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Dee Yun Dee Yun: (contact-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2007-11-09 07:36:49

Call of Duty 4 is the Devil

Awesome game. Simply astounding. So much so that I'm reduced to fragment sentences. I've heard the following gripe multiple times online, "Man, I wish I hadn't wasted money on Halo 3 and just waited for CoD4."

If Call of Duty 4, then Halo 3 = Wasted Money!

I've only scratched the first act of the single-player campaign mode. The developers, Infinity Ward, deliver the same cinematic immersiveness they always do (Call of Duty 2 was Direman Press Game of the Year in 2005). They always present the tightest controls and furious action combined with amazing visuals. Infinity Ward wrangled their own game engine instead of the glitchy Unreal engine that just about every videogame seems to run on.

The only drawback is that the core game design hasn't kept up with contemporary standards. There is no multiplayer co-op mode, no cover system, and the environments are strictly on-rail corridor gauntlets. If you could combine Rainbow Six: Vegas' gameplay with Call of Duty 4's technical mastery and presentation, you'd have the finest military shooter ever. Nevertheless, Call of Duty 4 has utterly slain the glitch-prone Rainbow Six: Vegas, and put a massive crimp in even Halo 3.

The multiplayer component of Call of Duty 4 is preposterously good. It captures the addictingly fun essence of Counter-Strike and marries it with the addictingly er, addicting grind of World of Warcraft. You assemble your class kits (weapon loadouts) and hit up every player vs. player game type imaginable, with the exception of Capture the Flag. I'm glad CTF was left out; it's the single most non-authentic "military operation" there is. CoD4 even blatantly lifts bombing/defusing objectives from Counter-Strike.

Now here's the real evil: you gain experience for kills, wins and objectives. As you rank up from lowly Private 2nd Class to Five Star General Supreme Allied Commander, you gain access to a wider selection of gear and abilities. And when you max out, you're not done! You can wipe back to Level 1 in exchange for a Prestige marker. And you can do this 10(?) times for fancier Prestige ranks. CoD4 is already one of my favorite online game experiences of all time. On top of that, the insidious urge to hit the next level, even the need to acquire some piddlingly insignificant scope upgrade will keep me coming back to this game for a very long time...

This is the first time I've heard the following MMO phrases uttered by FPS players: "Ding!", "Gratz!", and "OMG yur LEVL 55 alrdy teh game just came out yesterday u hav no life!"

Now Playing - Call of Duty 4: Modern Combat (360)

Xbox Live/PSN Gamertag - Vawce

Oh, and we've kicked up a clan. Once you have access to it, slap on the prefix "Dire" and ask us for an invite. I tried to kick up my old CS clan, JUICE, but you can only have a max of 4 letters in CoD4.

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