Monday, October 04, 2004

Revised "Call to Duty" game review

Call to Duty
Developed by Infinity Ward,
published by Activision,
played on PC platform

I cant get enof of this game, when I sit down to play it I can be held in place attentively until someone (aka Calvin) can no longer take me sweating up the keyboard and yelling and screaming "!$&*(@*&%! I died aggen!". But then agen I get that way with most well made first person shooter video games. Call to duty(referred to as COD) pulls together many of the best aspects of other similar games. It includes all sorts of little "wish-list items" that I have loathed for in other older WW2 shooter games. The result is, not exactly everything I have always wanted, But dam close to it.
For starters Call of Duty features some of the most complex and detailed environments I have encountered in a shooter, aside from Doom3 of course. But were, in my opinion, COD really pulls away from Doom3 in its depth of interaction is the realism. In Doom3 sure you can shoot everything to shit and watch it explode and spill all over the place in a highly detailed and interactive setting. Its just that it takes place in a totally fictional set of boundaries; when you set off explosives in a space station on mars chances are the party would be over in seconds for you as well as the bad guys. So when you play the game your not really using real world rational based on your life experience; like don’t shoot the walls or explosive materials because you might cause a collapse in the vacuum you need to breath and so on, this makes its harder to really put your self in the cinematic moment as the “actor” so to speak. Games I find my self spending the most time and energy in, are the games that I can efficiently translate my knowledge of the physical world I have spent all my time on the planet collecting into the digital via the controller.
Now in Call to Duty there is plenty of unrealistic stuff happening, and of course something’s are not precisely accounted for. like for example when you get hit in the leg you don’t limp and go slower, this is something still on my wish list of features to see. But there is plenty of progress that is to be accounted for. Such as a new verity of terrain effects one can inflict (there could still could be a lot more). The fun and more sophisticated single player AI, witch isn’t that smart but much more organized and vastly improved from games like Meddle of Honor; a parallel predecessor of COD published by EA which was primarily constructed by many of designers and programmers who make up Infinity Ward, those responsible for COD. Or the way cool disorientation effects that occur when caught too close to stunning explosions; when mortar fire comes screeching overhead and falls just close enof not to kill your character, he is knocked to the ground, your screen becomes blurry, in game sounds become muffled, and you loose mouse sensitivity… (the only other game I have seen similar effects effectively used is in Grand theft auto, during its simulation of drunk driving). And I cant forget the ability to see from the perspective of the player who “got you” the moment after the death dealing blow during multi-player mode. Even with these great innovations, as far as the actual game play goes, serious first person vets have seen a lot of it before.
So what makes this one of my new personal favorites is the amazingly balanced and detailed architecture of the levels. When engaged in heated multiplayer combat with up to around 30 other human players across a vast map full of detailed and intricate models of battle scared period architecture, the ability to be well fortified and kill without being scene allows players dish out their own reciprocal change with startling realism.


Blogger Jane said...

You wrote: "Games I find my self spending the most time and energy in, are the games that I can efficiently translate my knowledge of the physical world I have spent all my time on the planet collecting into the digital via the controller."

I really like the way you're articulating your ability to invest in the game. Would you say this connects to the idea of the lusory attitude? That is, you're more able to accept the constraints of the game and immerse yourself in its magic circle when it has a certain real-world, physics credibility? The idea that previous experience and knowledge would factor into the lusory attitude is a new one, I think, and I like it.

October 4, 2004 at 11:03 AM


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