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Call of Duty

Developer: Infinity Ward | Publisher: Activision
Players: 1+ Player Game | Release Date: 10/29/03 | Genre: FPS

When World War two games are brought up, immediately Medal of Honor springs to mind. Medal of Honor has made a name for itself across all platforms. However, the folks at Activision have teamed up with the same developers who brought you Medal of Honor to deliver an even better World War two game.

Call of Duty differs from Medal of Honor in that there are three campaigns to play through. The game emphasizes how the World War two was not won by one side, but by multiple sides working together. The three campaigns see you play the game as the Americans, British, and Russians. Each campaign differs considerably as the types of missions you undertake vary and so do the weapons. The American Campaign sees you fighting in small villages, trenches and open fields, while the British campaign is cantered more closely around stealth-based missions. The climatic Russian campaign deals completely with urban combat.

At the beginning of the game you must go through a training course to familiarize yourself with the proper weapon etiquette and obstacles you may face on the battlefield. From here you begin the American campaign as a soldier from the "Screaming Eagles," which are better known as the 101st Airborne Division. The American campaign takes place in France. One of the first things you'll immediately notice is the atmosphere the game creates. There are bullets flying past your head, mortars going off and enemies and squad mates screaming for help. The game really immerses the player into the environment. Playing through the American campaign feels a lot like the Band of Brothers series. Your always fighting along side other soldiers who feel like brothers to you.

Throughout the course of the game there are overlapping missions. For example: In one of the American missions you are required to take over a French village and the next mission involves you securing the town and preventing German reinforcements from retaking the village.

The British Campaign is more focused on "lone wolf" and stealth based missions. There are the occasional missions in which you'll be engaged in a massive firefight with German forces. The Russian campaign has two major objectives, which include taking retaking Stalin grad and Berlin. Like the mission structure would suggest, you'd be navigating through the destroyed streets of these cities trying to liberate specific areas from German forces. One other major difference that the Russian campaign has from the British campaign is the amount of sniping. In the Russian campaign you'll rely more heavily on sniper rifles because of the large amount of snipers scattered throughout the cities.

About ninety percent of the game, you'll play on foot and the other ten percent will be in vehicles, either controlling them manually or shooting from them. In both the American and British campaigns there are two vehicle-based missions in which you shoot trailing German cars, while the computer controls the vehicle movement. In the Russian campaign there are a few mission where you can take control of a tank and wreak havoc on German armor.

There is also a multiplayer component to the game. It includes your basic modes with a few new ones. The most innovative feature is the "Kill Cam." When you are killed in online play, you can relive the last few seconds from the view of the person who killed you. This is effective in limiting the amount of camping opportunities, but also may ruin the game for snipers as well.

The AI is done well for the most part, but there are the occasional times when you may see your squad mates or enemies do something stupid. The enemies and friendlies use cover effectively and try to always minimize themselves as targets.

Perhaps one of the biggest strengths of Call of Duty is the sound. Everything blends in very nicely. Never before have I heard the sound on a game executed so perfectly. The machine gun fire sounds excellent and the voice acting is done even better. The music is done perfectly as the music sets a perfect mood throughout the game. The visuals are nicely done.

The visuals are good, but not earth shattering. The visuals are quite similar to Medal of Honor. The player models and textures of your team mates look great, but more work could have been done to vary the detail on the German soldiers. The explosions look great and it's a cool effect to see dirt kick up from the ground when it's hit by a mortar or grenade. Lots of the environments are destroyed and the detail on the destroyed environments looks excellent.

If you loved Medal of Honor, you're immediately going to forget about it after playing Call of Duty. Call of Duty is much better than Medal of Honor and delivers a much better experience. Even if you are a fan of first person shooters I highly recommend that you check out Call of Duty as you won't regret it. This is easily one of the best games of 2003.

By Siddharth Masand - 02/14/04
ESRB Details: Blood, Violence

Screenshots for Call of Duty

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