Call of Duty

Review

posted 11/10/2003 by John Yan
other articles by John Yan
One Page Platforms: PC
What do you get when you take Medal of Honor: Allied Assault, turn it up a few notches, sprinkle in some great levels, mix in some fun missions, and up the graphics some? Why you get a great title in Call of Duty, of course! Yes, this game is by a lot of the guys who programmed Medal of Honor: Allied Assault and it’s the same theme but the game just achieves a lot more by doing the little things right.

For starters, you don’t just play one protagonist. You actually will take control of three different characters from three different countries. The game is split into three acts separated by the three countries you will represent. You’ll start out, like in Medal of Honor: AA in training and move onto the demo that was made available. As you progress through the game you’ll experience driving a tank in a platoon, taking out snipers in buildings, holding off the opposing force as you secure the building, and take part in a crazy car ride that just blows away the one in MOH:AA.

The game utilizes a heavily modified Quake III engine and I do mean heavily modified. From reports, the crew at Infinity Ward has reworked the engine from the ground up to produce this game. I didn’t think you could take the Quake III engine any further but Infinity Ward seems to have really worked at customizing the engine to their needs.

Call of Duty calls on you to be the hero but this time, you won’t be alone. Squad combat is the big thing in this game and you’ll be followed or following soldiers to take out the Nazis for 95% of the missions. MOH:AA had squad combat but it was few and far between. Call of Duty thrives on it and does it well. And another first for me at least, you won’t be the point man all the time. I don’t know how many times in various squad-like first person shooters where you are always told to be the point man. What if I don’t want to be? You can’t expect me to ALWAYS go in first. Well, most of the missions have soldiers plodding ahead with or without you. It’s always good to follow them though and help keep them alive as the more you have on your team, the easier the missions are. And you’ll also pick up some reinforcements on some missions in case your whole platoon is wiped out.

With AI squad mates, the occurrence of friendly fire would seem to be high right? It’s hard to not shoot first and check on if it’s a friendly later when a few shots can end your life. Call of Duty helps curb this by showing the name of your squad mate in the reticule when you point towards him. Most of the time your gun will stop firing so if a squad mate does happen to wander into aim while you’re trying to mow down some Nazis, your gun will stop firing. There are times when a bullet will hit your companions and it seems to happen more so when they are far off or your reticule is near their extremities such as hands or feet. On the missions where you drive tanks, your gunfire will not hurt your platoon. These design decisions does help you keep your companions alive a lot more if you’re quick on the trigger.
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