Call of Duty PC Review

How many WWII themed games have we had the privilege (and I use that word lightly) of playing lately? The “FPS” and “Team Based Fighting” genre have been overflowing with the likes of Battlefield 1942 and Medal of Honor for over a year now. These have become massive profit earning franchises for each respective company. As the conveyor belt rolls on we see Call of Duty hastily heading towards us, it’s calling out for our hard earned cash. Does it deserve it? What makes it different from the others? Well read on to find out!

As I already mentioned before Call of Duty take players back to the now familiar WWII era, I also mentioned it familiarness to Medal of Honor. This familiarness partly comes from the fact that their both WWII shooters but the resemblance mainly comes from the fact that the game is made by almost the same team. The Developer “Infinity Ward” are breakaway members from the original MOH team so you could call COD the true sequel of MOH, which is not a bad title for any game to have.

Graphics

Graphically the game is mostly impressive as you would expect as it is powered by the reworked and enhanced Quake 3 engine. Most of the character models are very well detailed, each person you meet looks different and the faces are modeled fantastically. The lighting can change from above-average to fantastic at times but overall it is impressive. The areas and level layouts are impressive but not mind-blowingly impressive; it might just get a “wow” or a “that looks nice” out of some gamers. A good example of this would be the lights shining onto the dam on one of the latter levels, it just looked nice and technically impressive and made me stand a stare for a while. Some of the more unimpressive areas will be only noticed if you are on the look out for them, the textures on some walls and other objects can look a bit of if you are close up on them also some of the plants or grass can look weird, if not slightly blocky at times. Once again I must reiterate these “flaws” which is a bit two strong of a word are mostly unnoticeable and should not affect your enjoyment on of the game unless graphics are vastly more important than gameplay to you. Speaking of gameplay…

Gameplay

The game throws you in at deep end, you parachute down at a safe distance from harm and the beacons you where sent to activate, you then work your way though the grassland, picking off a few enemies on the way. You walk into the nearby house with a radio playing, nobody there, you walk out again following your compass, you then take out two men in a bunker you walk though. Then you place a beacon and !!BANG!! all hell breaks lose, this hell involves planes flying over-head, explosions, your teammates parachuting down beside you to help you out, enemies bunkered ‘safely’ in buildings and your team working their way though the fields and hiding behind walls. More Explosions! More Planes! More Teammates! And that’s the first 5 minutes of the game!!

Call of Duty give you three single-player campaigns to work your way through. First the Americans, secondly one for the British officers, and lastly the Russians which is by far my favorite campaign. If you remember the film “Enemy at the Gates” you will have some idea why the Russian campaign ended up been my favorite. Infinity Ward decided not to split the 3 campaigns into blocks they just let you find out where you are for yourself, there is no indication that you have completed a certain area until you notice the different teammates and the different areas you’re fighting in. In each campaign you are aided by your AI teammates. Most of their events are scripted, this is not a bad thing though as it adds greatly to the cinematic feel of the game. Believe me when I say that you wont even mind or even notice scripted events unfolding when you are caught in the middle of a 10 verses 10 battle between you and the Germans. Your squad is acutely smart, will cover a teammate and most importantly they will cover you. This cover fire allows you to move into a more advanced position to get the better of the enemy.

Like I said the game is driven on these scripted events, some gamers may think this would be a bad thing and take away a certain feel from the game, they may want a more free-roaming element to the game, but as soon as you drop down from your parachute in the first level you will find that is the scripting that makes Call Of Duty. Scripting makes the game intense, there is never a dull moment and most of all it makes it fun, and in the end isn’t that why we play games? Without that fun factor you are not going to sit in front of your monitor for 2-3 hours at a time.

Sound

The audio in Call of Duty is another definite plus point for the game. Each gun has its own feel, and its own recognizable sound, both the bang and the reload sound clips are sampled extremely well. I honestly believe you could tell what gun a enemy solider is firing at you by just sound alone. This is a definite first for me in any FPS game and I was extremely happy and impressed when I noticed it. Not only is the sound of you own gun satisfying, but in addition to this you will hear your teammates or enemies fighting their own battles 100 yards away from you. Such good sounds add to the immersion factor of the game and helps draw you into the battle. The sound of bullets passing by your head as they ricochet into nearby walls, your teammates’ well samples comments and phrases, the well implemented orchestral score all help to up the tension. The only flaw I found was the Russian solider spoke in a English accent instead of there own accent, just a small criticism but I am sure it wont take away to much from you enjoyment, It did not spoil the game in anyway for me. All in all it is a joy to listen to with your 5.1 system turned up full tilt.

Lifespan

As much as it pains me to say this, in my eyes the game’s length is slightly short. I clocked normal difficulty in 8 hours, So this is where I MUST stress to you – play the game on veteran difficulty straight from the start, don’t go near normal at all; you will enjoy the game much more, it will feel much better, each level will feel more of an accomplishment as you watch the story unfold, unless you really get stuck don’t go back to normal. Veteran took me about 12 hours, due to more stealthy nature you have to play because of the lack of med-packages, don’t get me wrong there is still a lot of classic shoot out moments but a slight bit more thought is involved. Still on the subject of lastibility some people will ask is 8-12 hours of enjoyment enough to warrant £30 from you pocket? I would say a resounding yes when it good it is very very good! Phrase’s like short and sweet or quality over quantity suit this game down to a tee because the game pulls you into the action, there are enough “wow” moments in them 12 hours to warrant you to part with your money. I can honestly say it is the most fun I had with a WWII based game since my first play though Medal of Honor.

Overall

Call of Duty is a fantastic thoroughly impressive game. It equals if not betters all other games in it genre; it kicks the likes of Medal of Honor to the ground, shoots it straight between it’s beady eyes and still comes up smelling of “blood splattered” roses. Usually for a game to amaze me this much it must innovate, surprisingly COD does not innovate as much as you would expect, it only tweaks. It gives you everything Medal of Honor had, changes it slightly, adds fantastic set-pieces, gives you that all important “WOW” factor that is sadly missing form some games these day and that multiplies all of the above 100 times. In the 12 hours of game you get for your money it is paced and delivered to the player extraordinarily well, and that is why it gets such a high and well deserved score. Well done Infinity Ward, thank you for the breath of fresh air.

9.0 out of 10
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