Call of Duty
United Offensive Expansion
Call of Duty is a game that wowed players, nigh it down right immersed players in an era that has brought us countless other titles but none as vivid as what Call of Duty brought to the gamer in us all. Fast on the heels of Battlefield 1942 Call of Duty swept through the ranks of WWII first person shooters by providing incredible sound and graphics that added to an atmosphere of danger around every corner. If you got online with some of your buds/gal pals with voice over IP software you really felt like your life was on the line and every one of your friends that fell while you were watching and listening seemed to be gone forever. That is until the next match started and revenge was in the winds and trees.
One thing that many gamers can agree on is that Call of Duty was really lacking in the vehicles department. Some single player missions had you riding through the countryside pulling 1940's style drive byes as you attempted to flee from German troops who pursued you relentlessly. In fact, those missions were some of the best, yet there was no way to get online and throw some hot lead at your enemies from the safety of a moving vehicle. United Offensive has repaired this problem by allowing you access to a myriad of vehicles to aid the effort in ridding the battlefield of your foes in Team Deathmatch.
United Offensive builds off of Call of Duties patented realism by not making the vehicles too strong vs. normal foot troops. Tanks can be used to level infantry but a couple well placed Panzerfausts can turn a 40 ton Panzer into a 40 ton bon fire. Jeeps are a fast and agile vehicle that can be used as a quick get away in capture the flag mode, but as I found out they can also be used in a more devious way. An enemy soldier was hiding in a one floor building taking pot shots at my compatriots so I took it upon myself to take him out. Knowing he would tear me down before I reached the building I hopped in a jeep and ran it full speed towards the building hopping out far enough away to not feel the blast when the jeep exploded against the building. It killed the enemy soldier and only gave me a small amount of damage that I recovered from the health boxes that are dropped when someone dies.
The new light weapons are a treat to say the least, because of these now all playable armies are on the same foot. New machine guns lay heavy fire while semi automatic rifles provide power, accuracy, and fire rate to some of the lacking armies, like the Russians. The added bazookas and anti-armor weapons that can only be picked up in certain places put stress on the player when tanks are rolling up your street, will you get to a Bazooka quick enough?
United Offensive uses the same ugly lobby as Call of Duty did but never-the-less it's effective and seldom used. Once you're in game it is almost never ending, it will switch maps depending on the presets of the host and only become unplayable if the server goes down or everyone quits. As for selecting your weapons, and pretty much every other option, all you need to do is press escape and all options are there, nicely fit and organized. Your map, which will help you avoid team killing, is small and to the side but big enough to see that it isn't a yank in your German sites but your own teammate. To change weapons you can use your wheel mouse or number keys, either way is effective, but I prefer the wheel mouse as it keeps my fingers on the move keys where they belong.
The Call of Duty community remains one of the best WWII FPS communities on the Web; they will help you out when needed and have more clans than any other WWII shooter. Team play is very important in Call of Duty and stays this way in United Offensive. Because small amounts of gunfire can kill you quickly, trying to get away with a lone wolf "Rambo" commando action to capture the flag isn't the wisest of choices, but can work if you're lucky. Usually you will need a group effort to lay down some serious cover fire, or at least a distraction so you can breach enemy lines and secure the flag.
After staying awake for hours on end stuck on United Offensive there is no way I can say that it isn't worth buying if you have Call of Duty. If you don't have Call of Duty but you are a fan of WWII than my friend you are missing out on one of the best titles to ever hit store shelves. I am very happy to have this masterpiece reside on my harddrive and with the expansion; I have no other wants in the near future for anything else but Call of Duty: United Offensive!
|Reviewed December 6, 2004 by Mathius Kain|