I took a break from Valkyria Chronicles and played some more Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, completing four more missions. Read on for details.
Call of Duty4: Modern Warfare
We’re back with the USMC for the day’s first mission. The pre-mission briefing sets the scene, with Al-Asad’s forces being driven back to the palace. The marines are accompanying the tank you had to defend earlier, War Pig, and the briefing shows it in wireframe form, detailing its cost and vital statistics, but stops before it all gets a bit too gun-porny.
With that, you’re immediately thrust back into the action. Looking at the environment, it seems to continue right from where the previous mission ended, with the tank now operational and the enemy forces increasing. The level is quite a brief one, moving at a brisk pace through city streets and clearing them (and the surrounding buildings) of enemies.
The level ends with a helicopter coming down for pickup, which I discovered can definitely crush you if you stand beneath it. As the screen fades to black you’re told that they’ve identified Al-Asad’s location, and everybody is being sent in to retrieve him.
The next level opens with Jackson still in the helicopter and en route to the palace. There is a fleet of helicopters in the sky above and over a dozen tanks rolling across the ground below. You have a mounted gun to use, but unlike last time you’re actually vulnerable to enemy fire. It’s a good sequence, with enemies on the rooftops with RPGs and AAs, and it does a good job of suggesting an entire city in the background, with you being a small part of a much larger conflict.
The mission doesn’t all take place in the helicopter, landing once when Jackson’s squad are sent in to rescue another squad bogged down by the enemy, and again to rescue a downed helicopter pilot. The mission ends with the entire force pulling out of the city because of some new, potentially deadly intel about Al-Asad’s last resort, and the end of the level is good and dramatic, and may mark the end of Jackson’s/USMC’s role in the campaign.
With that it’s back to the SAS. Nikolai is sceptical of the idea that Al-Asad would have sacrificed himself, and suggests they check out a safehouse in a village in Azerbaijan. As they reach the village a Russian soldier informs them that Al-Asad is indeed in the village, and that enemy troops are starting to massacre the villagers.
The level has you moving from building to building in the village, clearing it of enemies and searching it for Al-Asad. You can call in air support too, which brings in a helicopter to hover in front of the building and deal death with its machine gun and missiles. The mission ends when you reach the final house to find Al-Asad (isn’t that always how it goes? Leaders of terrorist nations are always in the last place you look) and intel points to him being helped by Imran Zakhaev, a Russian Ultranationalist.
The next mission is a flashback, with you controlling Captain Price in Chernobyl as he tells his group of his dealings with Zakhaev (before he became a captain). It’s a fairly stealthy mission (again without being too forced, though there’s an achievement for not alerting anybody), with enemies supposed to be dealt with silently with sniper shots rather than in direct confrontation.
There’s a good bit in the middle where you’re crawling through a field and a huge squad of enemies starts to cross, with tanks and all. You’re camouflaged in gillie suits and have to try and find a suitable place to just sit there while they pass. I failed the first time when using my own judgement, so on the second attempt decided the best thing to do was follow my ally, Captain MacMillan, and stick to him as closely as possible. That actually didn’t work either, with one guard passing right past MacMillan but discovering me behind him, so on my third attempt I did the same thing, but moved slightly to the opposite side. That was enough to go undetected and we got through.
The mission continues with some good stealth. Navigating a maze of shipping containers. Sneaking through a huge patrol by actually moving underneath the vehicles they’re standing beside. It ends once you’re inside a big building and preparing for Zakhaev, which is where I stopped for the day. The next mission is called “One Shot, One Kill” so is probably building up to some sniping, but as Zakhaev is apparently still alive in the present-day campaign I don’t expect it will go well.
Both images: IGN