Call of Duty 4 - single-player hands-on

The Bog
The second mission moved from the confined spaces of a sea-worthy vessel to the wider, more expansive environment of a bombed-out Middle Eastern town. An M1A2 Abrams tank has broken down in a bog near one of the major highways, and as Sgt Paul Jackson of the 1st Force Recon Company, United States Marine Core, we need to get there before its crew is overrun by the army of terrorists infesting the city.

If the previous level was graphically impressive, The Bog is straight-up breathtaking. Nearly constant bombing has left the city shattered, its tan, brick buildings crumbling and aflame - there's so much fire, that the sky is filled with roiling black smoke clouds that blot out the sun but reflect the light of the bonfires below, giving the whole city a sickly, orange glow.

We set out down the street, but are almost immediately pinned down by machine gunners in the upper story of a nearby building. We check the ammo of our M4A1 Grenadier, drop down our night vision goggles, and head into the building to take out the gunners.

We expected the tight, close quarters action that comes from scouring interiors room by room. What we didn't think we'd do was quickly find ourselves in an intense crossfire between fellow soldiers - occupying a courtyard laced with the two-foot tall remains of walls, the only remaining evidence of the building that once stood there - and terrorists blasting away from three sides.

We dive back into a building and round a corner just in time to see a rocket launcher pointed at our faces. Dodging that, we clear the building of enemies and use its mounted machine guns to take out the targets in a nearby building, spraying it with shells large enough to go right through the wall.

But it doesn't help - the courtyard is still a death trap so full of explosions that the night vision goggles aren't needed any more. Someone shouts orders to flank the enemy to the southwest, so we head into those buildings. Clearing them is slightly tougher, thanks to a nearby highway overpass clogged with both gunmen and at least four actual tanks. Doesn't someone have a JAVELIN (it's a sort of anti-tank bazooka)? Yes, but that guy's dead.