Thursday, January 24, 2008

Tech & U: Call Of Duty 4


I was not much of a fun of Call Of Duty, although I did play the first briefly I kinda out grown WWII FPS unless they follow an alternative universe storyline. But after playing the Modern Warfare COD kind of grew on me.

COD 4 has the basic storyline for all 'current day' FPS, Arabs are up to no good and the Russkies are pulling the strings. In terms of story that's all you need know. The single player missions are more focused on intense combat situation than the actual story, at least for me. And some of the missions seem mundane, with really no point to it and the story switches focus from the SAS and the Marines characters which just confuses you.

With all the complaints a few things can be guaranteed, there will be lots of enemies to shoot at. You will reload the save checkpoints a lot and there will be bad AI in the game. What do I mean? The game seems to have a never ending amount of enemies just spawning out of nowhere where. One minute the coast is clear, the next minute the scripts kick in and you Vodka Heads up your backside. Then you got their insane accuracy skills where they can take you down with a few shots while you pound NATO rounds, from some of the finest rifles, into brick walls making silhouettes. And finally, you got some of the dumbest AI, when the enemy is unaware of you or is searching they apparently can't spot you more than 20 feet away like one of the missions where I and a couple of mates were shot down. But once they do find you they lock on and there is no place for you to hide. And its not a 'local' effect, all the enemies on the map will know where you are.

Fortunately, COD 4's multiplayer experience is enyouable. One first things you notice different from the single experience in multiplayer is that it feels like Counter Strike 1.6. All those wonderful tricks executed CS can be used in COD. That means, rabbit hopping and jump sniping. But what saves it is the experience points you earn as you continue to play online. You go up in rank for your account and you can unlock new weapons and their attachments. But probably one of the coolest features are the Perks that you can unlock. Perks in COD 4 is one of the main game features lets you either improve you weak points in your playing style or evaluate your strongest skill to the next level.

There are tons of Perks in the game, like those that steady your aim to those improve your stamina for running to those that increase the default amount of ammo you carry to those that give you more grenades or even RPGs!

Graphic-wise the game is gorgeous. Everything is very well rendered and lovely textured. The game does boast some physics but doesn't rely on it like other games which make playing COD more realistic in way since you then don't see any physic anomalies without a physics' card. Lightning effects and particles are handled very well especially like in situations where you are looking out from a dark room to the bright outside you get a slight bright blurring effect or when grenade blows up throws a lot of dust in front of your view. And the animation for the soldiers are incredibly life-like. They will duck when there is a big explosion near by or even wipe their eyes if a flash bang goes off near by. And none of this eye candy affects your movement and aim!

Sound-wise the game fully utilises 3D positioning sound. Being able to identify where are shots fired from even on a 2.1 speaker setup gives a good show for the coders of the game. Guns do sound like guns, explosions are nice and voluminous and not just a big blast of sound. Voice acting is good but at some points sometimes sounds a bit strained. Music, is ok.

Overall, COD 4 looks like a very mature version of CS 1.6. Gameplay is fast and the ranking and reward system works. Perks earned in the game really help customise your playing style for Multiplayer, that and the fact you can have five custom class so you can switch on the fly during round makes COD 4 an aggressive completive muliplayer game. So those of you that are looking for a well supported online FPS that is intense than you really should point your dollars to COD 4.

Title: Call Of Duty 4: Modern Combat
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Infinity Ward
Availability: New Era Interactive Software Sdn Bhd
Suite 27-02B, 27th Floor Menara Keck Seng 203 Jalan Bukit Bintang55100 Kuala Lumpur, MalaysiaTel: (603) 2143 1332 Fax: (603) 2143 1330

Package: 1 Manual, Game DVD, 10 days Trial Online Multiplayer Edition for a friend DVD, Histroy Channel Modern Marvels: Strategic Air Command. (This was a mistaken. Took the template from World In Conflict.)

Minimum Requirements:
Windows XP/Vista (Windows 95/98/ME/2000 are unsupported)
Intel Pentium 4 2.4 GHz or AMD Athlon 64 2800+ processor or any 1.8Ghz Dual Core Processor
RAM: 512MB RAM (768MB for Windows Vista)
Video card: nVidia Geforce 6600 or better or ATi Radeon 9800Pro or better
Sound card: 100% DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card
30MB of free hard drive space
Broadband connection and service required for Multiplayer Connectivity

Our Verdict: 4
Documentation: 4
Graphics: 5
Sound: 4
Replay Value: 4
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