The only real catch is that the single-player is almost shockingly short. If you've been keeping up with this style of game,
you'll probably shoot your way to the credits in under five hours. While you can raise the difficulty to give yourself more
of a challenge, the main thing this does is make the enemies frustratingly deadly, which sort of detracts from the fun.
While it may have a lack of single-player quantity, it makes up for most of it with its quality. The game tells its story
from multiple perspectives, and you'll play as a new British SAS operative as well as a US Marine. The campaign takes you
from a rainy night out at sea on a boat that's in the process of sinking to a missile silo where it's on you to save millions
from an unsavory nuclear-powered death. Along the way, there are plenty of jaw-dropping moments where you'll look around the
room for someone to whom you can say, "I can't believe that just happened." In a world filled with war games in
which the good guys come out unscathed and the world is left at total peace, Call of Duty 4 will wake you up like a face full
of ice water.
The action in the campaign is usually very straightforward. You have a compass at the bottom of your screen, and the direction
of your current objective is very plainly marked. But getting from point A to point B is never as simple as running in a straight
line, as you'll be conducting full-scale assaults in Middle Eastern countries by moving from house to house, taking out what
seems like a never-ending stream of enemy troops along the way. You'll also get an opportunity to raid Russian farmhouses
in search of terrorist leaders, disguise yourself as the enemy, and, in one sequence, don a brushlike ghillie suit and crawl
through the brush as enemy troops and tanks roll right past you. It's a breathtaking moment in a campaign filled with breathtaking
moments. Unfortunately, it's about half as long as the average shooter, and there are plenty of sequences where you wish there
were just one or two more hills to take.
Of course, if you're looking for longevity, that's where the multiplayer comes in. Up to 18 players can get online and
get into a match on one of 16 different maps. Many of the levels are taken from portions of the single-player and they offer
a healthy mix of wide-open, sniper-friendly areas and tight, almost cramped spaces where grenades and shotguns are the order
of the day. There are six game modes to choose from. The old standby is team deathmatch, though you can also play in a free-for-all
deathmatch, which isn't as much fun as the team modes. The other modes are more objective-oriented, and a couple of those
have you lugging bombs across the map to blow up enemy equipment, or preventing the enemy from blowing up your base. Others
have you capturing control points. Lastly, you can change up the game rules a bit with a hardcore setting that makes weapons
more realistically damaging or an old-school mode that puts weapons on the ground as pickups and generally moves away from
the simulation side of things.