Call of Duty Hands-On Impressions

We managed to squeeze in some time with this upcoming World War II-themed first-person shooter for the PC.


We were able to sit in for some brief hands-on time with the upcoming PC first-person shooter Call of Duty at E3 2003. Though the game's engine was based on the Quake III: Team Arena engine, what we saw bore little or no resemblance to id Software's original code from 2000.

Call of Duty will be a World War II first-person shooter that will let you experience the war from the perspectives of three different Allied soldiers in the single-player game--an American soldier, a British soldier, and a Russian soldier--complete with the weapons and equipment appropriate to each region for that time. We were able to spend a bit of time in the American campaign, fighting through a besieged French country village. The action was extremely intense--our squad of troops was forced to cautiously advance, bit by bit, through the town, since the entire place was crawling with entrenched German soldiers hiding out in buildings with automatic weapons and mounted machine guns. The level we played was clearly designed to be challenging but not overwhelming. As we advanced through the level, we were usually able to find barely enough cover before the enemy opened fire. At one point, our squadron crept through a small pasture, only to find a farmhouse filled with trigger-happy German soldiers. We were forced to take cover behind the carcasses of slaughtered cattle and inch forward through enemy fire--a difficult task, since the game won't let you fire while crawling. Just like Medal of Honor: Allied Assault, the developer's previous game, Call of Duty will feature a small compass in the bottom left corner of the screen to direct you to your next objective, though you'll also receive shouted orders from your teammates, who may call for you to take out a machine gun nest or simply to take cover when you run into an ambush.

Though the version we saw at E3 was apparently only about 60-percent complete, Call of Duty seemed to be coming along well. The game will be released later this year.

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