Call of Duty 4 Simply Couldn’t Wait

Just under two weeks ago, I wrote about having to budget my gaming time and outlined the titles I’m currently playing and those that will take a back seat for the time being. With nearly every game I’ve played over the past few months being a shooter, I figured Call of Duty 4 could wait. Regardless of the fact that Infinity Ward‘s contributions to the Call of Duty franchise are a couple of my favourite games of all time (Call of Duty & Call of Duty 2), I told myself I would get to COD4 in due time. That was until last Friday, when I awoke to two messages in my XBL inbox and an email from three separate people, all raving about the game. I followed that up with GameSpot’s video review and I was sold. Call of Duty 4 simply couldn’t wait.

Call of Duty 4

If there’s one thing Infinity Ward does extremely well, it’s bringing a level of intensity to battles like no other. I remember playing through Call of Duty 2 for the first time and quite literally working up a sweat. Obviously, I’ve never been in the middle of a fire fight myself, but I have a feeling it’s pretty close to being as chaotic and unforgiving as Infinity Ward portrays it. With each game they’ve developed, they’ve taken another step forward in level design and giving the player the freedom to choose your own path. In most levels, you’ll find at least a couple routes that will lead you to the same ultimate goal. Often times, you’ll be placed in an open area with a few objectives on your compass and told to lead the way. I don’t know about you, but that is how I want to be playing games.

There isn’t much to say about the graphics, sound and music other than they are top notch. As we have come to expect from the COD franchise, it’s right up there with the leading games in terms of graphics capabilities – level of detail, lighting, etc. The only area I would say it doesn’t truly shine is the water effects. We’ve seen nicer water in recent games like Halo 3 and BioShock. This is a game that needs to be played with surround sound. Since there’s no set course and enemies are constantly popping up all around you, it’s important to be able to hear them coming before they shoot you in the back of the head. And that’s one area COD4 really stands out. At any given time there could be 20 or more people on screen firing weapons, yet you could pick out each and every one of them if you listen closely. How sound effects change depending on distance is spot on as well. Up close, assault rifles are loud and angry. But off in the distance, they’re muffled and snappy.

Although COD4 is scoring great in the reviews, there’s a common remark among them – the length of the single player campaign. It was quite some time ago when I stopped really caring if a game is going to take me under 10 hours to complete. It really doesn’t matter. I would much rather play 5 or 6 hours of sheer goodness than 15-20 hours with half of that being filler. There are few games that can pull of a short campaign, but COD4 is one of them. Halo 3 and Heavenly Sword are a couple more good examples. By no means do you feel ripped off when you finish COD4 for the first time. Hell, I went straight back to the mission select screen and replayed some of my favourites. I’ll take quality over quantity any day of the week.

At this point, I haven’t played a single round of multiplayer. But going by what I’ve read and what I heard from he beta, I’m in for a treat. Depending on how much I get into it, I could end up writing about COD4 again some time soon. But typically, I don’t invest a whole lot of hours into multiplayer gaming. We’ll see if COD4 really grabs me.

So, since I ended up buying a game from my “when there’s a dry spell” pile, I’ll have to push back one that I was planning on picking up. I really can’t wait to see how Assassin’s Creed is. Need for Speed ProStreet will likely be that game that I get to in a couple months time. After all, I now have to make room for Super Mario Galaxy after all the rave reviews. I honestly didn’t see that coming.

Rating: 5/5

Call of Duty 4

23 Responses to “Call of Duty 4 Simply Couldn’t Wait”

  1. Matt,

    It is awesome, I thought I was going to be one to wait for a while but too many people were also telling me how great it was.

    So I picked it up and am now also hooked, SP is something special and MP is even greater!

    The perks and the weapon unlocks are pretty awesome on the MP. Go on you know you want to give it a go… 🙂

    Gavin

  2. I played the beta when it came out and I was instantly hooked. The gameplay, characters, and environments were all very realistic. I can not wait to get my hands on this.

    From what I have seen of SP it looks amazing, I think it was really cool to finally see a level based on the sniper class. Many games in the past have tried to make this but did not turn out to good. I still get really excited every time I see the "Ghillie in the Mist" video.

  3. Hey Brett, did you play COD4 on Veteran? I heard it is downright annoying / aggravating to the point of losing interest. Have you experienced that yet?

  4. @Gavin: I think I'll be spending some time with the MP end of COD4 tonight. 🙂

    @Kevin: Yeah, the sniper mission is fantastic! I remember seeing the beginning of that in Microsoft's E3 presentation this year and it blew my mind. Played out even better than I had hoped.

    @Alexander: Indeed, Assassin's Creed tomorrow! I really hope it's as great as it looks. *holds breathe*

    @Derek: Yeah, that's a pretty accurate description. I don't know why anyone would play it on Veteran if it weren't for the Achievements. I started playing on Veteran last night and made it to the third mission. It seems the checkpoints are few and far between, so when you do get taken down (which is way more often as it only takes about 4 bullets), you have to re-do a large chunk. Made it into the television station in the third mission and couldn't get passed the huge fire fight – for those that have played it. I can't even fathom how hard some of the later missions would be on Veteran.

  5. I think that when it comes to the games length 6 hours of balls to the wall excitement is much more important than say 20 hrs of good gameplay.

    The number of hours in a game are now being touted as a magical number when yet they aren't all equal.

    The 6-10 hrs that is CoD4 is much more important than the 60hrs an RPG.

    Also I'm srurpised that you didn't suspect MG to be as good as it is. The game was always going to be great, although yeah..I didn't expect it to be that great. Its ahead of all of the other big games of the year.

  6. I myself picked this game up for PS3 and I'm having a goddamn blast.

    Since this is my first CoD title I really wasn't aware of the pedigree that the series had garnered. I just wanted a shooter where I could shoot faces on and offline.

    The single player campaign was great! I loved the flashback mission with your Scottish superior. Those ghillie suits are nice to look at too.

    Multiplayer is where this game has nabbed me by the nards though. I can't put this game down. The perks, weapons, gametypes etc. are far better than Halo 3 in my opinion. I love the Overkill perk; sniper rifle for long range and shotgun for indoors!

    One question Matt, did you have a tough choice choosing between the PS3 and 360 platform?

    Great article!

  7. @Daniel: Well said!

    Regarding Mario Galaxy – honestly, the Wii has been one disappointment after another with me. I don't view it as a game console at all. I only ever use it to read up on Digg and check out some of the latest stuff on YouTube while laying in bed.

    @Lorne: Sounds like you're really enjoying it. Good stuff! The COD franchise is one of the finest gaming has ever known. Just pretend those awful console spin-offs developed by Treyarch never happened. 😉

    One question Matt, did you have a tough choice choosing between the PS3 and 360 platform?

    Not at all. In fact, I didn't even give it a second's thought. The PS3 is only for exclusives, PS2 games and Blu-ray movies in my household. With Achievements, better online support, a better controller and more consistent performance, there's no reason not to get a game on the Xbox 360 if it's available on both.

    Wow, could I sound any more like a Wii/PS3 hating Xbox 360 fanboy with those last couple comments? 😛

  8. @Derek & Matt Ooh, Ok, I'll step in and say why I've played it on Veteran from the get go. The intensity can't be matched on any other difficulty. If you want realism (although I'm not saying I've experienced any form of fighting to this, or a lesser, extent, but I do have an imagination) then Veteran is the difficulty to do it on. Crouching behind a car with bullets pinging off left, right and centre. Knowing that you can only pop your head out for a second to take out an enemy before ducking for cover again as 2 bullets, 3 if you're lucky, will have you dead. It's great stuff! Really intense! I always play games on the hardest difficulty though, so achievements or not Veteran was a must for me. Bloody frustrating though, but not to the point where I've lost interest in the game at all.

  9. I had a chance to play this one PS3 at a friends house and I was pleasantly surprised with it.

    I'm not a huge Call of Duty fan, mostly because I don't like the old war shooters… I'd rather have futuristic type guns so needless to say, this game is more my style.

    Unfortunately, I won't be able to grab it for my 360 as I recently (a few days ago) experienced the red ring of death! F**king XBOX!

  10. Yeah, i just picked up CoD4 last Saturday, and I am glad I didn't wait any longer. I just finished the single player campaign a few hours ago and it is amazing. Epic, epic, epic can not describe the single player campaign experience enough. Everything is amazing. I played the mtultiplayer and it is incredibly intense. I agree, surround sound is a MUST! There is just so much going on at all times audio is just as important as graphics. Well worth the $60.

  11. I can safely say that the PS3 version of CoD4 is as good as the 360 version by having both of them side by side yesterday.

    Very addictive game…

    plus I have Uncharted and Assassin's Creed waiting for me…

    I'll never find the time…

  12. I finished it on regular first, and now have gone back through Veteran.

    I was lucky with the tv room, I stuck to the left side and hung out in the small offices, running out when nades were tossed in.

    That level is nothing compared to escaping Chernobyl.

    I'm stuck in the war room right now. You're pretty much required to do a 15 or 16 kill steak really fast before the next checkpoint.

    Every standoff there's multiple ways to kill everyone, it always helps wiping out a helicopter with an rpg or grenade launcher.

    Online players are really good. Seems like a lot of people are past rank 55 already. But if you know at least one person on your team it can make things way easier.

    Nick

  13. I am loving the CRAP outta COD4. The multiplayer just is yards above Halo if you ask me and the single player was fantastic, with such a great story.

  14. I just got off playing COD IV – and there is this moment etched in my brain. I was in a firefight with the marines in some arabian town, when I couldn't take the intensity of it.. so I back up into a quiet corner for some respite (and rest). After a couple of moments I looked towards my right, and on top of a far off building was a guy in a ski mask with what seemed like a long pipe looking towards me…I was like "Wha.."

    RPG !!!

    I swear I could almost feel that thing whizz past my face while I jumped to the right and hit the deck. BLAM !!!

    There, I had my black hawk down moment. Awesome, thank you Infinity for giving it to me.

  15. COD 4 is very slick and WAS lots of fun until I found myself in a TV station. I have been playing on and off for days now and cannot get through that room, Im supposed to get to the 2nd floor but it seems impossible with the infinite number of enemys. Its so frustrating that my copy will be going onto Ebay very soon.

    What a dissapointment. I like a challenge but this takes it too far.

  16. @Duncan: What difficulty are you playing it on? I found the TV studio part (I believe it's in the third or forth mission) challenging the first time around on normal. But I simply couldn't get passed it on veteran.

  17. It wasnt the toughest level, I think it was Hardened. After the training, that is the level it suggested so I went with it.

    I will restart the game on Normal and see if I do any better, I still have a little hair left to pull out!

    Cheers.

  18. It took me at least 20 attempts to get through that room in the TV station on vetran. I picked up a sniper rifle at the start of the level and I just used that to get to the second floor.

    Its such a cool game and such a challenge on the hardest difficulty. Looking forward to playing some multiplayer when I get back home.

    Happy New Year by the way!

  19. The game is simply amazing, finished it on normal and now on veteran. It is extremely difficult but I've managed to complete the TV station mission which is almost impossible. Gotta love the stealth of the S.A.S its just such a cool game.

  20. I'm playing it through again on veteran now and most of the game isn't really that hard. I blew through it but the last few missions are insane, I'm to the point of just putting it down. It's almost as if they are literally impossible, and y