Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare really did change shooters, it started the reign for the Call of Duty franchise and completely modernized the genre. While the series was somewhat popular prior to this release, the trend of the modern shooter started with CoD4 and that promptly stopped the string of World War titles present at the time. Ten years down the road the base version of the game actually holds up fairly well all things considering in terms of graphics with the story and multiplayer still being excellent to play. It even got a fresh coat of paint a year back when it was bundled with Infinite Warfare and it continues to be a remarkable experience.
It doesn't matter what part of the game you play, it all holds up so well. I've personally spent far too many hours playing this over the years and I can still easily go back for an enjoyable time. The campaign gave us some of the most iconic characters in Call of Duty and presented an intense narrative that was relatable to the time. It followed a fresh recruit (Soap) as he worked with Captain Price and others to deal with weapons of mass destruction. Things took some major swings and plot twists working together for an epic wide spread adventure.
There was a variety of environments and locations present as you worked from various locations to get a full grasp on the situation at hand. This all worked towards an epic ending and one that would set the stage for a trilogy. While the first narrative was entirely self-contained and conclusive, the third entry actually beautifully tied the whole series together. The multiplayer for Call of Duty 4 was a series of firsts, from the character customization to the game types it presented. This was where custom classes took off, perks got their start and the system of unlocking that every online title uses as their model. This included the collection of weapons, special items and the Prestige system.
It was barbaric looking at what we have now, but it grew and evolved with the titles as players unlocked more wide spread customization options to eventually earn them in microtransactions in later entries. This aspect was well present in the Modern Warfare Remastered release though mostly just decorative so not the worst time. The multiplayer maps were truly iconic and used in many other Call of Duty titles and just so well designed. They weren't even symmetrical for the most part and a true testament to the design work that went into the experience. This is most definitely a classic game and one that so many shooters model their online portions to. It certainly changed the industry and set Call of Duty to the top for many years after it faded away. It's great to still play in the classic version and honestly the remastered version is fantastic.
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