Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (2007) [VETERAN]

This is a follow up to my earlier Call of Duty 4 post, and a response to valandw’s first, and second rant about the game.

Overview

As I mentioned in my MW2 post, I started playing these games on veteran because vanlandw has started the trend. Somehow, he powered through COD4 on veteran on his first play through. And, he considers it the paramount of his gaming career. Obviously, I thought that he was being a little melodramatic so I played through MW2 on veteran on my first play through. MW2 certainly sucked on veteran, but it was not a life altering event. So, I was prepared to give vanlandw a rough time about it. But, I figured first I had better play Call of Duty 4 on veteran.

This did give me the opportunity to discover that COD4 is a much better game than MW2 in numerous ways. The story makes much more sense, the kinds of activities you participate are plausible (no snowmobile races with enemies, etc…), and it just feels more realistic…to a point. There are a few major flaws in COD4 that utterly destroy the experience, I’ll try to outline those now.

Elite Dogs of Utter Death and Destruction

Frequently throughout the game you will encounter dogs in the game. They are as annoying as all hell. When a dog attacks you, nothing else matters. You can get shot while grenades explode around you like fireworks. The only thing that matters is that this dog is going to rip your throat out, and it is nearly impossible to stop it. Once the dog “quick time” event starts, you have to hit melee when the button pops up on the screen. You give about 1/10 of a second to react. So, effectively you need to anticipate when the prompt will come up so you can already be pushing the button. If you hit it to soon, you die. If you hit it too late you die. If you do not hit it at all, you die. Luckily, the fixed this in MW2, so it is actually possible to hist the button in time.

Hey Captain, Look, its Raining…Grenades

The United States spends more on defense than the rest of the G8, and they do not equip their soldiers with infinite grenades. So, where the fuck are these people that live in the ghetto getting all their grenades? It is wretched when you find yourself in a situation where you are trying to pick off enemies to advance, or are just waiting out a timer and you cannot sit in cover long enough to crouch without being surrounded by grenades. On numerous occasions I stopped to scratch my head in an area without enemies only to see the grenade warning pop up because I was standing still for too long. I know this is suppose to be a game play mechanism to encourage you to advance, and feel the pressure of battle, but they take it to the point of absurdity. To a certain extent this has been fixed in MW2, but the enemies still have enough grenades to make you feel uncomfortable.

Hurray, another Choke Point

Frequently in the game you find yourself funnelled into a hellish littler area where you are forced to fight endless waves of enemies unless you advance. Advancement is usually forced down a linear path with spare cover (which does not matter because if you stop behind cover you’ll get naded). Most of the time these choke points are only really difficult because of the poor game testing this game received on the veteran difficulty. And, there is perhaps the mother of all choke points on the stage, “No Fighting in the War Room.” Vanlandw mentioned it in his post, and I experienced it myself. I cannot think of another section of a game that takes two minutes to get through, but it took me countless tries over three hours and two days to get past it. If you want the video below, the section in question is at 4:36. However, I think most of the videos up for this were actually played on hardcore, rather than veteran because I encountered quite a few more enemies in this section. And, to help illustrate this I whipped up a quick graphic to show how bat shit crazy it is.

Another section that was really annoying is the ferris wheel section of One Shot, One Kill. After attempting repeatedly to play this legitly, and just getting naded to pieces I broke down and hid in one of the ticket booths. If you want to know how to do that, here is a video that demonstrates someone pulling it off. Keep in mind that it requires luck, if someone throws a nade in there you are pretty much toast, and when you leave it is a crap shot whether or not you die instantly. Persistence in the key.

The other really annoying area is a shining example of poor testing. The final section of the stage, “Heat,” gives you air strikes, and very little hope of getting to the LZ. On veteran it feels impossible, but it is amazing what a little information will do for you. Check out the video starting at 0:44. Basically all you need to do is follow the timing, and path of this guy and you should be in good shape. You can actually get through the stage without using a single air strike (I did).

For the most part these kind of things are gone from MW2. Sure there are choke points, but there is nothing remotely close to these three travesties.

These situations are extremely frustrated because you can stand their and just watch your team mates shoot at nothing in particular, while waiting for you to pave the way to salvation, which brings me to my next point.

Who Do You Think You Are, Soldier!?

You have team mates in the game, but they are just for show. Basically the only useful thing that your team mates do is let you know when you have advanced past a choke point because they magically teleport up as if they helped you the whole way. Frequently they will just stand out in the open and get totally obliterated, but it doesn’t matter because they are invincible, just like real soldiers. Sometimes they will go out of their way to step in front of you and draw friendly fire. The game rewards you by giving you the game over screen.

The stupid soldier issue is kind of fixed in MW2. You can shoot them forever without repercussion, and they move around a little bit better. But, it is still very much the same.

Conclusion

I could go on for hours, but those are my biggest gripes about the game. And, I whole heartily agree with vanlandw in warning everyone not to play this game on veteran. If you do, you’d be doing it for bragging rights, but not because you could receive in the slightest amount of enjoyment from it.

In conclusion, COD4 is in theory better than MW2, but some show stopping bugs, and balancing issues make it nearly impossible on its highest difficulty. While I ranked this game a 0 based on my first play through (I believe on hardcore), I have to give this game a -5 on veteran.

Parting Thoughts

Despite all this, I think vanlandw did overrate, if only slightly to the difficulty of the game. I receive an equal, if not greater level of frustration on my play through of Ninja Gaidan on the original Xbox.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2009) [VETERAN]

This post comprises both my thoughts on the game, and the veteran difficulty. I am going to embed at least one video clip in this post, so I am going to hide everything but the excerpt from my homepage in order to make sure the page stays responsive. To read the full post, please click the title link.

This post comprises both my thoughts on the game, and the veteran difficulty. I am going to embed at least one video clip in this post, so I am going to hide everything but the excerpt from my homepage in order to make sure the page stays responsive. To read the full post, please click the title link.

Originally I had no intention of playing through this game. My brother’s had told me a little about the story, which I determined was incredibly stupid. And, I have always preferred an arcade style FPS like Halo, rather than pseudo-realistic like the CoD games. But, vanlandw threw down the gauntlet so I was once again sucked into the wretched world of “Modern Warfare.” In a journey that defies all logic and reason, vanlandw quested through the first Modern Warfare game on veteran on his first play through. I defeated the first game when it came out years ago, so I thought it would jade my experience a little, even through I did not remember much about it. This is why I decided to play through Modern Warfare 2 on veteran, so I could simulate, if not duplicate the experience.

Much of the game play was as I expected it, it was challenging, but not really over the top. And, the story is so mind shattering stupid that they had to put in unskippable cut scenes (I hate this recent trend in games). If you attempt this game on veteran, you are going to die, frequently, but it does not matter too much because the check points are pretty generous. I managed to get through the first few levels without any big problems. My first tough checkpoint was experienced in the “Takedown” stage.

If you watch the video below, the point I got stuck in is the checkpoint at 4:00 in. If you get stuck here, you pretty much have to do exactly what the guy does to get past it, I tried every path, and the one he does on was the only one that worked for me. Ultimately, this point was not so much of a problem of stage design as that I had run out of ammo with my rifle, and it is really difficult to do it with the shotgun. And, if you want to see a version where the guy just badasses his way through it check this out.

The area that I thought was the most difficult in the entire game was in a stage called “The Only Easy Day was…Yesterday.” The problem on this stage is towards the very end. At this checkpoint you have to take out wave after wave of enemies that are concealed in smoke that make it rain grenades (reminded me of COD4) while flanking you. In the video below you can check out the checkpoint at 2:08. I did not do what this guy did. Whenever I stopped for a second to aim I got naded so I just ended up sprinting while zigzagging through cover into the next room. It worked, but it took a few tries and a little luck to do it.

The last really annoying part of the game was in the last stage. The whole trying to navigate on a “high speed” dingy chase is as absurd as it was annoying. You can check out the stage in the video below, basically you just end up swearing around while praying you don’t get shot. Beware as the video does contain the end sequence of the game, so if you don’t want to spoil the story make sure not to watch it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_oJI2usOZws

Speaking of story, the story in Modern Warfare 2 is really stupid. It is utterly implausible, and they added in controversial aspects (playing as a terrorist in an airport) just to get PR as far as I can tell, but they did not make the game better, and just added annoying game play elements (forced to walk slowly on the terrorist stage). In the original MW game, that story elements seemed at least somewhat grounded in reality. The second game just goes bat shit crazy, with things like Russia invading the United States, and rogue Army Rangers. It just makes your brain hurt. Infinityward even removed Co-op for the game, because they did not want to tarnish their horrible narrative. A pathetic call if I have ever scene one. This game could have been much more enjoyable co-oping with a friend while protecting Burger Town. Sadly, I think that COD 5 is the best game in the series, and IW didn’t even make it, Treyarch did.

Having said all that I should point out that IW did fix many of the bugs from the first MW game. I discuss those more in my COD4 post, but there are some glaring problems with the first game that were not nearly as bad. The two big ones for me are dogs and grenades. In MW it literally rains grenades throughout most of the game. Seriously, WTF, where do these people get all the grenades? With dogs, you actually have a chance in MW2, where as in MW you had to anticipate when it would pop up the prompt because they did not give you enough time to react. The other major issue is pure level design, there are no poorly designed areas that are virtually impossible to get past like the War Room in MW. You’ll probably notice other things, such as enemies not spawning as quickly, in MW there were parts where guys would come as fast as you could shoot them, but that isn’t as noticeable in MW2. Inf MW2 if you are fast you can usually killed all the guys in an area.

Taking into consideration that I played this on veteran my perspective on the difficulty may jade my rating, so I am going to issue a few ratings for the game. One for playing on veteran, and one for the game in general, and one for multiplayer (which I did not even discuss in this post because it sucks so much).

For the game itself, I am going to give it a 1, since it has reasonable game mechanics, and the visuals are pretty decent. For playing on veteran I am going to give it a -2, because while IW did fix many of the bugs in MW, it is still clear they did not do enough play testing on the highest difficulty for it to be a smooth experience. For the multiplayer, I am going to give it a -5 on my undecim scale, because it sucks, and I cannot figure out what people see in it.

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (2007)

This post is mainly to pick up the slack for vanlandw who wanted an outlet to share his thoughts on the game without being obligated to write an entire post about the game. So, he has called upon me to write a rant about it so he can just comment on it. Granted, I haven’t played the game since it first came out, but I do sort of remember what it was like, so here goes:

Modern Warfare was one of the first “realistic” war games that I have been excited about in quite some time. I originally picked up the game because I was glad that someone find made a game that was not World War II, and it was well reviewed. And, yes, before I get any comments about the Tom Clancy games, I am aware that many of them are set in the near future, but they suck, so its basically like they do not exist.

There is one important thing to note about this game; it does not have co-op. Many people feel the strength of the game is its online multiplayer. However, I found it to be quite lackluster. I suppose I have been spoiled by games with more diversity, like Halo. MW consists primarily of death matches, which are not very fun. A lot of people have told me its so good because it has “realistic” weapons, and other such BS. If I wanted to fire realistic guns, I would fire real guns.

Other people feel the campaign is the highlight of the game. And, while it is not bad, it is nothing to write home about. The story they came up with is very formulaic, and is not better than anything you’d expect to see in a summer popcorn flick.

So, thus far I have established that the game is pretty average across the board. Which, is true, but there is one particularly irritating aspect of the game that I found to be quite frustrating (a common theme in the Call of Duty games I have forgotten about), choke points that you are forced to push through. I like to be able to element all the enemies in an area, and then progress. This methodology works pretty well in most video games, and keeps you from getting killed. Unfortunately, there are certain areas in MW where enemies continue to respawn endlessly, so you could never effectively clear out an area. Thus, you are forced to do a rush that will frequently result in your death if you are playing on one of the higher difficulty levels. But, this one really the only thing in the game that really bothered me.

Ultimately, I decided that the game had been considerably overrated. And, while it is a solid enough game for me not to feel ashamed to have it in my collection, it is far from the pinnacle. Thus, due to the lack of replayability, and general averageness of the title, I am going to give it a 0 on the undecim scale.

P.S. I need to get a proof reader.