Call of Duty review by Al Giovetti
By Al Giovetti
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Call of Duty
Summary * History * Company Line * Game Play * Plot * Graphics * Animation * Voice Actors * Music Score * Sound Effects * Utilities * Multi-player Features * Cheats, Hints, and Walkthrough * Journalists * References * Letters
Infinity Ward is a newly formed game studio, founded in August of 2001. The game studio encorporates 22 of the individuals, including all the production leads, who developed Medal of Honor: Allied Assault for the PC. Grant Collier, President of Infinity Ward, was a producer on Medal of Honor Allied Assault, Postal, the Spec Ops series, Baldies, Magic Land, Enemy Infestation and CIA Operative. Vince Zampella, Infinity Ward Cheif Creative Officer, has been with the company since "early 2002". Vince was producer on Medal of Honor Allied Assault, IOsix, Vigilance, Skies, Baldies and NBA Jam. Vince has worked for Gametek, Atari, Panasonic/Ripcord, Sega and 2015. Jason West, Infinity Ward Chief Technology Officer, joined the company in January 2002. Jason worked on Aerofighters Assault, Skies, F-1, WGP-2, Indy Racing 2000, Spyhunter, and Terminator Dawn of Fate, and the engineering lead on Medal of Honor Allied Assault.
Activision owns 100% of Infinity Ward's stock as of October 30, 2003 for an undesclosed amount. Grant Collier, Vince Zampella, Jason West, and "key employees" have signed a "long-term employment contract" with Activision. Infinity Ward is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision
Call of Duty transports fans into a gripping, movie-like World War II combat experience where they must survive the chaos of battle as ordinary soldiers fighting together as a squad. Through 24 devastating game missions, players take on Nazi forces through epic assaults, featuring scores of soldiers and incredible special effects, played out through three Allied forces - U.S., British and Russian, all fighting together toward one common goal - to defeat the German-lead Axis war machine. Call of Duty also delivers heart-thumping team-based, online mulitplayer action for up to 32 soldiers.
The computer artificial intelligence allows you to act as part of a team. When breaking into a room, you can trust that your teammates will take out the odd enemy soldier in the room that you cannot take out. Most games of this type did not allow you to focus on one corner of the room, as you do in a real room assault. Call of Duty squad member artificial intelligence is such that you do not have to pull 100% of the weight in a conflict. You are still the main focus in clearing out most sticky targets, but the team will attempt to help you along the way.
The computer AI has the sophistication to work smoothly with the scripting and animation. Friendly and enemy AI react to the player and attack the player realistically. The enemy squad and the friendly squad lay down covering fire, use cover effectively, One squad member moves forward in tandem with other squad members who provide cover as the other member moves forward. in realistic ways to the player, your squad, and the battlefield environment. Some of the things the enemy and friendly AI's will do are: tossing grenades back to their throwers or moving away from grenades that have too short a cook-off time to be thrown out of harm's way. AI's will also overcome obstacles by hopping fences, jumping over walls, and moving through windows instead of needing to use doors. When being fired upon, AI's will move for cover and make use of the environment for tactical advantage.
To those who have played the Medal of Honor Allied Assault series of games, this game will seem similar. The plot of the first of three series of missions is similar to the plot of the original Medal of Honor game in that you are part of an airborne assault team of the 101st airborne. The difference is that you parachute in behind enemy lines in Call of Duty instead of assaulting Omaha Beach which was the plot of Medal of Honor.
In the single player campaign, you play the part of an allied soldier in three different units of three different armies. The first series of missions you play as a U.S. Ranger within the 101st Airborne Infintry in the events on D-Day and shortly thereafter. The U.S. campaign ends, and the British Campaign starts with the rescue of the British Major Ingram from a german concentration Camp.
The Second series in the single player campaign, you play Sargeant Evans, a member of the 6th Airborne Division of elite British commandos. You glide into the French countryside on a Horta Glider and capture and hold a bridge that leads into the Normandy area preventing the Germans from reinforcing their units attacking the beach landings. You go on later to destroy a hydro electric damn that supplies power to German factories and eventually end the campaign by infiltrating a German Battleship in the sea off Norway.
A very interesting component of the retaking of Moscow is that many of the Russian soldiers were conscripts forced into battle with only one clip of ammunition and only half the conscripts had rifles. The Comisars assigned to the red army were shooting anyone they called deserters. If you did not keep moving forward, you were shot. Stalin gave orders that no one was to take one step backward. In the first battle the only way to survive is to assist a Sargent in the regular Russian army in targetting machine gun nests by running in the open and drawing the weapons fire of the machine gun nests.
After you survive the first few Russian battles, you are promoted to sniper and given missions to clean out the sewers leading to an enemy held building that you also must clear and hold for reinforcements. After taking on the Warsaw railyards, a ride in a tank rounds out the missions just before the end of the Russian scenerio.
The final series of three missions you return to playing one mission as American, one as British and one as Russian. These final three missions are the conclusion or culmination of the prior three missions where the Allied forces are converging on Germany. You capture bunkers and documents to locate the V2 rocket launch facility as an American 101st Airborne soldier under Captain Foley. As British Commando Sargeant Evens you stop the V2 rockets from launching against the advancing Russians. In the final mission as the Russian Sargent sniper you attack the Reichstag and place a flag on the roof.
Graphics are realistic and historically accurate. The graphics are varied enough to suspend disbelief and add to the product immersion.
Animation is fluid and realistic. Most everyone moves the same unless they are wounded and then they seem to drag the following foot as they move partially sideways. Human motion capture has enhanced human animation to make it look more lifelike.
The voice acting of the sixteen member cast is exceptional. The voices seem appropriate to the time and setting of the events.
The music is used for victory, mood, and location enhancements and is used to great effect.
During my youth, I had occasion to fire an M1A1 Garand rifle and the animation of the rifle reminds me or the real thing right down to the ejection of the metal clip.
Up to 32 humans can play in teams against one another.
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