Gameplay, oh the gameplay. Call of Duty 4: Modern Combat
is such a visceral experience, it almost can't be described, but I will try. You take on the roles of two men, one "Soap" McTavish, S.A.S. and Pvt. Paul Jackson, U.S. Army. Your adventures will take you to various grand locales in Russia (McTavish) and the Middle East (Jackson) and you'll do everything from assassination to search and rescue, with lots of shooting in between. In the Middle East, you are on a constant hunt for a fictional terrorist leader, searching safe houses and chasing down his son to get to him. Since this guy has a nuke he is using to threaten, its imperative that you locate him. In the meantime, McTavish is working the other side of the mission, getting answers in Russia. At one point, you get to see a mission that took place in the 80's and you get a brief look at an earlier Captain Price, a man you'll spend lots of time with on missions as McTavish. Since you have the same core group with you throughout the entire game, with additional members, of course, you grow accustomed to them and it's rough when you see your men fall.
As you make your way through your missions, you can carry one pistol and one automatic gun at a time, so it's always a good idea to swap with what the locals are dropping so you don't run low on ammo. Running out of bullets is so not cool. One thing that displeased me was the fact that the default controls (which is what I used) were not preset to use the SIXAXIS for melee combat as they were in Call of Duty 3. That was one thing I really loved in Call of Duty 3 and although it may be an option somewhere in there, I didn't see it readily available.
Grenades are back, along with flashbangs and you will use them a lot. Be warned, however, that your flashbangs will affect you, just like they will for the enemy, if you look their way as they go off. A new and exciting element added is night vision goggles! Sneak into a house and just start taking the enemies by surprise. They'll never know what hit them. The night vision was perhaps my favorite new addition and really added a nice twist. Another new enemy added was attack dogs. These guys would jump on you and your only option was to melee attack them by pressing down on R3 as they go for your throat. If you miss, you're in trouble. Best to shoot them as they approach.
Since your HUD is pretty clean and basically just shows your ammo, you'll need to be wary of when you are taking too much damage. As your screen grows red, you are in danger. If you start to see blood vessels, you are almost dead. Instead of a radar (at least in the single player campaign), COD4 uses a compass and your goals are indicated by a little yellow marker which tells you how far away in meters you are from your current goal. If you have multiple targets, you'll have more than one marker. Use this feature or you'll find yourself in trouble. While playing multiplayer, you'll have a mini-map to show enemies, friendlies and flags. In addition to performing your standard missions, you can also locate and pick up pieces of enemy intel as a side mission.
Although the single player campaign is relatively short (it can be completed in one marathon session), it is also incredibly intense and damn near perfect. While I wish the experience had been longer, what's there was awesome and there was nothing unnecessary present. Although I'm not much of an online multiplayer gamer myself, the multiplayer experience was clearly what they wanted you to spend the bulk of your time on since the single player campaign was short. Again, I am not complaining one bit.
Once you beat the game, you unlock Arcade Mode where you go back and replay the game, aiming for maximum points which come from kills. If you sit through the credits after beating the game, you'll get to play through an additional mission where you kill terrorists in a plane to rescue a VIP.