At the beginning, the Call of Duty series started off by providing an amazing World War II experience never seen before. It had tons of action, great graphics, and different perspectives from solders on the Allied side of the war. By the time Call of Duty 3 came around, the series became a little stale and the gaming public was getting tired of WWII games. The original developer, Infinity Ward, decided to change direction and bring the series to the present time giving us Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.
Once again, the game follows different soldiers who have to complete certain missions for their country. A unique twist in the single player story is the opening sequence where the view is that of the head of a Middle Eastern country that gets shot in front of cameras during a coup. The soldiers you follow are from the US Marines and the British SAS. While both groups are fighting on different parts of the world, we find out that they actually share the same enemy.
The overall gameplay is pretty basic. CoD4 is a first person shooter where you have your gun and shoot the bad guys. While you can shoot "from the hip" this is not nearly as accurate as using the gun's sights. If you're stealthy, you can take down enemies using a knife to the back. In single player mode, the action will change depending on what is needed within the mission from a night raid, all out action, and even a mission including the use of a helicopter.
While single player is fun and engaging, it's sadly a short experience. Where the game really takes shape is online. Infinity Ward did a great job by combining the awesome action of Call of Duty with RPG elements. With every kill, every objective completed, and so on, you will be given xp. The more xp you get, that's right, you'll level up. Through leveling up, you'll have access to more weapons, more perks (abilities that can improve certain aspects of your soldier), and different game matches. This gives a big reason to want to play time and time again because every match, win or lose, will give you some xp. Thanks to this system, CoD4 became the most played game online and biggest seller for 2007 even surpassing Halo 3.
As expected, the game offers great looking visuals. Whether it's the character models or environments, they all are very detailed and offer some of the best real time graphics. Combine those great graphics with all the action going on in the background makes give the game a stellar presentation. To complete this amazing experience, another great score was created along the lines of any great war movie. The voice acting is superb making you really feel for the soldiers involved. Finally, the sound effects in the game complete the presentation of an excellent war game.
CoD4 was released on the PC, Xbox 360 and PS3. The PS3 and Xbox 360 are almost identical in every aspect. If you're willing to, you can see small, feeble differences but there is just no reason to bother. As for the PC, if you got the hardware, you will see an improvement to the graphics. Also, as common with PC games, there are a variety of customizations available for those who know how to get it.
With single player being a good 6-8 hours and multiplayer being playable for hundreds of hours, this game is almost impossible to get tired of. Add onto that downloadable content containing more multiplayer maps, and it's no wonder this game was played so much. As of today, Call of Duty 4 is still one of the top games played online, and would still be on top if it wasn't for CoD 5 taking away player who expected a repeat of excellence, but instead was given just another WWII game.