Call of Duty 4: Single Player Custom Map Review: Backlot
Those of you that play Call of Duty 4 online will recognise the name of this map – it is indeed a single player remake this fun map which is done rather well.
You play as a nameless agent in Al-Asaad’s private army trying to repulse an American invasion force. As such, your starting equipment is rather limited by game standard. You have an AKMS with an under-slung grenade launcher and a Beretta M92F pistol. The map immediately puts you in the midst of the action can gently directs you the specific route the map (re)author intends. (spoilers below)
As you work your way around the map clockwise you meet wave after wave of American reinforcements including rooftop snipers and LMG nests which are all well though out and placed. The only criticism I have here is that some of the ‘snipers’ barely did anything and stood there like cannon fodder which was a bit disappointing.
As you make your way into the building with the documents you are trying to steal, enemy reinforcements arrive blocking you between a fortified position within the target building and your retreat down the stairs which is both fun and challenging. The briefcase / clipboard suffers from clipping problems but it is only a minor point. You also have a choice of picking up a sniper rifle here which, given your elevated position is not a bad idea.
Once you have seized the documents, you have to make your way around the edge of the map and into the central building. This is a bit of a nightmare as all the doors on the ground floor have all been blocked off so you literally have to go the long way round and jump through a window. Before you get there, in a excellent piece of scripting, you are ambushed by enemy reinforcements in the form of 5-6 troops and a armoured personnel carrier with a high caliber turret. Luckily (and a very worn and cliche way) you find an RPG and healthy supply of rockets right next to this ambush point so dealing with the vehicle is fairly easy.
Once you finally break into the middle building, your troops are not far behind. They kick down the doors as you walk down the stairs. At this point, the enemy forces launch an all out attack on the building and your new objective is to hold for a minute and a half whilst your reinforcements arrive. This is a great touch and there is plenty of fire to be traded with the enemy soldiers who are dropped by Blackhawk onto the neighbouring building. The only bad thing was the soldiers tended to just fire from the buildings they were dropped onto, they did not try to storm the central house the player has to hold.
Once your reinforcements arrive, you rendezvous with Al Asaad who, from somewhere seems to have picked up a prisoner and the mission ends. I was a bit confused by this and can only assume he was captured during the fighting.
It is enjoyable. The map layout is great with good use of obstacles and prefabs but you would expect that given the map was made by Infinity Ward. However, the scripting was excellent making good use of fixed positions and well as surprise attacks and several sections of the map were editing rather well in order to enable a single path to be followed by the player.
All in all, I would give this map 8/10. Had the author made the map himself, I would have given him(or her) a 8.5 or 9. More screenshots from the map can be found on my Xfire page.
I would highly recommend you try it yourself. Download.
UPDATE 17/06/08: It appears the website cod4-maps.com is in the middle of a redesign. The links at the moment are broken, when the resources appear on the new site I will update the links 🙂
UPDATE 06/07/08: cod4-maps.com still down, so I found another mirror.