Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

Moby ID: 33362
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Description

Based on the version for the home consoles and PC, the DS CoD4 follows the story from the point of view of random unnamed soldiers, either S.A.S. soldiers or US marines, performing non-crucial tasks for the story, but parallel to this. Examples of this are missions on escaping an army base, securing a nuclear bomb on a cargo boat, taking positions in the streets of a Middle East city, eliminating enemies from a helicopter, etc.

The gameplay is based on the touchscreen, substituting the PC's mouse for the stylus in order to aim. The upper screen is where the action occurs, while the lower one is used for the map and the interaction (like taking and changing weapons or using gun turrets). In addition, there are a couple of touchscreen minigames to deactivate bombs and hacking circuits.

The multiplayer includes modes like deathmatch and capture the flag, with a variant of the last one called "Iron Man", where the flag carrier has to hold it as long as he/she can. It's designed for up to 4 players and can be played both in multicard or in singlecard modes.

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Credits (Nintendo DS version)

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Reviews

Critics

Average score: 72% (based on 22 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.5 out of 5 (based on 7 ratings with 1 reviews)

It Is A Hard Heart That Kills.

The Good
Your "call of duty" in this instance, is opposing some sort of terrorist plot. (I must admit, I never really paid much attention to the premise), and you play as an anonymous solider throughout the handful of missions this game presents. Although the environments don't really vary (this is no world-tour as in the "Big Red One"), I suppose the missions represent a realistic theatre, and the as boring as the grey and brown tones of the desert and tundra get, you could argue that these places are viable and believable locals; (this is why I often wonder if realism really does improves gaming).

Control setup is traditional for the "shooter" genre, but the method of control is unusual. The D-pad (left-hand), controls the soldiers movement and strafing while the L-button is your trigger. The aiming reticule is control with the stylus, and can (thankfully) be inverted. Although I wouldn't go so far as say that the control is smooth, I would describe it as functional and competent. While the control itself is workable, you never find the actual movement and aiming a unique pleasure either; (though there are times when in a small room or hall where the controls really tighten up).

There is a respectable sense of realism contained within this hand-held hostility simulator, and this is apparent right from your orientation, or tutorial mission. The firearm you're holding occupies your attention to the fullest, and with a double-tap on the screen, the aiming-down-sight mode is initiated. This enables greater accuracy through a zoom function - lining up your crosshair (a red pixel) with the camouflage-clad conspirators is made (a little) easier. This double-tap motif is echoed on the D-pad, where a crouching and sprinting are both double-tap functions.

I have to admit, the feeling you first encounter with this game, the peppering these guys with an assault rifle, is enjoyable. Sadly though, this is what the game offers you for ninety-percent of the time. You literally are a killing machine. I have no idea what the body count would be at the end of this game, but you will be going down in history with many, many notches on your tomahawk. The missions do attempt to break up the game play style with various mini tasks: defusing bombs, hacking terminals. These tasks are OK, but they are really a "Warioware" style distraction at best - more of a micro-game. Usually, you re-trace some wires with the stylus to gain entry into another room.

The Bad
The bottom screen is used for a layout of the current mission. I should correct that, it's a real-time schematic and enemy locator in one. This is the sort of hardware the real military would kill, no, invade for. It has a floor-plan layout that is 99.9% accurate, with real-time radar blips for every single foe. You're practically Robocop with device, but sadly, your annoyingly organic five-fingered appendage covers this screen much too often to make it useful. (I've found this with other DS titles too, and I think using the touch-screen as a virtual analogue stick is an even bigger mistake.)

What this game is really offering is a run-n-gun experience as a frontline assault squad member. You're required to ice everything that moves, (friendly-fire is off, by the way) and there's no drama about it, it's a true "Search & Destroy" mission, or rather "Sweep & Clean", to be politically correct. Sure, it's a fun feeling to be a one-man blitzkrieg, but the bloodlust soon wears off, and your battle-hardened mind looks for new stimulation. In other words, like army rations themselves, this game is best taken in small portions. (The final mission for example, is one of the more testing escapades, and I literally had to take mini-breaks to control my frustration!).

Admittedly, there are other "on-rail" type missions, where you sit atop a Hummer, or on the side of an Apache (I presume) and let rip with the heavy calibre gear, but again, this is all in the name of brute force, and it's a step down in difficulty from the on-foot missions. The inclusion of these missions is appreciated, but they are not a heavy contrast and the breath of fresh air as in other military-themed titles. Another odd thing about this title was its strange depiction of explosions. Obviously, the DS won't process sophisticated particle effects or dynamic lighting, but these explosions looked like strange blooming flowers; growing and reaching out in a dark red ovoid, then disappearing to nothing as fast as it were born. Weird.

The Bottom Line
So this title is a hardcore assault simulator, with respectable control and questionable level design. It probably occupies an under-represented genre in the DS catalogue, so maybe it has set the benchmark for this style of portable gaming, however high or low that may be.

Nintendo DS · by So Hai (261) · 2008

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Game added by MichaelPalin.

Game added April 16, 2008. Last modified December 30, 2023.