Zero Punctuation: Call of Duty 4

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How about NOT reviewing a GAME for a change? Now, stay with me on this one.

Remember the console rundown, that one was entertaining and insightful. So how about taking a brake from reviewing games?

Hey hey! I've got an idea for a review! How about shuting up and let Yatzhee chose?
Maybe we will save us all those "oh yatzhee, this is dissapointing! this time you liked the game and you weren't as acid as always!" rants.

Awsome game, with some down points and your review hits these on the head.

Again freaking well done.

It is dissapponting to hear that COD 5 will be going back to the screwed up COD 3 team and you guessed it they are wacking out the WW II hear we go again mentallity. They get it right then say fuck everyone we know better that you paying game playing scum.

":(am i the only person in the wold that doesnt like this game" @ Conqueror Kenny.

No I kinda didn't like the game because I wanted the teamwork based game Call of Duty promised from the first game and though this game is more squad based then its predecessors I still felt rather isolated during marine missions and later on SAS mission. I also felt compelled to be a perfectionist in that if I got shot too much it didn't make sense that I survived and though that may seem nit-picky thats the way I want to play which is impossible so I can't really enjoy the game in Singleplayer but Multiplayer is fun. Grenades makes the multiplayer furstrating at times in certain maps, shipment, plus Martyrdom is completely unfair and cheap. I find it funny that a player can use his only grenade and still manage to pop one out of his ass after dying. Other than that Its a great game.

Might actually buy this game, I've only played the demo and didn't like the bit where you 'oh better not might get 'BANNED'. One thing I did like was the graphics and effects, looked great, the zp guy didn't even mention them, normally got something to say 'bout 'em.

ZeroPunctuation = top

Hi there. As as American, and a liberal, and someone who doesn't want to see my country perish from the face of the earth, and respects anyone in the military service, I'd just like to say this:

Most of us do have a sense of humor. Most of us really don't find stomping the shit out of countries that haven't done us wrong to be a wise choice of foreign policy. Most of us do understand that there's a time for the carrot and a time for the stick. I do recognize that my country has some growing up to do. All I ask is that the collective world not judge us from the voices of loudmouth pricks or idiots who, if they read a fucking book, would know diplomacy from a donkey's asshole. Like anywhere, there are individuals here and sometimes we've got the right idea...and sometimes we really don't.

I liked this review. It cemented my desire to play CoD4. I usually avoid games based on actual wars, because it feels really creepy to play games based off of events where actual people died. Disrespectful, if you will.

But, the positive reviews (including ZP) and the fact that this game is based on real world situations, but not actual events (as far as I know), have bound my interest to it.

Yahtzee you amazing stallion, you're lying to us. Twenty-something? Twenty-something my large round ass.

Again, I loved the review, as I love all your reviews. I usually only post here to say that I loved the review, because I have some crazy notion that saying so will negate at least one of the complainy "but you weren't ranty enough" posts above. Logic has no place in my world.

Excellent review, fell off my chair and nearly choked to death on my lunch when the comment about the restaurant meal and the farting chef came up! (-:

I'm with Smokescreen.

"Also just like in real life." *slice*

Yathzee you calapidgeon superman. Yes, the originality just flowed from me like a stream of my own blood mixed with water. Very entertaining and superb review as always. Gotta say, even as an American I'm relieved the emphasis of the CoD4 series finally shifted from WWII to something a bit more modern. Perhaps we're finally starting to learn that process of pulling our heads out of our own ass so we can breath something besides farts.

I suppose CoD4 is a good game if you're a drooling play-a-movie console type but when I played the demo I was _assaulted_ with a constant stream of cheesy gameplay, bad voice acting, painfully-scripted levels, do-nothing AI, unrealistic weapons, unrealistic self movement, unrealistic enemy movement, non-military maneuvers, Hollywood explosion effects, ridiculous aircraft maneuvers, over-reliance on the player to do EVERYTHING, and overly arcade interface.

Do people realize that every helicopter pilot providing support won't burst into flames screaming over the radio (which you have for some reason) ironically as either inciting or ironic incident? It's not a law you know. How can you take a game seriously that plays like a bad episode of 24? Where's the specialization of roles? Where's the teamwork? Where's the downtime? This isn't a war game this is a game version of a Hollywood movie and about as smart or mentally engaging.

P.S. Sorry, I'm just so very tired of console-centric overly dramatic, unreal, player is God, scripted interactive B movies. I want something that tests my intelligence using the full range of expression, not coddles my ADD affliction like a TV remote with the "channel down" key stuck.

Frederf:
You're right on the basic gameplay. It's a pretty basic shooter if you look at the parts (some reviews out there will tell you this). But the demo doesn't really work for this game. CoD4's singleplayer campaign is an excellently put together rollercoaster. Individually the parts add up to a plain albeit well polished shooter. But the way the campaign plays out and a number of the scenes in it are all but cookie-cutter.

you can plow through it in a day or two if you really have to, so I'd say, if you have the possibility give it a rental. There's a lot of thought given to the background material in this game, it might not come out in the gameplay itself, but its definately there, in spades. The nuclear crawl, the presidential opening, the sniper mission, the bombing run, heck it even turns into a rail-shooter (for pure giggles it seems). There's so much memorable stuff in there its insane.

And comparing this to Unreal has me thinking you haven't played Unreal in ages.

Then again, I'm one of the crew that is totally unimpressed with DMC4, so I've got other pet-peeves in game land.

Good work as usual! Love the new effects, too!

so true as always :D
dmn good observation skills,
and the "german porn star" joke... :D laughed my ass of at 3 AM :D

m_jim:

He was really positive this week and didn't seem to be that into it, but he actually put CoD4 squarely behind Jesus and Portal.

Actually he put COD4 *very very very* far behind Jesus and portal as a visual gag. He was making the point that it's far from perfect.

I would just like to quote that "Reloading a LMG should be as easy as 1,2,3,4,5" in all games considering all ya half to do is open up the top, pull the cartraige out, put a new one in,slide the bullets in,and close up the top. Unless your hands have been shot off this should take you at least 5 seconds considering you are a expert in heavy duty weapons,otherwise your carrying around over 10 tons of firepower and magazines and your as scrawny as a scout.

NOTE: it should also only take ya 2 seconds to reaload a AK-LMG.

@Frederf
I had exactly the same experience with CoD4.

I'm unable to see why people describe this game as atmospheric. Masses of respawning enemies, explosions and firefights everywhere make this game seem like a hollywood movie instead of a depiction of modern warfare.

Respawning enemies will always seek out the same positions and all you do in this game is shoot them and try to get forward before the next wave of them arrives. Especially on higher difficulty levels, the game rewards you for mindless running towards enemy positions in order to keep enemies from respawning and trigger the next autosave or ai event for your otherwise completely retarded teammates. The last bit of immersiveness is ruined by the horrible arcade interface with blinking arrows pointing at grenades thrown at you.

Also, the game is short and lacks replayability. While the first mission on the ship or the sniper mission are really nicely made, they offer a purely cinematic experience. It's impossible for the player to experiment with the game, try different tactical approaches, because everything is scripted.

Semi-interactive cutscenes like the execution or your character dying from radiation poisoning (or whatevever kills a person first after being struck by a nuclear blast) might be a nice idea, but the fact that they're long and unskippable made them rather bothering.

I expected a lot more from this game, and from this review.

Why Winchester??? and not say St. Pauls?

Good lord, he just can't win, can he? He calls a popular game average (not bad, mind you) and people accuse him of baiting the fanboys. He likes a popular game and people accuse him of *being* a fanboy. Why do you read/watch reviews in the first place if every little difference of opinion is inevitably thought to be disingenuous and personally insulting?

The Negotiator:
I would just like to quote that "Reloading a LMG should be as easy as 1,2,3,4,5" in all games considering all ya half to do is open up the top, pull the cartraige out, put a new one in,slide the bullets in,and close up the top. Unless your hands have been shot off this should take you at least 5 seconds considering you are a expert in heavy duty weapons,otherwise your carrying around over 10 tons of firepower and magazines and your as scrawny as a scout.

NOTE: it should also only take ya 2 seconds to reaload a AK-LMG.

Never loaded a light machinegun, but I've fired one, and for that to happen, obviously someone had to load it, first. My observation from this experience was that at least some care needs to be taken to make sure the first round in the belt actually 'catches' properly (not sure if there's a fancy term. You also have to keep in mind that machine guns are quite large and unwieldy, and that(AFAIK) cocking/charging them requires more effort than a smaller weapon because the mechanism is more heavy-duty to withstand the stresses of frequent full-automatic fire. On top of that, bullets are heavy... if you have a drum or belt with lots of bullets, that's takes some effort to handle in and of itself.

Basically, you can't rush too much when loading a belt-fed weapon, or it won't load correctly. I had a teacher in Junior High who was lucky enough to get out of fighting in 'Nam because he had... dyslexia or something... and couldn't handle maintainance and loading of his M60 to a satisfactory degree, and the drill sergeant told his superiors he wasn't suitable as a soldier.

So... I don't think it's as easy as you make it sound, if we're talking belt-fed. Some of these points are still valid with magazine-fed LMGs... however, I do agree that fun should come before gameplay, and it shouldn't take long enough to cause frustration.

When I said I'm sorry for laying into CoD4 like that, I really am. My expectations for video games especially military ones are much higher than most 15 year olds. I don't want a "roller coaster" since a roller coaster is a passive entertainment device on rails. When you're 15 and/or easily amused then yeah, John Woo action and big orange fireballs and not getting lost and being the hero is fun. No doubt about it.

Things like reloading in video games have given video gamers a glossy idea of the speed and effects of the process. Most reloading videos on you tube that match the speeds of video games are of people not getting shot at, stationary, with easy access mags, not jumping, not tired, paying attention to only reloading, dropping their old mag, etc. The video characters never drop a mag, do it just as fast sprinting and jumping, and always recover their old mag (usually instantly reorganizing their ammo into a magless "pool."

M249 200 pound drum is a 22 pound item. I would imagine all reload times in the game are highly optimistic. Practices like reloading behind cover, with teammates covering, reasonable fire rates, planning your mag changes are so far from the average gamer's mind that throwing a longer reload in their seems "unfair."

Brilliant! The weekly ZP review has become the highlight of my otherwise-dull Wednesday afternoons.

Well done on another dose of hilarity and much-needed frankness.

So, he folds to pressure and then enjoys the game?! My guess is that this is the only Call of Duty game Yahtzee has played, since if he'd played others he'd probably have mentioned the similarities in gameplay. Like, almost exactly the same.

@ Frederf and d_m

I see I'm not the only one pondering the true worth of this game... I've only played the demo, and that put me off. It did that because I could find little different in the gameplay compared to CoD 2, which at some point in the campaign of I saw some annoyances in the AI scripts, on top of everything you guys have already mentioned. This would mean that you 'teammates' would only defend an area around you, leaving the enemy free to come up behind you out of an unguarded path. When you respawn and move to compensate, the whole team moves and it all repeats. Very annoying. That and a difficulty setting that is more of a 'pain and masochism' setting essentially broke this type of gameplay for me.

Seeing as I only played the demo, I can't really comment on the Hollywood style flashness, although when the gunships came overhead to clear the buildings at the end of it, I could only wonder "would real helicopters ever come that low?.." (For reference the demo level is USMC getting to the stuck tank 'War Pig'.)

So I don't want to play CoD 4. Even with all the reveiwer reccomendations. AND some from friends. This might be different if they had released a multiplayer demo, but noooooo.

A Good review.

I have to agree the ending was some what abrupt.

Some one stated that we Brits don't drink warm Stella I think you will find we do if pushed.

Well executed as alway Croshaw keep it up.

i think the simple fact they added so much loss and sadness to the game is what made it so much better than the other cookie cutter FPS games that came out as far as single player goes... although im basically just quoting Yahtzee

Murian:
So, he folds to pressure and then enjoys the game?! My guess is that this is the only Call of Duty game Yahtzee has played, since if he'd played others he'd probably have mentioned the similarities in gameplay. Like, almost exactly the same.

"would real helicopters ever come that low?.."

Yes Helicopters do come low in fact most Attack Helis are Specifical designed to do just that.

Secondly I have played all the CoD games and COD 4 is not like the others other than the fact it is an FPS. It was refreshing to play a Modern combat FPS that did'n't leave me thinking why are there so many terrorists have i inadvertently strolled into a camp for training said cretins as the game has some how magiced up the whole of Al Qaeda in one level and then added some members of the IRA when i was'n't looking.

I see your point on the squad AI but I spent most of the game charging headlong into enemy ranks like a true brit yelling "for Queen and country" getting myself perforated at ever opportunity so it was not a problem for me.

I played the demo but wasn't too impressed, simply since it felt like I was playing COD2 only modern setting, or Doom only with terrest targets. I wish they would look at COD1 and find why it was compelling, no man fought alone! And yet here it is all about the one man fighting alone, with people we don't care about.

The highlights of the COD series will be the Russian Beach charge, and the British tank push, simply since you felt like you WERE in a war, and your one man in it.

But then, the demo felt rather bleh simply since it wasn't chaotic enough, and it felt more like 2 sides shoot the neighbor until one wins sort of scenario, also I really wanted to hold position while the Allies move in, but instead they pushed me in, which doesn't feel too army like at all.

And I never had fun with the American guns... the enemy guns seemed to have more kick and sound which made them funner.

Great review reviewer-named-like-a-certain-dice-game.

Helix Falks:
Yes Helicopters do come low in fact most Attack Helis are Specifical designed to do just that.
...
I see your point on the squad AI but I spent most of the game charging headlong into enemy ranks like a true brit yelling "for Queen and country" getting myself perforated at ever opportunity so it was not a problem for me.

Oh, ok then. It just seemed that they'd be making themselves very vulnerable by doing that, seeing as there were loads of rpgs about.

Good to hear you enjoyed it but I don't think I could play another CoD game. I see through how everything works now, like knowing the secret to a magic trick. What was once great seems so naff now :(

Didn't anyone else find the "CoD4 never sacrifices gameplay for story or vice versa" bit funny. Mainly because of the image. But still.

Murian:

Oh, ok then. It just seemed that they'd be making themselves very vulnerable by doing that, seeing as there were loads of rpgs about.

Thats a thing about Attack Helicopters. They are actually extremely vulnerable to both Ground and Air Fire. Seriously they drop like flies against any reasonably armed opponent.

BOINGO BOINGO WHOOPSIE KNICKERS

That's all that matters.

Also, the end of the chapter "Shock and Awe", the moment Yahtzee points out, is a hell of a moment. The intro to the game is also interesting in that you view this war-torn, disturbed place from a moving car set on a rail of sorts, trying to crane your head to see out of every window to get a glimpse as to what's going on.

Then you get shot in the fucking head, START GAME

Also, the ending (pre-credits, not that post-credits randomness) is very intense, down to the VERY. LAST. MOMENT.

@Frederf

I don't think, or even if they were I wasn't really paying attetion, anyone was bashing you for your opinion on CoD4. I mean in general and for the most part you are correct. The entire outcome of a perfectly executed military mission doesn't come from one man who leads an entire squad despite his rank and can take a barrage of bullets, hide behind reinforced metal and have the Jesus Christ power of regenerating himself.

Then again, the CoD series itself isn't really based around tactical playing. Something like that is more the Rainbow series, or like the old Xbox game Operation Desert Storm. That had you controlling a squad and having you give them precise orders to execute and each member had their own specialty. Heavy, support, sniper, etc you get the idea.

You can rip on CoD4 all you want for being unrealistic as possible because in all honesty it is. Your team does give you support, but they mostly just scare the piss out of the other enemies so you can run up and blow their brains out with a silencer pistol or a shotgun. Until you get to the more advanced levels and the enemies start to play to flank you and your squad, which with a down syndrome squad gets rather annoying and hateful.

Also, pretention to realism about reloading in regaurds to what The Negotiator said. It is pretty ridiculous how long it takes to reload some weapons, but then again 'Soap' or Paul Jackson aren't exactly specialists in one type of weapon, so they didn't have the time to study. I know I'm must be sounding absolutely bonkers for posing the idea that a fictional character can study, but the reload time is probably based off of what, I can only imagine, the developers saw and what the person portraying the solider did to reload. I also think the reload time was added as another dimesnion of difficulty so you can conserve your ammo and not waste it all by randomly blowing up televisions and computers so you don't have to go through the painfully drawn out process of reloading the fucking thing.

just realized that this game really suffers from a bad AI and some serius Whac-A-Mole gameplay...

your allies dont have initiative, would have been kickass with a "covering fire" and a "move up" function...
and they dont cover you, in the real military your teammates point their gun where you are not and cover you when you advance...

and the Whac-A-Mole gameplay, would rather have ace enemies then a stream of bad ones...

i didnt really mind this untill i started playing on the hardest level but comon, they should have added this...

I agree on many points that Yahtzee points out, and the others that a lot of other commentors have pointed out. CoD4 is one of those games you hate to love, and love to hate, but still play MP anyway. I specifically hate the grenades and the AI of my own troops. That's something that never chages in these kinds of FPS games, though.

And I shouldn't ever read the comments past page 3. Because that's where the overly patriotic fellow American comes running in screaming that only liberals and terrorists like Yahtzee hate America to say such mean things about the stereotype we've created for ourselves in the past 20 years.

I served in the US military and I find that it's not insulting. In fact, I agree with him on a lot of things where the people who do play these games with a raging hard-on seem to be overly particular and happy about the horrible, self-important way that some Americans portray themselves. Especially to the point about how we're always right, and everyone else is always wrong, and we can't take a look at what is actually bad about our country long enough to care to fix it. If patriotism is all those things that liberfascist so blantantly pointed, why haven't we done anything differently in the worst conditions both economically and culturally this country has ever been in? Because of that self-important attitude that people like him support.

This is probably the last time I'll interject anything, since I can't stand people like liberalfascist saying that I'm "liberal" when I'm not - I'm actually Conservative and even I can see what is wrong nowadays. Apparently, however, being open-minded and intelligent is "liberal," which will "destroy America." My bad.

I played BF 1942 last night. They are exsactly the same except one has a crapy crawling around dying scene and better graphics.

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