It seems I can never log onto Xbox Live without finding more than 3 people playing Call of Duty 4. Sometimes I wonder to myself “Why the heck are people still playing that game?” It’s been out for nearly half a year and there are still hundreds of thousands of people that play daily. Now we know its great fun online, with hundreds of ranks to achieve, but why does nearly everyone like it?
The previous Call of Duty games were set in World War II, in the heart of the battle in Europe, featuring all sides of the Allies. Infinity Ward must’ve had a cricket ball to the head which set sparks flying from their buzzing craniums. They decided to make this game ‘Modern Warfare’! It was a giant risk, but they were willing to take it, and by Jove did it do wonders for them! The game has won dozens of awards and sold millions of copies. It even outsold Halo 3!
At the centre of every successful game is the campaign mode. It isn’t too short, or too long, which is good for this type of game. The missions are nothing short of action-packed and the plot is just outstanding. Missions can be played over and over again and it’s difficult to get bored. However, the story isn’t why everyone has this game.
No, it seems online play has evolved into a new generation, thanks to the game developers at Infinity Ward. Xbox Live has been at the head of a stampede of gamers, along with PlayStation network and all you PC gamers. Some people despise the game, but it seems the vast majority of online gamers own this game. Why? What makes this game so intense and makes people play on?
Call of Duty 4 is the first game to have a fairly decent ranking system. On other games, ranks seemed hard to understand, and were gained by doing irrelevant and difficult things. Rainbow Six Vegas is an example of this. XP points were given for winning a game, and there was a maximum amount of points you could earn in a match. Call of Duty 4 gives XP for kills and completing challenges in the Barracks. This has given it a more rewarding aspect and the sort of ‘throw your fist in the air’ hype when you rank up.
Another thing, which I just mentioned in the previous paragraph, is the challenges. Challenges reward you with XP for certain things, whether it be killing a set amount of people with a gun, falling from heights or winning different game types. The only game I can think of that was close to having these types of challenges was Battlefield 2, with their unlockable guns for each class.
Perhaps it’s not these which make the game so popular, but the HD graphics and amount of realism in the game. Guns look like the real thing, towns and buildings look like movie sets and how realistic explosions, gunfire and moving landscapes are.
Since the game was released in November 2007, it has become an online epidemic. I haven’t met anyone who owns a console like the PS3 or Xbox 360 that doesn’t own or hasn’t played Call of Duty 4, and I certainly don’t know anyone who hasn’t heard of it. Is that how popular it is? Its rise of stardom has swept most of the world off their feet.