Call of Duty review
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Call of Duty is the first love of a myriad of gamers around the world. Released in 2003, it became a huge hit for that time and started an incredibly successful franchise.
It delivers the gritty realism intensity of World War II's epic battlefield moments through the eyes of Russian, American and British soldiers who together shaped the course of modern history.
You will become a part of a well-trained squad and play through the chaos of battle. Take on mission objectives ranging from all-out assault and sabotage to stealth, rescue, and vehicle combat. Authentic weapons, vehicles, locations, and sounds of war all contribute to the realism that immerses you in the intense World War II experience.
Call of Duty’s graphics are powered by the Quake III engine and look impressive as for the time it was released. However, occasionally, some of the character animation looks poor. For instance, when killed soldiers fall from balconies or banisters, visuals look particularly weak. Also, some of the scenery looks blocky and ugly if you get closer to them.
Other than these specific issues, the game’s action looks excellent. Realistic effects, explosions, and muzzle flashes make the game’s environments come alive. And the character models are surprisingly detailed even when there are a lot of them on screen. Call of Duty doesn’t feature any graphic violence, but the action is visceral, and the animations are realistic.
The audio here is even better than the look. You will learn to tell most of the weapons apart by their own roar. Even in those rare moments when gunshots are not all around you, you’ll still hear shooting off in the distance.
Some of the action-packed single-player missions are especially deafening, with the shells flying, bullets almost grazing your head, aircraft making strafing runs, and more. If an artillery shell detonates near you, you will be shell-shocked, hence temporarily deaf and disoriented.
The game's use of voice acting is well-performed, though it's a bit of a shame that much of the Russian and some German soldiers' voice-over is in accented English rather than in the native language. The game’s orchestral musical score can be hard to hear amidst all the cacophony, but it kicks in on specific occasions and adds more drama and cinematic flair to the game.
Call of Duty has an arcade-like action much like in Battlefield 1942 and Allied Assault released a bit earlier. You can’t survive a shot in the head, but it will take more than few bullets anywhere else to kill you. There is a clear onscreen indication of the direction from which your enemies shoot, and as you are getting hit, the screen will shudder, making it look like it hurts.
The first aid kits are conveniently placed in the levels or dropped by killed enemies. Luckily, they will restore a large portion of your health once consumed.
You’ll hardly ever need to activate a "use" key in Call of Duty other than set explosives or grab documents. You won't use it for opening doors because you won't be opening any doors. Any time you see a closed door in the game, it’s supposed to stay closed. It’s not a puzzle game, so, it’s not an issue as you won’t fumble for every doorknob trying to find the one that would be open.
The levels can be challenging, but they're not frustrating. If you die, you will restart at your most recent save almost instantly. There is no need to worry about hitting the quick-save key since the game automatically and seamlessly saves your progress at several points throughout the level.
Call of Duty features a wide range of authentic weapons, including submachine guns, rifles, grenades, and side arms. You can carry only two larger weapons at a time, so you’ll want to have a submachine gun for tight-quarter combat and a rifle for out-in-the-open engagements. Armed with any of those, you can raise the weapon to eye level and aim down the sight, shoot from the hip, or use the butt of the weapon to club an enemy to death.
Reloading works faster manually, so it’s better not to let the clip run out. Plus, some weapons can be switched from full-auto to single shot. The crosshairs expand when you are moving and contract when you are steady, pointing out that you will be terribly inaccurate if you try to run and shoot at the same time.
The controls work well in Call of Duty, though there are some restrictions on your movement. You can’t sprint, nor can you tiptoe in the game. You just move at a constant pace which is not too slow and not too fast, so it feels right. You won’t have any troubles quickly getting from one point to another. However, when you are moving from cover to cover under fire, you will be painfully aware of your vulnerability.
Luckily, Call of Duty lets you keep your head down by switching between standing, crouching, and prone stances. You move a little slower while crouching, but it’s the best way to get around when you’re in the thick of battle. Movement is much slower while prone, though this is the perfect option for staying out of harm’s way or staging an ambush.
Also, as in many shooters, you can lean around corners, which can be a real lifesaver during some of the game's deadly firefights.
Replay Value 5/5
Call of Duty has three distinct single-player campaigns: one for the Russians, one for Americans, and one for British. You get to play lots of exciting missions from the perspectives of each of these allied forces, and each of these campaigns takes place in a different part of Europe.
You play through all of the missions in a linear order; there is no clear transition from one campaign to the next one, and no epilog when you finish a series of missions. You just get a different-looking loading screen in between.
The single-player portion of Call of Duty should take you approximately 10 hours, give or take, from beginning to end. Fortunately, battles don't unfold in precisely the same way every time you attempt a level, but, basically, you just need to follow a preset path.
While the single-player mode is exciting to replay, the multiplayer component is what will likely keep you entertained for much longer. The game offers five multiplayer modes: Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Behind Enemy Lines, a keep-away-style mode, where the allies are heavily outnumbered, and two objective-based modes called Retrieval and Search and Destroy.
Call of Duty doesn’t have any in-game purchases. You just need to pay $19,99 to download it.
Call of Duty may feel a little dated, but it still has an impressive authentic presentation of WWII, with intense single-player missions, and fast-paced and entertaining multiplayer modes.
It’s an excellent game filled with breathtaking, realistic action.
Call of Duty can be wholeheartedly recommended not just to fans of WWII-themed shooters but to anyone looking for a first-rate action game.
Pros : Authentic weapons, vehicles, locations, and sounds of war;
Three single campaigns and five multiplayer modes;
Realistic effects, explosions, and muzzle flashes.
Cons : Dated graphics;
You can’t sprint.
Replay Value 5.0