Genre: First Person Shooter | Players: 1, Multi | Developer: Infinity Ward
Infinity Ward revamps the Call of Duty franchise by naturally pulling it out of the well-worn World War 2 setting into an action packed near future story from the viewpoints of several protagonists. Players mostly assume the roles of new SAS recruit "Soap" McTavish and US Marine Sgt. Paul Jackson in the unraveling of a terrorist plot and an invasion of an unspecified middle eastern country respectively.
There are several weapons to choose from, but gameplay is less focused on shooting then it is on gaining ground. Players will find it more to their advantage to strategically push forward rather than just sit on a perch and pick off enemies as they will seemingly spawn endlessly unless players go forward. Though shooting is still a major part of the game and there are many choices of modern weapons to choose from to suit all play-styles from automatic shotguns and sub-machine guns to sniper rifles and heavy machine guns. Play style becomes increasingly important in multiplayer as players can outfit their classes with custom weapons, attachments and perks which are abilities that enhance your skills like extra penetration, more health and stopping power among several others. Added on top of the super fast paced action makes it quite exhilarating.
One downside is the limited map sizes. Several seem to get crowded with just 8 players which is a far cry from some older Call of Duty titles with maps that comfortably fit 40+ players. While the single player story is nothing particularly original, it is done competently with some genuine "holy shit" moments and some likeable characters. Teammate AI also switches from super soldier to helpless retard at a whim, but the important ones are also invincible so it is mostly just an inconvenience. And for better or worse, it is the template for almost all shooters that follow it and not just Call of Duty games.
Buyer's Guide:Widely available on multiple platforms though the PC version has one advantage in that they didn't remove the "lean" function. That's the only difference I could find between versions that aren't the Wii version. Can be bought off Steam for $19.99.
4½ Dogs tearing out your throat out of 5