So how do you follow on and try to improve upon a hugely popular game title such as Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare?
Treyarch have chosen to go back to WWII for the latest incarnation of the popular Call of Duty series and to be honest, it may not be everyoneâ€™s first choice but it’s not a bad thing. There would have been more scrutiny if they had kept the Modern Warfare theme, and many comparisons would have been made. Call of Duty 5 (COD5) Uses the same game engine as Modern Warfare, so there are a lot of similarities, and COD4 fans will feel right at home with the game interface and menus, as they are very similar.
Once in game you notice that everything is gritty, the 3 maps on offer in the Multiplayer Beta are a small Japanese style castle and grounds, a train yard / shipping yard environment with battered locomotives littering the area and finally, a beach side fishing village with huts on stilts, and jungle surroundings. They are all very unforgiving environments, no real places to hide while reloading or recovering from being hit. Add the grittiness and tension it sometimes feels like a survival horror game!
Gameplay is pretty much as you would expect, and as mentioned earlier uses the same features as Modern Warfare, it is almost like a different time period in the same game. Differences are; Artillery Strikes which replaced Air Strikes, very forceful when they hit and have a haunting wail as they come in. Instead of the chopper attack, there are attack dogs, which I donâ€™t like much, it only takes one or two hits from a dog and you die and they can’t be eliminated in the same way the dogs in Call of Duty 4 can. The Dogs will find you no matter where you try to hide, and if you kill them they respawn for a certain time period, unlike the choppers, which you could shoot down.
Other features remain the same, challenges, ranking systems perks and weapon unlocking. One thing I do like is the Nemesis box on the results screen, it lets you know who killed you the most within that round so you can exact some revenge in the next round!
Weapons are standard WW2 fare, I noticed some players had Molotov Cocktails, and the fire effects are impressive, using your melee attack to knife other players just sounds more brutal than the swish sound they had in COD4. It is a shame the Flame Thrower is not featured in the Beta, as that looks like an impressive weapon.
Overall I think this will be a popular game, it is certainly better than both COD2 and COD3, only time will tell if it can top Modern Warfare in terms of popularity.