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Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare sports a huge array of improvements over its predecessors. Upgraded graphics, a dizzying array of textures, dozens of weapons and a host of seemingly minor gameplay tweeks.
Like Call of Duty 3, you have the ability to throw grenades back at your enemies. While it may seem insignificant, this will save your skin more times than you can imagine. Your character also has the benefit of a GPS, giving you a small minimap on the menu screen. You also have the ability to sprint, hold your breath when firing sniper rifles (a holdover from Call of Duty 2, but a realistic touch) and like the original Call of Duty, several weapons now have multiple firing modes (most notably weapons with attached grenade launchers.)
Call of Duty 4 makes some time for “bonus" content. You get to spend a mission in an AC-130 gunship, covering your former self and allies as they rush to extract a VIP from hostile territory in Russia. You also get to take time out from a few missions to use Javelin Missile Launchers to destroy enemy tanks. Moments like these are seamlessly integrated into the game. You take a few moments to do something different, but you don’t hardly notice that you’re doing it. Without giving too much away, the game takes a moment out from the action to show a great tragedy from a point of view that is up close and very personal.
Call of Duty 4 also sports improved AI, for both your allies and enemies. Far from being the only soldier with a unit following in the distance, Call of Duty 4 has you working with a team almost every step of the way. Chances are high that if you try to leave your men behind, you will get killed.
One of the coolest features of Call of Duty 4 that separates it from every other FPS out there is the introduction of “soft cover." This means that thin objects like sheet metal and wood will no longer stop bullets. They will decrease the damage they do, but bullets will now pass through thin materials and into you if you are not careful!
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The sights in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare are in a word, amazing. Call of Duty 4 sports some of the best graphics yet seen in a first-person shooter. The settings are filled with materials you’d expect to see in the location. Torn sheet metal, mangled barbed wire, piles of rubble and burnt-out cars are just a few of the objects you will find on the battlefields in the game. But if you think this is good, just wait. Try standing near the Abrams tank when it fires. This is nothing short of amazing.
The downside is that the processing power needed to run Call of Duty 4 is pretty hefty. Those with older or lower-power systems may want to try the console edition instead of the PC version.
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The sound design for Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is nothing short of astounding. The background is perpetually filled with cleverly-placed ambient sound. All of the weapons sound excellent, as do the explosions, tank blasts and the dialog from NPCs.
The music is excellent and fits the scenes perfectly. The voice acting is superb at every turn and those familiar with the movie “Aliens" will be treated to some familiar dialog from Captain Price during the prologue.
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Perhaps the most celebrated element of Call of Duty 4, the multiplayer system has created an online community which few other games have enjoyed. An amazing system of missions, mission variety and player incentives (ranks, special perks, new weapons) have made the multiplayer for Call of Duty 4 a monumental achievement.
Not only are the missions varied enough to keep them interesting, the game provides a powerful system of goodies to keep people playing. As you play and score points through mission objectives and kills, you will receive better weapons and weapon accessories (like scopes, silencers and grenade launchers) and perks that allow you to do things other people can’t. For instance, one perk allows you to take one last shot at your killer with a pistol, one allows you to drop a grenade at your death, others allow you to boost your accuracy or sprint longer.
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Many games enjoy popularity in their time, then fade into obscurity as months and years wear on. Every now and again, a game comes along that breaks the mold and demands to stay at the forefront of gamers’ minds. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is one such game. There is so much to do and so much fun to be had, it is impossible to ignore.
If you have any interest in first-person shooters, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare cannot be missed. It’s that simple.
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Author's personal experience.
Screenshots from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
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