Thursday, December 27, 2007

Call of Duty 4 (for Christmas)

I have to say I am extremely impressed with this game on almost every level. This is the first military shooter I have liked in a long time that wasn't made by Red Storm Entertainment. I am a huge fan of the Rainbow 6 (Tom Clancy) series of PC games with my favorite being the original Ghost Recon. Even though the graphics engine is very dated, the game is still a blast and I love non-linear gameplay where you are out in the open and can go wherever you want. Now this game is in fact very linear (at least in the single player campaigns), but since you are a soldier in a squad and not the leader, you just follow your group around and it still feels rather non-linear with all the paths in the game being sufficiently wide to perpetuate that illusion.

You actually sort of jump around as different characters in different battlefield roles and situations but the game has a certain continuity to it and the story line and scripting are extremely entertaining. The story is set somewhat in the future and is your typical Middle East/Russian vs. the free world conflict so you get to see LOTS of different types of landscapes.

Now the gameplay itself is a complete BLAST! It's like watching the movie Saving Private Ryan but you are IN the movie running around getting shot at and of course shooting back. Activision really did a good job of capturing what I imagine to be a realistic battlefield simulation (I've never been in one myself)... sheer chaos! Bullets whizzing over head and through the walls, explosions everywhere, and you get more than the mere insinuation of large scale warfare in that you can see tracers and explosions happening blocks away from where you are at any given time. Now those are the city battles... there are plenty of recon missions where you are sneaking through country fields or bogs and hiding in the grass from the bad guys, and in the opening section you are dropped aboard a huge cargo ship on raging ocean waves in the Bering Straight. You get to use multiple weapons and can pick up dropped weapons at any point. You can dodge, dip, duck, dive... and dodge. Well ok not exactly but you can crouch, lie down, crawl, sprint and jump over obstacles. There are even a few missions where you serve as gunner on aircraft.

Below I've recorded one of the coolest sections (in my opinion) of the entire game and you aren't even running around with a machine gun. Instead you get to cycle through one of the three gunners aboard an AC-130 that is circling a night time ground operation. You get to choose from the 25mm gatling gun, the 40mm L60 cannon or (my personal favorite) the 105mm M102 which would take out most of your back yard with one shot.

This one section is probably the most realistic military simulation I have EVER played... hopefully the smallness of the video won't diminish the effect, which on a 22" widescreen LCD is stunningly cool!!

Here is a larger version you can download (but don't send the link around... I don't want to have my bandwidth killed) -

Obviously I am giving this game a big thumbs up... if you are into the military shooter genre, don't miss this game!!


The Irascible Neufonzola said...

Hah, I don't know whether you've watched much of NBCs The Office, but there is an episode, I think in the early 3rd season, where the Stamford branch reveals the office pastime...shutting all the windows and turning out the lights, and having an office Call of Duty tournament. Maybe I should push the installer out via Group Policy, I wonder if these machines would do it... ;)

But awesome video. Can't wait to get the game!

Percussivity said...

Really?? Well coincidentally one of the other very cool things I got for Christmas was the 1st three seasons of The Office... so I should be seeing that episode shortly.

The Irascible Neufonzola said...

Hahaha, Andy (one of the new characters in the Stamford branch) is one of my favorite characters in that show, surpassing even Dwight.

Josh: This is not working, okay? We are getting slaughtered out there.
Andy: It’s the new guy.
Jim: Oh, I’m sorry; I don’t know….what we’re talking about.
Andy: See what I mean?
Josh: We just need a strategy, okay? We’re gonna set up a trap in the gun room. All right, Jim, are you using the MP-40 or the 44?
Jim: Um, sniper rifle?
Josh: Snipe-
Andy: What?
Josh: Jim in Carentan…
Andy: Are you playing for the other team?
Josh: You don’t snipe in Carentan, okay?
Andy: Saboteur!! Saboteur!! I’m gonna kill you for real. This game..the game is over. I’m really gonna shoot you.

Also, Andy's in-game handle is HereComesTreble, alluding to his barbershop quartet, and such has been my handle for some time now.

The Irascible Neufonzola said...

BTW, re the video, the Vulcan 20mm cannon is a pretty spectacular weapon. Up to 6000 rounds per minute, which, lets see, that is 100 rounds firing individually every SECOND. And each one of those rounds is almost an inch in diameter and weighs 3.5 oz, and contains and explosive charge, typically. So unless I'm completely mistaken, each SECOND that thing is firing at its full rate, somewhere around 20 pounds of explosive bullets (not including the weight of the brass and powder) are launched at the target at over 3000 feet per second.

The AC130 is quite a machine! Two of those, a 40mm Bofors, and a 105mm howitzer all stuck out one side of the plane. The plane would have to be well designed to cope with that kind of recoil, especially at such a non-typical angle.

Percussivity said...

heh heh... Yeah have you seen the movie The Jackal? Bruce Willis plays an assassin and in one scene he blows off Jack Black's arm at the shoulder with a 20mm round. Ouch!!

The Angry Coder said...

I think the hydraulic recoil handling would be more a part of the gun than the plane. There is no practical way to stabilize an airborne object across it's body. Maybe a couple of Pegasus engines from a Harrier to provide a lateral, counter balancing thrust while the cannons are in play. But that's kind of ridiculous!

The Irascible Neufonzola said...

Right, I agree. My assumption was that they had some sort of advanced recoil management system, otherwise...well, I don't know what would happen, but there's a good chance it could involve a plane falling out of the sky! The first time I heard of a 105mm mounted on a plane (sideways, in particular...mounting it inline with the plane is not particularly troublesome and was done in WWII, I believe a 75mm on a B-24 for CAS duty) I assumed it was some sort of large recoilless rifle design instead of a conventional artillery piece, but no, its apparently the real deal!

the angry coder said...

Here is a very cool link...