It may not get the kudos of other high-profile missions, but Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare's "One Shot, One Kill" is arguably the franchise's most underrated level. For a long period, first-person shooters set during World War II was one of the most popular video game genres. This appears to have been inspired by the success of the original Medal Of Honor on the PlayStation. Steven Spielberg helped create this title, having been inspired by his experiences making Saving Private Ryan.
The Medal Of Honor series received a slew of hits sequels, and several franchises set during World War II appeared such as Battlefield and Brothers In Arms. One of the most popular was Call Of Duty, which debuted in 2003. After a number of sequels set during the same era, 2007's Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare set the action during the present day. The game's fantastic single-player campaign and multiplayer modes saw it receive universal acclaim, and it's considered by many to be the peak of the franchise. Modern Warfare's cinematic sheen and intense action would set the template for all future entries - though many subsequent sequels like Call Of Duty: Infinite Warfare would fail to recapture what made the game so unique.
The franchise is still a gaming mainstay and a Call Of Duty movie is currently in development with Stefano Solima (Sicario: Day Of The Soldado) attached to direct. The next game will be Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare, which acts as a soft reboot of the brand. The single-player campaign of the original Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare features some fantastic missions, from the atmospheric opening "Crew Expendable" to the shocking "Aftermath." One of the most acclaimed levels of the series is "All Ghillied Up," a stealth-based mission where players sneak through Pripyat and into Chernobyl to carry out an assassination, and it's a tense, beautifully paced section.
It often steals the thunder from Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare's next mission "One Shot, One Kill," which is the game's most underrated. This level opens with Captain Price looking down a sniper scope, waiting to take a shot at the game's antagonist Imran Zakhaev. Price succeeds in taking off Zakhaev's arm, and he and his mentor Captain MacMillan then have to race against the clock to reach their extraction point. The switch from stealth to all-out action is startling, but the level constantly mixes up the intensity, guiding players from a gunfight to a moment of peace sneaking through an empty building, to shooting down a helicopter.
Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare's "One Shot, One Kill" is a great showcase for the game's use of cinematic action. Rather than having one long, noisy setpiece, it switches things up. Weaker entries would make the mistake of confusing constant gunfire for entertainment, but "One Shot, One Kill" lets the action unfold in parts. It ends with Price and a wounded MacMillian making a last stand against dozens of ultranationalist troops at the iconic Pripyat amusement park, and having to hold out for a rescue helicopter.
"One Shot, One Kill" is an intense, relentless level, and a textbook example of a great Call Of Duty mission. There's such an embarrassment of riches to be found in Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare that this level tends to get overlooked, which is why it's arguably one of the franchise's most underrated.