Call of Duty

November 26, 2003

[floatleft][/floatleft]With the ever numerous titles in the World War II FPS genre, Call of Duty stands out to be a true gem in the PC gaming world. I am a huge fanatic of the entire history of the second Great War, and this game allows me to become one of those soldiers. I really enjoy games that let you experience the adventure by putting you into the soldier’s shoes. Call of Duty gives you a great sense of teamwork while fighting against the enemy. There are many aspects of this game that I really enjoyed that made my experience worth the money.

Unlike Medal of Honor, COD was not a lone ranger type of a game. This was a game where teamwork was a must in order to complete missions. If certain things were not executed as one unit, then someone was going to die. You literally can shape the way things turn out at the end. It can be you and the commanding officer, or it can be you and other fellow soldiers still standing. COD has uniquely created a different storyline that really makes it stand out above the others. Not only can you play as an American soldier, but you can also fight the enemy while being a British soldier, and a Russian soldier. COD also uses similar story structures from movies such as Band of Brothers, and Enemy at the Gates. If you have seen Enemy at the Gates, you will see the similarities when playing through the Russian part of COD. The small detailed cinematics in COD really were amazing to see.

The superiority in COD lay in its AI and graphics. Controlling was just as common as your regular FPS game, and its speed of movement was just right for gameplay. Not too fast and not too slow. Before you are actually deployed into the war, you are put into basic training. During basic training you are put through movement and weapons training. This training will help you familiarize yourself with combat tactics and controls. The graphics were absolutely gorgeous to see, from up close to far landscapes and skylines. Every level was uniquely designed accurately to stay true to historical fact. From storming the ruined city of Stalingrad, to parachuting into France at night, it was quite a beautiful and colorful scenery to watch. Waterfalls, facial expressions, and bombardments from a distance were very intricate with detail. Their actions were always different, and they would always call for reinforcements if they spotted you. Weapons and vehicles were designed very smoothly, along with the terrain and buildings. COD by far has impressed me with superior graphics in the World War II genre.

[floatright][/floatright]As you change shoes from being an American soldier to a British or Russian your weapons and game play become different on many levels. Before every mission you are briefed as to you what objectives you and your squad must carry out in order to be successful. In the process of infiltrating an enemy occupied position, you and your squad must move accordingly and provide covering and suppressing fire, explosive placement, and stealth movement. Sometimes it’s your obligation to take point if not your squad will not move. I found that to be annoying at times. It’s quite interesting to see the amount of importance it is to actually take cover and move in the prone position. Germans are armed to the teeth with MG42’s, MP40’s and potatoe smashers (grenade sticks). If you think you can rush the Germans full on, standing up by yourself, you are sorely mistaken.

Patience is a virtue in this game. Using objects and the environment to protect you is vital to your existence. Speaking of trying to survive, there were many times where my objective was to hold a position until reinforcements arrived. During most of these missions it was common for my squad to get in my way when moving through a building where Germans seemed to never stop attacking. There were many times where some of my fellow soldiers would throw a grenade right under my feet. Needless to say it was ridiculous. By the way if you’re thinking of solving that problem by killing your fellow squad member to move about, the game does not tolerate team killing. If you fire upon any of your fellow soldiers, then the mission will end and will tell you that TKing (Team Killing) is not permitted. You then restart the mission from the beginning.

COD is best played in room with the lights off and the volume cranked. Hearing the sounds of planes coming down and riddling your boat, and also the sound of AA guns firing into the night sky was a great touch. The sound is crisp and clear with so much variety. You can hear a group of tanks coming from certain directions, teams of Germans giving orders, and so on. Another unique aspect to the games sound was the added voice overs of Hollywood actors Giovanni Ribisi (Saving Private Ryan, Gone in Sixty Seconds), and Jason Statham (Snatch and The Italian Job) which was a nice touch. If you know about WWII movies or even games then you should also know that they all have great musical scores to them. None other than Composer Michael Giacchino added to the games great musical score.

[floatleft][/floatleft]At the end of the day, playing Call of Duty was an extremely great experience. I was completely amazed by every level and the different variety of things that each mission offered. It was fun, exciting, and very difficult at times which sometimes made it frustrating. If you get tired of playing the missions and just want some good old fashioned deathmatch then proceed by hitting up the multiplayer online. Online multiplayer gametypes vary from Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, and Behind Enemy Lines to Search and Destroy and Retrieval. The games are pretty much self explanatory. Call of Duty gives you, the gamer, a different and unique feel to the entire WWII FPS genre. By all means, if you don’t have Call of Duty, get it, this game puts many previous WWII campaign based games to shame. This is the holiday season so make it a point to add this to your PC gaming library.