellent system, and the Xbox 360 version because frankly, the console has the PC beat when it comes to multiplay. It has built in comms in every game and no IP discussions, or connection issues. On the 360 you simply connect to a game, connect to a friend’s game, or start your own public or private server. It’s just so simple when it comes to the latest consoles.
There are reports of major connection problems with the PC version of CoD4 multiplayer, and I’ve experienced them myself. The master list has bugs, putting up your own server, whether dedicated or not, has bugs, and connecting to a server is bugged. When it does work, it is fantastic and everything works great.
But currently to connect to a server, you have to keep refreshing till you finally see it listed, hopefully add it to your favorites, but no guarantee that you’ll see it again. Then if you do see it, you’ll get a connection time out 9 out of 10 times. You have to just keep trying till it finally works.
Infinity Wards is aware of this and is said to be working to address it. But it sucks right now. It takes an average of 15 minutes to join one of my friends on our own server.
ADDED NOTE: Since the original writing of this review, two patches have been released, mostly addressing some of these issues.
Multiplayer for the PC is the exact same as the console version. Same 12 maps, same 10 game modes, same character building and character perks, and same promotions based on points. (of course you don't have the achievement unlocks like you do in the Xbox 360 version.)
The multiplayer is fast and furious, with the ability to have more players on the PC servers then the console version. The maps are small, too small. In my opinion I would have liked to see the multiplayer maps bigger, to allow for more tactics and teamwork.
But the game play is fantastic. You gain points for mission objectives, kills and wins and you move up a long ladder of promotions. You also have special challenges to unlock like shooting down a helicopter. You also get to build your own characters by unlocking weapons and equipment then creating your own character. I have a close quarter’s character with an MP5 and flash bangs for, well, close quarters fighting. Then I have a M16A3 with an ACOG, and smoke for long distance. And then a SAW for when I want to rock and roll.
You also unlock perks that you can apply to your character, such as better accuracy, better fitness, eavesdropping, (where you can listen in on your enemies team in game VOIP comms), also ones that I’m not too fond of like the last stand, where after I shoot you with my SAW machine gun for about 20 or so rounds, you fall down and get to pull out your pistol for a final shot of your own. Or the crap a grenade martyr perk, where when you die you automatically drop a frag grenade.
And yes, as I stated earlier there is in game VOIP comms and it works pretty well, if people would use it for more then bragging.
Multiplayer, though more of a run and gun then the single player campaign, is still a lot of fun, and there is a lot to it. Infinity Wards did an excellent job with the multiplayer game play mode, and now they just need to fix the server issues. You still have problems, especially in open servers, of grenade spamming, spawn killings, and just all out gamey game play. Usually, in an open server, as soon as the game starts on a small map grenades start flying in the air like artillery rounds. Hopefully Tactical Gamer server admins can control these game play issues, and the membership can control there desires to play the games weaknesses, but we will see.
Also, there are 6 different modes of play for multiplayer, along with 15 maps. And of course options to make the server harder or easier, and “hardcore” and an “old school” modes.
As you can tell by my review, this has potential for game of the year written all over it.
Graphics and sounds are incredible, game play and execution is well done, the single player campaign is a must play, and multiplayer is very well done, if they fix the server finding issues.
Yes, this is a run and gun; know what type of game you’re getting. But also open your mind; sure I can take tons of hits, back away and recover, but it’s a movie, an excellent movie that you are the star of. Go get your Oscar!
Multiplayer is a lot of fun, but with small maps and gamey issues, some of us more tactical minded gamers will get turned off quickly.
Tactical Gamer Servers:
Tactical Gamer currently has two CoD 4 servers:
Server 1 Mix: Domination and Headquarters
Server name: TacticalGamer.com - CoD4
Server 2 Search and Destroy
Server name: TacticalGamer.com - CoD4 SRV2
Review System Specs:
Dell XPS 720, Intel Core2 processorQ6600 (2.40Ghz,1066FSB) w/QuadCore Technology and 8MB cache
4GB DDR2 SDRAM at 800MHz
768MB NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTX
SATA RAID 0 With Dual 160GB 10000 RPM Hard Drives and 16MB DataBurst Cache
16X DVD+R/RW CD-RW Combination Drive
X-Fi PCI Sound Card
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium Edition, English
You should go into more detail about the multiplayer game modes. You also mention 10 game modes, what are they? There's Free For All, Team Death Match, Sabotage, Headquarters, Domination, Search and Destroy.
Ive heard pretty much nothing but good things about this game I cant wait to play it
Welcome to TG D0me...glad you found us...TG is the best place on the net for gaming. take a look at our COD 4 forums, read the sop's and the some of the many threads about this game. You'll get a good idea of what we are about here.
We are running a teamwork oriented server and are requiring use of voip. Please enable voip and be ready to use your mic. Looking forward to seeing you on the COD 4 battlefield !!
The single player game was short lived but pretty intense. I tried the multiplayer a few times and I was unimpressed. I felt like I was playing Counter-Strike again *gag*. Is there something more to the multiplayer aspect other than the typical run around and shoot people over and over? I thought there was supposed to be vehicles and aircraft.....I'm willing to give it a second chance if I missed something.
Nice Review Magnum. Single player is seriously a game of the year. I only wish it was longer. Multi I have a hard time with, but I am a full time PR player, so if felt a little like Vanilla BF...but I do have to play more....