In retrospect – a classic. But, for the sake of review, I will attempt to envision that we just popped this game in our system on a cold, wintery Christmas Day.
Blue Ball Score: 21 out of 25 balls
To sum it up in one word – Simple. The controls are pretty standard for any shooting game. No sliding, insane jumping, jetpacks, “dolphin” diving, etc. Just a simple run-and-gun style of controls. In regards to vulnerabilities, there are a few “glitches” in the game that can be exposed. One memorable glitch that we came to hate was the “get outside the map” glitch on the multiplayer map “Ambush.” Also, there were a few cheap things you could do on the campaign to help you out on the harder levels. Level design? Beautiful. Given the time period it was released in, one cannot expect the complexity of modern day maps, but their design was simple, yet contained just enough complexity to keep the player engaged. Overall, the gameplay was solid – especially for the period it was released in. I gotta give this 4 / 5 balls.
And lastly, we arrive at the killstreaks. Simple and everyone had the same killstreaks. And, above all, they were stackable!!! Now, in all fairness, this may not have been a “good” aspect of the game if you were on the receiving end of a Nazi Massacre by the enemy team, but we all appreciated the stackable killstreaks when WE got them. Why? All you needed was to get on a 7 kill streak and that could turn into 30+ kills. Oh stop it! You know you did it! Get your helicopter (7 kills), go die, then hide in a corner while your chopper got another 7 kills. Then repeat. And, for those youngsters reading this, you did not have rocket launchers that locked on. You had the good ol’ “aim and hope it works” RPG that shot as crooked as a barrel of fish hooks. So, good luck shooting it down n00bs!
Finally, the customizable aspects of the game were simple, but provided you with enough customization to feel like you were TOTALLY different than the guy next to you. In retrospect, it was extremely primitive, but, for some of us older folk, that is something we yearn for in the modern day games that have gone so crazy with customization that we spend hours just creating a character. After all, who cares how long my fingers are?
Final verdict? The multiplayer was balanced, offered a solid selection of guns, and made its players extremely comfortable with the level of customization. One can only hope that modern day developers will take some “simple” notes from this game. 5 / 5 balls.
Plot and Storyline? Epic. For many gamers, it set the bar high for every Call of Duty game to come. It contained a solid storyline with several twists along the way. You were constantly asking yourself who to trust, what to believe, and what is the right thing to do. As mentioned above, it was brief, but it was concise with several twists. It laid out a solid format for every Call of Duty game to come.
Intensity? Oh lawdy. There were some extremely intense moments in the game. One that immediately comes to mind is the “Ferris Wheel” mission. I wish I could explain this glorious mission in its entirety, but the part we all remember is where you sit down your AI comrade (McMillan) by a Ferris Wheel (hence the name) and you had to simply hope and pray that you survive. Don’t worry about protecting McMillan, as for this mission he is the Hulk and eats bullets like it is a stuffed turkey on Thanksgivin’. This mission was extremely frustrating, fun, exciting, and definitely did not leave you feeling unsatisfied.
Final verdict? The campaign offered an immense and twisting storyline, diverse user experience, and intensity levels off the chart. 4.5 / 5 balls.
Final verdict? You better go get this game, invite a few friends over, pop open a few drinks, and have a true, fun Call of Duty experience. 4.5 / 5 balls.