Call of Duty 4 – Modern Warfare – Review

g-callofduty4mw200Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

(Activision for Xbox 360)
By Mike Delano

Call of Duty 4 succeeds at its most basic level, at a level that’s been nearly forgotten in the glut of first person shooters released on consoles since the success of Halo. Simply, it’s fun to fire your weapons. Not because you wield some far-out sci-fi gadget that shoots homing needles or disco balls, but because there’s a real weight (aided by some excellent force feedback on the 360 controller) to unloading a bullet from even the most basic pistols or assault rifles. It’s the kind of visceral experience you probably haven’t had since the first time you revved up the chainsaw in Gears of War.

Of course, this firing mechanic would be little more than a footnote if it wasn’t built into a good game, and Call of Duty 4 amazingly stands neck and neck with BioShock and Halo 3 as one of the best FPS releases in an impossibly cutthroat year. The campaign is very much an on-rails experience as you’re hurled through one intense shootout after another in locations across the world, but that’s not a problem: This is an in-your-face bulletfest that leaves exploration and quiet moments of reflection to the other guys. That said, it still offers up some of the most engaging storytelling of 2007. Add to the package an online multiplayer mode that offers more addictive gameplay modes, level-up perks, and replay incentives than games that are entirely multiplayer and you have an FPS experience that’s close to perfect. Alongside Halo 3, BioShock and The Orange Box, it’s hard to imagine that 2007 will ever be tested as the all-time pinnacle of first person shooters.