Call of Duty 4 (COD4) is the best game of 2007. Bold statement? Perhaps, but nonetheless a fact. With COD4 ranking between 90% – 95%, it is the must-have title for any next-gen console owner, and for those with a high-end PC able to display it in all its high-definition glory.
The game tells an interweaving story between British SAS Trooper, “Soap” MacTavish, and US Marine Paul Jackson. A couple of levels in-between also allow a player into the shoes of SAS Captain/Lieutenant Price, and an unnamed aerial gunner providing support for troops below. The story is fast-paced, and short, but powerful cut-scenes propel the story forward, with most dialogue taking place in-game while characters engage believably with each other, and the player character. It is also the first time I have played a game with a major twist in the middle of the story that makes
Voice acting with the main cast is sensational, and the tension is suitably raised throughout the story as it reaches its climax. Player characters are speechless throughout the story, allowing for complete immersion and also offering the character of “Soap” a gender-neutral footing.
Graphics set the standard for next-gen systems, and anything less than COD4 quality will forever be tainted. Facial expressions are seamless, and believable, with the only minor drawback being the flat-textured waves in the opening mission. Once you can push into the remaining land-based missions, this problem disappears, with grass and object movement, believable NPC gait and gestures, as well as fantastic explosions, weapon detail, ricochet and bullet-holes. The bar has definitely been raised.
Multiplayer on COD4 has suffered a number of problems early-on, particularly across Australasia. Long wait-times and high lag issues have been somewhat rectified with the most recent patch, however the eternal struggle for bandwidth in Australia may cause issues that can’t be rectified for players down-under. In saying that, the release of the patch has seen players better able to ‘pick and choose’ servers. An upcoming patch is also anticipated to include host migration.
If you haven’t been sold on the benefits of COD4 yet, then you should at least rent or borrow the title to put things into perspective. It is a truly beautiful game which has clearly had some thought and passion put into it. The team at Infinity Ward should deservedly give themselves a pat on the back, and get back to the drawing board to see where the next level of gaming’s at with Call of Duty 5.