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Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
  opened by paleface at 03:46:40 11/19/07  
  paleface [sys=X360; cat=Shooter_3D; loc=NA]
CoD4:MW easily has the most bullets per minute of any first-person shooter I have seen. Set in modern-day, fictional military conflicts, you're usually blasting away at scummy political dissidents (how dare they assassinate the puppet candidate we supported?) along with a squad of unusually effective friendly NPCs. Everyone is constantly shooting from all sides while helicopters or tanks run around blasting every which way, and most of them are yelling things, too; oh, and one or two guys are usually screaming over your radio. Scrap, grenades, tracers, and smoke fly everywhere. It's incredibly hectic, and it does not let up.
Objectives are straightforward; you follow the beacon on your compass, and press X to do whatever when you get there. You can carry two guns, and there's never a shortage of unmanned guns laying around beside all the bodies. You heal from any damage you take pretty quickly, but you can still be taken out instantly by a grenade (the enemy is very frisky with these, and when one's near you, there's an indicator on-screen, but it's kind of small and easy to overlook) or an exploding car (grr...). Not to worry, though; after death you restart at some checkpoint that's usually just a couple minutes of hot leady death behind where you were when you bit it.
Graphics and sound stay up with the scripted intensity admirably. The game really looks good, recreating both dusty, sun-baked Middle Eastern locales and dark, snowy Eastern European (or wherever the heck that was) towns and landscapes beautifully. Buildings boast intricate detail, and although you can't open most doors, which seems weird considering the hardware you're carrying, the areas you can reach always look pretty darn good. The weapons you use look, sound, and handle distinctly and responsively, and the dual-analog control is spot on.
I saw a couple stages that use special vision modes, and these were noteworthy. One or two had you use night vision goggles, where everything is illuminated in a glowing green field, and the laser sights on the guns of your squadmates form an eerie field of beams traversing the dark grainy world. Another was a helicopter gunship sequence, where you're dropping massive shells on suckers trying to raid a bunch of civilians; everyone's just a squiggly dot in a black and white scan display, and it's distinctly eerie to watch multiple bodies twist away after you drop a 105mm shell in the midst of them, and then hear your mission controllers say something like "Ka-boom" or "That's gotta hurt."
I hear the single-player campaign, where you switch back and forth between two military guys, is pretty darn short. Supposedly the multiplayer is popular, but I haven't tried it.
Although I don't tend to like games with a depressingly realistic, gung-ho military theme, the impressive scope, pace, and detail of the action almost makes CoD4:MW one I would pick up anyway.

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