Murder Simulator Further Refined

Of all the games released for the holidays in 2007, none perform as admirably in the category of first-person shooter as Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. The fourth installment of the franchise, C.O.D. 4 deals with a fictional present-day combat scenario. Fantastic graphics, a compelling storyline, realistic game play and spectacular features make this game a winner. All the fan-favorite aspects of the award winning series are present along with some new additions that will keep gamers playing for hours on end.

Traditionally, Call of Duty games are set in the World War II era and allow players to fight through many of the notorious battles of the European theater. The characters played are usually soldiers from different nations fighting for the allied forces. However, in Modern Warfare, it is not the standard three-country setup where the player moves from one nation to the next as missions are completed. This allows the game to have a more cohesive storyline.

In C.O.D. 2, when the game opens up, the player is a Russian fighting the German invasion of Stalingrad. Then control shifts to a British soldier fighting the Afrika Korps in the Egyptian desert. Finally, the player fights against Hitler’s forces in France as an American. The solo campaign in Modern Warfare is different in that the missions alternate between the United States Marines 1st Force Recon and a British special-forces unit known as the 22nd SAS regiment.

The rotation between British and American Special Forces units in the game gives C.O.D. 4 a more cinematic quality because each mission relates to the other. The Marine’s missions affect the SAS missions and vice versa. Modern Warfare is the first in the C.O.D. series to include plausible twists in the storyline, such as the detonation of a nuclear device in the Middle East. Also, there are a few side missions where the player performs actions without the help of an accompanying unit. For example, in a flashback mission, the player becomes Lieutenant Price, a member of a two-man Black ops sniper team. This gives the single-player campaign an extra dimension and adds to its overall depth.

The single-player campaign is only half of what this game has to offer. The multiplayer feature is what makes this game a buy rather than a rent. When compared with other multiplayer games such as Halo 3, C.O.D. 4 offers a fresh alternative. Unlike in Halo 3, there are no weapons on the multiplayer maps, since each player starts with a full weapon set. Before each death match, the player chooses from different classes that include different types of weapons. The five default classes include Assault, Special Ops, Heavy Gunner, Demolitions and Sniper.

Gameplay on Xbox Live allows players to accumulate experience points depending on how many kills they record. At level four, players can customize their own class from a list of favorite weapons. The player is given the opportunity to use all of the high-tech weaponry utilized by the militaries of today. The realistic quality of this game will make it a favorite of those who appreciate combat that doesn’t involve alien technology or laser guns.

To the many gamers who value realism, C.O.D. 4 deserves the praise it receives and is sure to go down as one of the best first-person shooters ever made.