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Call of Duty Analysis

Page history last edited by Richard Chen 10 years, 6 months ago

Release Date: November 05, 2007

Genre: First-Person Shooter

Publisher: Activision

Developer: Infinity Ward

Platforms:  Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, PC, DS, Cell, Intel Mac

  

Description

“War rages on in the fourth edition of Activision's acclaimed war game. For the first time in the series, Call of Duty moves away from WWII to the modern battlefield. Armed with an arsenal of advanced and powerful modern day firepower, players are transported to treacherous hotspots around the globe to take on a rogue enemy group threatening the world. As both a U.S Marine and British S.A.S. soldier fighting through an unfolding story full of twists and turns, players use sophisticated technology, superior firepower and coordinated land and air strikes on a battlefield where speed, accuracy and communication are essential to victory. The epic title also delivers an added depth of multiplayer action providing online fans an all-new community of persistence, addictive and customizable gameplay.” – ign.com

   

Game Walkthrough

From Wikipedia

The player takes on the role of various characters during a single-player campaign. The characters' involvement in the plot occurs simultaneously and overlaps the events in the game. As such, the player's perspective can change from one character to another between missions. 

During the single-player campaign, the player controls six different characters from a first-person perspective. The main playable characters include:

  • "Soap" MacTavish - a young SAS member who the player controls  for most of the game, starting with his enrollment in 22nd SAS.  
  • Sergeant Paul Jackson - part of USMC 1st Force Recon deployed to the Middle East, controlled by players during five levels of Act 1.

Each mission features a series of objectives; the player is led to each objective with the HUD, which marks its direction and distance.  The player is often accompanied by friendly troops, who cannot be issued orders. Laptop computers containing enemy intelligence appear throughout the campaign, and can be collected to unlock game bonuses. 

 

Call of Duty 4 features team-based and deathmatch-based multiplayer modes on various maps. Each mode has an objective that requires unique strategies to complete.  Players can call in UAV reconnaissance scans, air strikes, and attack helicopters, when they achieve three-, five-, and seven-enemy kill streaks respectively.  A game ends when either a team has reached a predefined number of points, or the allotted time expires in which case the team with the most points wins.

 

Playthrough 

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Timestamps

 

 

   

Game Objectives

The objectives in the Campaign mode vary throughout the game.  Objectives include:

  • Arriving at a checkpoint
  • Eliminating enemies in a specified location
  • Standing their ground to defend an objective
  • Planting explosive charges on an enemy installation

  

Call of Duty 4’s has various multiplayer modes, which include:

  • Cage Match
  • Free-for-All
  • Domination
  • Ground War
  • Headquarters
  • Sabotage
  • Search & Destroy
  • Team Deathmatch

Each multiplayer mode requires unique strategies to complete.  For example, Sabotage requires significant team coordination, as players must protect the team member holding and installing a bomb, while Free-for-All mode requires players to play by themselves and kill as many opposing players as possible. Throughout each of these modes, players are motivated to increase their levels.  Players can increase their level by gaining experience points which are earned by taking down other players, completing objectives, being a member of a winning team, or completing challenges.  . 

  

Motivational Elements

Story and environment

Although short (about 8 hours of gameplay), Call of Duty 4’s campaign mode has been critically acclaimed.  Campaign mode provides rich and focused story telling through linear gameplay from multiple perspectives.  The story is relentless as nearly every moment is filled with anxiety whether it is maintaining stealth during covert missions, being taken surprised by enemies and dogs (as seen in the video below), or calculating wind and distance in order to place the perfect sniper shot.  Although players switch characters throughout the game, the storyline and intense gameplay develop an attachment between player and the two main characters “Soap” and Jackson along with their team members.

 

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Leveling

     Createing a class in COD 4

The multiplayer mode provides much of the game’s replay value.  Along with displaying the visual representation of their skills, players are motivated to gain experience as each level gains new weapons, items, perks, gameplay modes, and abilities such as customizing a class.  These items and abilities provide a wealth of customization and require players to experiment with different combinations to discover the setup that is the most effective for their playing style and for a specific level.  The highest obtainable level is 55, but on the console versions of the game, the player has the option to play "Prestige" mode; this resets their level back to 1 and all earned bonuses are lost in exchange for a special in-game insignia. This process can be repeated up to 10 times with a different insignia being given each time, giving the player a total of 604 levels to achieve.

 

Teamwork

     Coordinating as a team is essential in online multi-player

Multi-player highlights the need for coordination.  Although some multi-player modes require more teamwork than others, players find that teamwork is the key to success for each mode, resulting in longer times between deaths, higher kill counts, and winning more games, which all lead to more experience points.  As players spend more time online, they are encouraged to play with familiar groups of players.  This allows players to coordinate more efficiently as they already know the strengths and tendencies of their teammates. 

 

Learning Objectives

What players must improve on in order to progress through the game

  • Shooting speed and accuracy
  • Utilizing objects such as the knife and grenades
  • Experimenting with combinations of weapons, perks, and items to find optimal combinations
  • Teamwork and coordination

 

Educational Outcomes

In C. Shawn Green & Daphne Bavelier’s research (link here), action games were shown to improve players’ visual selective attention.  The researchers used Medal of Honor to test their hypothesis.  Infinity Ward, makers of Call of Duty 4, was founded by 22 employees who had worked on the Medal of Honor series, and the two games share many game play elements. 

 

Beyond psycho-motor skills gained through gameplay, Call of Duty 4, like many multi-player first-person shooters requires coordination among team members.  The game stresses team work, especially in its multi-player modes as teammates must communicate in order to win games and gain experience.  The importance of team coordination can be seen by the discussions teams have through headsets as well as the clans that form as players become accustomed to playing with a specific group.  Through playing Cal of Duty’s multiplayer, players gain experience in working with others and coordinating as a team in order to reach objectives.  The game’s fast-paced environment also forces players to coordinate efficiently.  Although many other first-person shooters also require multi-player team work, the realism behind Call of Duty’s precise gameplay made it one of the most popular online first-person shooters. 

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