All couple months ago I did a review on the beta for the Call of Duty 4 Multi-Player, which can be found here. Well the full game has finally been released and it’s a clear candidate for Game of the Year. CoD 4, as we’ll be calling it from here on out, has taken a new twist on an old tried and true method, the World War II first person shooter. Developers Infinity Ward, who also developed Call of Duty 2, have brought the CoD franchise into the 21st century where you’ll alternate between the British SAS and US Marine Force Recon as the two storylines slowly, but surely become intertwined. On the SAS front your character is “Soap” MacTavish, a new SAS solider sent out in four man assault teams into Russia and other Caucus regions. The other story line follows a Force Recon Sergeant Jackson as you travel to the Middle East to take down a military junta leader named Al Asad.

If you’ve played previous Call of Duty games then you will feel right at home with the controls and feel of CoD 4. It doesn’t stray far from its roots and keeps the game simple, which is good because if you have to pause for one second to figure something out you’re dead. The game is broken up into three Acts in what’s actually a pretty decent storyline. Unfortunately some may find the six or so hours it takes to complete the campaign a bit disappointing, but it’s six balls to the wall hours. thankfully if you play it on Hardened or Veteran you can extend the playing experience because it’s a lot harder completing the games objectives. Once you’ve completed the game you unlock the arcade mode, which functions just like the campaign scoring in Halo 3. You can play through earning points and working your way up the leaderboards.

I was a huge fan of the CoD 4 multi-player beta so I was anxious to see how the final version differed. Thankfully it’s only goten better with wonderful depth, tons of unlockables, and great maps. You can even play 16 v 16 in Team Deathmatch or Domination. Progressing through the multi-player allows you to unlock new game types, weapons and even accessories for your various weapons. You can create your own class, allowing you to fully customize your character depending on the map and environment. There are quite a few perks to choose from and all of them are worth using in the various gametypes. There are plenty of game types to keep the game fresh and it just adds to the overall playing experience.

The graphics are simply stunning, making your think you’re really in Chernobyl or a middle eastern city. The vehicles and weapons are as accurate as can be and only add to the realism. Crawling through the tall grass in your ghillie suit and evading surrounding enemies looks amazing. CoD 4 is one of the best looking games this year hands down. One can’t forget about the sound either, a great musical score only enhances the game, raising your heartbeat in those extreme conditions. The sound effects are top notch as well. Listening to the bullets whiz by, the helicopters buzzing overhead and the soldiers trying to sneak up to only ads to the realism portrayed throughout the game. You can tell that Infinity Ward put a lot of effort into the game.

To say I’m pleased with this game would be a massive understatement. CoD 4 has it all, excellent gameplay, excellent graphics and an excellent multi-player experience. It’s replaced Gears of War for me in the multi-player department and that’s no small feat. This is one of the most fun games I’ve played in a while and I would definitely recommend it to anyone. Infinity Ward’s got a hit on their hands, let’s just hope they continue to support it through new maps and downloadable content.