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Darren Waters

To the winner the spoils

  • Darren Waters
  • 28 Jan 08, 16:31 GMT

Is anyone surprised that Call of Duty 4 was 2007’s most successful video game?

Scene from Call of Duty 4Perhaps – because it wasn’t among the most talked about tent-pole titles at the start of the year.

Halo 3 got the buzz, and the press attention, while Bioshock and Super Mario Galaxy got the plaudits. But it was COD4 that got the cash tills ringing the loudest.

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?

Comments

  • 1.
  • At 08:24 PM on 28 Jan 2008,
  • David Glover wrote:

Four words: Grand Theft Auto Four.

  • 2.
  • At 10:10 PM on 28 Jan 2008,
  • Darryl wrote:

Halo3 game was just short of a ripoff. What a disappointment.

Gone is the ability to use your environment to your advantage, or for just exploratory fun. What appears accessible (and would easily be in earlier versions) is blocked by close invisible walls, making it just another tunnel game...done a million times over the last decade. Evidently, it all was dumped simply to increase resourses for visual textures.

Other stupid things: Why would a new vehicle be created that has no useful purpose? Why can't you fly a single Banshee? Why are heavy armor vehicles (tanks!!) so little used? Why are enemies so easy to kill? etc, etc....

Additionally, on legendary it is by far the easiest of the three Halo games. What possible sense does that make, given user selection of (supposed) difficulty?

What ever happened to exploration, invention, and creativity of game programmers? Why are coders-without-a-clue, used for design of games?

  • 3.
  • At 12:16 AM on 29 Jan 2008,
  • Tom Cramer wrote:

COD 4 is an awesome game - and, as great as the main story line is, the online play transends anything I've played before. It almost seems that the main story line is a prep course for being able to play online. I think we may be seeing the future of these games in how good this has become...

Yep must admit its has been a great year for games and COD4 has got to go down as game of the year, the thing that has most suprised me about it is im not really a big fan of FPS games but I have not been able to put it down, there are still a few probs online with the 360 version but when the patch comes out all will be well. I dont think that COD5 will be as good as I dont think that IW are doing it but time will tell

  • 5.
  • At 11:17 AM on 29 Jan 2008,
  • Me wrote:

COD4 is a brilliant game, but it has suffered due to Xbox Live being unstable. The single player campaign is one of the best ive played.

I heard that COD5 is WW2 setting again, if thats true then theyll loose that fanbase they've just got.


Cant wait for Quake Arena on Xbox Live Arcade.

  • 6.
  • At 12:12 PM on 29 Jan 2008,
  • PepFujasProModel wrote:

Call Of Duty 4 rocks.

Halo 3 online is nothing compared to COD4. Granted the matchmaking and game lobby problems in the online game are tedious, but the gameplay is awesome, can't wait for the much needed patch to be released.

The official COD4 forum, charlieoscardelta.com has many posts lamenting the woes of the game, while we are awaiting the patch, and it only seems to be XBOX only that the problems are apparent.

Still don't want a PS3 ;O)

  • 7.
  • At 12:55 PM on 29 Jan 2008,
  • Andrew wrote:

COD4 is outstanding, howvever new maps are required as the constant request to skip maps is getting a pain on Live.

You are being dominated!

If COD5 goes back to WWII its a massive mistake and you can count me out.


As for 2008 bring on Battlefield: Bad Company.

  • 8.
  • At 02:59 PM on 29 Jan 2008,
  • z wrote:

COD4 is simply awesome on xbox live, the single player is also amazing and beats halo 3 hands down but the multilayer is the most intense gaming experience i've ever had, its like real war!

  • 9.
  • At 04:21 PM on 29 Jan 2008,
  • Jez Marsh wrote:

COD4 is quite possibly the greatest multiplayer FPS of the millenium so far. Not since Half-Life's Counter-Strike mod (before Valve brought the mod in-house) have I been so hooked on a shooter. The ability to earn new weapons and attachments as you play is another hook, although adding prestige rewards a la the XBOX 360 version to the PC version would be a valued addition (scoped AND silenced assault rifles anyone?) would be something extra to work towards once you've got to rank 55.

  • 10.
  • At 06:08 PM on 29 Jan 2008,
  • Blackheart wrote:

How in the world do you people say that COD4 is better that HALO 3 i dont see what is so good about COD4 its ok and all but not like you poeple say it is but to me HALO 3 is so much better than COD4 and COD4 is ok on Xbox live.And i hope to meet up with some you HALO 3 and COD4 players.

  • 11.
  • At 09:23 PM on 29 Jan 2008,
  • t001 wrote:

I thought that The Orange Box (PC version) was definitely the best game of the year and the best deal. It had 5 great games in what was one of the best deals in gaming history.

The games I'm most looking forward to in 2008 are Spore and Fallout 3 (I'm hoping they actually come out this year)

  • 12.
  • At 01:53 AM on 30 Jan 2008,
  • anon wrote:

Obivously, you haven't played Enemy Territory: Quake Wars Chris! It totally "pwns" COD4.

I suggest you check it out ;)

  • 13.
  • At 09:07 AM on 30 Jan 2008,
  • Bill wrote:

CoD4 is a truly excellent game on the 360.

On PC its an average FPS and one of many. It doesn't break any new ground or have any innovations. Compared with other FPS franchises on PC it even goes backwards somewhat.

  • 14.
  • At 09:44 AM on 30 Jan 2008,
  • Neil wrote:

Am I the only one puzzled by the rave reviews given to CoD4?

It really is almost exactly the same game as CoD2 but dressed up in (admittedly stunning) graphics and set in a modern environment. Otherwise it is a fairly unimaginative run and gun game that depends solely on waypoints as its key game mechanic and offers little in tactical gameplay. In this it really is little different from the previous iterations in the series. The online game is nothing more than a frantic and deeply unrealistic fragfest over-run with hyperactive 12 year olds.

When assessing games like this I do think that reviewers might want to consider the parting words from Looking Glass Studios, one of the greatest (yet relatively commercially unsuccessful) development studios:

"While doing better looking versions of last year’s hit titles may be a short term path to success, to thrive and grow the game industry must take some creative risks and continue to innovate"

Reviewers and those awarding 'gane of the year' should perhaps be a bit more demanding of new games. New titles should offer something truly different if they are to be showered with plaudits. CoD4 really isn't different - its just a dressed up re-tread of an older (very good) game.


  • 15.
  • At 09:53 AM on 30 Jan 2008,
  • Cyn wrote:

I have to say that COD4 has got me back into gaming, and my PC finaly has a new lease of life!

I have played HALO3, and do admit that it was very samey. Aside from the diferent platforms, COD4 has to be, for me by far the bast FPS game this year.

The one game I am looking forward to in 2008/2009 is Farcry 2. The clips look amazing, and will hopfully give Crysis a run for it money!

7. There's a map pack coming out in the middle of februari, for PC and xbox. :)

With Bioshock, Crysis, Enemy Territory: Quake Wars and the many delights of Valve's Orange Box (especially Portal), 2007 was a rather good gaming year for me.

Definitely more so than the previous few years where I was mostly distracted by the MMORPG Dark Age Of Camelot to the exclusion of all other games.

I've yet to play CoD4, so I'm not quite finished with 2007 yet.

  • 18.
  • At 06:20 PM on 30 Jan 2008,
  • me wrote:

COD4 is better than Halo 3 simply due to the frame rate, for some reason Halo 3 plays seemingly in slow motion after playing COD4 for a couple of hours and you can really see how different it is.

Battlefield Bad Company will be good,
Farcry 2 wont, it will be exactly the same as Farcry one and Crysis, the main difference between Farcry and Crysis is the addition of aliens...wow, obviously allot of thought went into that, but other than that the only difference is graphics - which is always going to improve over time.

I dont know if anyone has seen videos but Ninja Gaiden 2 looks like its going to be a very good game.

Lets not forget GTA4, not that anyone is going to...

  • 19.
  • At 05:30 PM on 02 Feb 2008,
  • tonkin wrote:

cod4 is one of the best shooters last year by far, crysis i liked that but really demanding on computers (my carbon footprint got bigger putting that on)

but the best game of last year i played was by far assasins creed. fantastic game.

waiting for devil may cry 4 and resi 5. cant wait for resi 5, hope they make a dino crysis 4 though.

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