Friday, November 09, 2007

COD4: Modern Warfare review continued...sort of...

Gabe over at Penny Arcade had this to say and I completely agree with him:

  • "It's funny, in the end it turns out I'm not a big fan of COD 4. I tossed it in last night and played through the first handful of levels. It certainly looks great but I think Rainbow 6: Vegas has really spoiled me. The lack of a cover system in COD is really frustrating to me. It looks and feels like a tactical squad shooter. Only I don't have any ability to play tactically or control my squad. The enemies can blind fire from behind cover but apparently I can't? My teammates can shoot the hinges off a door and then kick it in but I can't so much as jiggle a doorknob? After R6 I never thought I'd have to toss a flash bang into a room by standing in the middle of the doorway again. Visually it's a real stunner but game play wise it feels dated to me."

He's right - all the problems I have with this game are because of the controls. In fact one of the most annoying aspects of gameplay is the fact that enemies will continue to spawn in checkpoint areas until you charge in and hopefully clear the building. This makes for some exciting and harrowing gun battles it doesn't make for tactically challenging combat. Plus the levels are short. Okay, the over all level isn't short but it's made up of short scenes that chop it up. Medal of Honor Airborne had some sprawling levels - the Factory level comes to mind - that COD4 could have really benefitted from.

What really is awesome about COD4 is that when it's on - it's on. Since this isn't a tactical shooter the combat is close and fast and furious. There are points in the game when the amount of supressive fire the enemy cranks out is pretty frickin daunting. The levels that break the mold - one of my favorite levels of the game is providing fire support from a C130 gunship.

COD4 truly shines in the realistic world it's created. This game has my new favorite opening credits - the cinema is from the POV of a newly deposed president beaten and thrown in the back of a car. As the vehicle crosses the city you can control the camera and watch the insanity. In all honesty I was kind of shaken - a strange sensation to get from a video game. The graphics are so high quality that it could have been the beginning of a movie. A minor complaint about the game is that I can't watch the cinematics without playing through the level. The story of COD4 is pretty straight forward: evil foreigner says fuck you to democracy and all that. Democracy says fuck you and kicks evil foreigner ass. It's the delivery of the story that makes it though. I look forward to seeing it through to the end.

I'll wrap it up this evening or this weekend and let you fine folks know my final thoughts. I did pick up Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic though and that might get some play tonight. We'll see.

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