- 28 Jan 08, 16:31 GMT
Is anyone surprised that Call of Duty 4 was 2007’s most successful video game?
Perhaps – because it wasn’t among the most talked about tent-pole titles at the start of the year.
Of course, COD4 was a multi-platform title while the others were either platform exclusive or limited to a single console and PC but its success is reward for creating one of the most dynamic entertainment experiences of the year.
Halo 3 impressed people with its rich multiplayer offerings, but looking back on the core game, the single-player, I think it’s fair to say that the ambition in the story-telling was lacking.
One of the game’s developers said to me that going into the making of Halo 3 they were resolved to take the successful parts of Halo 1 and fix the problems obvious in Halo 2.
They certainly achieved that – but there was little original content in Halo 3. It was fun to play, polished and rewarding – but somehow I felt deflated by the experience.
Bioshock offered the most compelling story of 2007 – even though its morality play was overhyped. But the actual game mechanics of Bioshock were mundane.
Crysis had the looks, certainly, and Super Mario Galaxy was incredibly inventive - and many hardened gaming hacks admitted the title helped them “fall in love” with games all over again.
But Call of Duty 4’s commitment to excellence across almost every aspect of the game makes its success very much deserved.
It is a game that is unafraid to take chances - especially in its story-telling.
How many other titles feature a sequence as dramatic as the opening moments in Call of Duty 4? From the insertion onto a sinking tanker to the stunning journey through the streets of a Middle Eastern city as chaos and violence erupts all around - COD4 combined great story-telling with great action.
I thought 2007 was one of the strongest ever years for video games - and Call of Duty 4 has succeeded without the kind of marketing budget that certain other games enjoyed.
Can 2008 possibly be any better?
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites