|Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare|
|Platforms||Windows, Xbox 360, PS3, Mac OSX|
|Genre||First Person Perfection|
|MtAMinutes to Action||8|
|Score||10 Gameplay: 10
Fun Factor: 10
|Buy from Amazon|
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare features the best first hour of a video game I have ever played. It was 2007's best-selling game and received my 2007 Console Game of the Year award. The entire game is a must-play but the first hour is something to be marveled at. I was never personally a fan of World War II era shooters, so I was super excited to find out the Call of Duty series had moved on to a modern setting that really makes sense in today's world. There seems to be as much reality in this fictional war than what the previous games had presented to us before.
Welcome to day three of the First Hour, as in the 49th hour of gaming. This is also the first review of my new site where you're reading this now after a few month break. Since my last review in June, I've moved into my first house and had a baby, it's been really exciting but also a bit overwhelming, I haven't even hooked up any of my consoles in months and just played my DS and PC sporadically. I'm ready to start writing about games again though, I'll try to keep them coming as consistent as possible (every Monday afternoon), but you never know what will happen.
Anyways, on with the review!
(minutes are in bold)
00 - I click New Game and the first hour of Call of Duty 4 begins. We're looking at a view of Eastern Europe. A voice over is introducing the situation and explaining everything that is going on in the area. The game zooms in to a U.K. training ground. I have control now, a man tells me to take a rifle from the table. He points me to a shooting range and I take aim.
01 - We conduct various aiming exercises. Looks like there's some auto aim built in when you look down the sight.
02 - I knife a watermelon. "Your fruit killing skills are remarkable!"
03 - I follow my objective pointer and meet Captain Price. I have to run an obstacle course now.
05 - I had to complete the obstacle course in less than 60 seconds, which is easy enough. Basically just have to shoot targets and toss flash grenades. My recommended difficulty is Recruit, the easiest difficulty level. Hmm... I'll go with Regular.
07 - Quick loading screen and then the globe whips around to the Bering Strait. We're looking at a cargo tanker, looks like it's our first mission. I'm told the crew is expendable, sweet. We're in a helicopter during a downpour. Lightning flashes are all over as we jump aboard the ship.
08 - We blast the crew members on the bridge catching them off guard. Whoops! Just shot a friendly, as in someone on my own team. Ouch. have to start the level over now.
09 - This time I do much better. We head out onto the deck, the ship is rocking in the storm. Awesome effects.
10 - Our team is super quick and efficient across the ship. In a sweet moment our helicopter flanks the deck and takes out a bunch of bad guys with its onboard gun. Thanks dude on the helicopter!
12 - We head down below and our captain continually tells us to check our corners. Suddenly we get shot at, I can't see the enemies though. My teammates are shooting at someone but I can't get a view on them. I finally get by them and take the bogies out myself.
14 - Ever-constant chatter between the squad, wish I could talk back. No tangos in sight though.
15 - We get into a firefight and I take some nasties out. I keep accidentally throwing grenades though because that is mapped to the Right Bumper on the controller and in Halo 3 that's reload. I've only played like 10 hours of Halo 3 in my life too, not sure how I'm so adapted to it already.
17 - Our team clears out another large cargo bay, tangos can't shoot worth anything. We open up a cargo transport to find a nuke. Wow.
18 - I grab the nuclear manifest but we have to get out of here due to some incoming MIGs. Move move move! Suddenly a bomb goes off and the entire team is down! The ship is sinking! Water is rushing in but the captain helps me stand up.
20 - Holy cow, what an amazing escape sequence! The ship is sinking and we have to get out of there, pronto. Our four man crew is running out while the ship is sinking at a 30 degree angle. We run through the corridors while water rushes in on us and parts of the ship fall on us! As we make it outside, no one knows where the helicopter is. Suddenly it appears and we jump on. Wow! I start slipping off the chopper but Captain Price saves me. Thank you again, man.
21 - Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare title appears. Geez, that was like an epic, James Bond opening sequence. Twenty minutes! Rock on!
22 - Another look at the globe, satellites are following a car from miles above. First person view now as we're in the middle of some messed up, war-torn city. Soldiers with AK's all over. I get thrown into the back of a vehicle and nearly knocked out. A guy is driving and the front passenger looks like the protagonist from Grand Theft Auto IV. There's machine gun fire throughout the town and tons of things going on. Arrests, fighting, gangs, militias. Amazing. It's so hard to keep up with all the action!
23 - We just keep driving through it all, not sure why and how we're not getting shot! Throughout all this a man is making a passionate speech on the radio.
24 - We reach the seaside and there's jets and helicopters all over. More people are getting gunned down and executed. Men are shooting their guns into the air and cheering. The car pulls to a stop.
25 - I get pulled out of the car and kicked in the face. I seem to be dragged along now, my vision is going in and out.
26 - A man puts me over a bloody grate. A soldier walks up, puts a gun to my head, and pulls the trigger. The Captain starts talking, someone was just killed on national television. Must have been "me." I think I was just the passive recipient of a military coup and revolution! The long cutscene ends and text appears on the screen: Project Nikolai is next, in the Caucus Mountains.
27 - I regain control, we're in a swamp-like area. Our team silently takes out a few bad guys.
29 - It's only a three man team now, the Captain, Gaz, and me, Soap. More silent kills as we approach some buildings.
30 - We meet up with some Russian loyalists, our team expands greatly and we continue on.
31 - We're on an overlook with a view of a military base. Missiles are being launched from it, I'm told to switch to my sniper rifle.
32 - I take out two bogies by sniping, one by shooting through the building's wall! The loyalists storm a building then.
34 - Troops coming in, I switch to my grenade rounds and blow them away.
35 - After running out of grenades, I figure out I can put on my night vision goggles. I do that and return to popping tangos. Fun stuff.
37 - Another sniper sequence. I need to hold my breath (both in and out of game!) to make perfect shots.
38 - We need to find an informant before anything bad happens to him, we zipline down the cliff and head into the structures.
39 - There's a man crawling along the ground, bleeding. I put him out of his misery.
41 - We find the building with the informant, Captain tell Gaz to cut the power, we're going to storm the structure.
42 - Night vision goggles rock! But in a twist it's me getting shot through the walls. Time to return fire just as hard.
43 - We find Nikolai, the Ultranationalist informant. Now to the helicopter. This time we all make it to the chopper without injury. Objective Completed.
45 - Another look at the globe, this time focusing on the U.S. Marine Corps. Their mission is to grab Al-Asad, a revolutionary leader that was probably in the opening cutscene. Looks like I'll be playing as Sgt. Paul Jackson of the Marines now instead of Soap, the British officer. A legion of helicopters is flying with us in formation, it's an awesome sight.
46 - RPGs are flying all over, but we all make it and grapple out to the ground. We bust into a building and I'm told to take point. You got it.
48 - I'm told to throw a flashbang... it doesn't go well and I end up dying, whoops.
49 - When you get hurt your heart starts beating really loud and the screen starts going red. It's better than how I described it, and similar to Gears of War. I really like this system over the standard health bar.
51 - I get shredded by a grenade. We continue looking for Al-Asad.
53 - I'm currently making my way through the city streets: Jets are flying over, cars are blowing up, bad guys are all over the place. But the Marines are in force too. The atmosphere is just incredible.
54 - Just got RPG'd in the face. Ouch.
56 - The car next to me just exploded killing me. There are a lot of fun ways to die in this game!
58 - Just fought my way down the street, had to utilize a lot of long range shooting. Cars exploding all over. Great fun.
59 - We've made it to the TV station, where Al-Asad must be broadcasting from.
60 - The walls are thin in this building, and they explode in gunfire between opposing sides, this is going to be very tough. But that's the end of the first hour of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Wow.
Now for some scores out of 10.
Minutes to Action: 8
A very tightly controlling first-person shooter with a great control scheme and magnificent action sequences make for an awesome first hour of gameplay. There's a short training session right away that gets you acclimated with the controls and even helps you determine which difficulty you should play on. After that, I ziplined, got RPG'd in the face, and got blown up by an exploding vehicle. All in an hour's work.
Fun Factor: 10
It's a rare game where I'm never frustrated or confused about something over the course of a game's first hour, but thankfully we have exceptions in games like Modern Warfare. This is one of those games where other developers, especially first-person shooter devs, should study for tips (which I'm sure they have). Can I admit that I even had fun during the extended cutscenes? There was just so much going on and they were directed so well, it was hard to look away and take notes during them for this review.
Graphics and Sound: 10
Call of Duty 4 looks and sounds beautiful, not much else to say, just check out the screenshots. Sound-wise I'd recommend reading my full review as I take a look at that a lot closer. This game was built using a brand new game engine, not bad in a time when most first-person shooters are typically using Unreal Engine 3.
I love the idea of playing as two different characters in two different situations. It allows them to vary the missions more without contriving things too much. And like I said in the introduction, the modern setting is very believable and makes much more sense to use in today's world. Utilizing today's technology definitely helps too. What I enjoyed about the missions is that the original goals are relatively simple but are turned on their head quickly. Plus objectives are relayed to the player using voice acting from other soldiers mid-battle, makes gameplay dynamic and keeps it going at a steady rate.
Tens across the board makes this one a no-doubter, my first 10 awarded in my First Hour reviews. Call of Duty 4 features probably the best gameplay I have ever played in a first-person shooter. And of course, this generally makes games very fun, especially with stories and sequences as well written and directed as this. Not to mention how beautiful this game is, the cargo ship boarding sequence just looked incredible. Call of Duty 4's first hour had me so hooked, I finished the game that night. Now that says something about the game.