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Activision's Call of Duty

Discussion in 'Channel Zero' started by Weapon X, Nov 26, 2003.

  1. Weapon X

    Weapon X 12oz Loyalist

    Joined: Sep 6, 2002 Messages: 14,905 Likes Received: 202
    This is a review by Richard Greenhill taken from gamesdomain.com

    We're sure there would be a lot more outcry and guilt over the ridiculous amount of money generated from videogames based on the grimmest and bloodiest war in history, if only everyone wasn't having such an obscenely good time playing them. And now Activision and Infinity Ward have somehow managed to raise the bar even higher with Call of Duty, a first-person shooter that follows soldiers in the American, British and Russian campaigns from D-Day through to the final attack on the Reichstag in Berlin.

    The most remarkable thing about Call of Duty's success is how wholly unremarkable it sounds when you describe the basics of the gameplay. Your character can run, kneel, lie prone, lean, and shoot - the staple of any number of generic current generation FPS games. It even lacks features you would probably expect. For example, you carry absolutely no inventory beyond your primary/secondary weapon and grenades, and can barely interact with the environment; indeed, you won't open even ONE door throughout the game, and the "action" command is used sparingly for manning the odd MG-42 or planting a bomb on an objective.


    Atmosphere is a critical element for a visceral shooter, though, and this one is crammed to breaking point, giving the whole experience a grand, cinematic feel. Infinity has undoubtedly used every trick available to prove the four year-old Quake3 engine still has game. The visuals are aided further by the excellent orchestral soundtrack that actually crescendos in-mission during key victories.

    Attention to detail also counts for a lot. There's so much to absorb in the opening level alone, set during a nighttime attack on a burning village, complete with dead cows in the surrounding field that you can use for cover. If a mortar blast hits too close on any level, an excellent vision-blurring shell-shock effect occurs that makes your movement sluggish, similar to what happens to Tom Hanks' character several times in Saving Private Ryan.

    In-game physics lean appropriately more towards Medal of Honor's style of realism than Quake-style speed. Infinity has implemented the nifty "Aim Down the Sight" ability on all weapons -- also used in Vietcong and America's Army -- which offers more accuracy at the expense of movement speed.


    Then there's the extremely solid level design. Each mission is brilliantly paced and varies in style, so you never feel like you're slogging through the mediocre to get to the best bits. Instead of merely memorable moments, entire levels are memorable. The showcase level is obviously the Russian campaign opener where you're one of many conscripts trying to reclaim Stalingrad, which was no doubt heavily inspired by the shocking early scenes of Enemy at the Gates. Think of it as Medal of Honor: Allied Assault's "beach level," the main difference being that Call of Duty keeps up the same intensity almost entirely throughout the game.

    Some levels put you as a passenger in a vehicle. In one, you're riding shotgun in an old sedan tearing through the French countryside with Nazis in tow - the portrayed feeling of speed over uneven terrain puts some actual race games to shame! Another has you crouched in the back of a truck while a fellow soldier hands you stolen Panzerfausts to take out pursuing trucks and motorcycles. In yet another, you actually get to command a T-34 tank, controlling both its movement and turret.


    In the British campaign, you have to seize control of a tactically important bridge at night; the following mission is set the next morning when the Germans send heavy forces in to try to take it back. This is one of the most exhilarating levels, as you're ordered from one position to the next, manning gun emplacements and taking out tanks that approach from all directions.

    The thing that every mission accomplishes perfectly is making you feel like one soldier in the middle of a terrifying war. Despite Medal of Honor's claims of realism, most of its campaigns were Rambo-like solo run-and-gun affairs. Whereas in Call of Duty, even the more traditional levels that have you advancing from point A to B are enhanced by the impressively programmed AI - on both sides.

    Remember when you first encountered the marines in Half-Life that acted intelligently instead of like your typical bad guy lemming? Your squadmates move and react in battle in an even more convincing manner, shifting smartly and swiftly between cover points - what would be a heavily scripted scene in most other games is actually the AI doing the work, and thus, nothing ever plays out exactly the same way.
    In addition, the enemy acts just as cleverly, using cover and drawing you out with grenades. One mission has you first capturing a four-story apartment building, then trying to hold on to it until reinforcements arrive. Our instinct was to crouch somewhere and shoot anything that approaches, but we were amazed to find ourselves actually being flanked and coaxed out, no matter which hiding spot we chose.
    With single-player this good, do we care about the multiplayer? Of course! The multiplayer component isn't an afterthought, but doesn't come across as having been a high priority either. It has a few extra modes beyond deathmatch, but no character classes or respawn timer, limited weapons, and no way of healing. The unique "behind enemy lines" is an interesting idea, but we didn't find it particularly compelling in practice, as with any of the other modes. Take it or leave it. The best draw is the awesome KillCam feature that, upon your death, gives you an instant six-second replay from the viewpoint of your killer. We anticipate this little gimmick will be profusely imitated.

    If we had to find another flaw with the game, we could complain about the length of the single-player campaign. You'll probably complete the 25-odd missions at a pretty quick pace since there's no reason to dawdle around and explore - so don't expect much more than ten hours of gameplay.

    Then again, if Call of Duty lasted longer, it would probably be a lawsuit against Activision waiting to happen. It's cliche to say those with heart conditions should stay away, but the game is truly one of those rarities that has you so caught up in the action, you don't realize that you were holding your breath until the mission ends. With absolutely fantastic AI, level design and production values, Call of Duty unequivocally wins the war of historical war-based shooters.

    System Requirements
    PIII-700 processor, 128MB RAM, 32MB DirectX9 video card required
    1.2Ghz or higher processor, 256MB RAM recommended
  2. Kr430n5_666

    Kr430n5_666 Banned

    Joined: Oct 6, 2004 Messages: 19,229 Likes Received: 30
    m: which season?
    m: oh, newsradio is coming out on dvd soon
    m: not soon really, but it is
    d: thats awesome

    AGENT SICKS New Jack

    Joined: Oct 26, 2003 Messages: 95 Likes Received: 0
    thats alot of reading, just tell us if its worth stealing.
  4. Kr430n5_666

    Kr430n5_666 Banned

    Joined: Oct 6, 2004 Messages: 19,229 Likes Received: 30
    looks fucking amazing.
  5. Gunm

    Gunm Banned

    Joined: Aug 31, 2003 Messages: 12,427 Likes Received: 2
    just once....

    Okay, we all hate nazis...we know they are evil bastards. But wouldn't it be interesting to play a game from their viewpoint?

    no retard, i am not talking about killing jews in camps. If that's what you think i am referring to, go jam your head up your ass and see if it fits.

    What i mean, is, why can't there be a game where you're a Whermact soldier just defending the homeland? It'd be kinda cool defending berlin or perhaps thwarting the invasion at normandy. Maybe even a "what-if" style mission such as the germans actually landing on british soil and storming through london?

    on a whole, germany was bad ass as a military force in WW2, no denying that. Sadistic/eviland worthing of the ass whupping they got? hell yes. Formidable force with dope graphic design? You bet your ass.
  6. Weapon X

    Weapon X 12oz Loyalist

    Joined: Sep 6, 2002 Messages: 14,905 Likes Received: 202
    ^^ buddy, have you played Return to Wolfenstein or 1942?

    Well, I haven’t played 1942, but yeah – there are few games where you can play as the good ‘ol Nazis.
  7. Poop Man Bob

    Poop Man Bob Dirty Dozen Crew

    Joined: Nov 16, 2000 Messages: 10,259 Likes Received: 18
    WX - have you played this yet? The screenshots are fucking amazing, and a good game is all I need to piss away my holiday break. The review sounded pretty good, but I'd like to hear if you've played as well.
  8. Poop Man Bob

    Poop Man Bob Dirty Dozen Crew

    Joined: Nov 16, 2000 Messages: 10,259 Likes Received: 18
    Wow. The Amazon reviews seem to echo the above reviewer's sentiments ...
  9. Weapon X

    Weapon X 12oz Loyalist

    Joined: Sep 6, 2002 Messages: 14,905 Likes Received: 202
    Goddammit, no. My computer is too slow for this type of action, but I’m trying to save some loot just so I can play this game and a couple of others. In the meantime, I am desperately trying to get my friend to buy this game. He must! Really, it does look superb. Quake 3 comes through once again, it seems.
  10. Dr. Dazzle

    Dr. Dazzle Veteran Member

    Joined: Nov 19, 2001 Messages: 8,147 Likes Received: 3
    I told you this game was awesome....

    I was fortunate enough to get it for free, since my brother knows how to pirate video games. This was about a week ago. I have already played it, and beat it. It is the best game I have ever played, intense as hell. The graphics and gameplay are absolutley insane, and it's got this really creepy atmospheric music when shit's about to go down. It's like you're actually there, fighting in the war to end all wars. Just imagine that your freakin' grandparents had to actually go through that shit. Maybe it's becasue I'm a WWII nut, but it is just too much fun to play. My only complaint is that it was too short, it's one of those games that you never want to end...

    It also has an awesome multiplayer option in which you can play as the Nazis (or good guys), and kill Allies alongside some dudes from Vietnam and Romania.....

    It's made by the same guys who did Medal of Honour, which I did not know. Now I'll have to play those games. They are also coming out with another Call of Duty next year, that will be available on various consoles.

    In conclusion.....get this fucking game!
  11. Weapon X

    Weapon X 12oz Loyalist

    Joined: Sep 6, 2002 Messages: 14,905 Likes Received: 202
    That first screenshot looks a lot like that scene from Band of Brothers..2nd episode, I think.
  12. Dr. Dazzle

    Dr. Dazzle Veteran Member

    Joined: Nov 19, 2001 Messages: 8,147 Likes Received: 3
    It's a similar kind of mission too....blow up the anti aircraft guns.

    As the review said though, the best, most intense of them all is the first Russian mission, retaking Red Square. It's exactly like the scene from Enemy at the Gates....you start off in the boat, the German planes shoot a bunch of your team, then you get to land, and follow the guy with the gun. Then when you finally get to Red Square, you all just charge, everyone getting blown to shit. It's even got the Russian commanders shooting soldiers that run back...

    The realism is truly amazing....
  13. avils

    avils Senior Member

    Joined: Jul 26, 2001 Messages: 1,574 Likes Received: 0
    dude ! thats what i was just about to say/type. same with that shot where theyre firing on the barns and the sewer thing is on the left.. reminds me of the one where that big dude 'biff' or something got left behind and stayed overnight at some farm..
  14. 455

    455 Guest

    fuck,that looks dope.
  15. Kyuzo

    Kyuzo Banned

    Joined: Mar 13, 2003 Messages: 585 Likes Received: 0
    yeah im more interested in playing the axis than allies