Call of Duty E3 2003 Preshow Report

Activision's WWII-themed first-person PC action game from the developers of Medal of Honor: Allied Assault will be on display at E3.

Activision will be showing off the first game in its new Call of Duty brand of military-themed action games at this year's E3. Call of Duty is a first-person action game in development at Infinity Ward, a new studio formed by the project leads who created last year's PC hit Medal of Honor: Allied Assault. Call of Duty aims to re-create major World War II battles in an authentic and fast-paced manner.

Call of Duty takes a broad view of the war and has separate single-player campaigns for the Americans, British, and Soviets, each of which is tailored to showcase the historical weapons and tactics of these nations' armed forces. The American missions feature battles during the invasion of Normandy, and the British missions also deal with the events of 1944, focusing in part on SAS commando raids and other smaller operations. In contrast, the Soviet segment of the game highlights the numerical edge the Russian troops relied on and starts off with the grueling fighting that took place in 1942 around Stalingrad. Call of Duty puts you at the center of the action, but you're also often surrounded by AI-controlled squadmates who can play an integral part in a mission's success.

A step up in scale and technology over Infinity Ward's previous efforts, Call of Duty will use a significantly modified version of the Quake III engine, which has been rewritten to accommodate much more detailed environments, dramatic lighting, realistic character animations, and enhanced squad-based AI. Many of the game's scripted sequences will have a cinematic feel, something that was visible in the two E3 demo levels. One of the E3 levels depicts the intense American ground assault on St. Mère Eglise, where the American squad fights door-to-door while flanking heavy machine gun emplacements and attacking antiaircraft guns threatening the Allied planes seen overhead. Call of Duty is scheduled to ship this fall.

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