Synyster Graves

Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

by on Jun.07, 2010, under Xbox 360

[As one of the biggest grossing games ever on Xbox 360, I’d heard rave reviews about this game when it first came out and the buzz on the internet was all about everybody playing this game. Never been one for peer pressure myself but the curiousity to see what all the fuss was about. I managed to find a cheap copy on eBay and off I went, so here’s my review]

Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is a first person contemporary war game shooter which sees you take the role of “Soap” McTavish, a British SAS soldier and Sgt. Paul Jackson, a US Marine. The campaign plays from the perspective of both soldiers as they battle in Russia and Middle East to curb the potential Ultranationalist uprising which would spark a civil war in Russia.  The game is set in multiple locations throughout the whole area from Afghanistan, Iraq, Azerbaijan, etc. The game launches you into boot camp from the off under the premise of a tutorial mission and helps you get to grips with the controls.

The layout of the levels is amazingly linear and pretty much involves you walking from the start to the end of a corridor peppering  terrorists but because it’s so vectoral it’s about as routine as mowing a lawn in a straight line. It’s frustrating seeing that you’re reprising the role of an elite soldier and you’re unable to assail something simple like a 2ft wall. Personally I found the aiming with the left trigger to be more of a hinderance than anything as the actual gun took up most of the screen and I found myself extrapolating where the enemies were rather than “aiming”. Another passage I found quite frustrating was the retrospective mission where you play as a sniper in a ghilly suit sneaking through the urban tundra before finding a sniping spot about a mile away from the target and you have one bullet which swerves more readily than a Roberto Carlos freekick! Apparently you had to watch the flag to gauge the wind direction, but seeing that the direction completely switches from east to west at the drop of the hat, it seems like you’re either in the calm centre of a twister or in the epicentre for every single weather pattern.

The only thing I found to be more stupid than the maldirected sniper rounds was the melee attack. Clicking in the right analog stick causes you to pull out a knife from your underpants, slice in a horizontal fashion before returning it to your undergarments in the blink of an eye. Stupidly this is a one hit kill. I don’t know who thought this was a good idea and certainly for a game which markets itself on realism and this dumbness still managed to find itself onto MW2! This isn’t such a drag in single player but in multiplayer this is exceptionally annoying. Not only is it cheap but it’s completely stupid. Tactics go out the window when idiocy gets implemented like this.

COD4 is another game similar to Gears of War which instead of picking up health packs and other assorted medical equipment en route, you run away and your health regenerates. I’ve never been a fan of this mechanism seeing that it promotes cowardice but in COD4 your entire screen becomes obscured with what I believe is blood, but actually looks like somebody has thrown half a jar of jam over your face as if you were engaged in a middle eastern scone fight, so you run off behind cover while you grow another arm back as it’s just been blown off. This would be acceptable if in fact Soap McTavish was an earthworm and real time for us was in fact 5 weeks.

The multiplayer is where the beauty of this game lies I’ve been told, well so says Tribal and especially Freqmaster since he actually sticks it up his bum on a regular basis. So what the hell I thought, I’ll give it a go online. It has it’s ranking system and since I’d only dabbled before online I had a rank of 3. Rabit was on 6 and Tribal was on 12. Well the servers will weight the opponents if it has implemented a system like this? No. We were placed in a team deathmatch game against three guys gay enough to have a clan tag in their gamertags and all were at the maximum level of 53, which means they had actually unlocked all the perks and seeing that I had just got the game, I pretty much had a dustbin lid and a BB gun as if I was in Battle Royale. So yeah, the first thing I noticed about multiplayer was, well I didn’t notice anything at all because as soon as I spawned I was dead. Yes, hard to believe but the COD nerds on the other team had actually memorised all the spawn points on the map so every return from my gunshot demise was met instantanously with another one. It was at this point that you come to realise that 90% of the online players of COD games are in fact house bound dorks with absolutely no life. This seemed to be constant through every single deathmatch I played and the only time I’d managed to even fire a gun was if I was against either Tribal or Rabit in a private match. I personally hated the online play in this game as the Fist-of-the-North-Star-one-hit-right-click-of-death was very VERY annoying. The death cam which it shows you after you die is also really rubbing it in your face at how crap you are.

So in conclusion, many of you will say I didn’t like the game because I wasn’t very good at it would be half right, the other half can’t ignore the fact that while the game is very polished, the sheer linear apporach taken to the game makes it one hell of a slog to play in single player, and even more fucking irritating in multiplayer, especially when the game shoves you into a firefight of professional virgins.

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5 Comments for this entry

  • Whyte Rabit

    Unfortunately I have to disagree on most of that; yes the game is rather linear, but so was RoboCop on the Spectrum and that was fun!

    I know we’re in the era of sandbox games where it’s liberating to have freedom from what the developers want us to do, and yes I agree that they could have put a little more effort in the map design, perhaps made the maps square, not “one corridor”, as there’s always that sweet satisfaction of flanking your enemy and taking his scalp off with a Desert Eagle .50 from 10cm away. But I didn’t miss that so much in MW or MW2.

    The story was pretty good (for the most part), and the levels weren’t too similar. It gave you a good mix of urban and rural warfare, sniping, RPG play and CQB which managed to keep my attention for 3 playthroughs!

    How can we kill that which has... no life?But next we get to the multiplayer. Here I have to agree with you 100%. That was one of the most boring few hours of my life, but as is the case with most online shooters (Gears of War, Call of Duty etc), the populace consists mainly of 45 year old virgins who have been glued to that sweaty Argos padded chair for so long, they’ve forgotten what the outside world smells like.

    Plus “all against all” matches are just so boring anyway, even if you are good. Go back and play Quake 3 or Unreal Tournament if you want limited multiplayer. Co-op is where it’s at. But even the co-op games in MW aren’t truly co-op as you always get lumped with a team of retarded American school kids who are about as coordinated as a bunch of orangutans trying to do a 1000 piece puzzle. Co-op this is not.

    Bring on proper co-op like GTA IV or Saints Row online missions.

  • synystergraves

    I knew I was going to incur the wrath of one of Team Sly! It’s maybe because I was such a fan of Ghost Recon on the PS2 which is how I feel an army game should be like, rather than steamrollering through corridors!

  • Freqmaster

    The Single player of CoD4 (both MW and especially MW2) I find presents itself more as a ‘motion picture’ than anything else – hence the linear fashion. You are following a storyline and yes, your being thrown down a one way road, but man what a road! The shivers you get down your spine when playing “Whisky Hotel” in MW2 are shivers I don’t normally get from a game (except from Final Fantasy of course!). The last scene in MW though is very cool.

    As for multiplayer – I have to argue here, nothing compares to either of them. GTA was good, don’t get me wrong, and although I’ve not given Red Dead multiplayer a go yet, a game has to work awesomely hard to beat Modern Warfare.

  • synystergraves

    Yeah but I’m not talking about MW2 because I haven’t played it. I’m sure they made an improvement of “walk down corridor, shoot enemy” mechanics and personally I just found it a bit wooden, that’s all, I’m sure they polished it more for MW2, whenever you’ve finished mowing down Russian denizens in an airport!

  • Whyte Rabit

    There is a small amount more freedom in MW2 than there is in MW1, however as Freqmaster pointed out, I don’t think that it really detracts from the gameplay. The storyline is excellent, and just because there’s no possibility of making a flanking manoeuvre doesn’t make the game any worse in my opinion.

    Freqmaster, I really like your analogy of it being more like a film than a GTA sandbox “do what the hell you want” game! Because that’s how I’ve viewed it all these playthroughs. Maybe that’s why you’ve not got on with it Synyster?

    And sadly the last scene in MW1 is much better than the last scene in MW2.

    As for the multiplayer, I think if you are in a game of people with IQ’s over 10 then the games could be really good, but sadly every time I’ve played, I’ve been shot by my own team, abandoned, or watched as everybody in my team runs off doing their own thing… co-ordination people, co-ordination! We all have headsets (on the 360 at least)!

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