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Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
Released in November 2007, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare puts you in the well-worn army boots of various infantry in both the British Special Forces (the SAS) and the United States Marine Corps Force Recon. Thanks to its incredibly cinematic experience and highly-addictive multiplayer modes, COD4 has become a worldwide smash on the Xbox 360, PS3, DS, and PC.

 

PC, Regular run: 1:38:59 by Sami 'nego' Reinikainen, done in 48 segments

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This is my first speedrun. Well, the first official one. I tried my best to make the run as good as possible. CoD4 isn't the best game for speedrunning, but nevertheless I enjoyed running it enormously. This might have something to do with the fact that this was my first real project and thus was something new and exiting. You really need to be an experienced fps player to achieve a good run in this game since most of the time the way to progress fastest in situations is to eliminate all enemies. I used thousands and thousands tries on various situations to get them just right and I'm glad that I pushed myself because I'm finally satisfied with the run.

Some facts: The game has only an autosave option for saving and it's compeletely random at some situations. I edited the videos so that sometimes the segments changes are totally invisible to the human eye. I only ran the missions that are currently up in SDA. Also this run is not done in arcade mode which means no annoying cartoon characters floating around constantly. I also recorded the run in 1280x800 resolution so there's real high quality videos available.

Comments mission by mission:

Prologue - 2 segments
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There's pretty much nothing in this mission that could speed things up other than killing everyone as fast as possible and that's what I do. I did find a nice little trick at the end. When you have eliminated everyone in the container room and Price goes and examines the container, he doesn't really need to get there to start the dialogue. So what I do is make him stop running by shooting at his feet. I guess the game thinks at this point that he is stuck and starts the dialogue with Gaz as if he was there with him.

Blackout - 3 segments
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It really doesn't matter how long you take killing the first enemies. The time it takes Price to open the door to the next area is fixed to a certain point so if you just kill everyone before Price gets there, you're ok. For some reason I take my time killing them. I guess I was just bored. Other than that the mission is straight-forward. Kill enemies to progress faster.

Charlie don't surf - 3 segments
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I choose all the fastest possible routes to the tv-station and basically run past enemies so that I don't waste time killing them. This is where I discovered a strange thing. Sometimes it takes Vasquez 30 seconds to get to the station, sometimes 25 or 23 etc. I did about 20 tries before I got a time that I was happy with. Every now and then Vasquez didn't even come to the station and when I ran back to see what had happened, he was shooting happily at some enemies. At situations like this I just hated to speedrun this game, since it kinda wasn't your own fault that you had to start again, it was the game's idiotic AI.

I could have done the tv room fight faster but this was the only fight in the game that made me want to smash my keyboard through my monitor, so once I got it just about right, I left it that way. All in all, just an awful mission.

The Bog - 1 segment
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No arguments that this was maybe the hardest mission in the game. I had to do it as a single segment since the game didn't give me any autosaves throughout the mission. Not even once. This made it insanely hard for me since I'm a perfectionist and it was really hard for me to let some slips go and just move on. Here's some stats on the possibility of completing this mission with all the shortcuts I intended to take:

15% of the time I get inside the house at the beginning without being killed.
60% of the time the game bugged so that I couldn't advance further once I got the the machine gun.
70% of the time I get killed by the bunch of enemies at the next alley after the machine gun part.
50% of the time the guy with the Stinger takes too long to run forward and die.
95% of the time when I run away from the tank at the end and try to blow the AA-gun to pieces, the tank gets destroyed for some reason.

This all adds up to some really small odds of getting a solid segment. I don't even want to remember how long it took me to get this time.

Hunted - 6 segments
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Maybe my favourite mission in the game. Mainly because of the ending since it's just so freaking hard. In a good way since it's all about the player and there's no npc's screwing things up. Once again the fastest way to the end is to kill everyone as fast as possible. The segment changes in this mission are really visible since I deleted the original files for some reason and all I had left was an early encoded version of the mission where I hadn't noticed those choppy changes.

Death from above - 2 segment
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Bad mission for speedrunning. Nothing more to say. One thing: You see the image sharpen alot after about 20 seconds to the mission. I found out that if you fail the mission and the game loads up the closest autosave, the image sharpens for some reason. This is why there's a segment change in the beginning.

War Pig - 1 segment
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At the end I have to wait for the allied tank to shoot the enemy tank. This really breaks the speedrunning in this mission. I also noticed that it doesn't matter how fast you get to the point where you have to wait for the tank to be blown apart. Unless you take forever to get there of course.

I did find a way around the enemy tank to the drop zone without dying but the helicopter didn't arrive until the npc's got there also. Sucks.

Death and Awe - 2 segments
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Another bad mission for speedrunning.

Safehouse - 2 segments
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This mission would normally take a shitload of tries but I found a nice little glitch that makes the level easypeacey. You run straight to the barn where Al'Asad would spawn if you cleared the houses first. This makes Al'Asad to spawn in a different location which is the place I run next. Only hard thing here is the tank near the farm which kills me like 98% of the time.

All Ghillied Up - 2 segments
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Speedrunners nightmare, or a wet dream? It started out as a nightmare since you have to wait MacMillan on every freaking corner, but as time passed by and people found new things, the mission turned upsidedown. My first time on the mission was something like 7:20 and I was really happy with it at that time. Now after 6 months, it's 4:27. This is one of those rare missions where you don't need the npc's with you at the finish line to complete the mission. Thank god for that.

At the beginning it's faster to just kill everyone instead of sneaking past them. When I miss a shot when shooting at the guard in the tower and at the guard by the door, it's on purpose. This makes MacMillan alerted and he starts to run and it saves a couple seconds.

The shortcut that saves a shitload of time I thought wasn't possible since I had tried that jump like a thousand times but then I saw a video up on youtube where some guy managed to do it. I was just doing it wrong. (no surprise there) For some reason when you take this shortcut, the enemies at the other side don't even spawn. Makes it even more easier.

One shot One kill - 3 segments
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I just hate this mission. The rest of the mission is alright but the ending is awful. There's nothing special in this mission to do. Just kill everyone fast.

Heat - 1 segment
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Nothing special about this mission either. I just didn't find ANYTHING that would speed things up at any location.

The Sins of the Father - 8 segments
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One of the best missions in the game. You get to really speedrun in this mission. I did find out that you can shoot the "bunkers" down yourself so that you don't need to wait for the helicopter to do so. This saves an enormous amount of time. The verifiers were kind enough to point out a mistake I had earlier that made me lose 30 seconds. (I didn't start the fight manually when you are in the tower. Stupid me).

Ultimatum - 2 segments
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My first run through this mission was the fastest that I could ever do. I tried like 30 times again and again but I just couldn't manage to get a better time. Strange. Once again the fastest way is to run past enemies and wait for the npc's to catch on you.

All in - 1 segment
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Everyone loves this mission. Took me hundreds of tries to get past the bunch of enemies at the beginning. After that the mission is pretty straightforward, destroy the tanks, wait for the npc's to cut through the wents.

I did try the other route to the missile silos through the left but I got exactly the same time as before. I did destroy the tanks about 30 seconds faster but it took the npc's 30 seconds longer to get to the end and cut the wents. It's just insanely hard to rambo your way through this route and I only tried it twice and both times the npc's didn't come any faster to the ending area.

No Fighting in the War Room - 6 segments
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Kill everyone as fast as you can and you will have the fastest time. There's nothing more to it.

Game over - 2 segment
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Bad for speedrunning.

Epilogue - 1 segment
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I had a time of 0:53 before I decided to "improve my time". 784 tries and I got it. And for what? A 3 second improvement. Someone slap me.

Total number of segments: 48

Individual-levels run [Xbox 360 Arcade] in 1:55:32

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Level Time Date Player
01 - Crew Expendable 0:06:12 2008-03-03 Andrew Mills
02 - Blackout 0:07:37 2008-01-27 Andrew Mills
03 - Charlie don't Surf 0:07:25 2008-03-27 Andrew Mills
04 - The Bog 0:07:25 2008-03-16 Andrew Mills
05 - Hunted 0:08:01 2008-03-17 Andrew Mills
06 - Death from Above 0:09:30 2008-01-27 Andrew Mills
07 - War Pig 0:04:25 2008-03-03 Andrew Mills
08 - Shock and Awe 0:07:05 2008-03-17 Andrew Mills
09 - Safehouse 0:05:14 2008-03-17 Andrew Mills
10 - All Ghillied up 0:07:42 2008-03-17 Andrew Mills
11 - One Shot, One Kill 0:10:40 2008-03-16 Andrew Mills
12 - Heat 0:06:48 2008-03-16 Andrew Mills
13 - The Sins of the Father 0:06:30 2008-03-17 Andrew Mills
14 - Ultimatum 0:06:28 2008-03-17 Andrew Mills
15 - All In 0:02:28 2008-01-27 Andrew Mills
16 - No Fighting in the War Room 0:06:53 2008-03-17 Andrew Mills
17 - Game Over 0:04:11 2008-01-27 Andrew Mills
18 - Mile High Club 0:00:58 2008-01-25 Andrew Mills

01 - Crew Expendable (Andrew Mills)
The opening level of the game, and one that really sets the tone and pace for the rest of the game. As far as speedrun strategies are concerned, the real timesavers are:

Standing in front of Captain Price at the first door (to allow a quicker entry),

Running into the door where Gaz pulls out his shotgun for all to admire. This glitch allows you to enter the next room a few seconds quicker.

The upper paths of the next few rooms allow you to take out more enemies than going down face to face with them. This is helped even more by the very useful aim-assistance that the game automatically has enabled. :)

It'd no doubt be quicker to tackle the last 2 rooms by simply flashing near the back end and charging past the enemies (tested on Recruit difficulty).

Interesting fun fact: In the opening helicopter sequence, the SAS member to the right of Captain Price and the pilot behind him has a different name each time you replay the level! My theory is that the names are either those of the design team, or in fact the actual names and ranks of those from the marines who helped IW with the development of the game...

02 - Blackout (Andrew Mills)
A pretty tight level, even for the length of the segment, but the following timesavers can still be utilised:

You can skip the whole talking section in the field and proceed straight up to the sniping point and take out a few of the guys there while you wait for your colleagues to get their arses into gear and make their way up to you. This gets the alarm bells going quicker, so you can advance the level faster.

Not an optimal fight in the next part (the grenade launcher could have been used better), but other than that, no real extra ways to make up a lot of time here.

The final real timesaver is after you rappel down the wall, if you cut right across the right hand side, straight to the house, you can get the rest of them to the house quicker also.

03 - Charlie don't Surf (Andrew Mills)
Quite an interesting level this one, as it contains the infamous TV room fight (which is normally an absolute nightmare on Veteran difficulty if you don't abuse the trigger point I mentioned earlier):

The main route choice here is once you leave the first building you enter. You can head left or right (near the car). Now, in this run I take the right-hand route (which is slower, but easier in most respects). I haven't yet managed to successfully get passed on the left route (even with Flashbangs), but that's not to say it's impossible.

Getting the guys to even enter the TV station can be a challenge in itself. I haven't managed to find the trigger point to make them do it any sooner.

Possible on Recruit (but not tried when this segment was recorded), is once you've entered the main TV building, you can simply run into the server room, then straight to the back of the TV room in an effort to flash and kill the enemies in the corner (the trigger point which you need to reach). Quicker than fighting your way through the server room like me!

04 - The Bog (Andrew Mills)
Yes, this does indeed sport the same final time as the previous segment! Segment notes:

I shoot the guys in the windows at the start as they have an annoying tendency to blow your face off with an RPG.

As soon as you hear "Good Job" when on the mounted machine gun, jump off it and leg it downstairs, you've done enough.

As soon as the text stating the tanks have been spotted starts, jump out the window and claim the Javelin rocket launcher from your soon to be fallen comrade.

By the flaming dustbin (near the tank) lies a fully ammo'd M4. Use this to max out your ammunition.

Use the auto lock-on facility to snap between the numerous targets surrounding the tank.

05 - Hunted (Andrew Mills)
This level was the last one that I completed (and yea, it shows). The greenhouse/final section was a complete nightmare to get right and it's stupidly easy to get turned into Swiss cheese here.

I decide to take out the guards by the house through the glass, keeping an eye out for the guard that hides behind the barrel.

If you shoot the chopper in the field, it triggers off the barn door escape sequence sooner.

I really messed up shooting the second dog, and ended up having to snap it's neck.

Flashbangs, crouching (and luck), seem to be the fastest way through the greenhouses to the shed at the end.

On recruit, I later noted it would have been faster to have stayed crouched behind the sandbags opposite the shed. So this strategy should also apply to Regular difficulty.

I mess up the switch to the second stinger missile by accident wasting a further few seconds.

06 - Death from Above (Andrew Mills)
I have it on good authority that it's possible to advance the level faster by simply clearing the enemies quicker (allowing the team on the ground to advance sooner). This isn't initially apparent (as it's an on-rails level), but it's something I'll be looking at when I eventually tackle Veteran difficulty. So as for my run, it's solid, but could be done quicker.

07 - War Pig (Andrew Mills)
I'm quite proud of the time I achieved for this level. After originally producing a bit of a useless time, I managed to come across a useful glitch (which as luck would have it, was when I wasn't recording)!

I then managed to successfully re-create the glitch (after a couple hours of trying), and this glitch ultimately gets the Marines to reach the door faster (in the backstreet where all the cars are lined up). This chopped a good 30 seconds or so off the final time!

So all-in-all, this is a pretty solid run. Oh, and if anyone wonders why I stare at the ground at the very end, I do that to help speed up the encoding process and in doing so, reduce the segments file-size (less movement to encode).

08 - Shock and Awe (Andrew Mills)
A bit of a strange level this is. On one hand, it starts off fully on-rails, until you jump out and get into the next helicopter. From there, you have to go and rescue the pilot. As far as time-savers are concerned:

Once you get out of the chopper and run to the building, if you flash them near the entrance, you can sometimes sneak on past them before they even get a chance to enter the building.

As soon as you reach the Marines on the second level of the building, jump down and you can flash the garage in front of you. Then run-n-gun past the enemy in here, taking the right path out to the Chinook.

There's not much more you can do when you have to rescue the pilot. The flashbang was used simply to prevent getting a bullet in the noggin' on the way back to the end of the level.

09 - Safehouse (Andrew Mills)
This was quite a frustrating level to run, due to the sheer number of enemies with shotties and other large death-inducing weaponry. The main things to remember for this level are:

You only need to clear 3 houses in order to get to the barn at the end. This is why I picked the three closest to me.

Thankfully, even though I flashed myself in the second house by the stairs, the aim-assist was a great help as I had a general idea where the bullet-magnets would be at the top of the stairs.

It's quite easy to be killed on the way to the third house. The exploding barrels are a real nightmare, hence why I blew them up myself!

The barn section could be done quicker no doubt, as I lost my bearings a bit there.

10 - All Ghillied up (Andrew Mills)
This level is quite simply, one of my favourite in ANY game EVER (and the one where I spent the most time working on). The first time I played it (which was on Veteran difficulty), the whole level just oozed atmosphere and very real tension from every pore. Which is why I am equally delighted, yet also very frustrated with my run.

On one hand, I managed to pull off a nice number of excellent timesavers (including one at the end that was - for me - a real stroke of genius), but on the other, I managed to conjure up an even BETTER run (some 30 seconds better), but I can never now get past the road part to the very end section, as I'm ALWAYS being spotted, no matter what I try!

So for my commentary on this level (of which I'll go into plenty of depth), I've also included a link to the near-complete run that is almost one minute faster than the one submitted. By doing this, I'm hoping someone else here will manage to work out HOW to complete the level and not be spotted!

I lose about 1 second lining up the shot at the start, but it can be quite a frustrating sequence of shots to get off right sometimes.

I again lost a couple of seconds at the next guard as he turned to face me, throwing my initial aim off, forcing me to re-adjust.

The next big timesaver was at the tanks, where I crawl up towards the busted tank on the right hand side, far away from any guards, allowing me to keep my speed up (but as it turns out, there is a faster way of doing it).

I'm quite pleased with the next part, as I take out all of the guards without being spotted (meaning I didn't have to wait for MacMillan to finish his slow-ass crawling behind me). I'm extra happy with my double-kill of the guards throwing the bodies. That kill can be a real nightmare to time.

The next bit is where it went a bit astray. I made it to the entrance to the crawling section, but MacMillan simply didn't follow me, losing me about 1 minute with his messing around!

However, instead of crawling under the trucks with MacMillan, I crouch and head left and use the P90-SD to take out the guard and the dog silently. Then, staying crouched, I could sneak across the road, bypassing the ENTIRE crawling sequence! In fact, IW planned for such a manoeuvre as MacMillan made a comment that I had never ever heard before I done it!

Now, normally at the next part, the dog is simply on its own by the tree. However, by being so fast, there was a guard also there, which caught me completely off guard. I probably should have ran on after killing the guard, but snapping the dog's neck was still immensely satisfying...

Now, the end result is still a massive improvement on my original segment. But... I discovered a few better tactics. The problem now lies with being able to cross the road without being spotted. I've tried crawling, running, almost everything, but no matter what, I get seen. Or, MacMillan is - somehow - being spotted. I can't tell. So for those of you interested in improving this level, please check out the link below:

http://www.gamerguides.co.uk/cod4_ghilled_up_strat.html

11 - One Shot, One Kill (Andrew Mills)
The longest segment in the run by far. Thanks to the help of both Grunty and Failurewarning (in the COD4 topic on the SDA forum), I managed to get a minute knocked off my original time.

As far as the run went, apart from taking 3 shots to blow off Zackhaev's arm (which only cost 1 - 2 seconds), the rest went pretty well.

To clear through the first wave of guards by the cars/coaches you need to see which guards MacMillan goes for and take them out quicker, so that way you can both make it to the apartments.

Not the smoothest of killing just after the first set of apartments, but I decided not to drop MacMillan until just before the Ferris Wheel (to take out the two guards).

Seeing as it's on regular, I simply take advantage of MacMillan's invincibility and crouch behind him!

If you can take out the enemies as they come down the ropes from the Chinook's, I reckon it'll help speed up the final part (as I missed a few).

12 - Heat (Andrew Mills)
I'm quite pleased with this level as - apart from throwing out the smoke grenades somewhat late - it went pretty smoothly overall. You can definitely cut some time off by using less smoke grenades and using the cover to hit the tanks a bit quicker, although on the higher difficulties, getting back down will be a genuine pain due to the number of enemies running right for you!

13 - The Sins of the Father (Andrew Mills)
Again, another decent run on a rather random level...

The petrol/gas station at the start REALLY needs to be secured with 11:00 on the clock to be in with a decent time.

Keep your ears open for when Griggs (who's up on the tower with you), lets slip a rather naughty swear word (which I reckon might not have been noticed by the censors, as the word is randomly switched between: "Oh S**T!" and "OH F**K!")

I make a giant mess of the end bit when I accidentally got lost and this cost me 7 seconds. To be fair, I DID retry the level for a couple of hours afterwards, but I never got the same quality up to that point. So I've decided to stick with it, regardless of how blatantly lost I got!

14 - Ultimatum (Andrew Mills)
Coming into the third - and final - act in the game, this is another level which I am very pleased with...

I used the C4 on the first truck simply for the hell of it as it cost virtually no time and it made me laugh every time I done it.

I stab the guy in the back in the house as Price has a habit of alerting the guard upstairs when he does it (and that just wastes more time).

Once I free Griggs, I run with the detonator (to speed me up) straight to the pylon, saving a massive amount of time.

The next timesaver was a tricky one, as the barrel by the door (near the baddies), has a REAL tendency to ONLY blow up as you pass it (no, seriously). So I took the right hand side of the container and destroyed the barrel as I waited for my health to quickly come back.

I probably should have ignored the dogs and enemies and just ran right past the trucks to speed up the final part. But otherwise, I was very happy with the end result.

15 - All In (Andrew Mills)
Probably one of my most refined levels (after 'All Ghillied Up'), with a final time that is going to be hard to really improve on (at the same difficulty level).

You don't have to plant the C4 on the trucks to take them out with it. Simply set it off as it goes over it.

I throw the smoke grenade as the enemies never seem to come into the smoke or shoot at you whilst you're in it.

The only real time lost was on the last truck, but it was only 5 seconds or so max.

16 - No Fighting in the War Room (Andrew Mills)
An infamous level on Veteran difficulty, with the many narrow corridors (especially near the very end), proving to be less than funny with regards to how unfair the game can truly be. On Regular, it's not too bad, but it's still very easy to die if you're not careful...

The branching long corridor just after the stairs can be a real pain. I was pretty lucky that I got away with having to reload.

The corridor right after this part is what gets most people killed repeatedly in Veteran difficulty. The fact that there's two routes to choose - with people shooting you from behind - certainly doesn't help. This is shown as even I nearly die on regular difficulty at this part.

I always laugh every time I hear Gaz tell Price that he can try pulling on the door to make it open faster. The retort from Price is also fantastic, and really lends to the characters overall.

I mess up a little in the final room by not killing the guy behind me quick enough, and my finger slipped off the X button when trying to upload the code on the computer.

The next part (on the way to the trucks) was a bit sloppy as my aim sucked a little.

17 - Game Over (Andrew Mills)
We're nearing the end now, with this rather intense on-rails section.

There's not an awful lot to say about this, other than I fire the rockets at the helicopter to stop it hitting me in the face with missiles (throws it off course if you fire at it).

On the bridge, I decided that Zackhaev wasn't going to get away with just losing his arm, so I finished him off with a nicely aimed headshot.

But of course, this isn't the end. There's one more - short but fun - level left to go. The one level that - in my opinion - holds one of gaming's greatest challenges. The Mile High Club achievement aka: finish the level in under 60 seconds on Veteran...

18 - Mile High Club (Andrew Mills)
My target time for this level was sub-1min, which included the time for rescuing the hostage and leaving the plane. Apart from slowing down to reload my P90 and catching myself near the flashbangs, I was pretty happy with the run. I went for the headshot due to my experience with Veteran (where ONLY a headshot will work), and it was faster than shooting him in the leg first.

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