Looks aren't all that deceiving.
..... you get what you see, really. Except you get a lot more.
First of all... this game rocks for both PS3 and the 360. I don't get why some people actually hate on this game. It should be noted here that, this game should be appreciated for what it is, and played how it was meant to be played. this game is marketed targeting guys who likes first person shooter games. It is aimed for more experienced FPS players (No crap, Sherlock. It's the 4th installment, if you didn't get the point of a "sequel" then there's something wrong with you). The franchise welcome new comers, but the game is aimed for fans of the genre or the game (simple marketing).
It's worth to note that, assuming that you are familiar or experienced to the genre presented, this game is no fun in campaign when played on NORMAL Difficulty, your allies' AI's too good and they WILL steal all the kills from you, plus a lot of them don't die.... relieving you from having fun. Hardened and Veteran Difficulties is where it's at with this game. Adjusting to a harder difficulty stretches out the fun factor (by a lot) AND the length significantly. You'll be on the edge a lot more, you'll be challenge quite often, and you'll feel more worthy and more satisfied for completing missions.
I'm not going to discuss much story since, you're probably in the know already since you're reading a fan review. Plus, you have to experience it for yourself if you still haven't... so I choose not rob you of that by spilling story details. So, let's journey on.
Graphics - Over the top. Choppers, jets, plants, characters and building all look very good. Graphics itself is enough to make gamers go replay the game just to experience the graphics all together, I did. Lip-synching and other facial motions and emotions are pretty accurate. It's no Heavenly Sword, but what the hell. Smoke effects looks impressive, you actually get lost in them. The Flashbang and stun grenade effects though done awesomely before on games like Rainbow Six Vegas, it was still very impressive and new. I especially like the stun grenades' effect on the character how they literally get stunned and their aim gets crappy, you really get the feeling of how stun and flash grenades messes you up and it ain't pretty. Bullet holes on buildings, very convincing that someone actually blew through them. Explosion looks astounding on 360 and I'm sure it kicks the same amount of ass in PS3, especially the nuke explosion and the environment that followed that explosion.... Ugh, it is rare for a game to immerse me in such way, it should be illegal.
Environments look really great, though I want to disagree with the GR review saying multiplayer graphics took a nosedive. It's not all that far from the single player graphics. What impresses me the most about the Multiplayer's graphics is the fact that the framerate is slick as yo' momma's silk panties. You barely get any loss, given someone is lagging, or the network is acting stupid... still, this is not graphical problem. The crap that was wafting around that the GR review mention does distract a little, I sometimes end up shooting at them on intense games when I get paranoid. But I guess that's its purpose, no? There is no glitch so far that I've seen, unlike Rainbow Six Vegas, which was in my opinion full of tiny little bugs here and there, either that or the copy I got was a F+++'ed and deserves treatment that involves matches and gasoline. There's a lot to cover on graphics and I don't have much time so I'll move on.
Sounds - Sound is again, well done, another point for Infinity Ward on this one. Having a 5.1 make this game another notch higher than anything else on the market. It rivals that of Halo 3. Every crackle, whiz, explosion, deploying of smoke, grunts... all masterfully mixed. Everything sounded authentic, down to enemies war cries of crazy jibberish. I have no complaints there. Though your character don't speak at all, luckily the characters around you are very well-spoken. NPCs actually guide you on what to do next rather than having text displays direct you, which I think is a very good way to go and adds to the experience. Your allies also warns you about incoming and outgoing grenades, they also call off enemy positions, which people on Xbox Live should take an example off of.
The only complain I have is that the spoken in-game dialog kind of repetitive. I mean, there's only so much I can take before the sound of my teammate yelling "reload" gets on my last nerve. I understand that there's only so much way you can state that you are reloading, but at least vary it a bit. I'm sure that they could've put more effort in recording like Halo 3 did.
Controls - very tight and nicely mapped, having played the previous CoD, the left thumbstick click proved aggravating for it brought up the binoculars (which takes a few seconds to actually come up, UGH!!!!). It gets reeeeally frustrating for you might actually bring up the binoculars while a Nazi strafes your ass down. I am very happy that they changed that and eliminated the binoculars all together for there's no use for that in THIS game. One addition I love about this game is the ability to dash! It's important to master the timing of dashing, because this actually has a big impact on how you survive in the game. One good example of this on multiplayer is if you miss a sniper headshot on an unsuspecting player, and now are spotted on the map (you appear or bleep on the map when you fire an unsuppressed weapon), it is important that you sprint the hell out of the "bleep" location for other player's might have already pinpointed your exact location on the map and now are on the way to shoved an RPG up your trifling behind.
No complain to the controls here, very responsive, accurate and very technical. Technical in a way that if you dash, it takes a few split seconds for you to actually be able to aim with use of the L trigger. Sniping also takes a dramatically technical approach, much like the Splinter Cell games, you can hold your breath by clicking the left thumbstick to improve your aim. Being able to snipe a la Master Chief would've been a disaster for this game for maps are relatively small.
Multiplayer - is great!! Whether you're in it for the fragging or the objective games, I'm sure you'll find something for you here. It isn't however as fast-paced and simple as running and gunning. As the GR review mention there are perks that make things a bit more technical. Strategy and planning and choosing of classes comes into factor. Creating your own custom class is also great (You can create up to 4 classes that you can continually tweak as you go along), as you earn new weapons and abilities while leveling up. The ranking system is great, it doesn't take much time to achieve ranks.Tackling the challenges is fair, you'll sometimes accomplish certain challenges you didn't even intend on accomplishing. Choosing between unsilenced and silenced weapons weighs in heavily, anything you pick actually weighs in very heavily. One of my favorite things about the online games are the ability to call in support. If you get 3 kills in a row you are granted with UAV, a radar that shows you're enemies' active position as the radar sweeps by. Get 5 and you get to call in an airstrike courtesy of friendly F16s, you pinpoint a location and 3 jets comes swooping in bombing the crap out of your mark, you even see the used shell's fins on the ground after the mayhem. This is especially devastating when combined with the UAV radar sweeps. Finally there's the support helicopter. Get 7 kills in a row and you call in a chopper that rains down hell on earth for a limited time and the chopper's kills counts as your own!!! Sweet, eh? Beware and defend it though, because a few clean shots with the RPG, this chopper comes down like a brick and all you can do is watch it as a voice inside of your head screetches "We got a blackhawk down, we got a blackhawk down"
Online - As with other online games, the servers are full with a bunch of A-holes, but most of them are friendly and tries to have fun with the material handed. A lot are sore losers and don't get the concept of sportsmanship (Yes, I'm talking about you dicks that they think they could curse up a storm and no consequences would come of it, god is watching you know? haha). Some are little kids as young as pre-pubescent boys that concerns and annoys me me. Surprisingly, these kids are sometimes more A-holy than the normal dicks on Xbox Live.... It's a rated M game, shame on your momma'. And we wonder in America, "Why is there so much shootings at school?"..... it's because guns are awesome!! Videogames say so!! So that's that, I move on.
CoD 4 is great online, the point of its online multiplayer (and any online multiplayer game) is to immerse yourself and step into virtual shoes. But people will always find a way to ruin this, since it's not "cool" to be polite to other people online, it's not "cool" to be a good sport. Nope, it's much easier to say go "F+++ a watermelon!", as I've been told, which I thought was pretty funny. Nonetheless, profanity is wrong, kids. Ahem, that being said, the fault lies not on CoD4, fault lies on its people.
As for the maps, I see why some people would complain about the maps, they are fairly small and compact. They all look war-torn and urban in theme. The looks and feels are a bit too mono-stylized and doesn't allow much diversity. But I for one, like that about these set of maps, I like the style and feel, it's a bit unsettling. Not many dark places people could camp out at, all of the maps are really balanced out. There may be 5 different ways to go east, but there's also 5 more ways come back west. I like how there is no one safe place for you. You are going to get found by the enemy no matter what. Camping is neither an option nor a "technique", the maps FORCES you to fight. If Infinity Ward keep this up and design more maps, I'm sure to buy em' all out!
To sum up, best game I've seen running on the 360 so far (I prefer to say that for this game over the previously astonishing Bioshock). I'm sure there's very little difference between that and the PS3 version. Fun but short single player that leaves you wanting more. Rich story that draws you right in to the battlefields and picks you up and relentlessly bash you up. Damn tight and excellent controls. Very good sounds and soundtrack that successfully to convey emotion thanks to the amazing action music composer Harry Gregson-Williams. Great online feature that's worth paying the full price for (the price shouldn't really scare you off much, if you know what you're getting). When you get players together that are as into this game as much as you are, you get the experience this game was meant for. Good clean war fun.
+ A well rounded game with great graphics, sounds, controls.
+ Solid FRAME RATE, that rarely (if not at all) hiccups!
+ Great straight-forward story
- That fall short in terms of length
+ A quick adjustments to the difficulty makes the game significantly funner and longer.
- Still effin' short, I want more!
+ Great online, one of the best shooter for online play. Great customization options and rank system.
+ Great music!
- That's rarely present.
+ Very technical and realistic. Lives and breathes realism.
+ You can call support choppers and F16 raptor bombers to annihilate enemies online!!