on August 4, 2009
This game is an amazing thrill ride. If you have the urge to play a first-person shooter that echoes a modern day version of Saving Private Ryan, then this game is for you. The single player is great. The controls are responsive, and the frames per second are liquid smooth. Furthermore, this game has an intense and relevant story, which, though it does not get in the way of the action, still gives you enough impetus to keep playing. The most unique moments of the single player missions feature you as a defenseless character (e.g. an Arabian president, or a soldier who is a victim of an atomic bomb attack). In these parts you don't shoot any guns; all you do is watch the story unfold first-hand. It's great as an experience, and the intensity of the rest of the missions will have you on the edge of your seat.
In Call of Duty 4 you don't play as only one character; most of the time you will switch between an American Marine and the S.A.S. (British version of Navy Seals) member "Soap" McTavish. For brief spells you play as other characters too. Although I have not completed the single-player game, most of the experience I have had has been excellent. The guns are mostly fun to use, particularly the super-powered weapons (like rocket launchers) that you control for brief stints. The realism is stunning. Cars explode, and grenades thrown by the enemy can be returned. Sniping is more "arcade style", but still an enjoyable part of the game. My one complaint is that there are a few parts of the game where enemies keep running at you from the same place, and the game turns into some sort of target practice arcade. There are a few parts like this in the missions I have played, however they are not frequent, so the game is still enjoyable. Your character occasionally experiences scripted moments, such as when you almost miss a jump into a helicopter while escaping from a sinking ship. These little touches add to the suspense, and are enjoyable to watch even after the 5th time through a mission. Overall, the single player is a blast for FPS fans.
If the single-player gets you hooked, the multiplayer will have you coming back. The mode of choice is Team Deathmatch, where Marines/SAS and Spetsnatz/Terrorists duke it out for supremacy. What makes the multiplayer unique is the class-based system. You can choose between five preset classes, such as demolition expert, special ops, assault, heavy weapons, and sniper. You always have a sidearm, and each class has its own perks, such as more health, steady aim, sprint for longer distances, etc. This is just the beginning. As you gain experience you can create your own classes, and find the perfect combination for your style. You unlock more perks, such as the ability to drop grenades after you die, or to be invisible on enemy radar. In addition to Team Deathmatch, there are also regular Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, Headquarters and Search and Destroy modes. Each mode offers something unique. As your character gains experience, he levels up, which adds another element of interest. The multiplayer part of CoD 4 is a great experience, especially if you play with friends. The intensity is ramped up from single-player, which keeps the replay value high.
In all, this game is a fabulous experience both online and offline. The graphics are amazing, but the gameplay keeps things fresh for a long time. I've been playing on and off for months, and it still holds my interest. One last thought: The mature rating is justified; this is an intense game. I would not let anyone under 17 play this. Compared to games like Gears of War, the violence is much less gory. There is less cursing/crude language too. Infinity Ward decided (wisely) to go for realism without being over the top in the violence and language category. Overall, any mature gamer who likes first-person shooters should check out this game! It's an incredible action experience that's not to be missed.