I don’t think there has ever been a game like Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. I don’t think we’ll get it again ever, or least not in the same way as Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Sure, there is Battlefield 1 but it isn’t Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.
Much like Resident Evil 4, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare changed Military Shooters forever and it hasn’t been the same since. For a series that’s defined as the “Michael Bay” of games with explosions and naturally being loud and brash, Modern Warfare feels nuanced and quiet compared to the likes of Black Ops or Infinite Warfare, it spins a tale of modern day warfare from different parts of the globe and with different armies that have interesting characters. The best part of Call of Duty 4 was that at the time, you didn’t know that you were playing, a game that would become a masterpiece in videogames or at least for me.
For every sprint as an American Marine fighting in the streets, there would be at least a little bit more time creeping through a field or going dark as a British S.A.S Commando with the infamous Captain Price, that was the best part. It felt natural and it didn’t feel forced, you could be running down a street as a US Marine, fighting street by street and the next, you could be in an AC130 giving covering fire to Captain Price and his men. Everything in Call of Duty 4 worked well and you didn’t even realize it until you finished the game.
The story felt real and the characters felt like you could know them in real life, the action went up and down as an exposition and always felt organic. Everything that Call of Duty 4 did was organic. I think the level that truly shows what Call of Duty 4 accomplishes is “All Ghilled Up.”
You and your Lieutenant crawl through the fields, camouflaging yourselves as you hide from enemy combatants. You do everything in a stealth approach, silencing your enemies quietly and around you is a beautiful abandoned landscape of a time that used to be, everything remains as it was left, a testament to the past until everything goes south and you’re in a standoff at what was once, a Ferris Wheel. It’s things like this what makes Call of Duty 4, one of the greatest military shooters of all time.
What shines the most is that Modern Warfare had the ability to astound and surprise you like in the missions “Shock and Awe.” and “Aftermath.” where you play as the US Marine fighting street by street and giving covering fire in a Helicopter, these missions give off the feeling of Apocalypse Now where you know something is coming but not sure what, and also the feeling of Black Hawk Down and it’s the Aftermath section of the level where you discover, it’s Apocalypse Now.
You and your fellow Marines must escape the city, as the helicopter climbs and tries to escape, there’s a flash of light and the helicopter crashes, killing everyone except you. As you climb out of the rubble and out of the helicopter, this is one of the defining moments of Call of Duty 4, the sky is on fire and you hold out hope that somebody is coming to rescue you or a helicopter will come but no such thing comes. You die as your last breath of air and your last view ends with a mushroom cloud rising above the city.
This moment was critical because nobody had the guts to kill the main character, now in a world where most games kill the main character and it becomes a point of dramatic and shock scenarios but it doesn’t really come. It just falls flat, to my awareness, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare ( Including Modern Warfare 2.) is the only game that shocked me and I felt surprised to see that.
This is the reason why I love Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare so much, it’s a game that you will never get again, much like other games. If you think this is odd, why I’m writing about Call of Duty now, it’s because you never stopped playing it. Killstreaks, K/D Ratios, Loadouts, Ranking up in an XP based way, MVP ( Multiple Viewpoint Perspective.) , attachments, and camos all started here.
Everything of modern multiplayer and singleplayer gaming started here, nothing would ever be the same again. This is why 2007 will always be the best year in gaming for me.