122nd played so far

Genre: First-Person Shooter
Platform: PC, Playstation 3, Xbox 360
Year of Release: 2007
Developer: Infinity Ward
Publisher: Activision

We’ve referenced our list of games borrowed from Peter’s friend Chris before (quiz question: who here knows which we still have to play?). This is the next game on our (admittedly quite good) FPS list.

We’ve covered Call of Duty before (the second game in the series actually), but this game is slightly different. As the subtitle implies, this game is set in modern times (terrorism gets referenced regularly) although the villains are still Russians – silly and shocking at the same time… even so, the movement in technology should make for some interesting setpieces in this game.

Our Thoughts

Let’s start with my first observation when playing the game: The tutorial is boring and the game needs until halfway into the first mission to really feel interesting. It’s weird – tutorials are rarely brilliant, but this one felt especially bad (perhaps due to the barely present British accents that they think should be there. Weird but true.) The problem with accents in games, films and TV shows is that they always feel exaggerated… even when performed by natives of the country.

One thing that I am happy to see in this game versus Call of Duty 2 is that they actually tried to craft a game centred around a future (future when this game was published… it’s in the past now) conflict. The fact that half of the conflict is occurring in the Middle East is not a big surprise and makes a lot of sense (apart from the fact that it is taking place in Saudi Arabia which is one of the few nations in that area that is unlikely to be attacked by America!). This I take no grievance with.

What I do take issue with is the Russians being the big bad enemy again. When will America actually wise up? The Cold War is over. It has been for twenty years. Get the hell over it! But hey… at least it isn’t the Germans… this time. Be glad that the Brits are on the Americans’ side… if you believe the movies, the bad guy must be British.

Many of the things were great about this game is things we tend to say about all the modern FPS games. Great graphics and great sound. This is one of those cases where they’re simply as good as you’d expect. There is no getting away from the fact that this game looks and feels like an adrenaline rush. In a similar vein here is an issue with this game which, although also present in games like Killzone 2, feels far more pronounced here… it feels all too linear.

Don’t get us wrong this game is nowhere near a rail-shooter because during missions there are houses to hide in and (strangely) collectibles to find in the debris but there are times where the game blocks off two of the three arches of a bridge because you just HAVE to go through the arch on the far left. It just feels a little bit forced. The bridge was probably the clearest example. There’s a bridge that spans the swamp. On my playthrough I wanted to go through the central one – get a bit closer to the goal, knowing there wouldn’t be an attack just yet – and it was blocked… by a shopping trolley you’d climb over in other levels. The third arch was similar.

Beyond that, the criticism of a linear shooter applies. True, there’s a few side areas, but there are a few places where the “You must go this way” barriers are frighteningly obvious. It isn’t too bad when playing, but could have been a bit less in your face sometimes. A bit of leeway would have been nice.

In other news, one thing that we have yet to address is the online multiplayer; something which really did catapault this games popularity into the stratosphere. As fun as it was (and this is not a comment on the game to be honest) most of the other players I encountered were complete and utter douches. So yes, this is something that I could have seen myself playing a lot if it wasn’t for the ‘online gaming community’… good grief that sounds anti-social.

Final Thoughts

Yeah, sorry, aside from the linearity, we can’t really say anything bad about this game. The storyline… Russians? Come on, it is ridiculous. Still, those are things that are easy to ignore when you play the game, just as you can ignore that the Brits sound very American.

But at the same time, there’s little outstanding either. It’s a good, solid game – sure, deserving of inclusion on this list – but I know I find it difficult to find the one great thing other games don’t do.

  1. […] Call of Duty yet? The series is now one of the biggest out there (although, with the likes of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, we couldn’t quite say that felt right) and its yearly releases always seem to be a big deal […]