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[ PC GAME REVIEW ] 'Call of Duty 4,' the best of the best

'Call of Duty 4' is deeper than any other multiplayer game before

By Gareth Murfin  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTER

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Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

Developed by Infinity Ward

Published by Activision

(Mac OS X, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Windows, Nintendo DS)

To those with their finger on the pulse, a review of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (COD4) might seem a tad late, given that COD5 is already out and there’s even rumors on the Net of a COD6.

However, one should note that the COD franchise is published by Activision, which selects which of its development houses to use for each new version. Most versions including COD, COD2 and COD4 have been developed by Infinity Ward, and other versions such as COD3 and COD5 have been developed by Treyarch. Both

of these development teams were acquired by Activision in the early 2000s and thus can be considered Activision’s

own development houses, alongside a list of other greats mostly based in California. The reason for alternating developers is that this allows Activision to release COD titles on a yearly basis, since each game generally takes at least

two years to make.

COD4 is the first to step away from the World War II setting and actually takes place in the present day, whereas COD5 returns to the World War II scene. The general opinion is that while COD5 by Treyarch is good, COD4 by Infinity Ward is still better. Couple this with the fact that the next COD game will be developed once again by Infinity Ward, is an eagerly awaited direct sequel to Call of Duty 4 COD4 — Modern Warfare and once again is set in the present day, and you can begin to see why fans have stuck with COD4, branding it the definitive version and indeed the best “first-person shooter” ever.

What provokes this vehement passion? Why are the multiplayer gaming servers still teeming with COD4 players two years after its release? How has it managed to stay in the public eye and receive so much attention, such as the three Baftas it received last week in the UK? The answer is that COD4 is deeper than any other multiplayer game before it. This depth takes some time to be noted, but once noted lasts for a very long time.

It’s my firm opinion that reviews of any modern game with many layers of depth cannot be written merely weeks after the game’s release. Yes, you could rampage through “single-player mode” three times in one day (it’s way too short for a next-generation title) and feel duly justified in reviewing the single-player mode. But when it comes to understanding and reviewing the multi-player side of a game, especially a game that would be considered quite awful without it, then reviewers must have really gotten to grips with it before they can express their opinions. By this I mean constant playing the game for at least six months. So I sit here as someone who has done that and I feel now ready to review this title with a genuine advantage over the reviewers who did so way back in October 2007, when the game was released.

Not since the Grand Theft Auto series have we seen a game that actually delivers more bang for your buck than was expected or even demanded in your wildest dreams. I won’t spend more time talking about the single-player mode because to be honest, it is average and disappointing, even alongside the single-player modes of flagship titles such as Resistance: Fall of Man, which has been gathering dust on most people’s shelves for a couple of years now.

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