Tuesday, November 18, 2008

ZA Critique: Call of Duty 4

I often don't have enough space to go into every element of a game in the blog posts. It just doesn't make sense to throw more than 1200 words or so at a person in that format. It's a get in there, get the idea across, and end with flourish kind of setup. So I decided to narrow this critique down and just focus on the most interesting part of the game.

On a lot of levels this is how the process is sustained best, ignoring the faults and just talking about the interesting parts of the game. In COD 4' case, the three passive sequences and how they are exercises in amusement park ride design. The rest of the game is fine, you play an especially badass marine/SAS soldier and the game design reflects it.

These moments however, are quite interesting.


pixelvixen707 said...

Well put, and your take on these scenes makes me realize what I dislike about Gears of War 2 - the constrained experiences in that game feel like tacked-on budget busters, that don't play off the game's core experience.

L.B. Jeffries said...

I need to try Gears of War 2. I have this bizarre draw to it, like wanting to hang out with kids who smoked cigarettes and cut class in Middle School. I know I'm going to get burned but..

Iroquois Pliskin said...

I also found these moments of helplessness in COD4 to be the most interesting elements of the game. (along with the moments of incredible power, like the gunship mission.) For me, it's the alternation of agency with powerlessness that makes the game work. I wrote a post on it a while back.

Also, I find myself wanting to play the gears myself, despite the kids-smoking-in-the-hall element. It's reputedly very well-designed, and this fact overcomes my native aversion to its basic loutishness. Hit me up if you end up getting it (and an Xbox) the coop-gettins' have never been better than this season.

L.B. Jeffries said...

Yeah, I really dug the analysis in that post. The gunship counter-point is particularly good, the pilots are so disembodied and full of much bravado it's almost disturbing. I think one of the best moments in the game was in the last level when Captain Price calls for the gunship and they just offhandedly say they can't make it. It made that level so much more disturbing...you've been that guy in the gunship and you know how distant the conflict you're stuck in must seem to them.

I'll definitely give you a shout out once I enter the proud world of Xbox Live. Someday!