First-Person Shooter Players:
T (teen)Release Date:
November 16, 2004 Written by:
Finally, the Call of Duty series has come to the home consoles! Call of Duty: Finest Hour, is a World War II first person shooting game. However, this game is a bit different than your basic run of the mill WWII shooter. Read the full review for more details.
Let me begin by saying Call of Duty: Finest Hour is an amazing game!!! The levels are fairly lengthy and challenging. They're also FULL of action. Take the first level for example. You play as a Russian soldier trying to defend Stalingrad from the German invaders. You start the level in a tiny boat crammed of other Russian soldiers. At the front of the boat, another soldier is talking about the upcoming battle. As you look around, you'll notice that the sky is full of dark, billowing smoke. Suddenly, the roar of German plane engines can be heard. With that, machine guns start firing and you see a fellow soldier get killed. Bombs drop and rock your boat. If you look down at the water, you'll notice other dead bodies floating. Finally, your boat docks and you get some ammo.... but no gun! You then follow one of your comrades up a giant hill. This is probably the craziest scene in a video game I've ever seen. Bullets are flying everywhere. As you make your way through the trenches, you'll see other Russians leaping over you. Finally, you reach the city and get yourself a gun. This is only a description of the first half of the level, too.
Throughout the game, you'll play as various different soldiers from various regions of the world. You play as the Americans, the British, and the Russians. Some soldiers have unique 'techniques'¯. For example, there is an American tank driver and a Russian sniper. When you play as a certain character for the first time, they'll tell you a little story about them. During each little story, you'll see various photos that pertain to the tale.
The controls are great! You move the joy stick and aim with the C-Stick. The A button is used to throw grenades. The B button is like an action button. X and Y buttons are used to change your stance. Pressing the X button once will make your soldier crouch. Pressing it once more will make him/her lay down. Pressing the Y button will standing will result in your soldier jumping. Pressing Y while laying down makes him/her crouch and pressing it while your character is crouching makes him/her stand up. The L button zooms in and allows for better and more accurate aiming. The R button fires whatever weapon you have. Lastly, pressing the Z button will make your character thrust his weapon forward (melee attack). This is great for close combat.
In Call of Duty: Finest Hour, you can drive tanks in certain levels. Obviously, the tank has different controls and I'm not going to go over them in-depth. However, the controls are very good. You can fire both rockets and your tank's machine gun. There is at least one rail shooter level. You play as a British soldier and ride in the back of a jeep. You get to man a machine gun and blast anything in your way. This level is very fun and very explosive... Speaking of machine guns, you can man pretty much any accessible machine gun.
The A.I. is above average. Your comrades will take cover behind walls and everything! However, I have seen some enemies run into walls and just keep running into them. Also, sometimes your comrades get in your way...... this can get pretty frustrating but is rare. Speaking of comrades, they can usually die. However, in certain missions, some characters seem to be invulnerable. This applies only to the main side characters however. You can even heal your own 'brothers-in-arms¯!'
The only thing that Call of Duty: Finest Hour lacks in the gameplay department is multiplayer! Obviously, there isn't any online multiplayer for the Gamecube, but I think they still should have included split screen for all us Cube gamers. Also, co-op wouldn't have hurt!
The graphics in Call of Duty are average. They aren't the worst I've seen, but they certainly don't compare to Resident Evil 4! There are some clipping issues as well. The graphics and clipping problems don't take away from the overall fun factor of the game though. Improved graphics would make the game better in my opinion. For examples of the graphics, take a look at the screens at the end of the review.
The sound in this game is amazing! They have some great orchestrated music that really puts you in 'the mood'¯. The voice acting is exceptional. The Russian characters have Russian voices. The British have British voices. The Americans have.... well you get the picture. The soldiers actually talk but if you can't hear them or prefer reading (yeah right! ), their lines appear at the bottom of the screen. The weapon sounds and special effects are fantastic as well. You can hear the little clinking sound of a grenade falling near you! Now that's detail!!!
Sadly, this game has hardly any replay value. There are some unlockable cheats and a few extras. However, none of the unlockables will have you playing this game for years to come. Occasionally, I'll replay some levels. However, this is the most replaying I do. If this game had some multiplayer, I think that the replay value would be a lot greater.
Despite the fact that the game has little replay value, it is very fun! In fact, it is my favorite WWII shooter to date! The game also presents the average gamer with a great deal of challenge. If you're a WWII buff or just a big FPS fan, go out and buy this game. However, if you're still not sure you'll enjoy Call of Duty: Finest Hour, rent it. 8/
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