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The Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare ("COD4") is another game of the first person shooter genre. You play the role of a Special Forces soldier whose mission is to prevent terrorists from detonating a nuclear weapon. The terrorists run you on a goose chase across Europe and the Middle East and it is your task to stop them by going from checkpoint to checkpoint and killing terrorists.
The graphics are 3 dimensional. The characters not only look life like but their behaviour and movements are as well. The backgrounds are exceptionally detailed, as you'd expect, although they are a bit blocky. That said there is enough detail to tell the difference between a friendly uniform and a garb-wearing terrorist.
This is not uncommon of current games in this genre (such as Brothers In Arms); therefore these did not take me aback.
The sound effects are sharp and crisp. There is loads of recorded dialogue that includes not only mission briefings, but also real time battle shouting and speak as well.
The shots and explosions are very realistic and this complements the graphics very well.
The controls involve using the directional pad, the action buttons (A, B, X and Y), the Land R shoulder buttons and the touch screen/stylus. They are almost identical to that of Brothers in Arms, which is not surprising since it is a tried and tested configuration that works very well.
You move the soldier with the directional pad (if right handed) or the A, B, X and Y buttons (if left handed). You shoot using the L and R shoulder buttons and you aim via the cross hair target on the top screen that is controlled by moving the stylus around the bottom screen.
Double-tapping the touch screen will change the normal aiming mode to a more precise aim, and there are other icons on the touch screen that let you switch weapons, throw grenades, reload guns (there is a huge range of weapons that can be picked up during missions), and pick up objects with a single tap.
If a hand grenade is thrown your way then a hand icon will appear, indicating that you can pick it up and throw it back. Whilst this feature is unrealistic (who would honestly attempt to pick up a live grenade and return it?) it is useful to assist in completing the missions.
There are parts during the game when a binoculars icon will appear. This gives you the chance to call the air force that will come and destroy enemy vehicles with an air strike.
An issue I have is that actions requiring double tapping with the stylus or the directional pad (i.e. obtaining the more precise aim, running and crouching) are not always picked up. Sometimes nothing will happen, other times you may want to run in with a normal target and you will end up crouching with the precise target. It is very frustrating during game play although the effects are not usually severe due to the way you can restore your health.
This game not only sees you on foot but also manning gun turrets on armoured vehicles, in a support role, as well as disarming bombs, piloting a bomber plane and solving some mini games.
The soldier's health is shown using a green bar. Each time you are hit the bar will get a red twinge to it and it will continue to get redder the more times you are hit. Unlike other games where you increase your health by picking up health packs, in this game your health will automatically go back to normal if you stop and hide behind something to have a bit of a breather. This makes the game a bit easier, but you can take a lot of bullets before you die in any case.
The flipside is your enemies also take a few hits to die. Whilst headshots kill quicker than body shots it can take numerous blasts with an MK16 at very close range to get rid of your enemies. This results in a lot of reloading of the guns that can get a bit tedious.
Another thing I find strange about this game is the behaviour of your enemies. Whilst shooting them I found that they would crouch down in the open taking the bullets as opposed to running for cover and seeking somewhere to hide.
The missions of this game are quite short and I managed to complete the game in around 10 hours of continuous game play, which is not that much.
Personally I think that it is a game that once completed it will be put on the shelf and collect dust. There is no reason to get it out and play it again, even in multi player mode with mates (see later on in this review).
On other consoles COD4 may be played online, unfortunately this is not the case with the version on the DS, which is a real let down.
The DS has the ability to hook up online and play games, and I do not know why this feature was not incorporated in to this version. Personally, I think that the producers have missed a trick here.
Multi player mode is restricted to four players and a game of "catch the flag" or a death match. All players have to have a copy of the game as well, which in my experience is unlikely (my mates and I buy different games and then share them around the group), making this feature pretty much redundant.
****Prices and availability****
I have seen copies of this game for as little as £14.99 (excluding P&P) from Game.com and as much as £19.99 (excluding P&P) from Soft UK Limited.
COD4 is no better or worse than other current games in this genre. It has great graphics, it has great sound, it is good fun to play and the additional mini games and missions where you play a supporting role on a gun turret and pilot a bomber plane add an additional feature.
The length of the game is a disappointment, but it is about the same as Brothers In Arms, so it appears to be a common theme.
If first person shooter war games are your thing then you will like this although it is not that much different to any other games of this genre. It is basically an extension of Brothers in Arms.
Being a lover of this genre of game I would definitely recommend COD4, however, I would not buy this game or any game in this genre due to the longevity of the games and the fact that once completed I would not play them again. It is much more economical to rent this type of game, and if you are one of those people that would play the game over an over again you can buy it at a later date.
This was one of the games that I was dying to play when I first got my DS Lite. The idea of a first person shooter controlled using a stylus really excited me, and I've always enjoyed the Call of Duty series since I played the first game on my PC.
The player controls movement with the D-pad, and aims / turns with the stylus on the lower screen, that also doubles up as a map. The L / R buttons are used to shoot.
I think when I first loaded the game up, I expected these controls to feel a bit more intuitive, and I was a little bit disappointed. I see now however that this was an unrealistic expectation, and Activision have actually done a really good job. After a few hours, the controls are a bit easier and you can shoot bad guys like a pro, albeit a slightly clunky one!
The single player campaign seems enjoyable - however, I found the appeal to be limited and soon I found it a bit boring. Although the DS version does a good job to emulate the cinematic feel of the console/PC versions, there are limitations, and unfortunately this wasn't enough to snare me. I have to admit that I only got about half way through the single player campaign!
Multiplayer however is an absolute blast! Blowing up your friends / teaming up with them 3d shooter style is the absolute best way to spend a long train journey together, and there is tonnes of fun to be had. The clunky controls just make it all the more fun and hilarious. It's worth noting though that there is no wi-fi option to play on the internet.
The graphics are great for the DS. The action is reasonably smooth and although everything is a little bit grainy, the visual aspect of this game did exceed my expectations as I was 99% of the time able to make out enemies and allies. What they have managed to do is fairly impressive really, and I was pleased to see very few 'Doom' style sprites! I'd definitely like to see more games that take advantage of the DS 3D capabilities like this.
The sound is exactly what you would expect from a Call of Duty game - dramatic music and punchy gunshots / voice acting. I actually found that playing with headphones really made a difference. I guess that because the graphics are limited, the sound has a greater role in the immersion of the player.
I've just completed Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare for the DS and I have been impressed by my first FPS (first person shooter) experience on the DS. This game is a must have for every DS owner who either likes FPS games or wants to enjoy a thrilling and fast-paced game on their DS.
The 3D engine works smoothly and characters and settings are well-rendered with a good attempt at texturing and shadow detail. In fact, the textures and shading is one of the best I've seen on the DS. The characters are easily recognisable as enemies or allies and there is no lack of detail in their illustrations. An excellent example is the brief mission called "The Russian" in which there are such a diverse range of background settings, ranging from hills of snow to lavish toilets.
Some attention has been paid to the behaviour of different soldiers to help you to differentiate between them. The animations of the soldiers walking or falling down after taking bullets are surprisingly smooth and as good as can be expected from the DS. The spurts of blood that erupt when you shoot an enemy, the flashes of bullets hitting the ground, the smoke cloud generated from a grenade explosion all look very nice and help to deliver a true Call of Duty experience.
My only concern is that during the night missions colours become rather dull and hard to see on a DS (original) but owners of a DS Lite should have no problems.
There is some great voice acting, mainly in the form of mission briefings and news reports that are used to narrate the story behind the game. There are also snippets of voice acting during action such as the screams of shot enemies or the desperate shouts for help of your comrades. All sound effects including the firing of a gun, loading your gun, a tank moving, aircraft flying overhead are recreated wonderfully and sound very realistic. Also interesting are the unique firing and loading sounds made by different guns or the whoosh of a rocket whizzing by.
The music is typical of an FPS. Fast-paced and thrilling with sensational pauses now and then for dramatic effect, it feels appropriate for the game but gets slightly repetitive.
The action takes place on the top screen while the bottom screen is used for targeting and displaying the map. Movement is controlled with the D-pad or the A/B/X/Y buttons depending on whether you're left or right handed, the L/R shoulder buttons are for shooting while you move the stylus on the touchscreen to adjust aim on the top screen. Two rapid touches of your stylus brings up what I call the 'precision shooting' mode to allow you to accurately shoot your enemies. The stylus is also used to change weapons, to pick something up, deactivate a bomb, set a bomb and call in an air-strike.
I found the gameplay to be appropriately fast paced and exciting and the combat mechanics work well. The only problem is that sometimes the touchscreen is not very responsive when you want to do some accurate shooting in the heat of battle while the 'precision shooting' mode can sometimes come up accidentally while your taking aim which can be annoying and distracting. The camera angle which is controlled by the stylus on the touch screen is generally OK but sometimes spins around quite fast such as when you're on a helicopter which is disorienting.
There is a large variety of guns, ranging from a Russian Uzi to an AK47 which adds a lot of variety to the general gameplay experience. The mission targets are different for every mission and other objectives become unlocked as the mission progresses. You can be asked anything to fulfill a mission's targets, such as sniping enemies or calling in air strikes on tanks, but there is also a lot of running around and shooting.
The story is quite engaging and is told through a series on dialogue, news reports, animations and pictures. More i unravelled as you play your way through the missions.
The single-player campaign is very engaging and should keep you entertained, but it's fairly short. You can also choose 'quick play' for some quick fun and excitement without the constrainsts of missions. There is an excellent multiplayer mode which supports multi-card play and single-card play and allows four players to work together through missions. However, the lack of wifi play is a big disappointment and drags down the lasting appeal of this game.
In conclusion, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare delivers action-packed experience that allows DS owners have a taste of war in an innovative, new way. While it is as exciting and entertaining as its bigger console cousins, it's let down by the lack of wifi support and some niggles in gameplay.
Answer the Call of Duty on the Nintendo DS