October 23, 2007

Call of Duty 4 Demo Impressions

I had a chance today to play the Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare single-player demo and I was very impressed. The CoD4 demo is truly how all demos should be: fun, intense, and satisfying within itself. So many demos come out these days with a short, pitiful glimpse at what the game offers. Fortunately, this is not the case with CoD4's demo.

The entire Call of Duty series is noted as having some of the best single-player FPS action to date. So far, CoD4 is shaping up to be no different and it's not World War II this time around! CoD4 is set in modern times, hence the Modern Warfare subtitle.

The demo starts the player off in a Middle-eastern setting on a mission to secure a damaged tank. Along for the ride is an entire squad of U.S. Marines. The action starts immediately, and when I say immediately, I mean it. There is literally no time for a player to check their weapon load-out or control schemes before the squad leader is barking out orders to move forward and suppress the enemy's fire.

It doesn't take long to realize that CoD4 emphasizes action and fast game-play over complicated strategy. This forces the player into a "don't think, just react" mode, and that can be uncomfortable at first. My best advice: learn how to duck for cover, because the intense action is what makes this game so fucking great. There is no shame in hiding for a minute to assess and advance on the situation presented.

As the mission progresses, players get a taste for some of the tools available in the full version, such as night vision, vehicles, and a gadzillion different weapons (yes, gadzillion is a made-up word, but it sounds fitting). It is very refreshing to play a demo where I didn't feel the available weapons were restricted in anyway. Every few steps, there was another new weapon to be found.

And the best part of the demo is the fact that it has a verifiable conclusion. Players definitely reach a point at which they can say; "I did something here and I'm glad its finished." I can not wait for the full version of this game, and all of this based on the single-player alone. We haven't even touched the multiplayer yet!