I’ve now played through the fist ten missions of Call Of Duty 4. What a ride! The scenes just fly by, so full of spectacle they are, woven with very tight writing, even though it’s all based on war movie and media cliches. A couple of things stand out.
First, I do hope that Infinity Ward next puts their considerable skills to work on something less linear. It’s a bombastic affair, but I just don’t see myself ever replaying it: the events always unfold in the exact same manner, you can’t ever hang back because the enemies just keep respawning until you cross a magical, invisible checkpoint. I may be wrong, though, because the “arcade mode” sounds interesting. It’s unlocked on first completion of the game, so more on that later. If there was a less linear approach, I might be playing this for a long time to come.
The graphics can’t be faulted. Absolutely show-stopping stuff, head and shoulders above everything else currently out there, and all at a rock-solid framerate. Some textures could be sharper still, some animation could be more natural, but it’s easy to get carried away when everything is this palpable. Especially the environments have been crafted with the utmost care.
I was bothered by the mission in which you’re directing the fire of an AC-130 Spectre. It is exactly like those leaked guncam videos on Youtube. Very realistic, especially with the cabin chatter. Strangely, I felt much worse shooting at those tiny specks in the thermal view than I did shooting at the enemy soldiers in first-person combat.
Finally, the Chernobyl level is amazing. It is a brilliant move that you take it in very slowly, without much combat at all, with the characters even chatting about how unbelievable the place is. And it’s a stealth level in an action game – and it’s not bad.