Some people call me the space cowboy

Last week-ish I picked up Call of Duty 4 : Modern Warfare (for the 360) – it has been recommended by several people, but I have put it off. Having a bit of extra time for gaming I decided to pick it up. I can tell you that it is quite amazing. COD4 is a first person shooter put in the “near future”. Most of the fighting takes place in Russia / middle east. I’m playing on the “normal” difficulty level and having a great time. I’m about 90% through the single player game. I think it is safe to say it is just about the “lushest” video game I have every played – you really feel like you are in the middle of a warzone. While you have allies fighting along side you, don’t can’t do anything to control them. It is interesting that both the allies and the enemies talk and often have useful things to say (especially the allies). They will give you information on objectives, where to find enemies, where to look for sniper fire, etc. While the single player game isn’t terribly long (less that 10 hours, I imagine) it is very densely packed. The missions are a really good length and there are ample checkpoints, so if you happen to get killed you don’t have to replay too much. COD4 is easily a 5 stars (out of 5) game. If you like first person shooters, forget Halo, get COD4. Then get Orange Box.

In a different genre, I gave into the madness (after reading all the 5-star and 10/10 reviews) and picked up Grand Theft Auto IV – at the local Gamestop “midnight launch event”, no less. Calling it an “event” is a bit of a misnomer – “events” generally have something more to offer than “standing in line behind a fat twenty-something with terrible body oder” and all the chimnies that surrounded me — I felt like the only non-smoker at the event (although there were a few of us, we were generally difficult to see). The number of people was pretty impressive. I got into line about 11:15pm. When I got in line there were probably around 100 people in front of me and by the time I got to the door (took about 40 minutes)  the line behind me was just as long, if not longer.

I have Having put in 1.05 evenings into the game (I played the “intro” or “first mission” the first night before going to bed) I would say the game is impressive. Initially, I was a bit disappointed with the graphics – it is sort of an odd style. It looks almost photorealistic, but just “not right”. But, if you look at it as “cell-shaded” graphics, the game takes on a very specific art style that is actually quite cool. It looks espeically nice at night. I have done around 10 missions so far and they have all been fun. Two of these missions involve dates. The second date, I took her to a bar and then drove her home – the “drunk” driving was difficult and amusing, but we made it back to her place safely where I unlocked the “warm coffee” achievement.

Does the game deserve the 5-stars and 10/10’s it is getting? I’ll let you know after I have played more.

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