Weapons in the game are also very realistic. The enemy is generally armed with AK-47s, since these are some of the easiest to obtain weapons in the world, while you as part of the modern military will have access to a range of modern weaponry, such as the MP5SD submachine gun, the M4A1 carbine fitted with the M203 grenade launcher, and the devastating FGM-148 Javelin portable anti-tank guided missile. The weapons are modeled with a high level of detail. During gameplay, they expend ammo just like their real-world counterparts, forcing you to conserve ammo, watch your shots, and scavenge for ammo and weapons from fallen comrades and enemies alike.
Gameplay is streamlined and straight forward, with clearly marked objectives and a level that will challenge, but won't punish for not being spot-on perfect in every situation. After all, you aren't the only one out there. Your squad is there to help out, as well. And they do an excellent job, from providing cover fire to showing the way to the next objective to warning you when you are about to walk into an ambush. Your objectives will range from planting explosives on enemy equipment and weapons to holding your ground during an enemy attack to infiltrating an enemy position without being detected. The single-player campaign does not branch; if you fail a mission, you have to start the mission again until you complete it successfully.
However involved the single-player game is, what will keep gamers coming back to this title time and again is the multiplayer game. The multiplayer matches take place as team-based deathmatches. Teams can win in one of two ways, depending on how the match is setup: they can either be the team with the most points when time runs out, or they can be the last team standing. In the case of a timed game where both team have the same number of points, a sudden death match is played. This special match is played with no player re-spawning. The first team to take out all of the opposing players is the winner.
In-game, the players are given bonuses when a certain number of kills in a row are made. At three kills, the player is allowed to call in a UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) recon scan, which will allow your team to see any enemy combatants in the UAV's field of vision. At five kills, the player can call in an airstrike, which will carpet-bomb a selected area of the playfield. At 7 kills, the player can call in an attack helicopter, allowing for a large number of kills in a particular area. The game keeps track of player stats like kill to death ratio, wins and losses, player accuracy, and overall score. These can be compared online to other players around the world.
As objectives are met and kills are made, players earn experience points, which are tracked online as you play through multiplayer matches. As you earn points, you are able to unlock different customizations for your character. At first, you are given a limited number of character configurations, with little customization allowed. Once points are earned, the player is able to acquire extra weapons, abilities, and perks. Perks allow the player to do things like allow their character to take more damage before being killed, or to cause more damage to enemy players.
Call of Duty 4 is the best of the series so far. Bringing the series into the 21st century gives the aging series a sorely needed boost. Macintosh gamers should enjoy it while it lasts, since it appears that the next Call of Duty game will return to the series' World War II roots. But that won't stop you from having an absolute blast with this game when it is finally released. OORAH!