What’s Good About Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Multiplayer?
I have been spending what little free time I have with Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare’s multiplayer. I recently reached level 55 out of a possible 55 and decided to gather my notes together into a post.
The combat in Call of Duty 4 is a cross between run-and-gun and tactical with stronger leanings toward the tactical. CoD4 is a polished, mostly-balanced and skill-based FPS experience.
While Call of Duty 4 is not the first shooter game to have persistent characters, Rainbow Six comes to mind; it executes it better than any shooter game that has come before it. The persistent character can rank up through experience gained through kills and meeting any of dozens of challenges. The challenges encompass everything from getting a certain number of kills with a weapon to humiliation tactics like killing an opponent and then picking up and using their weapon to kill the same opponent again. Constant level based rewards are a proven mechanic and it is used to great effect here. The system is simple and the choices are important, yet limited. The choices include which primary and secondary gun to equip, one attachment for the primary gun and lastly there are three slots of perks to choose from. New options are opened up as you level. The player is given 5 slots to create custom classes with and during a game you can choose between any of them to play with. The persistent character keeps players coming back and playing to unlock the next perk or gun. These unlocks also keep the game fresh as new options are dolled out at regular interval for players to experiment with.
By gaining levels players unlock new weapons and perks, which offer additional options to customize their character. Perks range from extra damage on weapons to having a final opportunity to pull out a pistol in a last ditch effort to kill your enemy before dying. Perks are a great way to customize your character and since only three can be equipped, players must weigh their choices carefully. Each perk is designed to only fit in one of three slots. A perk like Juggernaut (greater health) is a tier 2 perk and will only fit in perk slot #2. Stopping Power (greater weapon damage) is also a tier 2 perk and will only fit in slot #2. This was intentional and designed so that the player cannot have both Stopping Power and Juggernaut perks on the same class. The player must decide which they would prefer and only take one.
Here are some balancing suggestions for CoD4’s perks.
Frag Grenade x3
I really hate no skill random grenade spam kills. Lowering the primary grenade number down to 2 from 3 would go a long way in resolving this issue.
Add Call of Duty: World at War’s Toss back perk
Tossing back grenades maybe new and important COD4’s single-player campaign, but it is almost always suicide in multiplayer. The Toss Back perk in CoD: World at War resets the fuse timer on grenades and would be a great addition to CoD4.
Remove this perk entirely and add its functionality in with the Sonic Boom Perk.
In a first-person-shooter the gun is effectively your character and modern guns with all their moving parts and high tech nature simply feel and sound more powerful than their World War II equivalents. This is a big reason to why I like CoD4 over CoD:WaW. WaW’s weapon’s feel weak in comparison and it is just weird to see red dot sights and silencers on WWII weapons. The weapons of Call of Duty 4 are incredibly lethal and are surprisingly well balanced. There are a few anomalies in their balance, but in general the team at Infinity Ward have done a fantastic job. The weapons can be customized through the choice of one attachment selected from such selections as a silencer, a red dot sight or an ACOG scope. These are unlocked through achieving a certain number of kills with the specific weapons. Further, players can choose the paint scheme on their weapons (new paint schemes are unlocked after a certain number of headshot kills on opponents are reached). There are just enough options and slots to customize that the player feels unique, but not so many that it becomes inaccessible and clumsy.
These are the weapons that I currently like using.
I really like the Skorpion machine pistol. It has drawbacks like a small 20 round clip that will often have you reloading and having to switch out to the secondary to finish off multiple opponents, but the lack of recoil and its 50 damage per round up close is insane. I also like it because so few people use the Skopion so that makes me feel special.
I like using the P90 with the silencer. The iron sights on the gun do not block your vision very much so the gains from the red dot sight are minimal. The gun has a 50 round clip with low recoil and I have found that it is ideal for ninjaing around levels.
MP5 / AK – 74
Both of these guns have good damage at the short to medium range distances. The two are so similar in stats that the two guns are nearly redundant. The AK – 74 has slightly greater consistent upwards recoil, but this can be compensated for. The MP5 has less recoil, but the recoil is more erratic.
The M16 in the hands of a good player is really out of control. I almost never equip my class with this because it is such a popular gun that I can generally find this weapon laying around the map and when I do I always pick it up to replace my secondary weapon.
I generally equip this sniper rifle with the ACOG. For some strange reason the damage is increased with this attachment from 70 to 75 damage. Use stopping power for very reliable one shot kills.
On a side note, the grenade launcher (n00b tube) is really annoyingly effective. Since I do not use it, I might be biased in saying the damage needs to be toned down on it.
I will not go into too many specifics in each of the modes, but if you want to wrack up kills to complete your gun challenges use free-for-all mode.
Mercenary Team Deathmatch is probably my favorite mode and the one I play the most often. While it is team oriented there are no set teams allowed to play together. This means that all the players are playing solo and teams are shuffled around after each round. This lets me get in a few team-based games without running into organized clans. There should really be more modes other than team death match that use mercenary rules. I understand that this may shard the user base, but for a person like me who just wants to hop on for a few games it would be a great option to have.
Come back tomorrow for a much more interesting article on what I think is bad about Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare multiplayer. I will cover such topics as:
1. Call of Duty 4 does not do enough to protect new users.
2. M16 is not for n00bs
3. Call of Duty 4’s Slippery Slope balance
4. The flawed respawn system
5. Kill Streaks
See my other related articles:
What’s Bad About Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Multiplayer Mode?
Call of Duty: World at War Through the Eyes of a Game Designer
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Campaign Playthrough Notes
Become a Video Game Designer: Everything You Need to Know Part 1
Roger Ebert is Right: Games are Not High Art…Yet
Top 5 Greatest Moments in Competitive Gaming (eSports)
What Video Games Taught Me About Life
Low Skill Cap and Luck (RNG) in World of Warcraft PVP
Best Games of All Time by Genre Part 1
10 Greatest Video Game Designers Part 1
Dead Space Through the Eyes of a Game Designer
8 of the Most Underrated or Overlooked Video Games of All Time
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This entry was posted on Friday, February 20th, 2009 at 3:15 am and is filed under Video Games. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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