There's been a lot of talk spurred by the release of the Call of Duty 4 Beta on Xbox 360 but it's important to remember that this was a series born and raised on the PC. And this time around the resources have been dedicated to making the multiplayer portion better than ever. A separate team was dedicated solely to developing multiplayer alongside the campaign right from the beginning of this title's inception. Tonight at the Activision event in Leipzig Germany we had our first look at eight person multiplayer deathmatch on PC.
We jumped into two levels: Overgrown and Crash. So far, all of our multiplayer impressions have been from the console version of the game but this time around it was the good old asdf setup. Two things to note, the keyboards were abbreviated, circular FPS style pieces of gear that worked well but are nothing like your typical text input device, also our headset was extremely sweaty and this resulted in an impaired level of concentration.
Team Deathmatch kicks off with the usual choosing sides and then picking a class. Available was Demolition, Assault, Spec Ops, Heavy Gunner, and Sniper. Each class has three perks like killing yourself at the last second to steal a kill from another player. I first jumped in as the Assault Class and tried to score some points. All of the new multiplayer features we've reported on in the past were present on the PC. For example, for every successful kill or combat maneuver (defusing a bomb for example) you'll receive points that pop up on the top center of the screen. Points can then be used to customize your weapon or HUD with items like grenade launchers or more damaging ammo. Players also have the ability to create custom classes that
The "challenges" were also present. This feature sets goals for players during a match. Showing incredible aiming prowess rewarded me with a challenge during one match and they can also unlock gameplay bonuses. For example, three consecutive kills will bring up radar. The points and challenges made each round of deathmatch more exciting because not only were people trying to accumulate points, they were trying to do it in a specific manner. Having witnessed the airstrike perk, this is a feature that simply can't be ignored.
After playing the 360 and PS3 version of the game it was jarring to have such tight control over my cursor, especially since the mouse sensitivity was turned all the way up on the first machine I jumped on. After adjust my controls the game felt tight and responsive. It wasn't lightning fast, and there were more prolonged fire fights than immediate deaths. It was also running smoothly on Activision's rigs with highly detailed character models and a nice depth of field effect that accentuated every time I took a face full of lead.
Without its own multiplayer beta not much was known about the PC build prior to this event but it looks as though everything is in order. Hopefully we'll get to spend more time with the game in the near future and update you with more detailed impressions.
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