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Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . While it may not have the longest single-player campaign around, what Call of Duty 4 lacks in quantity it more than makes up for in quality. Infinity Ward's newest first-person shooter is easily one of the best games of the year, a stunning accomplishment that you will not soon forget. Rating: 92%
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
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I realized something while playing through Activision's newest first-person shooter, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. You see, for months I have been hearing about how different this brand new Call of Duty game will be now that it's taking place in a post-World War II world. With its new weapons, advanced technology, new levels and a new impending threat (that could wipe out millions of innocent victims), Call of Duty 4 sounded like just the kind of game everybody could get behind. But then I realized that no matter when or where the game takes place, war has a funny way of always looking and feeling the same.

Perhaps this is done on purpose, but whatever the case this brand new Call of Duty game (the first to take us out of World War II) feels a lot like the other games in the series. Oh sure, the weapons may be new, the buildings are taller, and the way you communicate with your team has changed a bit over the years, but when it comes right down to it this brand new war is a lot like the old one. People die, you are constantly searching for cover, you are forced to rely on your squad mates and there's action happening all around you. War is war, and the Call of Duty series knows how to turn it into a compelling video game.

Call of Duty 4 also proves that nobody can build a video game about a war quite like Infinity Ward. From beginning to end, Call of Duty 4 is an action-packed rollercoaster ride that will have you on the edge of your seat the entire way. No other war-based first-person shooter has been able to match the level of urgency and excitement that Infinity Ward puts into their games. While last year's Call of Duty 3 was generally regarded as a solid action game, it just wasn't the same when Treyarch took over. But now Infinity Ward are back to show everybody how it's done, and what they've managed to come up with is easily one of the best first-person shooter games currently on the market ... which is no easy feat now that it's competing with Halo 3, The Orange Box, Crysis, BioShock and a whole host of other triple-A shooters.

Despite its brand new weapons and modern motif, Call of Duty 4 has a surprising amount in common with the Call of Duty games that came before it. Fans of the series will definitely notice the similarities when it comes to the game's pacing and narrative. Not that this is a bad thing, if Call of Duty did anything right it was the sense of chaos that surrounded you and the strong story that accompanied each scenario. Call of Duty 4 manages to be just as exciting and engrossing as the previous games, only this time with a more compelling environment and a story that feels like it was ripped from today's headlines.

True to the past Call of Duty games, Modern Warfare tells a story about one large-scale war that is told from multiple points of view. In this case, you play as a British SAS operative who is fighting ultranationalist forces in Russia and a U.S. Marine caught in the aftermath of a bloody military coup in an unnamed Middle Eastern state. We play the game switching from one person to another, constantly changing the scenery, squad mates and goals. While these two playable characters are basically the same, it's interesting to see the same war from different points of view; it gives the whole conflict more depth and allows us to see a lot more of the action.

And oh is there action; Call of Duty 4 may just be the most explosive entry in this series yet. No matter which character you're playing as, Modern Warfare does an excellent job of throwing tons of enemies at you and making you use whatever weapon you can get your hands on. In almost every level you'll have to put up with planes and helicopters buzzing overhead, explosions going off all around you and enemies hiding in every hallway and crawlspace imaginable. The pace of the game never lets up; it's just one firefight after another, only giving you time to catch your breath when it's loading the next action-packed level.

But don't get the wrong impression; Call of Duty 4 is about more than just taking on hundreds of blood thirsty terrorists, there's a surprising amount of variety in the types of missions you'll undertake in Modern Warfare. For example, in one early level you'll be going from building to building making sure that you have rooted out all of the enemies. In yet another level you (and your heavily camouflaged leader) will be sneaking through the grass doing everything to not be noticed. There are missions where you will be in a helicopter flying overhead protecting your squad as they try to infiltrate an enemy stronghold. And that's just the beginning of the game, by the time you've finished Call of Duty 4 you will have been on land, on sea and even in the air.

I don't know if it's the modern aspect of the game or what, but there's something about the game's story that hits closer to home than previous Call of Duty entries. In its simplest form, your basic goal in the game is to find the terrorists responsible for a number of recent strikes and then take them out in whatever way possible. While this doesn't sound very compelling, Call of Duty 4 takes you on a rollercoaster ride that you will never forget. This game is definitely more graphic and disturbing than what we saw in previous Call of Duty games, including a sequence in the first few levels that will haunt your nightmares for the next ten years. I'm not the squeamish type, but even I cringed a little when I witnessed the things these two soldiers went through in this game.
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