Call of Duty 4

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I usually don’t say much about the actual games when they’re too well-known, it remains true in this case but it’s mostly because I honestly don’t know what to say. Maybe I’m not the right person to talk about CoD4 since I didn’t play the multiplayer and I’m not particularly interested in weapons or military, but then again, why would I need permission?

Call of Duty does some interesting new things with interactive cutscenes that basically end with the character you’re playing being executed, it isn’t much but it’s breaking convention and gives the game (and it’s non-focus on the protagonist) a whole new level of seriousness. It is also a rather nice-looking game, albeit not technically and it’s a little rough on the edges. I also wouldn’t call the design original as you’ve seen it all before (though maybe not in games), rather it gives a realistic feeling – Which applies to the whole game, actually, and I guess that is why people like it. I personally don’t think “realism” is an excuse for anything in games, especially not the instant-death moments that occur frustratingly often. Sure, realism can be used for presence (although that can be achieved without it – see Bioshock), but I thought the military clichés detracted more from that than the audiovisual presentation added.

And this was probably what kept me from enjoying the game to the fullest, that I wasn’t really sure if the developers where making a parody or social commentary, or if they were really serious about all of it. Call of Duty 4 plays the military clichés in much the same way that Gears of War plays the machismo ones, and if you can’t just run with it it becomes sort of uncomfortable.

It’s still a great game (although I’m not sure it’s a worthy contender for “Game of the Year”), but it spends a lot of time setting a mood I don’t really like.

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Posted on Jan 19/08 by Saint and filed under Reflections | No Comments »