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Platform

PC

 

Genre

Shooter

 

Publisher

Activision

 

Developer

Gray Matter

 

ESRB

M (Mature)

 

Released

September 2004

 

 

- More missions

- Just as good as the first time around

- Challenging

- New weapons

 

 

- Scripted events can cause some problems

- Graphics are still bland

 

 

Review: Call of Duty (PC)

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Call of Duty: United Offensive

Score: 8.9 / 10

 

I loved Call of Duty. The film like experience was truly engrossing and it was on many nights that I couldnít tear myself away from my computer simply to experience the atmosphere of tension and horror that the game was so good at creating. With the expansion pack, United Offensive continues along the same path with a handful of new missions and some great new additions.

 

united offensive review          united offensive review

 

First, the game has some new missions in the single player campaign as an American soldier, a British SAS serviceman, and a Russian soldier. Each of the three campaigns is quite distinct in its objectives and in level design. While the American campaign is quite straight forward with battles in open fields, the Russian campaign is fought through the ruins of cities and towns. The British campaign is great in that it serves to break up the non stop intensity of the American and Russian campaigns. Your character first starts out as a gunner for the RAF aboard a bomber delivering its payload. Soon after, you are recruited by the SAS and you will be taking out specific key objectives to allow the advance of more troops.

 

The most intense campaign has to be the Russian campaign. Once again through sheer sensory overload, the game is able to shock you into respecting what it may have been like to actually be there. The sound design is fabulous and spot on; there are explosions in the distance and mortar shells whistling through the air. With the constant fire of machine guns everywhere, a lot of the time, you can be killed without seeing it coming.

 

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This time around, United Offensive adds machine guns and more vehicular missions to the mix. Machine guns can only be used after they are set and when lying prone meaning that you wonít be able to fire if you wish to change positions. Along the mission onboard the bomber, you will control a tank, take a ride in a jeep and control a host of other stationary artillery. Also, this time around, the Germans attack with many more troops and with many more vehicles. There is another scenario where 

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you and your platoon will have to hold position in a house and repel a German attack. In order to be successful, you will need to run from room to room in order to repel attacks from all angles, and to take out more than a few tanks and half-tracks.

 

While this scenario is a little bit more open than some of the other missions, there are some missions that require you to do things in a pretty set fashion. In some cases this isnít too much of a problem as the solution is obvious, in others, it seems that if you donít do exactly what the developer had planned, the level can be a lot harder than it should be. However in the gameís defense, you will have your superiors yelling orders at you and this usually helps in determining what you should be doing.

 

united offensive review          united offensive review

 

Rounding out the package is the requisite multiplayer features. There is quite a bit that has been added to the mix. Although Iím not a big fan of multiplayer gaming myself, I do have to admit that Finest Hour has gone to great lengths to add value through its expanded multiplayer features in light of the fact that the single player portion is quite short. There are still the regular modes from Call of Duty present, but now, there are also capture the flag, domination and base assault. The new maps also add nicely to the mix with a good variety of types of maps that affect how the game is played on each. Also, the multiplayer mode now has a ranking system that encourages team members to cooperate. The system rewards players with items if they contribute to the success of the team in more ways than just obtaining the most kills.

 

As far as expansion packs go, there isnít anything more that one could really ask for. It doesnít change the winning style established by the original, but it does keep things fresh by adding a few new twists to the game. The battles are as intense as ever and the gameplay is still as solid as the original. If you have Call of Duty, there is no reason not to pick this up and if you donít have the original, there is one more reason to pick it up.

 

- Mark Leung

(October 10, 2004)

 

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