Sunday, August 26, 2007

Call of Duty 4 Multiplayer Beta impressions

It's been a few days since getting into this beta, but with the shitty weather in chicago killing my power for the last few days, i didn't get a chance to really sink my teeth into this until yesterday and today. Having maxed out the level cap today, i can honestly say this is the first COD game who's multiplayer is fully realized. COD 2 and COD 3's multiplayer was limited to choosing a class with different loadouts and...that's about it. sure, the game modes like headquarters were fun, but having generic classes when other games like Rainbow Six: Vegas were pushing persistent online characters with fully customizable weapons and abilities buried those games. Infintiy Ward will begin passing out tokens starting today (Monday) at 12 noon CST. mosey on over and register to get in on the action.

well, how things have changed... COD 4 uses a system of ranking up similar to RS:V but way more detailed. actually, it reminded me of Bioshock's gene tonic and Plasmid slots. basically, you have 3 perks slots that can be fitted with abilities or weapons outside of your basic class, from carrying a RPG to longer sprinting to the totally awesome "last stand" mode that kicks in after getting mortally wounded (you pull out your pistol and stay alive for about 10 seconds more, to try to kill the guy who shot you). Some of the perks are defensive, like jamming the enemy's UAV drones or being able to take more damage, and some are offensive abilities like extra stopping power for your weapons or higher accuracy shooting from the hip (rambo style). and if that wasn't enough, getting consecutive kills during the game without dying gets you added support abilities, like using UAV's to give you enemy positions, calling in airstrikes, or calling in helicopter gunships to make hamburger out of your enemies. they're one-time use things, and are stacked, so 3 kills gives you the UAV, 5 gives you the airstrike, and 7 or 8 lets you call the chopper(i think, i never got that far....yeah, i suck) anyways, here is a perk video showing what i mean.

another thing that's a welcome change is the combat knife kill. if you've ever played any kind of FPS, you've come across the kind of players that start jumping or ducking as soon as someone starts shooting at them, or the circle-strafe-while-we-both-reload dance. COD 4 has a solution to that problem: a combat knife to the throat. clicking the left stick in results in a dash forward and a lethal slash. even better, you get a stealth bonus for killing guys who don't see you. check it out here.

having all these perks and new abilities make customisation easy with the addition of the barracks in Xbox Live. here you create your custom layouts with weapons, scopes, camo patterns, and anything else you've unlocked. you can have up to 4 custom loadouts in addition to the generic ones. also, here's where you get info on all the challenges open to you.
stuff like getting 100 headshots with a sniper rifle or killing 2 guys with one grenade unlocks things for that weapon or class of weapon.

the graphics really blow me away, but i suspect it's more to do with my shiny new LCD HDTV than the game itself. the flashbang effect is cool, but upgrading to scopes instead of the ironsights in some of the rifles is a priority.

well, it's a hell of a multiplayer game, better than any of the previous COD games. it's still not on my list of game to buy, but that might change.....
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