Call of Duty: Deluxe Edition
There's No Pleasing some PCs. 'There is no disk in the drive. Please insert a disk into drive D:.' Well of course there's no disc in the drive - you just asked me to insert disc two, there will inevitably be a brief period in which there's no discjn the drive. As a disc drive you should be prepared for these eventualities. 'Please insert Disk 1 and click OK to continue.' You already had disc one earlier! Why do you want it again? You should have done everything you wanted with it before I took it away. You can't have it now. 'Please insert the correct CD-ROM.' God, fine, jeez... Have the bloody disc. Oh, to work on a console mag...
You'd imagine a re-release of Call Of Duty packaged with its United Offensive expansion would have leapt on the opportunity to stick all of the content on a single DVD, but it's not the case. Instead, they've spread the World War II goodness over four CDs, two of which are in those annoying stacked CD-holding things where you have to take the top one out to get to the bottom one, and the other two are in marginally less annoying paper sleeves.
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Of course, the only reason I've written two paragraphs of disc-based diatribe (which admittedly can be applied to most games) is because this is the Call Of Duty: Deluxe Edition, and as such it needs very little explaining. Having received a Classic award almost three years ago, the World War II shooter, rather than turning heads, merely made sure they stayed fixated on a monitor for hours on end. We loved it, and Steve O'Hagan's opening paragraph hammered down a concrete testimony, championing Call Of Duty as 'the best single-player first-person shooter on release', while tentatively suggesting that the phrase should be followed with 'until Half-Life 2.
As if it needs clarifying, we weren't wrong. Not breaking the war shooter tradition of coming in a box with a man in a helmet on the front pointing at something (sometimes you, sometimes an unknown objective or rare out-of-shot bird), while practising the kind of faces he makes when he peaks in physical ecstasy, Call Of Duty was full of Hollywood emotion. By that, I mean constant loud noises, having more dirt in the air than under your feet, and a man pointing at things and shouting orders above the din.
You could sit here and talk about how unbelievably immersive it was, or you could argue that it's been done so much since Medal of Honor's Omaha Beach landing that it's lost its impact, or you could say that both are true. Retailing at $25, and containing the United Offensive expansion however, the bottom line is that if you've never played Call Of Duty. this is your wake-up call. United Offensive adds 13 new missions over three campaigns, continuing the Call Of Duty saga in as epic a way possible.
Criticism attacks on three fronts, however Scripting Beach, where thousands of soldiers will die because they're supposed to, hundreds of Nazis will flank in an expected and repeated formation, and explosions are triggered by walking past certain points. Al Hill, where the sworn enemies of Hitler and Churchill could saunter past one another with a doff of the cap and a hearty smile without ever considering raising a gun. And solo mission Hedgerow-land, where this metaphor wears thin and levels where you're by yourself feel empty and dull.
I would also argue that it never quite matches the emotional intensity and genius implicit scripting of the Omaha Beach landing in Allied Assault, to which you may retort with the fact that Call Of Duty's multiplayer component achieved far more than Allied Assault's. To which I would respond: shut up, Omaha Beach landing owns all and Call Of Duty never came near.
I'm not completely blinded by Allied Assault's reproduction of the most epic battle in human history, however; Call of Duty's later Russian campaign invokes similar experiences of awe and spectacle. It's a game full of impending tragedy, blind panic, exhausting action and a sense of urgency that was somewhat lost in its sequel. That, and it's aged well too. The explosions and smoke effects might not be as impressive as they once were, but you'll never find yourself smirking at a blocky texture or a jaggy cow leg.
If you were drawn in by Call of Duty 2's marketing campaign (which featured a man in a helmet pointing and shouting), but have yet to discover where the series started, this Deluxe Edition is an essential purchase. Although technically, if you want to discover where the series started, grab Call Of Duty: Allied Assault...
Download Call of Duty: Deluxe Edition
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP