Product Type: Activision Nintendo DS games
Newest Review: ... and you aim via the cross hair target on the top screen that is controlled by moving the stylus around the bottom screen. Double-tappin... more
Time to arm your DS
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (DS)
Member Name: Hydromancer
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (DS)
Advantages: impressive visuals and sound, innovative gameplay, great multiplayer mode
Disadvantages: lack of wifi is a big disappointment, some niggles in combat mechanics
The 3D engine works smoothly and characters and settings are well-rendered with a good attempt at texturing and shadow detail. In fact, the textures and shading is one of the best I've seen on the DS. The characters are easily recognisable as enemies or allies and there is no lack of detail in their illustrations. An excellent example is the brief mission called "The Russian" in which there are such a diverse range of background settings, ranging from hills of snow to lavish toilets.
Some attention has been paid to the behaviour of different soldiers to help you to differentiate between them. The animations of the soldiers walking or falling down after taking bullets are surprisingly smooth and as good as can be expected from the DS. The spurts of blood that erupt when you shoot an enemy, the flashes of bullets hitting the ground, the smoke cloud generated from a grenade explosion all look very nice and help to deliver a true Call of Duty experience.
My only concern is that during the night missions colours become rather dull and hard to see on a DS (original) but owners of a DS Lite should have no problems.
There is some great voice acting, mainly in the form of mission briefings and news reports that are used to narrate the story behind the game. There are also snippets of voice acting during action such as the screams of shot enemies or the desperate shouts for help of your comrades. All sound effects including the firing of a gun, loading your gun, a tank moving, aircraft flying overhead are recreated wonderfully and sound very realistic. Also interesting are the unique firing and loading sounds made by different guns or the whoosh of a rocket whizzing by.
The music is typical of an FPS. Fast-paced and thrilling with sensational pauses now and then for dramatic effect, it feels appropriate for the game but gets slightly repetitive.
The action takes place on the top screen while the bottom screen is used for targeting and displaying the map. Movement is controlled with the D-pad or the A/B/X/Y buttons depending on whether you're left or right handed, the L/R shoulder buttons are for shooting while you move the stylus on the touchscreen to adjust aim on the top screen. Two rapid touches of your stylus brings up what I call the 'precision shooting' mode to allow you to accurately shoot your enemies. The stylus is also used to change weapons, to pick something up, deactivate a bomb, set a bomb and call in an air-strike.
I found the gameplay to be appropriately fast paced and exciting and the combat mechanics work well. The only problem is that sometimes the touchscreen is not very responsive when you want to do some accurate shooting in the heat of battle while the 'precision shooting' mode can sometimes come up accidentally while your taking aim which can be annoying and distracting. The camera angle which is controlled by the stylus on the touch screen is generally OK but sometimes spins around quite fast such as when you're on a helicopter which is disorienting.
There is a large variety of guns, ranging from a Russian Uzi to an AK47 which adds a lot of variety to the general gameplay experience. The mission targets are different for every mission and other objectives become unlocked as the mission progresses. You can be asked anything to fulfill a mission's targets, such as sniping enemies or calling in air strikes on tanks, but there is also a lot of running around and shooting.
The story is quite engaging and is told through a series on dialogue, news reports, animations and pictures. More i unravelled as you play your way through the missions.
The single-player campaign is very engaging and should keep you entertained, but it's fairly short. You can also choose 'quick play' for some quick fun and excitement without the constrainsts of missions. There is an excellent multiplayer mode which supports multi-card play and single-card play and allows four players to work together through missions. However, the lack of wifi play is a big disappointment and drags down the lasting appeal of this game.
In conclusion, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare delivers action-packed experience that allows DS owners have a taste of war in an innovative, new way. While it is as exciting and entertaining as its bigger console cousins, it's let down by the lack of wifi support and some niggles in gameplay.
Summary: An exciting and entetaining FPS for the DS