Call of Duty has established itself as one of the greatest game series ever. With consistently improving graphics and AI, one of the only real criticisms it has faced of late was the repetitive nature of its setting. World War II is a fascinating, multi-theatre world for games to approach in many ways: but how about something different? Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is the answer to that request. This game plunges you head-first into a present-day battlefield, even more fast-paced than its predecessors.
This demo offers you one mission from the full version of the game, where you play Sergeant Paul Jackson, of the US Marines. You’re dispatched to save a tank which has become waylaid during its mission against a rebel leader in Saudi Arabia. Like any good demo, the mission features a range of combat situations, including the use of anti-tank weapons, the destruction of an anti-aircraft battery and at least one seriously fast-paced, confusing fire fight.
The graphics in COD4 are top notch, and we didn’t notice any lag even at higher-end settings. COD4 is built on a new proprietary engine which offers much better support for up-to-the-minute lighting effects, clearly visible in this test mission. Another aspect of the new engine makes for a really interesting change to gameplay. Some forms of cover (a light wooden fence, for example), won’t offer you much protection like they did in years gone by. While buildings are not destructible, many elements of the environment (like cars and, yes, light wooden fences) are easily destroyed with gunfire. Heavier weapons can cut through heavier cover too, “Shoot them through the wall!” you’re ordered at one point.
All this added realism makes the general quality of gameplay really high. We noticed great improvements in AI, even on easier levels of difficulty where previous games may have left you feeling somewhat silly. In fact, COD4 was surprisingly good, especially when there had been some negative reaction to the XBOX 360 beta.
Fast paced, intense and varied: awesome graphics and involving gameplay make Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare a must-have for any self-respecting gamer.