I see that Sony have "won" the battle for physical high definition media. Unfortunately since the last firmware update my Japanese PS3 has rather taken against playing Blu-ray discs. It does however play DivX files quite nicely (better than my ageing Cello DVD player). Given current trends I'm unlikely to be buying any Blu-Ray discs for a while. The problem of the firmware is probably fixable once I (finally) get Linux up and running on the spare partition but I suspect the pain of the DRM will get in the way. Up till that point I shall have to get my Hi-Def joy via other means.
Which leads me nicely onto the topic of Call of Duty 4. I have mentioned the game in the past so I thought it might be worth a quick review.
First of the main game is very short. It doesn't take more than a few days of play to get through the game. When you do reach the end however wait until after the credits to play the last aircraft hostage mission. Once you finish you open up the Multiplayer and Arcade mode. Arcade mode is fairly fun for quick dipping in play should you want to know if you have cleared a level the best possible way. I can highly recommend giving the AC-130 section several goes. It's quite a fun over the top level even if the infrared view is eerily close to the real video footage the real war PR departments churn out.
Multiplayer is however where a lot of attention has been payed. They haven't simply slapped a multi-player mode onto the existing engine and let people get on with deathmatches (which is pretty much what R:FoM did). Instead they have a full XP system and a series of un-lockable perks and weapon modifications. Once you gain the ability to create your own classes you will find yourself playing with particular weapons just to complete it's challenges. They also have added non-weapon based challenges (including things like downing a helicopter, or falling certain heights). There is also a wide range of game types from Free for All to Capture the Flag and other variants. My current favourite is Headquarters in which you take over an HQ and your re-spawns are stopped until the attackers over-run and destroy your base. All this variety means you are unlikely to get stuck in a rut being shot by camping teenagers in repetitive free-for-all games.
Having said that the muti-player does befit from the game engines attention to detail. Listen out for the direction sound of people running as they approach, creep around if you don't want to be heard. If you choose your camouflage carefully (and take the right perks) your ghillie suited sniper really does blend into the scenery. The variable protection offered by different types of scenery also comes into play, in fact one of the challenges is how many kills you can get through scenery. Last night I bagged someone who had retreated from the doorway but still stood the other side of a flimsy shed wall :-)
There are rumours that there will be some download-able content for CoD4 multi-player around spring. When it arrives Activision are almost certainly welcome to a few more of my hard earned pounds. CoD4 for the PS3 is a must have game for any fan of the FPS genre and I can highly recommend it!