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Call of Duty 4 (PS3)

Call of Duty 4, the latest in this series of “you’re the good guy, go slaughter the whole enemy army because your fellow soldiers are walking bullet magnets” genre of fps games. So, what happens when you take a series known for the mass extermination of Nazis and instead makes it a mass extermination of generic Muslims and Russians? As my friends and I joke, its the future of propaganda and training against a foreseeable war to come. But that doesn’t mean its not fun.

Call of Duty has always been a fun game amongst my friends, even if it lacks a co-op mode. We have all played the series to death, at the highest settings (You know the setting, where if you poke your head out an inch, you die and continue to watch as a billion bullets still fly into the area your corpse previously occupied; or the classic “I haven’t even moved to where the enemies could possibly see me, and yet there are 5 grenades at my feet.”), and these faults are still present with this game. But that’s maybe because we aren’t pussies and play on those settings.

Anyways, the game takes place in a not too distant future conflict against a Muslim Extremist force fueled by the Russians (sorta like Iran right now). The game switches back and forth between a British special forces unit, and your typical America, Fuck Yeah! kinda guy. Both offer different environments and strategies, with the British on the side of more covert massacring (as in the sniper sections where if you splatter some Russian mook’s head directly in front of a squad of his buddies, none of them will notice you. Enjoy), and the America-style of run and gun, and gun some more. War and weapon purists beware: the President of Generic Islamic Nation is executed with a Desert Eagle (an Israeli made weapon), and many “terrorists” use mini-Uzis (also Israeli Made). Something tells me that such hard line radicals probably wouldn’t use a weapon manufactured by “the great enemy” but I could be wrong. There is that image circling around the internet of the Neo-Nazi chick holding an Uzi:
She\'s holding an israeli made weapon
Or maybe they just wanted to show the stupidity and hypocrisy of your enemy to further the need to kill them.

Call of Duty 4 is far superior to the reject that was Call of Duty 3 (we fondly look back at instances where my friend threw a grenade at a Nazi taking cover, hid, heard the explosion, and peaked back out to see said Nazi flying through the air slow-mo ala the Matrix meanwhile his buddies have no problem desecrating his gravity defying corpse as bullets rip through him directly at my friend.), however that is not to say it does not have its faults. The lack of cover system is a pain in the ass. You would think that since games like Perfect Dark Zero and Gears of War and countless other games have a cover system, they might have wanted to throw one in. They didn’t. And it gets worse. Some cover isn’t actually cover. Yes the whole “I’m hiding behind a wall which has a truck in front of it, and still getting hit” issue with CoD 3 returns. But it occasionally works both ways allowing you to shoot enemies behind full cover, which is nice. What isn’t nice is that the enemies have the blind-fire behind cover, which only means you either take the shot to the face while you wait for him to peak his head up, or toss a grenade that wears off by the time you reach them. There also is a continuation of the traditional CoD harder level issue with “the enemies will turn and fire directly at you even though they are in the middle of a firefight” and of course the “enemies will charge you and melee you, even if you are hiding in a corner out of site.” You also have to deal with dogs, which you can either shoot before they get close to you, or when they bring you down quickly crack their necks before they eat you. To crack their necks, you have to hit R3 at the right time. What time that is, I have no idea, because it seems to randomly save you or do nothing. Knifing the dogs also works.

On to the semi-positives: the multiple grenades are a nice feature, as is the throw a grenade back option (For all the people who type into google “How do I throw the grenade back”, You Press R1 or R2, it says so on the fucking screen. And if you aren’t right on top of the grenade, you can’t do it and will die. My advice is run as fast as you can.) Sorry about that, now for throwing the grenade back, in most cases enemies group together to throw grenades, so you will be lucky to get one off. Or if you are like me, get off a second that blows up in the air above the enemy. Some of the levels are quite fun, especially the plane level (I enjoy blowing my enemies to bits and watching their bodies fly through the air), but some are a pain (the tv station filled with more Muslims than Iraq).

Multiplayer is as good as it always has been, especially on system link/single screen. You continue the choose a kit feature, but now there are power ups, such as Martyrdom, which throws a grenade from your body the second you die, and one where if you die, you pull out a pistol and can fire at people before you die of blood loss. Playing with my friends on a single screen was fun, especially since I was racking up kills. Note to future players: the knife is god.

Online Multiplayer has a unique feature which means you start off with nothing but the two standard kits, but the more people you kill, the better you become and the more cool stuff you get. Of course, this does occasionally lead to matches of “the better get better,” but in almost any case you can quickly level up. And it is awesome when you do, because your new title/rank appears on the score with a heavy guitar rift that makes you scream “America, Fuck Yeah!” Or atleast that is what we did. Also in multiplayer is the multikills bonus: if you kill three people without dying, you get radar with that life. If you kill 5 people without dying, you get to call in an airstrike, which almost instantly gets you to 7 kills without dying, which summons a helicopter to rain death upon your enemies, but can be shot down. It is not uncommon to rack up something along 10 kills without dying on open levels with the helicopter bonus

Any weapon is usable in multiplayer: we saw someone sniping with the grenade barrel extension. Yes, the grenade launcher. I have also been witness to knife fights, which are more exciting with lag. Claymores are also explosive goodness. There also appears to be something known as the All Seeing Eye. I have no idea what this is, but it seems to be popular.

All in all, I give Call of Duty 4 an 8. Its a good game with a lot of features, but some of the bitchy problems of the older games not resolved (the cover issue will piss you off), but multiplayer is fun and gives you that sense of accomplishment when you level up, and there are some memorable single player moments. Especially the one that makes you go “I did not see that one coming.” CoD4 is worth picking up, especially when you gotta get your “kill hordes of enemies” fix on. Just try not to focus on the political and world commentary.

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