Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Demo Review

Mikey 6 comments
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Demo Review

Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare is the latest from the long running franchise to grace PC's and consoles alike. The demo has just been released and lets you partake in a typical run'n'gun level set this time in an undisclosed yet obviously modern warfare scenario, which is the first time for a COD game which in the past has been set during World War II.

It's the best looking COD to date and so it should be, but surprisingly the loading time was lightning fast considering the amount of detail present. Game engine-wise my modest machine (Vista Ultimate, 2gb DDR, GeForce 7900, AMD Athlon 3700) was able to render more than playable frame rates on the highest settings at native resolution (1680x1050). This is a lot more than I can say for some other games which have similarly good eye candy but run a lot slower (think Medal of Honor Airborne or DiRT).

Something that annoyed me was the ever present rendering bug that plagued the previous three COD games is still present in Modern Warfare. I say it is a bug because I can't think of what else it could be. In some darkened areas, objects scattered in among the scenery glow. They stand out as if they are not affected by the game engine lighting. It's is a little distracting only because little things like this take you out of the immersion. I have included one instance in a screen shot below (number 3: note the bricks). On a technical note is also suggests they have been using the same game engine all this time but just tweaking it for each new version.

Changing the subject to game play now, there is hardly anything to get excited about here. It's the same old Call of Duty style: Objective appears on screen, complete objective during heavily scripted sequences, repeat. The action is plentiful and sometimes its fun to take cover and watch as it unfolds.

AI is a different story. Your team mates sometimes seem to have trouble differentiating between friends and foe. On one particular occasion, two soldiers on my team kept firing at a burnt out vehicle I had taken cover behind. I knew that when these cars take too much gunfire they explode, so I bolted away. As I ran another team mate came and took my place (presumably the thought of dodging friendly hot lead appealed to him) and he was promptly blown to kingdom come. I have a screen shot (number 11) of this incident below.

The enemy AI also occasionally suffers from pants-on-head retardation. Three enemy soldiers, all lined up in a corridor about 20 metres in front of me, stood and gave me evil glares but somehow didn't realise I was a sitting duck. I walked closer and still they did not open fire. At that stage I started to wonder if perhaps they were really my team mates who had stolen the uniforms of deceased enemy soldiers for the fun of it, but my suspicions quickly vanished in the hail storm of bullets that did eventually find me.

The demo is fun there is no denying, but I am not sure if I am ready for another heavily scripted FPS just yet. Bah! Who am I kidding. Bring on the full version.

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Monday 15th October 2007 | 12:15 AM

"In some darkened areas, objects scattered in among the scenery glow" yep that happens in COD 2 playing in game arena...

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Jackie Oh

Tuesday 16th October 2007 | 03:54 AM

TimeShift demo looked much better...

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Tuesday 1st January 2008 | 04:15 PM

Mike, have you had a chance to play the full version yet? Got it for xmas and have completed SP. Some awsome missions!

MP is really many few bullets :)

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Tuesday 1st January 2008 | 09:20 PM

Not yet - still on Crysis at the moment. Looking forward to COD4 though.

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Wednesday 2nd January 2008 | 03:47 AM

I've played all CoD's (only the demo of 4 though) and I've never encountered the shiny subtle object's that you describe and show in the screenshot. Maybe it's an NVidia thing...

I'll probably buy this one too, at least my system can show off when playing it, unlike Crysis. But $50 is rather alot for a short single player game, even though some of the missions are described as spectacular, and the multiplayer is supposedly the deepest yet in online shooters.

I guess I'll find out soon enough, once I finish the contents of the Orange Box of course.

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Friday 2nd May 2008 | 12:12 PM response to this comment by Jackie Oh. You don't know what you're talking about.

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