Trent Polack's site for cats, games, game development, and undeniably powerful sociological insight all with a healthy dose of narcissism.
The Review
Published on February 18, 2004 By mittens In Action
So, yeah, I started playing Call of Duty at about noon yesterday; and go to the point that I stopped playing at the last time I tried to play a few months ago (I didn't get that far, but I lost my save game shortly there-after, and got pissed off). Once I got to the level I quit on the last time I played through, I realized I should really attenda t least ONE of my classes for the day, so I went to Math. Once I got home, I played Call of Duty from about 5pm-midnight. Without stoppin so much as once. The game is purely amazing; without a doubt the best World War II first person shooter to ever be created (I've never been much of a fan of the Medal of Honor games). It would be the best World War II game, period, but Silent Storm recently came out, and I don't think it would be fair to choose one over the other. That would be like being forced to choose between a date with Jennifer Love Hewitt or a date with Kiera Knightley.

Anyway, on to my review of Call of Duty. Firstly, let me cover the gameplay of the game. It is very obvious that the makers of the game, Infinity Ward (the team of which is composed of 22 people from the team that developed Medal of Honor: Allied Assault), wanted to make the gameplay the selling point of the game (as compared to games that try to sell themselves on graphics/story/etc.), because this game has some of the very best gameplay I've seen in an FPS in years. From the minute you get out of training camp to the end (the last level is one of the most satisfying experiences I've ever had in a FPS), the action exponentially grows with each passing second. The game perfectly captures the true chaos and blinding speed of war. None of this pussy "diet" action shit that Medal of Honor and Battlefield 1942 try to pass along; this game captures the true intensity of war. Each time you try to walk around a corner, your heart leaps, and you instantly crouch down to try to surprise a potential enemy (or three or four... or twenty). This game takes realism to a new level, and makes the game a blast to play through (I'm currently waiting for my copy to arrive, as I just ordered it yesterday afternoon, so that I can play online; so I'll review the multiplayer at a later point). The ferocity of each and every enemy encounter of the game never ceases to amaze me. Somehow, this game manages to be very realistic without sacrificing action or the fun of gameplay.

Now, as for the graphics; the game uses a VERY heavily mod'ed Quake 3 engine. In fact, when booting this game up for the first time, you'll feel right at ease with the game menus and options, but the minute you start playing, you'll wonder what the hell Infinity Ward did to the engine to make it so completely different from each and every other game the Q3 engine is the backend for. Firstly, and something that makes me incredibly happy, is the lack of "circle-jumping" (and other caveats that the Quake 3 engine has) which never ceases to annoy me (it's kind of a hack of the engine that allows players to jump around and reach insane speeds). The game also performs without a hitch (which is something you should expect from a 3-4 year old engine), but the game looks totally amazing (screenshots below).

Another aspect that the game amazed me with is the audio. The game's sound effects are top-notch, and are so amazing, that I'm forced to play the game at the max volume my ears can possibly tolerate, in order to get teh most realistic experience possible. The guns sound like they should (my dad collects rifles and pistols, new and old, so I tend to know how a mauser or thompson actually sounds), the machine guns fire constantly from enemy gunning nests, and you always get the feeling that you REALLY are in the middle of pure hell. Also, as a quick note, the game's musical score is something that really stood out for me. It's a beautifully composed score, and helps to make the gameplay all the more intense.

And, as a quick note, the AI in the game is also superb. Your allied soldiers are actually helpful in elimating the German troops, which is a nice change in these types of games. Also, the German troops are definately a force to be reckoned with. They'll listen for your footsteps, throw grenades around corners (and throw back your grenades at you) and duck and cover in order to shoot and reload.

All-in-all, if you're at ALL interested in first-person shooters, or WWII-based games (I know there has been a total flood of them lately, but, for your sake, don't overlook this one), then you definately owe it to yourself to get this game. It's got a permanent spot in my "best games of all time" list.


on Feb 18, 2004
Seems like you're really turned on. Enjoy. May I suggest you go to my blog "What Combat is Really Like"?
on Feb 18, 2004
I'm not quite sure whether you're being sarcastic, or not. However, I did read the blog entry you pointed me to, and it was very interesting. I'm a major history buff (though my ignorance will show me up until the day I die) and would be interested in reading your novel in its entirety; what's it called?