Review by TheRedneck14
"A good [but rushed] port of a great game."
So, two years after Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare comes out and the Wii finally gets its version of the game? I got an Xbox and its version of CoD 4 back in 2008 so I got to play it, but I was curious about how different the Wii port would be and luckily the original game is still intact, although it is obvious that the game really had to be tuned down so it would work on the Wii. So, lets see how it stands up compared to the original and some of the other Wii FPS games.
The story has never been a real issue for Call of Duty games; you were basically recreating certain missions from the Allied Forces campaign against Nazi Germany. But other than a memo/log-entry before the level starts, and some cut scenes there was never a real story.
But Call of Duty 4 has finally provided an in depth story, which was good enough for a movie. Everything starts off with you playing as Sergeant "Soap" MacTavish, an operative of the British S.A.S. infiltrating a cargo carrier to look for a "package" when the ship is sunk be enemy Jets and you have to escape. You play as "Soap" for the majority of the game, and most of his missions are in Russia. You also play Sergeant Paul Jackson of the Marine 1st Force Recon for part of the game, and you play as him for the part of the game that takes place in the Middle East.
The main plot of this game is to stop the leader of the Russian Ultra-nationalists Imran Zakhaev and his ally Khaled Al-Asad who is a leader of some of the revolutionary forces in the Middle East from launching Nuclear Warheads at the United States as revenge for the "fall from glory" after the Cold War which obliterated what was then the Soviet Union.
What I said above is basically all you need to know, and I'll let you figure the rest out on your own. But unlike the other games there was an intense story in Call of Duty 4, which was very well written, and parallels what is going on in the world today.
As always in the Call of Duty series, Call of Duty 4 provides an immersive cinematic experience, and an epic campaign. And even though I assumed that since this was a Wii port the gameplay would be dumbed down, but almost everything was intact.
As I said in the brief plot outline, you are mainly playing as a SGT. in the Marines, or the S.A.S., but there are some exceptions. In one level you play as the gunner on an AC-130 Gunship, and you get to play as Captain Price [Lieutenant. Price in the S.A.S. campaign] in two levels set 15 years ago in Chernobyl.
The Weapons have been changed now that we are in a more modern setting, and like the previous games you are using real weapons that are currently being used today, such as the AK-47, M4A1 Carbine, M16, Uzi, and the P90. There are also C4 explosives, RPG's, Homing Rocket Launchers, and many more weapons, but other than some cosmetic things like some guns having Grenade Launchers and Laser Scopes, it still feels exactly as good and realistic as the previous games' weapons did. You are also capable of firing through some materials now such as wood, and thin metal to make the game seem even more realistic. The engine is capable of judging certain things about the material and the weapon that was used to damage whoever was behind it.
The AI is also exceptional, your allies can protect you but you still should not rely on them, and the people you are fighting effectively use cover and make you think when you fight them. When you are moving through a level you really need to think about where you need to go, and what path will provide the most cover.
And finally, the Campaign itself is excellent. The epic storyline, and the brutal combat make the levels exciting to play through, as well as the different levels, such as firing out of the AC-130 Gunship, or sneaking through Chernobyl in a Ghillie suit on an assassination mission. The levels are also more dramatic than the past games where you were constantly pelted by bullets, they spend a little more time telling the story now and it makes the campaign feel really cinematic. The only problem is that it is way too short, but considering how Infinity Ward trys to make every level good instead of using filler missions to make the game longer it isn't as bad.
The challenge for this game is pretty much the standard for Call of Duty games, there are 4 modes, and the challenge is somewhere between easy and frustratingly hard depending on which you choose. I would probably recommend playing on Hardened mode over Veteran, because Hardened is tough, but Veteran is downright sadistic. I did not spend too much time on the campaign while I rented this game but I did manage to beat 3 levels on Veteran, and "Charlie Don't Surf" [the first "real" level] is brutal on that mode. Also, try to kill the dogs in some levels before they leap on you and give you a tracheotomy, especially on the higher difficulties because it can be tough to time the Melee attack you need to kill them.
If you play on the tougher levels, sure it is REALLY difficult, but it can be done. All I can really say is that the easy mode is more cinematic, but when you play on Veteran it is as close as you can get to experiencing a real war. Just try hard and do it. It will also really give you an appreciation for what the brave men and women are doing overseas because they do have battles like this.
The controls are mostly the same as the ones from the World at War port, but the framerate issues can make it tougher to get an accurate shot on someone. When the game doesn't get choppy you can easily target people and there are several different settings that change the sensitivity of the Wiimote depending on how well you can use a Wiimote in FPS games.
The only thing that I did not like was how you select the Grenade Launchers, C4, Night Vision Goggles, etc. You have to hit left on the D-Pad and move the control stick on the Nunchuck to select them, and it is a little awkward to do, especially when you are being shot at.
Overall, when the framerate doesn't slow down, the controls work as well as any other good Wii FPS. But when they don't, an already tough game gets even harder.
We all knew that something had to go when this port was announced, and it was pretty obvious that the Graphics would take the biggest hit. Although it looks better than the first screenshots we saw [which looked like an early PS2 game at the best to be honest] and I thought the graphics were good, there are just some performance issues that made this score lower than it would have been.
For a Wii game, what they were able to do with this port is very impressive. Besides some fog to keep the polygon count down and less detail to the sky The levels weren't scaled down a lot. And it is obvious that the polygon count along with the texture detail for everything would go down but even with that this is still one of the better looking ports on the Wii.
Now we get to the problems with the graphics.
As I already mentioned, the framerate has a tendency to tank below 30 frames per second when there is a lot going on, and it can also make your aim less precise. And the part that annoys me the most is that I don't remember this happening with the World at War port, it seemed like they had people working on it long enough to work out all of the bugs, but this CoD 4 port seems like someone just decided to get Call of Duty 4 and rip the minimum settings from the PC version and add the Wiimote controls from World at War to it.
If they took more time to work on the game and fix up the framerate, I would have probably given the graphics a 9, and the game itself would have a higher rating. But this laziness just hurts the consumer because we wind up paying 50 dollars for something that Activision seemingly only spent a couple months on so they could get a quick buck without doing any work.
Like I said, this is a good looking Wii game, the levels, characters, weapons, and particle effects look good. But the apparent lack of time spent fixing the bugs causes the framerate to dip a lot and it hurts my overall impression of the graphics.
One of the most important things in a War game is if it sounds good, graphical issues can be overlooked sometimes, but if it does not sound right it won't be as good of a game. Luckily they nailed the sound in this game, and it would be nowhere as good if the sound were not at the high quality that we were given.
There are plenty of voice-overs that you will hear, and none of them sound really bad, like always there are good actors doing the dialog for the characters and it sounds good enough to be in a real War movie. There are also plenty of realistic sound effects. The guns, the explosions, and basically all of the sound effects sound very realistic and believable.
The real impressive thing is the epic score that like every other game in the series, Call of Duty 4 has. Some of the things in this game would be nowhere near as good, like the final battle in "Return of the Jed" [or any of the really good scenes in "Star Wars"]; it just would not be the same without the great music. The only bad thing was the rap at the end of the game, but that seemed like it was intentionally bad when I listened to it.
The only flaw with the audio is that it sounds like the files were compressed although I was under the assumption that Wii games could handle the same audio quality as a 360 game. But as we all know these Developers always find ways to get lazy with their Wii ports
The plot is good, the graphics are good for a Wii game, and there is a great soundtrack. But the framerate issues that also affect the controls were frustrating enough to keep me from getting immersed into the game like I was with the original version of CoD 4.
Most of us probably know about the multiplayer for Call of Duty 4 so I won't go into as much detail here as I normally would.
Basically, you still have all of the modes and levels from Call of Duty 4, and you can still level up so you can unlock new weapons and complete challenges to unlock some attachments and camouflage for them along with new perks.
Although you still have to use the damn Friend Codes for Private Matches and you can only play with 10 people online there isn't any considerable lag but the problem with hit detection with some weapons [especially ones without a fast fire rate] from the World at War port is still around.
Besides a couple of minor problems, this is the same thing you got on the 360 and PS3 versions, except you don't get to hear any of the freaks that play online with those systems because Wii Speak isn't used with this port [to the best of my knowledge].
The Multiplayer has everything from the 360 version, and you can still go through the game on Veteran mode or try to find all of the Laptops so you can get some cheat codes. If all you have is a Wii and you need some FPS games to play online, you will play this one for a long time.
Its still Call of Duty 4, good campaign and multiplayer, not the typical dumbed down Wii port.
Short campaign, Veteran difficulty is sadistically hard, not enough USMC missions, choppy framerate that can also hinder the controls, graphics and audio are obviously downgraded, appears to be another rushed Wii port that didn't have all of the bugs worked out.
Should you get it:
If you don't have an Xbox 360 or PS3, you should get this game. If not, you're better off just renting this to see how everything works on the Wii.
Although the developers seemingly rushed this port out so they could cash in on Modern Warfare 2 coming out, this is still a good port that any Wii only owner should try out. Considering how a lot of Developers can't port some of their good games onto the Wii, this one is good enough to take up the time of any Wii owner even though there are some blatant flaws.
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 11/23/09
Game Release: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare - Reflex Edition (US, 11/10/09)
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