Call of Duty

This WW2 first-person fighter is a superb game; a challenge, intelligent, frightening, and it's far too short. The set pieces, particularly the British defending a bridge in France and the Soviet Stalingrad scenes, the beach and the hotel, are a deep challenge. The charge up the Stalingrad river bank without a weapon is a nasty little touch.

Many games seem impossible because they're badly put together; this one seems impossible because it's a well-designed bastard, an intense challenge. I know I can survive taking the canal bridge without health, but I haven't done so yet. And the chaos, the chaos; bloody gorgeous.

It's not perfect, though. It has a tank battle which is frankly simple. It has an ack-ack scene where you shoot down what seems like hundreds of Stukas. It has some stand-on-the-lorry or sit-in-the-car and keep-shooting scenes. In many games, these would be good, but in this game, the infantry scenes are so good that these other scenes seem to be fillers to be got over as quickly as possible to get back to more infantry scenes.

It is a bit too linear in places, but the game is well enough designed so it isn't apparent most of the time. This is a bastard of a game, in the best sense of the term. Buy it.

image: poetry


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