Double Review: Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare & Modern Warfare 2

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Double Review: Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare & Modern Warfare 2

Post by Daimos Ishida on Fri Nov 27, 2009 8:46 am

Well, I figured I've give this a go since I'm a gamer (FPS/action gamer). This is also the first time this has been done here, so bear with me. This is a double review of both Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and it's sequel, Modern Warfare 2. First let me add that Modern Warfare 2 is simply called Modern Warfare 2 without the franchise's surname because the developers wanted this game to be separate from the series as it's own standalone title. (Just a bit of useless but interesting to know info) Also, if you're not a fan of FPS games, the COD franchise, or shooters in general...you should probably find the tallest building in your city/town and go jump off of it. Kidding! But seriously, on to the first review.

CALL OF DUTY 4: MODERN WARFARE

The game opens by introducing you to one of the 6 characters you'll be controlling throughout your experience in COD4 (and the most most frequent, for that matter aside from Sgt. Paul Jackson of the USMC), "Soap" MacTavish. Soap is a new recruit into the British SAS, which is the equivalent of the US' Special Ops/Delta Force. You are opted into starting the tutorial, which serves as both your training and skill challenge as a player. Depending on your skill, you'll be assigned the game difficulty best suited for your play level (Recruit, Regular, Hardened, and Veteran). You are also introduced to the rest of your team, composed of Captain Price, Gaz, and 1 or 2 red shirts (basically these are the guys that are killed over and over again but replaced by more red shirts upon their deaths.) Once you've proven (or disproven) your worth as an SAS member, you are then taken to your first mission, which takes place SEALS style under cover of a thunderstorm on a tanker in the middle of the ocean. After this opening mission, you are bounced back and forth between Soap and Sgt. Jackson (with a brief stint as a nation's president before his execution, your CO Capt. Price in a flashback, and a AC-130 tv operator) while learning and attempting to stop the overall plot of the game: Ultranationalists want to use nukes to turn the US Eastern border into a parking lot.

Now for the scores:

Graphics- 70/100
Though the game may be on the next gen systems, some of the environments and backgrounds were a little choppy. Hands didn't grip guns, but were rather just there at places where it looked like the gun should be held. Bullet holes would disappear if the same area more than once, grenades would simply sit on hills rather than roll as they should. Aside from this, character models were detailed and actually looked like real people instead of generic mannequins. Though not entirely acurate, guns still held resemblance to their real-life counterparts.

Gameplay- 90/100
COD4, in my opinion, would have received a perfect score in gameplay if not for the issues mentioned in the graphics section. For me this took away some of the charm of the game. However, the game is still fun and easy to pick up for those who aren't familiar with FPS.

Story- 65/100
The story was a bit cliched to me, but not to the point where I lost interest. It was told in an eerily realistic manner, making you believe that something like this could actually happen.

Multiplayer- 90/100
This is probably the crown jewel of COD4. As with the other COD games, weapons are unlocked by gaining levels through challenges and gameplay. However, this game introduces two new features to the COD multiplayer realm: the killstreaks and perks. First, the killstreak. Unlike in its 3 predecessors, COD4 rewards you for killing multiple players consecutively with bonuses to tip the game in your favor. These bonuses are: the ability to call in a UAV (radar plane to identify enemy players on your map), carpet bomb Airstrike, and an attack chopper. That, however, is where the rewards end, which took away from the multiplayer score. Next is the perks. These act as personal upgrades that can either help you or hinder your opponents. These can range from anything like extra special grenades (smoke, stun, etc) C4, extra ammo, or even the ability to carry two primary weapons. This somewhat made up for the lack of additional killstreak rewards, but not by much.

Overall- 315/400
Overall this game is would be enjoyable even for those who aren't shooter fans. The story keeps you involved the first time around, and is still interesting to an extent on subsequent playthroughs. The multiplayer is a huge step up from past games, and is definitely much more interesting as well.
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Re: Double Review: Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare & Modern Warfare 2

Post by Daimos Ishida on Fri Nov 27, 2009 9:40 am

MODERN WARFARE 2

Modern Warfare 2 takes place 5 years after the events of the first game. However, instead of the Russians being indebted to the US for Zachaev's death, they have actually branded him a national hero and matyr. As with other COD titles, you are treated to a tutorial in the form of weapons training and an obstacle course to decide your suitable difficulty level. You are also introduced to the first of 5 playable characters: PFC. Paul Allen of the US Rangers (the developers at IW seem to be fond of the name Paul for their protagonists). After taking part in the opening mission, where you are introduced to the game's later 2nd antagonist Gen. Shepherd, you are sent to an icy mountaintop where you are introduced to your second playable character, Sgt. Gary "Roach" Sanderson, and...surprise! Soap MacTavish, who is now a captain in Task Force 141. After a fun little climb up the side of the mountain, you proceed with your mission under cover of blizzard. After completing this mission, you are returned to Private Allen aka Alexei Borodin, as you take part in the fun but morally incorrect mission of mowing down civilians of a Russian airport with light machine guns and M203s. After completing this mission (which rewards you with a bullet to the head) you are returned to the command of Capt. MacTavish as Roach and introduced to the rest of TF 141, Ghost (who bears striking similarities to Gaz from COD4) and several red shirts (each with nicknames like Roach and Capt. MacTavish, but none of which live long enough to matter). After this, you are bounced back and forth between Roach and Pvt. James Ramirez (with a 5 minute stint as a space station operator in a rather disturbing scene) while being re-introduced to...Capt. Price?! (until Roach and Ghost are offed by Gen. Shepherd). As you may guess, no COD game is complete without a chase scene, and this one takes place with Capt. MacTavish and Capt. Price chasing down Gen. Shepherd in Zodiacs.

On to the scoring!

Graphics- 100/100
Infinity Ward learned from the mistakes of COD4 and greatly improved upon them. Every background is crisp and polished, the characters are extremely detailed (right down to the individual packs and pouches of the Rangers' uniforms. Dust blows, fires crackle, and metals shine in the rain.

Gameplay- 95/100
Once again Infinity Ward learned from their mistakes in COD4, but there were still some slight issues with the gameplay, though not enough to take away from the game's appeal.

Story- 85/100
Unlike the story of COD4, Modern Warfare 2's story hits closer to home (literally). Fight locations have been brought stateside as well as international, ranging from a wartorn suburb to the favelas of Brazil. The characters are also more involved in the story than before and the ending leaves you questioning the series' fate.

Multiplayer- 100/100
After improving upon the shortcomings in COD4, Modern Warfare 2's multiplayer is probably one of the best in gaming to date. Leveled equipment unlocks, perks, and modes from COD4 return, but are joined by a vast number of improvements. One of the first are the introduction of new modes: Hardcore Ricochet SD (Friendly fire bounces back at you), Headquarters Pro (you actually have to hold the location instead of just getting there first), and the all new 3rd Person modes of Team Tactical and Cage Match. The variety of weapons to choose from has been improved, even giving you the option of dual-wielding smaller guns. Perks have been improved with the new "pro" perks, which are improved versions of the older perks that upgrade through use much like the weapon attachments. Modern Warfare 2 has also added several more killstreak rewards. These include: Care Package (a random killstreak reward or ammo is air-dropped into the battle), Counter UAV (jam the enemy team's radar), Sentry Gun (duh), Predator Missile (remote guided missile), Precision Airstrike (carpet bomb a designated strip of the battlefield), Harriers, Emergency Airdrop (4 random killstreak rewards or ammo), Pave Low (armored attack chopper), Stealth Bomber (B52 flies over the battlefield in a specified direction dropping bombs), Chopper Gunner (you become the gunner in an attack chopper), AC-130 (you become the gunner/tv operator in an AC-130), EMP (blackout all enemy electronics), and the very very VERY badass Tactical Nuke (directly as the tagline states: End the game with a bang). In short, Modern Warfare 2's multiplayer received a complete overhaul, and it couldn't look better.

Overall- 380/400
This game is definitely one of the must-haves of 2009. If not for the engaging story then definitely for the expansive multiplayer.
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