Fri, 24 Oct 2008 Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare review
Arguably the best game of the past year (on every other platform) finally comes to Mac
When it comes to gaming, no genre is more populated (and popular) than the first-person shooter. Virtual war games packed with American meathead marines and clichéd enemies may have been original in the Doom era, but have become stale in the relentless march of identical shooters. With this in mind, you may be tempted to overlook Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, especially as Mac owners are not as forgiving as our PC bretheren when it comes to a lack of originality.
This, however, would be a colossal mistake, because Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is a truly superb video game.
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare draws its influence not only from landmarks of the genre, but also from Tom Clancy novels, international politics, and the realism of modern warfare. From its visually stunning beginning to its emotionally wrenching ending, this is a surprisingly deep, rich, and unique approach to the first-person shooter.
CoD 4 is the fourth instalment of the popular series and the first chapter set in the modern age. Diverse missions, lush environments, a variety of weapons, challenging goals, solid multiplayer mode and a well-paced story, makes this not only one of the best shooters of the year, but one of the best of all time. (For the purposes of this review I tested the version 1.5 of the game. Since writing the review, version 1.7 has been released, offering new maps and other new features to the game.)
Instead of inhabiting the body of a generic marine with a shaved head and a bad attitude (see Crysis or Turok, for example) you play as several characters whose stories are interrelated. You start out as a British SAS officer nicknamed Soap, and then later hop into the body of a U.S. Marine stationed in an unnamed Middle Eastern country (an obvious Iraq stand-in). Through the course of the story, you’ll also inhabit the body of a gunship pilot and a British sniper sneaking around Chernobyl. Missions are varied and get increasingly challenging, especially during the later hours.
The opening credits deserve mention here too, because you are introduced to the crisis by witnessing the assassination of a Middle Eastern nation’s president, from his perspective. It’s rare to see a war game that punctures the monotony of combat to actually have an emotional impact on the player, but CoD 4 is paced in such a way to have some truly devastating moments as you grow more accustomed to the world and attached to your comrades.
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