July 9, 2011
“Our Recon Drone Will Find Those Imperial Dwarfnuts”
Last Tuesday, a group called BlackMonkeys.de released a mod for Call of Duty 4 on PC entitled “Galactic Warfare”. This mod turns the original Call of Duty 4 Multiplayer into a Star Wars shooter, pitting the Rebels against the Storm Troopers. There are several maps on Tatooine, one in the Cloud City of Bespin, and one map called “Not A Cave” (You can probably guess where it takes place.) Anyway, let’s take a spin through this German-made product. You know the Germans always make good stuff!
^This guy wouldn’t lie to you. I own multiple ShamWow!s.
First off, I will start by saying that this mod is not for the technologically impaired, nor is it for those of you who like to give up on things that frustrate you. It is most DEFINITELY not for those of you who get sick of clicking through Computer>C Drive>Program Files (x86)>Steam>SteamApps>Common>call of duty 4 a lot. Once you download and install or reinstall the game (I’m guessing many of you probably haven’t played this title in a while if you own it), you’ll need to manually update punkbuster. Allegedly there’s a .exe installer for this mod, but I couldn’t find it, so I just went with the .zip file. You put the contents of the “mods” folder into the Call of Duty 4 “mods” folder, and just drag the usermaps folder into the directory. It is important to note that you can NOT launch the game through Steam and play this mod. You must navigate the above-mentioned treacherous path and launch directly from the .exe, or else the mods will not work. You’ll be navigating some long distances. Shortcuts will not help you. Do not attempt to make the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs.
You’ll also need a manual update of PunkBuster from www.evenbalance.com before you can play. No biggie. Now, hear comes the thing that almost makes my head spin. Galactic Warfare servers don’t show up in the game list. You have to search for them (gamemonitor or elsewhere), then open the console and type /connect, followed by tediously copying the IP. (Side note- you should hit backspace a few times before you type /connect. Don’t ask why, just do it.) You could connect through Xfire or a similar program if you don’t have a Steam copy of the game, but many people do because it is frequently on sale.
So, you’ve done all this work to appease this mod. You’ve manually screwed with everything, resisted the urge to just give up and play a different shooter, and are finally (manually) connecting to a server. What do you get?
You get a face-full of AWESOME. This is one of the most brilliant mods I’ve ever played for any game. Granted, it’s a tad complex and buggy at the moment, but that doesn’t take away from the solid win that this game is. It solves one of the greatest imbalancers of Call of Duty 4- the leveling system. A Stormtrooper is a Stormtrooper, and may choose from the basic standard-issue blasters. There are only 4 Blue Perks and 4 Yellow Perks to choose from, which also solves another great imbalancing problem. The gameplay is nice and tactical, and there’s always an answer to what the enemy team is doing.
The standard fare of CoD gametypes is here, along with one new “Very Important Droid” gametype, in which one player on a team is an R2 droid, which must be escorted to an area on the map. You play him in third person, so you can peek around corners more easily. He has a few methods of defending himself, but for the most part needs an escort. Team Deathmatch, Search and Destroy, and all the other favorites play just like they used to, only with blasters instead of guns, Stormtroopers instead of Spetsnaz, and entertaining gameplay instead of level grinding.
Apart from the aforementioned complications, I only see two problems with this game as it currently is, both of which are easily fixed. One, I’m having trouble loading maps on map change, and it locks up pretty hard. That might be just me, but it’s still an annoying/crippling bug which may be troubling many would-be players. Two, the mod just doesn’t have a big community yet, so it’s missing some of the things that will make it great. Playing this mod would be even more fun in a scrim-type setting, or at least with some hearty voice chat (nobody uses voice chat? What is this madness?).
So what’s my final judgement? This looks like a great mod to hop on. I can really see it taking off, and the potential for massive hipster cred once the mod gets big a community that will grow with the mod cannot be denied. So, if you’ve got a purchased copy of Modern Warfare lying around, go ahead and install it. This mod is a lot of fun.