I wrote this a week or so ago, but didn't post it here. so now I'm posting it here.
The other night I took a break and played some Call of Duty: World at War. I'm really quite surprised at the new generation of shooters, that's 4 shooters I've played and enjoyed in the last year! I'm normally not so big on war games, either, but picked up Call of Duty 3 a couple of weeks ago used on a whim..because you never know, and it was cheap. I found myelf impressed enough with it's game engine and concept I sprang for a new copy CoD:WaW (aka CoD5), who knew?
With the exception of the Modern Warfare duo, the Call of Duty series is based around WW2. I can't make myself get Modern Warfare (aka CoD4) because current events wargames make me uncomfortable; I bet the campaigns are pretty cool and the weaponry kickass, but the thought of using them in a Middle Eastern setting just puts me the hell off. Kinda like how I refuse to play a Vietnam-based game: it was wrong when it happened, it's wrong now. Anyway, CoD3 was in the european front just after the Normandy breakout, beginning with the battle of St. Lo, you follow 4 campaigns: American, British, Canadian and Polish.. I like how the NPC AI on all sides actually had a brain, very immersive! The environment is also quite chaotic.. there's not a whole lot of war glorification from what I've gathered about this series, and I really appreciate that. You finish a campaign thinking "well, good thing that's not *actually* me out there, I'd be the first one dead."
Then again there are SO many WW2 games based entirely in europe in general.. so I was drawn to the latest in the series, Call of Duty: World at War. It advertises Pacific Theater combat on the box, and for reals, people, it rocks. So far the two sides I have fought on are American and Russian, Makin Island Raid to Pelilu and Stalingrad to the Berlin invasion so far, respectively. It's every bit, if not more, chaotic than CoD3.. and you feel like Treyarch actually paid attention to those battle films sent back from the Marine fronts.
Why I'm even blogging about it at all is because of what I did last night. First of note, I got to man a T-34 in the push to Berlin. I suck at tanks, I always have.. I sucked at BattleZone and I will always suck at tank warfare games in general. I was actually getting to the point where I was going to give up and shelve the game for good but somehow managed to complete the stage in a lucky streak. It was entirely worth bearing because after some footsoldier warfare I got to be the gunner on a PBY Catalina! I was supposed to take down some Japanese Merchant ships and PTs on the way to Okinawa and ended up in a skirmish with some Zeros and Kamikaze. IT WAS SO COOL! The graphics were so dead-on it was like participating in one of those Pacific Theater battles you see in documentaries. So far the PBY Catalina mission "Black Cats" is bar-none my favorite, and made the whole game worth the money, however short the mission itself is.
Of course, no good historical warfare game like that goes without a little personal reflection. I decided last night that if I had been there for real I would have likely been a radio op, and even if my crew were twice as competent as I would have been as a radio operator we'd still be one of the first planes shot down over the Pacific. I laugh at myself and am completely comfortable in the knowledge that yes, had I been there at all I would have been quite dead.
What I really need from this series, badly, is the Battle of Midway.. PLEASEPLEASEPLEASE let's have a Midway DLC or integration into CoD6!! Until then, I think I'm actually going to have a lot of fun with Multiplayer mode when the Solo mode is done. :-)