By hsvlad 3 Comments
No.0010 Call of Duty
The original Call of Duty was a game I thought could never actually exist. It wasn't the fact that a WWII game was finally showing other sides of the conflict with British and Russian levels. It wasn't the ironsights or being able to go prone or even that it had blood in it which was strangely absent from the Medal of Honor games. What made it so great was that half the missions in the game were taken straight out of well known films and TV shows. Scenes that I saw on TV and thought "I wish someone would make a video game like this! Not WWII this, literally exactly this!", and Infinity Ward did!
Playing through the game gave me the best kind of Deja Vu. Attacking the artillery pieces on D-Day was straight out of Band of Brothers. The Russian river crossing was a carbon copy of Enemy at the Gates. Capturing and defending Pegasus Bridge was the mirror image of The Longest Day. It also didn't hurt that was probably the best shooter around at the time. It took the best parts of all other shooters at the time and polished them to within an inch of their lives. Coming back to it now, its impressive how familiar it all feels compared to modern COD games. Not everything is there. There is no sprint, no dedicated grenade key and no regenerating health. I frequently found myself cresting a hill ever so slightly to try and get a shot at a machine gunner only to instantly die because I hadn't been remembered to run over every enemy corpse looking for med-kits for the last gunfight or two.
The missions in the game span most of the conflict, starting with D-day then jumping around to notable events of the war, culminating in the Russian assault on the Reichstag in Berlin. The campaign splits its self up quite nicely with each nation largely following a pattern through all of their missions. The Russian levels will have you surrounded by hundreds of unfortunate comrades as you attempt to overwhelm the German invaders through sheer numbers. The American missions tend to focus on smaller operations most of which are the result of you parachuting behind enemy lines to attack an objective. The British missions start out looking quite similar to the American ones only with more impressive facial hair but quickly turn to more espionage based and solo missions. These do suffer slightly as the enemy AI seems to be balanced out by the presence of targets other then just the player so the difficulty does jump slightly during these stages.
I actually played through all the Infinity Ward WWII era Call of Duty games recently just before MW3 came out. I had intended to play Modern Warfare one and two as well but I ran out of time. They all hold up very well and don't require any real nostalgia to enjoy them, though I'm sure that wouldn't hurt ;)