All of those cool extras and upgrades aside, running around and splattering punks was a lot of fun all by itself - even if it only took a few quick shots to the back to bring us down. The three levels we played in were Vacant, a burned-out office building filled with tight corridors and blind turns; Overgrown, a European-looking farming village with plenty of ruined buildings and tall grasses to hide in, as well as a big covered bridge over a sizable ditch; and Crash, a Black Hawk Down-inspired level in a Middle Eastern village, complete with lots of cars to cower behind and the smoking wreck of a chopper at its center. All of these were packed with hiding spots, choke points (good for setting up explosives) and lots of opportunities to get creative, and they stayed fresh even after we'd played each one dozens of times.
While what we've had is only a limited, incomplete look at Call of Duty 4's multiplayer, it's already coming together phenomenally well. The visuals are great, the action is fast and the experience system and upgrades offer up new reasons to get sucked in. And with the multiplayer beta about to explode onto Xbox Live, we'll be able to show you exactly what that means very soon. Watch this space.