Sunday, December 28, 2008

Call of Duty

There are certain types of games I generally don't play, due to a lack of both skill and interest. First person shooters fall into that category. I tried some of the early ones in the 90s, but didn't like the lack of story, and the first person view was causing me video game motion sickness. But occasionally I have the feeling I'm losing out on a whole genre. I read PC game magazines, and apparently the FPS genre has much improved, both technically and in story-telling. So I decided to try playing a shooter during my christmas holidays. I was looking for a game which wouldn't cause me nausea, and which was easy enough for a total noob.

Well, typing "world's easiest shooter" into Google didn't help, but looking at various reviews of various series of shooter games, it appeared as if the Call of Duty series was quite easy, at least on the easiest setting. Call of Duty 5 just came out, so I had a range of different titles to choose from. To test for possible video game motion sickness induction, I downloaded demos from Fileplanet. Check, I can play those without getting nauseous, and I was actually having fun in those demos. So which one do I buy?

More checking of reviews revealed that Call of Duty 2 is considered better than the original, Call of Duty 3 only came out for consoles, and Call of Duty 5 didn't get quite as good reviews as Call of Duty 4. Call of Duty 4 seemed especially interesting, due to having a better connected story through all missions, and being the only one not playing in World War 2.

Then I was surprised about the huge difference in prices for Call of Duty 4. Steam sells it for €37,49 in a "25% off christmas sale". The box sells for up to €60 in the local shops. Finally I found selling Call of Duty 4 for just €16.50, but having only 2 copies left. So I quickly ordered it there. Which still left me without a shooter to play, as it'll take another week or so for me to get the game. So I ended up buying Call of Duty 2 too, for €14.99 from Steam. Still a good deal, because now I'll get both 2 and 4 for less than the second-lowest price I saw for the 4 alone.

I started playing Call of Duty 2 last night, and did the first couple of missions in the Russian campaign. Much fun, and very atmospheric. There isn't much of a connecting story (CoD 4 is supposed to introduce that), but there are tons of very tense scripted moments, like tanks rolling over your head while you are crouched in a ditch. I'm still playing on the easiest setting, but might replay it at harder setting later. Not that I'm going to change this blog to Tobold's FPS blog, but with their more visceral combat shooters are a nice break from long MMORPG sessions.

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