Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Hands On

  • Posted August 12th, 2007 at 05:25 EDT by

PlayStation Universe has recently had the distinct pleasure to attend the "First to Play" event in Los Angeles. This event, hosted by Activision and Infinity Ward, was held to promote Call of Duty 4: Modern Combat, and to allow the press, along with a select few contest winners, to get hands on time with the Xbox 360 multiplayer beta. A single player demonstration was shown behind curtains as well, playable on the PlayStation 3. We got our hands on both with the 360's multiplayer as well as the PlayStation 3's single player, and have lots to tell you, so let's get to it!

The Call of Duty series has long since been famous for being the most well known WWII shooter. In a slew of war games, Call of Duty has always stood out as being not only an immersive and well told single player campaign, but also as offering one of the best multiplayer experiences across the entire shooter genre. In COD4: Modern Combat, Infinity Ward is stepping into new grounds, leaving WWII behind and focusing on, as the title suggests, slightly newer times. Also of note, is the fact that this game is not based on true events, as its predecessors. COD4 will take place in a fictional conflict against an overseas threat that feels very much real all the same.

The game has been in development for almost two years, having been started shortly after Call of Duty 2 was released in late 2005. Call of Duty 3 was handled by Treyarch, leaving Infinity Ward wide open to work on Modern Combat. Their hard work definitely shows, as we were presented with stunning graphics, smooth animations, and well balanced game play.

The team built the game from the ground up with multiplayer in mind, and with strict goals and expectations. The game is running great at a steady 60 frames per second. When asked about the frame rate, they we very clear on the importance of the subject, quoting "If it doesn't run 60 fps, it doesn't happen." This is the mind set that has driven the team to creating what is sure to be one of the best shooters of 2007. When asked about resolution, no official statement was given, but at the event, it was running at 720p and looked fantastic.

While still in beta build, the game was visually impressive, and the animations were fantastic. The team has hired several stunt actors to be motion captured in the studio to create realistic and varying death sequences and movements. This, coupled with the work of animators who filled in any gaps has added a new degree of realism that has never before been seen in the series.

All of the games multiplayer maps are taken directly from the single player campaign, and have been designed from the ground up. A team of photographers and level designers did a tour of Europe to take photographs and create a realistic looking European setting. Every level, both online and off, will have interactive qualities. Cars can be blown up, walls can be shot through, and other goodies have been seen.


The single player demonstration was brief, but gave us an insight on how hectic this game can be. Enemies show improved ai, and will take cover, distract, and flank you if you allow them to. The level that was shown involved blowing up enemy tanks, or defending your own as dozens of enemy combatants pour in from all angles.

As for multiplayer, there is so much to cover. There were three maps present in the beta, all seemingly balanced and each having its highlights. A wide variety of weapons start to unlock as you level up in much the same way as in Rainbow Six: Vegas, giving the game a slight rpg element. In the beta, there were 20 levels attainable, but in the retail product, that number will be closer to 60. Each time you level up, your rank changes and new items are unlocked. These unlockables range from new weapons, clan tags unlocked at level 5, and new perks.


The perk ... (continued on next page)

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