I have seen a lot about the new dashboard and can't wait 'til it comes, but I've also heard that it might not be coming to the ...
The Xbox 360's new Dashboard will be a worldwide launch, so no need to worry about it not reaching the UK. Altho...MORE
Posted on: Nov 09, 2007
Call of Duty 4
WORDS BY: Ryan McCaffrey
THOROUGHLY MODERN GHILLIE
We don’t want to spoil all of the amazing moments you’ll experience during the campaign, but we’re compelled to share a few more highlights. Other notable spots include blowing up cars in urban shootouts; taking out enemy tanks with the high-arching Javelin missile launcher; saving teammates as they wrestle with enemies; being mauled by dogs; running through smoke grenades and planting C4 explosives on moving tanks; leveling buildings and squads of baddies from above in an AC-130 gunship (see image at right); peppering people with high-caliber explosive rounds from an attack helicopter’s gunner seat; and even a major catastrophe that’s bound to shock you as much as the end of the opening credits. And that’s to say nothing of the game’s end run, which mixes against-the-clock pressure, a high-speed car chase, a gratifying “screw you” payback, and a truly emotional moment with an ally before the final credits roll — after which you’d best not put down the controller.
But we must give specific praise to “All Ghillied Up,” the final level of the second act. Armed with a silenced sniper rifle and decked out in a Ghillie suit (you’re basically a walking bush), you (in a flashback sequence as a young Captain Price) must make your way alongside Captain MacMillan to a distant building to try to snipe the game’s antagonist, Imran Zakhaev. Following your C.O., you can sneak by or silently shoot patrolling foes, all while avoiding detection. An Achievement awaits those who can make it through unnoticed, which requires you and MacMillan to snipe two chatty tangos simultaneously before the tensest moment in the game: having to lie still in a grassy field while a platoon of bad guys walking side-by-side — including a couple of tanks — stroll by just inches away from you. It’s not only a stellar stealth mission for a Call of Duty game and easily the best level in Modern Warfare; it’s also one of the finest stealth levels in any game we’ve ever played.
All told, the variety throughout Modern Warfare’s campaign brings the series back down to earth a bit. The ubiquitous chaos of the two previous iterations had grown a bit too comical and over-the-top. In Call of Duty 4, however, the wildly different flavors in pacing — and the fact that when characters die, you actually care — lend a welcome newfound narrative gravity to the franchise. The campaign is completely worthy of a 10 on its own, in fact; but it’s the multiplayer mode that solidifies the game’s instant-classic status and is one of the most compelling reasons you’ll be wired into Live for a long time to come.
WAR FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY
Quality, quantity, and depth are the three primary and dominant reasons why Modern Warfare’s multiplayer mode stands toe-to-toe with anything else on the 360 — including Halo 3. The core gameplay is, as fans of Call of Duty 2 would expect, top-notch. Weapons are balanced, grenades are useful but not overpowered, and lag is nonexistent. But Call of Duty 4 takes a series-changing leap in the peripherals. Party system à la Halo? Check. An onslaught of quality game modes, including standard deathmatch, Search and Destroy, Domination, one-on-one duel, a one-shot/one-kill hardcore mode, a higher-jumping/weapons-via-pickup-only old-school mode, and old favorite Headquarters? Check. Matchmaking playlists? Check. Plenty of fun maps to game on? Try 16 of them out of the box! Four-player split-screen? Yep. How about RPG-like perks that give your character latent bonuses like the ability to reload faster, absorb more damage, or detect claymore mines through walls? Why, yes! Underpinning it all, however, is Modern Warfare’s fantastic online leveling system. Everything you do on the battlefield — get kills, make assists, complete objectives, and so on — earns you experience points that lead to new ranks. And earning promotions nets you rewards that are both instant (temporary radar, call in air strikes and choppers) and perpetually tangible (new weapons, attachments, matchmaking playlists, and create-a-class). You’re not simply unlocking just-for-show armor permutations à la Halo 3. You max out at level 55, but the goodies come well before and even after that point. At level 4 you unlock the aforementioned ability to create your own class. Choose your primary and secondary weapons, grenade type, and three of the aforementioned perks. You’ll have five slots to work with, plus the ability to give custom names to each. Believe it or not, that’s still not all. A wealth of challenges also await you — even at level 55. Complete tasks such as knifing five enemies or killing a near-dead foe with the melee damage of a grenade hitting them, and you’ll earn new weapon attachments such as laser sights and silencers.
Simply put, Call of Duty 4 does everything right and nearly nothing wrong. But where it elevates itself above even the best 360 shooters is how all of the good stuff is ludicrously good. The campaign never lets up, while multiplayer is a triple-A affair in itself. Infinity Ward’s enthusiasm for being freed of World War II shines through in every moment of gameplay, and this swing for the fences has belted Call of Duty 4 way out of the park.