Even though this game is the fourth in the franchise and has only been out for three years the sheer number of first person shooters along with the consecutive release of a new call of duty game every year since this one has led this game to feel like it's been out a much longer time. Now weather this is a good or bad thing is debatable, on the one had, even in its short time in existence it has established itself as classic in they eyes of many fans. In part to it being the first of the series to move away from the World War II setting and also to its immensely popular multiplayer that has been copied and expanded upon by its younger Call of Duty brothers as well as many other shooters trying to get a leg in on Modern Warfare's success. The question now is does it still stand up to it's successors, or is Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare's classic status ow itself to Nostalgia covered eyes.
In the main campaign, you take the role of British Special Air Service recruit Sergeant John "Soap" MacTavish as you and your mentor Captain Price, amongst others, try to stop the leader of the Russian Ultranationalists, Imran Zakhaev, from returning Russia to Soviet Rule.
The plot can become confusing as you play through most of the game as Soap Mactavish, you will also be thrown into the shoes of five other characters throughout the course of the single player storyline. These transitions can be hard to catch sometimes if you don nott pay close attention to the mission briefing text on the bottom of the screen at the beginning of each mission. There is a high level of immersiveness however; all cutscenes are done in a first person perspective which really gives you the feel that you are in the world experiencing the war first hand.
Despite the confusing plot, the single player mode is pact full of action that will keep any fan of the FPS genre satisfied. There is also a nice variety of gameplay throughout the missions. Instead of just running and gunning through the game, there are missions where you have to implement steath and sections of on rails shooting as you fly in the gunner seat of helicopters. The pacing and variety of the missions is what makes Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare an enjoyable game, but if you came with only the intention to play the single player mode, you may be left down, as you can run through game in as little as four to five hours.
Most people, however, come to Modern Warfare for the multiplayer. Modern Warfare has your typical set of deathmatch and objective game types and is laid out with perks, killstreaks and a variety of weapon loadouts, all customizable. The fun of Modern Warfare's mutliplayer comes from its leveling system. As you level up, you unlock new items, weapons and perks to add to your arsenal.
It can be a little harder to find a match online as this game has now been mostly overlooked, but that is no reason not to play the multiplayer of this game. And even though there have been multiple Call of Duty games that have come out since this one, there is a balance and simplicity to the structure of Modern Warfare that still makes it a blast to play, and could still stand above more recent Call of Duty games if you find their excessive flair and grander to take away from what made the Call of Duty formula so great in the first place.
One major problem with the PS3 version, however, stems from the recent hacking of the PS3 hardware. As I tried to record footage of a multiplayer game for this review, I unfortunately found every match to be heavily hacked.
So, if you have yet to experience Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and are a fan of realistic shooters or any other Call of Duty games, go ahead and give this one a try, but maybe only as a rental as its classic status does not necessarily hold it up as an excellent investment unless you can find it cheap. And due to the heavily hacked multiplayer of the PS3 version, I would recommending playing on PC or Xbox 360. On top of that , if you are an achievement or trophy whore, the PS3 version does not have trophies.
--Alex Brown (DAX)