Call Of Duty 4. Famous for its still extremely popular multiplayer and short but action packed story line was a game which set the bar for console shooters in terms of multiplayer ranking and set pieces in single player. Amongst the high praise for the multiplayer the main let down of Call Of Duty 4was that the single player was a short lived experience. And it was… but on Veteran, Call Of Duty 4 made Oblivion look short.
May be some spoilers after the jump.
If you have completed the game on Veteran congratulations! Only 2.8% of people have. Or if you have completed the campaign on any difficulty then congratulations again! Only 46.5% of people who have played COD 4 have finished it instead of jumping straight into multiplayer. Call Of Duty 4 created a relationship with your fellow squad mates without actually shoving it in the players face. To those who took the time to complete the single player; Rescuing the downed chopper pilot, saving the private on the stairs or when Captain Price slid you the dam pistol from underneath a car to finish off a man emotionlessly slaughtering your squad mates were truly amazing moments when we look back now. However, When you have died in excess of 50 times the checkpoint before seeing these moments, the effect of ”wow” is replaced with an indescribable rage which can only be cured by seeing the credits roll and your controller in pieces scattered around the room.
To those 2.8% of people that know exactly what I’m talking about and to the other 97.2% of people who haven’t attempted to wrangle this beast, I will now take you through my own personal experience of finishing Call Of Duty 4 on the Veteran difficulty. Now before there are hundreds of comments of ”Why did you keep playing if it wasn’t fun?” It was, just not in a conventional ‘fun’ way. The slow trickle of achievements and checkpoint placement kept me struggling though to complete this monster difficulty.
The first level (Cargo Ship) gave me the illusion that it wasn’t going to be as bad as I thought it would be. Sure, I died a few times in the room where the bomb was being held but hey when ” The Package 40g” popped up after only 5-6 total deaths, Veteran seemed like it was going to be a struggle but would be overcome with persistence and well placed grenades . The illusion continued, I quickly learned that staying behind cover too long would end up with the screen being covered in grenade indicators in all directions and enemies being too smart for their own good and walking around the barrels my squad mates and I had taken refuge behind. Slowly but surely I continued my way through each relentless wave of unusually accurate enemies who seem to have scored a great deal with the local grenade supplier. Then along came War Pig.
I went into War Pig knowing that it was going to be a struggle (protecting the Abrahams tank), I knew this because I had played through the campaign on Hardened once before. Protecting the tank wasn’t the main issue, Staying alive was the real issue. Death after death it was as if a rage meter was growing above my head until finally the game begin to replay my squad mates actions before running into the battle. So whenever I died and respawned my squad would run in, shoot at enemies just near our spawn and kill an enemy who would revert to last stand. This was timed so well that no matter how fast I dashed out from the checkpoint a lovely headshot awaited me every.single.time. So I had to wait until he either died or was killed and then run out. What waited for me when I finally got through was a tank with enemies swarming around it sending me straight back to my checkpoint. It was after this level I began to question myself and why I continued to play through this ridiculously hard game. I hate to say it, but the achievements kept me going through. Whenever I got destroyed by someone in multiplayer I always checked their achievements and saw that only a very small percentage of people had even got the ”Deep and hard” achievement let alone complete the game on Veteran. My poor skills in multiplayer were reconciled by me grinding through the most frustrating game I have ever played.
Before I get to the level ”Heat” I must digress. I ‘cheated’ my way through ”One Shot One Kill” I hid in the glitchy area where no enemies spawned and Macmillan took the reins himself and single handedly (or single legged) led the way through waves of enemies. Upon picking up Macmillan when the chopper finally arrived I was relieved to find that I was invincible when carrying him. What did make me worry however, was finding my way to the dam helicopter due to the screen turning so red that I had to listen to the sound of the blades to find my way to safety.
If someone were to ask me for a tutorial on how to complete ”Heat” on veteran, I wouldn’t be able help you because I have no idea how it was possible to get up the hill, let alone back down in one piece. What made it worse was that I knew the entire time that when I got to the top that it wasn’t even going to be close to the end. Despite my squad being so ecstatic when we finally made it up there I knew that the next 2 hours of my life were going to be hell. There was not a moment in my final dash to the ground that I wasn’t taking damage, not a single shot fired or reload just flash, smoke and air strikes. Now that may sound arrogant but it’s the only way (for me at least) to make it down that hill of death. Heat was probably the most deaths I have ever had on any one checkpoint. With a mega man like method of trial and memorizing the different spawn sets of enemies I finally got down and into the safe sanctuary of a military helicopter. I thought the worst was over. However the worst was yet to come, it came in the form of narrow hallways and missile silos.
No fighting in the war room. I could list you the checkpoints, where they were and how hard it was to get them to trigger. I won’t bore you with the details but after replaying sections of that level so many times with constant cheap deaths it’s hard to forget. No fighting isn’t necessarily a long level; just the degree of difficulty and placement of enemies makes it the most devilish in the game. Soon faced with the option of going either left or right the task at hand seemed simple enough, Shoot the guy down the corridor, Move on. Little did I know that there were 2 enemies on each side of the corridor on me left and right, so whenever you stepped out of cover it was either being killed from the enemy you were facing OR the enemy behind you. The trick here? Push out Gaz into the line of fire. Gaz gets things done and will unload every bullet whilst taking hundreds of hits to get you and your near broken controller through the storm. Getting to this position was after fighting through even more corridors which were equally as hard. However dying at any of these points will send you back to ”you have nine minutes” over and over again.
Was it all worth it? In the end as much as I hate to say it, it really was. Hearing that only 2% of people out of the millions who have purchased it have done what I have done leaves me with a very fulfilling feeling. It wasn’t without struggle, throwing my controller or yelling at the TV that got me through in the end. When I thought about quitting and saw that I had already gone past half way just pushed me that extra mile to get those sweet sweet achievements. To anyone who is considering doing this I say try it out if you find yourself getting headaches, breaking lots of controllers or laughing at yourself when you die for the 60th time, it’s probably not the thing for you. However if you consider yourself a god at Call Of Duty 4 multiplayer and have gained prestige 10 times take a step back, and play against an enemy who knows exactly where you’re going and what your next move will be.
Finished Call Of Duty 4 on veteran? Thinking of trying? Let us know in the forums