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Every once in a while a game comes along that makes us say, "Wow." Not just, "wow", but "very wow." We aren't impressed very often by video games, but Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare has really caught our attention and impressed our staff significantly. In the past, James Bond Goldeneye 007 on Nintendo 64 impressed us as well. Heck it even had a paintball unlock, where you could go around marking people with paintballs. It took us so long to write this review, because we have been addicted to playing the game.
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is an epic title. To say that we are simply impressed is a severe understatement. Our staff feels that this is the greatest game of all time and will be playable for many, many years. Yes, greatest game of all time. The stunning graphics, the sound track, the game play and most of all it's addictability (yes, we've coined a new term for this game).
We've been playing computer games since the late 80s, when console and PC gaming first started. We've played the Leisure Suit Larry, the Wolfenstein 3D series, Duke Nukem, Quake, James Bond Goldeneye 007, all the Halos, all the Half-Lifes, as well as many others over the years. Call of Duty 4 is the epitome of all computer games, not just first person shooters. This should be the game that all others are judged by. Something is just different about this game and it was expertly designed by the folks at Infinity Ward. If you played COD2 or 3, forget that experience, this game is something else.
Of course, there are many other first person shooters out there; Bioshock, Gears of War, Rainbow Six, Halo 3, Half Life 2 with it's death matches, and a number of others. Imagine taking the best aspects of all of those games and combining them into one single amazing game. Unbelievable!
The single player storyline is phenomenal. When playing this you feel like you are starring in your own superhero movie. The soundtrack is upbeat and rivals that of any movie you have seen. You really feel like you are there and doing what the computer monitor shows. It is very engulfing and gets your adrenaline pumping and your heart thumping.
Although the single player game is shorter than usual, much shorter than Half Life 2 or Halo 2 and 3, it is an exhilarating experience. In about 5-6 hours you can "finish the game" at the beginner levels. At first, we were all saying, "Wait, we want more". But then we realized that the single player campaign is only about 20% of what this game really does. We quickly discovered the multiplayer section and we were even more baffled than before.
Even more impressive is how amazing this thing looks. The graphics are top notch. The smoke effect in this game is the best smoke we have seen in any game. Our entire staff feels that we have never, ever seen anything like this on any platform! Ever! Is that clear? This is the most amazing game we have ever seen. We used to think that the graphics for Half Life 2 were the pinnacle of computer graphics, but no longer can we say that. Call of Duty 4 has realism and beauty that has not been seen before. Ever.
If we weren't already impressed enough, we were blown away by the multiplayer version. You can connect online and play against other people online. It may sound simple, but wait till you try it. You will be engulfed in an even more addicting game that never plays out the same way ever again.
In multiplayer, you can play on various servers or game types. You can play Team Death Match, wherein everyone keeps killing everyone and points add up, players respawn continuously after each death. You can play Capture the Flag, which is similar to paintball capture the flag. You can play a game called Domination, wherein your team has to overtake locations and protect them for periods of time to earn points, as well as many other game types.
Our favorite game by far was Search and Destroy. The players are divided up into two teams. One team's objective is to defend two target sites. The other teams job is to plant a bomb at one of the target sites. It's a cooperative effort for the most part, and players do not respawn until the match is over. This is very similar to most paintball games. We like the fact that players don't respawn until that match is over. This game never gets old, and after you die, you can watch other players play and see how they do it. This is by far the best game type.
There are also different game modes. Our favorite game mode is Hardcore. Every weapon has slightly increased damage, and it's usually about one shot, one kill. Of course, the weaker weapons can't do this, but one or two bullets usually take out your enemy. This is also the most similar to paintball and our staff found ourselves only playing on hardcore servers. Once you play hardcore and search and destroy, you will find yourself dominating everyone in other game modes and types. It just won't be fair, you will be a superior player.
The multiplayer maps are amazing! You have smaller maps like Showdown, Killhouse, Bog, Ambush and Countdown that play similar to paintball games on speedball fields. You also have larger maps which play similar to woods or scenario paintball games like Creek, Overgrown, and Pipeline.
Our favorite maps include Pipeline, Strike, Overgrown, Crash, Killhouse, Backlot, and Broadcast. We really like the maps that are set in Middle Eastern towns as opposed to the Russian maps. They just play better and are more fun. If we had to pick one map as our favorite it'd be Strike. It's an all around excellent map with lots of strategies to employ.
We really disliked Downpour and Bloc. Dark and dreary maps that just don't get us excited. Bloc is heaven for snipers, but there are way to avoid them. Downpour is just downright nasty and foggy with a downpour of rain and fog making it tougher. We play well on them, just prefer other maps.
The game is very, very deep. There are so many layers, that combine the best of all previous first person shooters. There is an online ranking system. As you play longer and earn more points, you rank up and unlock more weapons, and more perks (more on that later). Initially, when we were not ranked very high, we would play a game called Team Headquarters because you can earn a lot of points quickly and rank up to unlock new weapons and perks.
Another added layer of depth is the weapon attachments and camouflage. As you use your weapon more and gain more kills, you can unlock more weapon attachments, sights, scopes, grenade launchers, red dot sights, camouflage, and eventually a golden gun. What? If you finish all the achievements for a certain class of weapons, you can unlock that class' Golden Gun. For the assault rifles, it's a Golden AK47. The fastest way to do this is to go to a hardcore Team Death match game being played on a map called Shipment and just aim for heads with your weapon the second you spawn and respawn.
Another layer of depth is the Perks system. This is a brilliant system which allows you to customize and choose your abilities. Some perks give you more health, some give you more stamina, some allow you to aim better, some make your grenades stronger, some