Bullet Wisdom

I am an Active Duty Officer in the US Army. I am a Husband, father, writer, hunter, gamer, and SOLDIER. This blog is a forum for my many hobbies as well as my random musings.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Tactical Shooter Showdown: COD4 vs. R6V2

I spend more time than I should with my Xbox 360. Well, since mine decided to RROD, I figure I have some time to work on my writing skills (I will neglect the the two book reviews and upcoming research paper for the time being). One thing I enjoy is listening to the endless online debate as to the superiority of one game over another. There is nothing better than hearing a 14 year old say that Rainbow Six Vegas 2 is more "tactical" than Call of Duty 4, Modern Combat.

Well, the definition of tactical is "Of, relating to, used in, or involving military or naval operations that are smaller, closer to base, and of less long-term significance than strategic operations." Okay, perhaps tactical is the wrong word. I'll use my own word here: tacti-cool. Tacti-cool is the ability pretty much anything to convey a certain sense of military cool-ness, whether believable or not.

First up, Call of Duty 4. I'll say up front that I'm biased towards this game. Its extremely fast pace combined with what I'll call the 'chaotic' element of war makes for the perfect military simulator. I was down in the basement of my building the other day and a contractor was showing off the latest urban combat simulator designed for small unit leaders to work out their planning and C2 skills. It sucked; looking something like the Delta Force PC game from 1997. Wow, I could take a stack of networked 360's, throw headsets and paddles in the hands of a squad and send them in to clear buildings and streets in a much more realistic fashion with COTS (commercial off the shelf) COD4. It is that good, revolutionary in fact.

But you all already know that; it did unseat Halo 3 from the top of the Xbox Live list. That's not to say it does not have it's faults. There is no cover system a la Gears of War. Cover is gained by merely walking behind, crouching, or going prone. There is some great realism to this. If you lay down in a field of high grass, guess what? You can't see crap. Most games tend to give you some kind of overhead 'cheater' view of pending danger. Not COD4, when you down, you're down. I have some problems with the weapons and equipment. What we carry downrange is actually superior to the in-game devices.

We use Aimpoints and Eotech with magnifiers while the folks at Treyarch (COD4 Developer) think we all run around with Chinese-made red dots. Nice try guys. The game does include the ACOG, but we also carry a lot more ammo and grenades. I'm being picky, I understand that developers limit weapons to even out the competition. If everyone had an M203, that's all they would use.

Ok, Rainbow Six Vegas 2. If all you ever played were this game, you would think it's the cat's meow. It has a lot to offer. Excellent coop campaign play for up to 4 players, endless online match variations, and the best custom-player design, ever. Seriously, you can put your own face on your player, choose from endless body armor/gear and camo pattern designs. You also get to choose from the baddest selection of modern combat weapons this side of the History Channels Future Weapons. That is definitely tacti-cool.

For me, that's where the game's advantages over COD4 end. First the pacing of the game is super slow. It takes forever to get from point A to B and the sprint feature is useless. For being elite troopers, they can't hustle more than about 20 meters at a time. Even when you more fast, it feels slow. Switch back to COD4 after a couple of hours of R6V2, and you'll feel like you're playing on crack.

To R6V2's credit, this game is really last generation, feeling more like R6LV 1.2 than 2. I believe it's purpose was to finish the storyline to get the team out of Las Vegas and moving towards Ubisoft's next big technical leap while refining the character design and multiplayer elements from the first game.

The Verdict: COD 4 no contest.

It's really an unfair comparison. COD 4 looks better, plays better, and has an overall better design. To me it comes down to 'feel'; simply put, COD4 'feels' more like war than R6V2. Of course, R6V2 is more like a surgeons scalpel to COD4's hammer. COD4 is supposed to be brutal and intimidating (try winning the game on veteran difficulty), after all, war is hell. I routinely cringe when the other team calls in a CAS strike (close air support) and my subwoofer (SVS PC-Ultra a.k.a. the intimidator) tears the wall down.

But I will take a moment to call out developers for the next round of 'modern' combat game I would like to see for the next generation of combat games:

  1. First, guys, give me a full combat load. I'm not a whuss and can carry a bit more than 300 rounds and 2 hand grenades.
  2. Second, the in-game comms are too good. We don't have that many radios so if you leave your squad, you might be screwed. I would like to see some proximity based communications that would limit you to shouting distance if you weren't one a couple of key dudes with a radio.
  3. Realistic weapons configurations, please.
  4. Tone down the sniper rifles, please. Dudes are not that good of shots in real life, they shouldn't be in the games either.
  5. Bring the Spooky. If you played COD4, then you're familiar with the wicked AC-130 sequence. Bring that to multiplayer.

That's it. For you haters, I understand these are two very different games, but since they are the last and greatest. Comparisons are going to be made so get over and get ready for GTA IV.


Anonymous said...

I play the PC versions of COD 4 and Vegas, would you recommend I get Vegas 2? I know you don't play the PC version, but I guess the 360 one is similar. Also, do you have any thoughts on Turok?

I frankly hated a few sections of COD 4's single player, but it was still fun.

Ken said...

I would only recommend R6V2 to the hard core Vegas fans. It's better characterized as version 1.2 than 2. There are no real advances over the first game minus some new customization and a sprint feature. Nothing that I would consider revolutionary. It's basically just advancing the storyline to setup the next R6 which will take place somewhere else, hopefully with a new engine and design that truly takes the game forward.

Anonymous said...

Ok, thanks Ken, I guess I'll get Mass Effect PC instead.

Anonymous said...

Well u cant cant call cod4( the perfect military simulator) When Americas Army (pc, or xbox) already took that title. But please dont come tell me that cod4 is more realistic than americas army, when the game was developed by true soldiers, and not by a bunch of gamers and designers that dont know much about the game, and guns they are creating for use. But lets not get of topic, r6v2 probably isnt a better military game as its more of a swat team type of game. you have to use tactics just like cod4, and befaore i continue i must say that theirs no point of comparing them when they fall in diffrent categories, as one is a military game, with military like senery and the other is swat. R6v2 is stiil more fun to play, but cod4 has better graphics.

Ken said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

COD4 isn't a tactical shooter, it's a Linear,run & gun arcadey shooter.You have no control over team members, you're led around by your nose until you get to the next trigger, the only thing you have to think about is where you're standing. Verdict = Duck Hunt with great graphics. If you want console tactics you're best off trying GRAW 2.

Anonymous said...

COD 4 is a military simulator??? Are you fucking kidding me! as a member of the armed forces ( i know you won't beleive me. but it's true) you can suck it. Ok, go play COD 4 and then you know how to handle a fire fight, Why don't you go run in the middle of a field and fire off an entire magazine from your hip, let's see how far your "simulator" gets you. ok so there is no true simulator for a commercial video game system, but COD4 is about as far away as realism as you can get.

Anonymous said...

far away *from realism apologies on this second post

Ken said...

Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Personally I tend to stay behind cover and kill all the noons that enjoy running around in the open emptying their magazines.

What is a tactical. I would tell most folks to look it up in Joint Pub 1-02. In which case that means that there no true tactical simulators. All of these games are mere military simulators.

Of course your experience will largely be determined by your setup. If your setup is 100 inches of display and has a subwoofer that can crack a foundation you would know that nothing else feels like COD4. If you play COD4 in your dormroom on a 19 in monitor you might be missing something.

Unknown said...

For anonymous 2 Americas Army is actually being developed by guess what Game Developers... There are no actual soldiers in the development team. The only soldiering they do is they go to Ft Lewis once a year to "play" with weapons and talk to people. I'm not saying AA doesn't have it's merits but it is just another military simulator. I mean seriously you run out of ammo faster in AA than you do in COD4. And in AA your cyclic rate is set to 650 - 800 depending on the weapon. In COD4 on the other hand the different weapons have different ranges of cyclic rates. Just because it's being developed as an army game does not mean it is the best at military realism. Remember AA is a recruiting tool. Hell you can't even knife, or hit someone with the butt of your gun in AA. In COD you can at least Knife someone.

Unknown said...

For Anonymous 3, just because 14-16 year olds run around for the most part doing that (shooting from the hip) doesn't mean that there aren't people who actually play like their life depended on it. Which is why I prefer the PC version to the Xbox version. There are so many mods out there that cut down on the spray and pray, which make COD4 a much better realism shooter than just playing it stock out of the box. But even then just in stock version if you have a group of people who know how to cover their sectors and at the same time know how to use the cover available in COD4 they will be able to out gun and out maneuver most of the opponents that they go against who just run and gun.

Anonymous said...

COD4 is not tactical. You can't take cover, theres no breaching, you can fire a barret .50 cal standing up really fast. It's much more like halo except that you die faster. R6V2 is tactical, and theres no random perks. How is that tactical. (I'm going to magically make my gun fire twice as fast now). If you want tactics, then go with R6V2. If you want to run around shooting from the hip then go with COD4.

Anonymous said...

u lot r all retards if u cant c dat cod4 is da best game in da whole f**king world online and offline. whatever console u play it on (ps3 or xbox360 recommended as the pc graphics r sh*t)

if u like r6v2 it means ur a battyman, end of!!!

Anonymous said...

Fuk da free world, nd ervy1 in it!!!

Anonymous said...

if u a true cod4 player on da ps3 den u can join my clan [2EzY] at 1st u hav 2 go through a trial 2 c of ur gd enough 2 b in it. ad me if ur interested. (currently 30-40 members)
we also have a website!!!

my psn: ymayhem
other psn: Carlos__Fuk_X360

i used 2 hav vegas but sold it cos its sh*t!!!

Our website is:


(type it in exactly as u c it!!!
there is info on how to join the clan, also online tactics and pictures!!!)

Anonymous said...

Ymayhem, you make me weep.

Anonymous said...

u lot r all retards if u cant c dat cod4 is da best game in da whole f**king world online and offline. whatever console u play it on (ps3 or xbox360 recommended as the pc graphics r sh*t)

if u like r6v2 it means ur a battyman, end of!!!

I Lol'd, hard. You don't know anything about FPS games. PC games have the better graphics. They do. Don't deny it, it's wrong to say otherwise.

Anonymous said...

R6v2, is more fun to me. and whoever said pc games don't have better graphics may need to update their system.
Vegas 2 online had more merit to me than COD4, COD turned out to be just like every other COD game, it's 3 with updated graphics and different weapons. see how i did that. so Vegas "1.2" wins over COD

Anonymous said...

ok this forum has gotten a little out of hand lol, it all comes to perspective and how u like to play games not "this is better" and "that is better"

this forum is really like comparing COD4(Call Of Duty 4:'Modern Warware')=FPS with DOW(Dawn Of War)=RTS

it isnt right, but in any case i do like COD4 more than Rainbow, u can manouver into any position u want (u would probs get a cramp in real life running around crouched) and sure the guns are unrealistic as u said with the .50cal but u can only fire it once accuratly cause it has massiv recoil i mean common its called a game, if u want the real experience then go join the army and get killed, there aint no respawn and press F their.

and in cod4 there is breaching and infultraion u just have to find the right server. sure some matches u cant even spawn and other matches u pawn so much that people think u are hacking but thats the way it goes.

and if u want to hold more ammo put Bandolier on and if u want more nades put Fragx3 on its not hard. and obviously u think u can hold lots more than that but common that stuff aint lite. U run around with 3 grenades extra clips of ammo the gun itself, flash grenades and smokes u wont be able to move and u will just be using hip fire.

and BTW almost every FPS says they got real people from the army to come in and help them and some do but the only way to really be sure isd if u were there so stop assuming things. GAH!!

Anonymous said...

CoD 4 a tactical shooter... LMAO! You guys really need to try other game I think. Should take a looks at ArmA with the ace mods. It's the closest you can get to reality so far and that is near the system they use in the army since it's the same engine. RB6 is dead since Lockdown and CoD have never really been a tactical shooter. You all should get a looks at http://dslyecxi.com/bestoftactical.html and see what I'm talking about. If you looks for CQB go for something like Athena Sword or SWAT4 and if you looks for long range go for ArmA with the Ace mod and a sound mod. In ArmA almost anything is possible. ArmA 2 is coming out this year also. The community is also quite older than any other game because only to know all the stuffs in the game takes a lot's of time. Mapping control is not even easy since there's more stuffs in this game than any other game available all grouped together. With so much features such as, more than one way to shoot a grenade, you can fly helicopter and planes, there's freelooks, breath holding, can adjust scope, change the mags in most weapons, mag check (no way to know how much bullets you still have other than just by the weight of the gun or to have counted them), weapons deployment, Stamina, Encumbrance, Jams and Failures to Fire, Overheating and Barrel Changes, Maps/Compass/Watch/GPS/NightVision/Binoculars, islands that measure up to 400 square kilometers, destructible environment, support for peripherals such as TrackIR, Same engine that they use in army, Injury system and so much more. I still didn't have tried all the weapon in this game since there's so much with the Ace Mod. For CQB I suggest going for Athena Sword. It's just the best for CQB game so far. Balancing of weapons is quite nice, AI is not bad at all, room engaging are good and there's even a fluid stance. So far ArmA is hard to use in CQB because it was not really made for this. Creating map for CQB is quite hard... Believe me on this! Here is one of the trailer for ArmA 2. Can't wait! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNV8UbzA9UM&hd=1

Michael Pit said...

Yeah,im a huge fan of both games, so biased is pretty much ruled out. as far as TOTAL realism, both games pretty much lack that- COD4- nearly endless stamina including "halo jump, run and gun, spray and pray" tactics. R6V2- all the guns have very similar firing mechanics (Its all the same!) and you can see around corners somehow. But then again: would a completely 100% realistic game really be that fun to play? As the saying goes; War is Hell! Anyways, yeas-Cod is much more fast paced and better loooking (although some features are crap- such as the 'full auto' barret.50 spraying). The cover features are very true to the style of game it is as well- prone, crouch, stand. R6V2 is also realistic to the SWAT type of game it is (No one is going to lie prone in the middle of storming a biohazard filled apartment for hostages or whatever)Also the game is more tactical- anyone w/o cover is a dead man.

My winner R6V2, but dont get me wrong- COD4 is a great game. Cant wait for MW2!

Anonymous said...

infinity ward makes cod 4 not treyarch

Butters said...

Nice review there Ken.

What do you think of these online games, some old, some newer. I feel that they represent more realism (although in very different environments). You can test them by downloading demos or at least one of them is a completely free game which is remarkable for its quality.


Global Operations (very realistic weapons and physics in city environment)

True Combat Elite (free and very realistic)

Anonymous said...

R6V2 was good and all, but I think that Cod4 was a lot more addicting to me then R6V2. Just the game it self to the multiplayer. I also know own CODMW2 and I will say that R6 is going to have a hard time competing with the #1 selling game of 09 and today making over a billion dollars. COD ALL THE WAY!!!!HATERS