Activision had a very strong showing at E3 this year, and one of the most impressive games they were displaying was a WWII game named Call of Duty: Finest Hour. To view the game, we were taken to a military tent, guarded by MPís, and in the tent we were shown the first level of the game. PC gamers may be familiar with the Call of Duty name, but what was shown at E3 was an all new experience, but one that wonít likely disappoint fans of the series.
As the level starts we follow a young Russian soldier, who is in a boat, which is being rowed ashore onto a very contested beach. As the boat approaches the dock, the soldier leading the boat gives a spirited speech to pump up his troops, but mid-sentence the boat gets hit by gunfire from approaching planes. One man on the boat dies, but eventually you reach the shore and are handed a weapon and another soldier tells you to follow his lead.
As you make your way up the hill, youíll see hundreds of soldiers fighting along with you, and youíll see many of them die. Bullets whiz over your head, and youíll witness plenty of damage from enemy bombs, including a smokestack that gets knocked over and rolls down the hill. Before the final charge, the remaining troops gather and youíll watch them cheer before making a final push that will see many of them perish.
If youíve ever played a Medal of Honor game, then you will have a very good idea of what to expect from Call of Duty. The graphics were able to show off tons of action and they do a nice job of making you feel like youíre just a small part of whatís going on. Also making you feel less like a one man wrecking crew is the fact that you are following the orders of another soldier and while you may get separated from the other troops from time to time, you do get to fight along side them quite a bit. Unfortunately, the game wasnít playable at the show, but the first impressions that I got from watching ten minutes of gameplay were very positive.
5/23/2004 Aaron Thomas