Trent Polack's site for cats, games, game development, and undeniably powerful sociological insight all with a healthy dose of narcissism.
WWII Online
Published on March 2, 2004 By mittens In Action
Alright, so my copy of Call of Duty finally arrived (I had been using a friend's copy and a keygen for the serial, so was unable to play online) last week, and, after a week of play, I think I've given the game a fair amount of gametime in order to review it properly. If you don't want to read my, sometimes needlessly, verbose review, just read this line: Call of Duty, whether it is played single-player or multiplayer, is one of the most amazing games to come along this century. Yes, it's just that good.

I've already ranted about the game's single-player portion; speaking about how it is the most immersive, action-packed, and adrenaline-pumping WWII gaming-experiences of our time (though as far as movies/TV series go, Band of Brothers needs to be taken into account); however, I really had not expected the multiplayer portion of the game to live up to, in any way, shape or form, the single-player game at all.

Fortunately for me (and the rest of the gaming world), I was wrong. Call of Duty's multiplayer is, without a doubt, the most impressive multiplayer FPS experience I've ever had. Players communicate with each other very well (more on this in a second), as certain modes of play (again, more on this in a moment) put a heavy emphasis on teamwork and the action is fast-and-furious, while still requiring stealth and strategic thinking. If you've read my blog before, you've no-doubt heard me bitch about the total lack of teamwork necessary to play online in the current crop of multiplayer games, so the fact that Call of Duty puts such a heavy emphasis on this is a VERY amazing thing. Another welcome change to the online gaming, is that the players I tend to run into on the Call of Duty servers tend to be very mature individuals, who are geniunely interested in the history/accuracy behind the game (and World War II, in general). And, while there are still the annoying hackers/cheaters/script-kiddies, they tend to be far and few between, and receive HEAVY flak for being a nuisance.

Now, on to some of the features of the game. The game has three different modes of play (with a couple variances of each type): deathmatch/team deathmatch, a counter-strike mode ("Search and Destroy" and "Retrieval") and then the more king-of-the-hill-esque mode, Headquarters. I'm not a big fan of the DM/TDM modes, but playing S&D, retrieval and HQ is heaven. These modes are so much fun, that, so far, I've spent a good number of sleepless nights playing them. I don't think I've ever enjoyed an FPS *this* much before.

I've already talked about the game's graphics, sounds and such in my previous review of the game, so there's really not a whole lot more reason to keep ranting on and on about why this is such a great game, so I'll just point out a few of the flaws that I found in the multiplayer portion of the game. Firstly, the game's "kill-cam," which lets you watch your death from the point-of-view of your killer, is annoying and cheap (as it lets you see where your enemies are); but it can be turned off (by the server or by the player), as is the spectator mode, which let's you see all aspects of the map, including enemies, which let's you inform your teammates on where the enemy has positioned itself (very cheap). Also, I've run into a few bugs in-game, such as in the HQ mode (new as of Call of Duty v1.2) where you occasionally respawn in enemy territory, only to die seconds later. Also, being that the game relies very heavily on teamwork, in-game voice support would've been a huge plus (though it's not a necessity). One final gripe is that, in the single-player game, there was always the sound, and occasionally the immediate threat to the player, of artillery being fired; which greatly increased the immersion in the game, and increased the amount of strategic thinking necessary to stay alive; this is not present in the multiplayer portion of the game, which is kind of sad, though I can perfectly see why it's not there, being that it would be unfair to get randomly hit by artillery in the middle of a match... But still, it would be a nice addition.

Overall, though, Call of Duty's multiplayer is just as amazing, if not more-so, as its single-player component. If you haven't played this behemoth of a game yet, you are really missing out. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to skip another class so I can continue playing!

No one has commented on this article. Be the first!