20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Just a short review of the best PS3 game so far., 11 Mar. 2008
Well I thought I would just write a quick review of a thoroughly enjoyable game, Call of Duty 4 on the PS3.
This is the only PS3 game that has been able to keep me entertained for more than 12 hours.... 77 hours at present to be precise, which is shamefully over 3 whole days, and that's only the online sector of the game! Even I am beginning to think I am a bit of a loser!
Anyway.. Call of Duty 4 has both online and offline components (including four player split-screen) and has deviated slightly from the previous three Call of Duty's. Infinity Ward replaced the 1940's World War II first person shooter by an up-to-date `Modern Warfare' title.
Offline, Call of Duty 4 is a very strong, yet excruciatingly short game with stunning visuals running at 60fps, good storyline, easy to master and natural controls, huge amounts of action and, in my opinion, a good amount of replayability as the missions can be attempted along non-linear routes.
The story sees you playing both as a US marine and as a British SAS operative. The game is split into a number of missions set in a variety of environments from ghost town resulted from a nuclear holocaust, to a cargo ship in the middle of a storm at night, to a bog. The campaign can be attempted on different difficulty levels so is suitable for newbie's as well as mature gamers.
Generally the missions are pretty straightforward, most of them you will be working as a team as part of an operation to either get from one place to another or to just eliminate AI in a full-on assault. There are also missions where stealth plays a large part, the most memorable being lying down in the middle of a grassland with enemy tanks and troops passing just inches away from you while desperately trying to stay hidden and out of view.
Objectives are marked on-screen by symbols and the HUD is clear and easy to follow with a small map showing surrounding friendly AI as green triangles and enemy AI as small red dots when they fire a weapon without a silencer. Health regenerates after a few seconds in cover, but it will not take many hits to kill so the best idea is to stay out of view of the enemy as much as possible.
The environments are all incredibly detailed with various objects to take cover behind and finding the perfect spots to take down the enemy in enjoyable but can be challenging especially on the harder difficulties. Some objects can also be fired through with more powerful weapons. This can be very useful in the right circumstances but does take a while to learn which objects are safe to take cover behind.
There is an adequate array of primary weapons including a number of; light machine guns, assault rifles, sniper rifles, sub-machine guns, shotguns as well pistols as secondary weapons. On the single player campaign the weapons will be set out ready and will not be changeable, however new weapons can be acquired by picking up those of fallen comrades.
Also provided is a knife, which can be used by just hitting R3, and is probably the most effective weapon in the game, killing enemies in just one swipe. This can be very useful in very close quarters as many of the weapons have poor accuracy at very closer range.
A number of grenades are also provided including stun, flash, smoke and of course standard frag. These all have a five second timer started by pressing and holding R2 (frag grenade) and L2 (special grenade) which can take a while to master but can prove deadly if used correctly.
There are also; slow motion, ragtime, black-and-white, sepia and a number of other special modes that can be unlocked when the game is completed by collecting hidden `intel' while playing. There is also an `elite' difficulty setting for some ultimate hardcore players
The online portion of Call of Duty 4 is where the game really shines. The presentation is not traded for smoothness for online play and generally the game runs without noticeable lag with a few exceptions. The online maps are all recognizable from the single player campaign and are generally the correct size to ensure the best gameplay possible.
When first playing online there are limited weapons and modes available. The game contains 55 ranks, all with different symbols that appear next to your name, which can be acquired on an exponential point scale (i.e. levels 1-5 will require many less points than levels 50-55). Killing the enemy players, completing an objective or winning a game collects `Experience Points'. `Experience Points' can also be collected by completing various weapon and mission objectives (i.e. kill 150 enemy players with a certain weapon or `kill a bomb planter'). As well as unlocking new weapons, `perks' and weapon attachments are also unlocked.
`Perks' are basically extras that can be used to give an advantage over other players if used correctly. There are three classes of `perk' available and one from each `perk' can be used simultaneously.
The first `perk' class contains a number of explosive extras including claymore's (trip activated explosives), rocket propelled grenades, extra grenades, C4 satchels etc.
The second `perk' class includes extra health, deeper bullet penetration, UAV jammer (turns you invisible on enemy radar).
The third `perk' class includes `last stand' (when badly wounded you get one final chance to get revenge on the player that killed you by firing a pistol when lying on the ground), martyrdom (drop a live grenade when killed - probably the most annoying option in a game.. ever!)
A number of different weapon attachments and modifications are available for most of the weapons including grenade launchers, red-dot sights, ACOG scopes, silencers, grips (to make the weapon more accurate) etc. Extra camouflage can also be unlocked to ensure you blend in with the surroundings more effectively.
There are a number of different modes, each providing different objectives. The majority of modes see you working as part of a team of five or six players whether it's a team deathmatch, `domination' (capture the flag) or `headquaters' (take control of a designated base) but there is also a larger team based mode, `ground war' which includes up to 18 players and both team deathmatch and `domination' for full scale warzones. Also a lone-wolf free-for-all mode can be good fun for performing stealth kills. There is also and `old skool' mode where only pistols are available when respawning and weapon pickups are placed around the map. `Old skool' mode also enables players to move faster and jump higher in a more `Unreal Tournament' fashion.
Another great addition is bonuses for acquiring a number of kills in a row without dying. These are UAV (shows enemy players on the map for accumulating 3 kills), airstrike (get the chance to perform a deadly airstrike on a chosen part of the map, with 5 kills) and call in a helicopter (helicopter flies around the map for a couple of minutes and takes out any visible enemy players, for 7 kills). These can be very useful to help eliminate enemy players, but can also be incredibly frustrating if the attack is against your team.
Scores are all recorded on a global leaderboard showing your rank with number of kills, kill to death ratio, time played and other statistics against other players around the world.
The game overall will take a large number of hours to complete to level 55, but even that is not the end of the game. After level 55 you have the choice to enter `prestige mode'. Entering `prestige mode' will effectively places you back at rank 1 with only limited weapons and `perks' unlocked, the only thing remaining are your leaderboard scores. `Prestige mode' can be played through ten times each giving a new special symbol to show off to your opponents and prove that you have been playing the game for far too many hours!
There are a few pointers about COD4 that are not particularly bad but could be looked at for the next instalment of the game.
The online modes may be difficult to get used to if you are a newbie to online fps games as there are already a large number of elite players who will not go easy on players with lower ranks.
There doesn't seem to be enough good places to use a sniper rifle without being an easy target. Many players who are used to the maps know where the good sniping spots are already and these have become the first areas many players look when running into the danger zones.
Voice chat can be used when playing online. This is a good feature, however when playing with somebody who has music blaring down their microphone it can get frustrating, especially with the inability to mute individual players.
The servers are generally well equipped to deal with the large amount of traffic that they must receive, obvious from the hundreds of players online at any one time, however occasionally it can be frustrating when trying to enter a game for more than five minutes or for the game to be ended prematurely because the `host left game'. Luckily these problems do not occur continuously but when playing for many hours it can be testing. Generally players on any server seem to be matched pretty evenly, however I do sometimes feel for the players with ranks of under 5 who get placed with players on their 10 prestige! It isn't a particular problem, just something I thought I would mention.
The only other thing that would improve this game would be a better split-screen mode. At the moment split-screen is very limited. Although it caters for up to four players it has no option to play online or with bots so the game is just yourself against the other people sitting in the room with you. Obviously this means you can see exactly where they are and what they are doing so it's not particularly entertaining.
Overall the game is certainly worth buying and is essential if you own a console or pc that has a good connection to the internet and are a fan of first person shooters.