A mixture of bad checkpoint placement, bizarre difficulty spikes, lazy design and blatant enemy spawn points suck the fun right out of proceedings.
Such an odd dip in quality we can only attribute to possible time constraints, but it's definitely there. If I had a virtual highlighter pen I could mark out a distinct fraction of the game that's simply, inexcusably rubbish. And then, magically, it surprises with a superb ending that flies in the face of the typical fade-to-black Call of Duty closures we've had previously.
And so, Call of Duty 4 remains an accomplished game, a stylistic departure for the series which lifts it effortlessly from the tedium of historical combat and into the realms of fictional modern warfare, tapping into society's paranoia with willful glee.
It transplants even the trademark on-rails sections we (mostly) love into a chilling, deadpan commentary on the disconnected nature of blokes in planes who press buttons and watch things exploding on fuzzy black and white screens.
We've essentially been given all of the things we've asked of Infinity Ward - Call of Duty with better graphics, better set-pieces, a story, some characters and an ending.
And dogs. Go read my box about the dogs. Oh, and watch the game's credits right to the end - there's a secret surprise for those patient enough to wait.
This is the modern way
- Clever set-pieces
- Interesting multiplayer
- It has an ending
- Rubbish bit near the end