By Tim St. Onge
For fans of the “Call of Duty” video game series, it’s out with the old and in with the new. Since 2003, fans of the popular first-person shooter games have been accustomed to the series’ World War II-themed adventures based on single-player missions and multi-player online capabilities.
While still keeping intact the first-person shooter elements that gamers know and love, the series’ latest release “Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare” brings the series out of the Nazi-infested battlefields of Europe and into the 21st century.
In a break from the series’ thematic trend, “Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare,” which is available on
Playstation 3, Xbox360 and PC, deals with present day fears of nuclear weapons and terrorism rooted in the Middle East.
From the perspectives of a British and American infantry soldier, players embark on a variety of thrilling and imaginative missions ranging from crawling through a field swarming with enemy troops on the move to assaulting a camp of Russian terrorists.
In the game’s first mission, players must infiltrate a ship carrying a nuclear device before hostilities trigger a frantic escape as the ship tilts sharply and begins to sink. Whether in the thick of battle or watching a cut scene, the game creates an icredibly immersive atmosphere that shows extensive cinematic detail.
One of the best examples of this is a cut scene from the perspective of an ousted president as violent revolutionaries drive him towards his impending doom through city streets in anarchy.
The environment is thoroughly engrossing with an alternating gameplay speed between fast-paced shootouts and delicate missions of patience and stealth.
With a story as interesting and, given the modern day state of world affairs, plausible as the on in “Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare,” it is best served by superior visual graphics and sound effects quality, of which it has both. The graphics, encompassing close-quartered urban situations as well as large rural areas, are visually impressive and realistic.
Complementing the visual look of the game are crisp, powerful sound effects that transport you into the heat of combat.
One of the major complaints about “Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare” is that for all its captivating action, the single-player campaign is too short and is quickly beaten by an average gamer on a respectable difficulty level.
On that note, however, it appears as though game developer Infinity Ward has chosen quality over length. For a longer, more open-ended gaming experience, “Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare” offers extensive multiplayer options and gameplay.
With 16 different maps, a dozen game types and up to 18 online players in each game, multi-player mode is sure to be a major draw for gamers
Rewarding good play online, players are granted enemy reconnaissance capability, air strikes and helicopters for three, five and seven-kill streaks, respectively.
Furthermore, with experience, players can earn “perks” which keep the games balanced but make multi-player combat a bit more interesting; for example, one perk causes a live grenade to drop when you’ve been killed in hopes of exacting revenge on your opponents.
Despite the brevity of the single-player campaign, “Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare” earns its keep in the excitement of the gameplay and unique features in multiplayer mode.
Breaking from tradition in creating a non-World War II shooter, the makers behind the “Call of Duty” games have produced arguably the best in the series.