Call of Duty has been a staple of historic military action for a while now and developer, Infinity Ward, has put together some of the most amazing gaming moments in recent memory over the past three World War II games.

Obviously then, the move to a modern and contemporary setting has had a lot of series fans nervous, to say the least.

Inifinity Ward is confident about how Call of Duty 4 is shaping up though, even if everyone else is a little dubious and, as such, it's decided to put its money where its mouth is and has announced plans to release a public beta of the game on Xbox Live.

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare will be the fourth game in the series and will be the first not to have a basis in a real-world conflict. Instead, the plot will center on Russian nationalists and terrorists who are trying to return Russia to a Soviet state, with locations including Pripyat in Russia.

The game will be told from multiple perspectives, including those of a British SAS operative, a Russian Spetsnaz, an American Marine and a Navy SEAL, the latter two of which will be stationed in the middle-east according to rumours.

Modern Warfare is also set to include a new 'realism mode', where chest, neck and head shots will prove immediately fatal and limb wounds will disable and cripple players. The multiplayer mode is also confirmed to have a class-based system similar to that used in Call of Duty 3.

As far as the public beta goes, details are a little thin on the ground still and developers suggest keeping an eye on the game's website for details as they emerge.

Are public betas a good idea, or do they just slow things down and prove fan-boy-full? Wish they'd do a public beta on PC or PlayStation 3 too? Let us know what you think in our forums.

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