Playing War Games in the #6 Position…
War games have been around since the ColecoVision, (look it up, kids), and possibly even before that. Likely it has something to do with our ingrained desire to play bad guys vs. good guys, cops vs. robbers and so on. We have this fantasy of being the hero, of saving the day, and military shooters give us that opportunity. First person shooters as a genre changed the way we looked at war games and made that fantasy of being the hero that much more attainable and real. The first-person perspective provides a sense of realism like no other feature in a game can. While the first-person perspective in shooters was a game-changer, the vast majority of them focused on old wars, particularly World War II. While the number 6 entry on our countdown wasn’t the first game to bring first-person shooters into the modern era of warfare, it was a major commercial success, and for a good reason…
Good Effect on Target
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare won Overall Game of the Year in 2008, and sold over 16 million copies world wide as of 2013. In my opinion, Modern Warfare is one of the best overall stories told in any Call of Duty game. There was actual character development, something that is definitely missing from recent CoD games. The BAFTA Game Awards agreed, giving Modern Warfare the nod for Best Story and Character in 2009. The story is one we have experienced in different iterations many times over since 2007, but Modern Warfare set its sights on something new and had good effect on target. Set in the year 2011, you begin Modern Warfare as John “Soap” MacTavish of the British SAS and swap mainly between Soap and Sergeant Paul Jackson of the United States Marine Corps 1st Force Recon as you work your way through multiple countries in the Middle East, the United Kingdom, Azerbaijan, Russia, and the Ukraine. Like many military first-person shooters before and since, in the campaign you have objectives that you need to complete; these missions are actually overlapping events that take place simultaneously in the game, so you get to experience things from multiple perspectives. This kept the game play fresh and allowed the writers to tell their story in a unique way that made you want to keep playing not just to shoot stuff and find out what other cool weapons you could control, but also to see the story progression. Which was good because a large part of the story itself was written for them, regarding everything that had happened in the Middle East over the last 5 years. Of course, they kept the Tyrant/Villain as a generic asshat that you wanted to kill rather than cast a person from the real world like Osama Bin Laden. I think they made a wise move, because the story wasn’t directly linked to current events and is timeless as it stands.
On a Streak… Have Some Even Cooler Stuff to Play With!
Sure, it wasn’t the first “Modern” first person shooter (both the Half Life mod Counter Strike and Battlefield 2: Modern Combat beat it to the punch; they even used a colon and the word ‘Modern’ too!). What really separated Call of Duty: Modern Warfare from it’s competition and made it a stand out game was the online multiplayer. Modern Warfare was a pioneer in the space, and introduced the “Killstreak,” something that has worked it’s way into almost every multiplayer game in some fashion. You had these cool weapons and toys that you couldn’t access any way but by killing multiple enemies in a row. Radars that would give you intel on enemy positions, air strikes and helos that would rain destruction upon any poor saps who happened to be brave enough or stupid enough to run around outdoors beneath them, (or unlucky enough to have spawned in directly below them with no cover), are just a couple examples of the “unlockables” that were available.
The game didn’t do much that was revolutionary with respect to game types, but it did grant you XP for leveling your character, and the unlocking of additional weapons and attachments for said weapons, meaning there was always something more to strive for. Even when you reached the highest rank, they gave you something new to strive for by introducing “Prestige Mode.” This voluntary mode reset your character’s stats and weapon unlocks forcing you to start the entire process over. What did you get for all your troubles you ask? An emblem. Yep, an icon that showed you had moved to the next prestige level… I never really understood what the point of it was until they began adding in benefits for prestiging in later games, but hey, I’m more practical than most.
I Didn’t Know They Stacked Shit That High!
If I take off my crap-tinted glasses and wipe away the accumulation of fecal matter that is the last couple of Call of Duty games and remember this game as it was when I first played it in 2007, there actually aren’t many things to complain about. Sure, the game was overrun with hackers and modders and nobody did anything to stop it after the next iterations of the game were in full swing, but that’s not Modern Warfare’s fault and it shouldn’t negatively affect the games review. Yeah, I know this game took trash talking to some new levels, but let’s you and I be honest with ourselves and recognize that people have been telling you all the horribly inappropriate things they have done with your Mother since at least Counter Strike in 2002, if not before then. Overall, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare was a solid game from start to finish. It had a good story, likable characters and a new and exciting extension to the single player game, and a multiplayer that sucked you in, messed you up, spit you out and had you coming back begging for more. There is a reason its number 6 on the top 100 games of all time… because it kicks ass as a game and as an experience!
5 out of 5.