Call of Duty has the most crisp and precise movement and shooting of any game weíve played. Whereas you might describe Quake and UT as smooth, and Enemy Territory would fit in between, Call of Duty has a great feeling of precision. Indeed, the whole combat aspect is very tactile; itís possible to get a real feel for your guns. Counter-Strike started the trend, but compared to Call of Duty, the feel and control of the guns is quite sloppy. A Kar98 in Call of Duty feels solid, you know youíre going to knock someone on their back with a round from it. A BAR fires slower but more powerful rounds than a MP44 (Sturmgewehr), and the MP40 is more accurate than a Thompson. These arenít things you have to look at stats to realize. With experience and practice, it becomes easy to tell.
And this is the kind of control and combat that Call of Duty brings to the table. The player is still a hitpoint-heavy tank relative to his enemies, but the balance is much closer to being realistic than with Medal of Honor. The addition of allies as alternate targets makes the bullets spread around rather than focus on the lone player, improving the survivability of the player even with less health and deadlier guns.
Such missions to use this incredible combat system on! Call of Duty has the best mission design of any World War II shooter, any realistic shooter ever. If thereís a map that can beat the approach to Stalingrad for sheer impression factor, we havenít found it yet. On Stalingrad youíll turn your eyes to the sky to watch a Stuka come down on a strafing pass against your boat, then finally see the real, 3D ruins of bombed and burnt-out buildings of the city. Rushing up the embankments without a weapon, youíll distract an enemy machine gunner for a sniper, before he shoots the commissar and you both escape to a safer part of town.
There are missions where youíre part of a British commando team, defending a bridge against an Axis assault on both sides, and have to man the lethal 88mm flak gun to destroy oncoming tanks. Youíll get to command a Russian T-34/85 tank, driving it like the BF1942 tanks, against several platoons of Pz IVs. Of course, the best missions are like Brecourt, where youíre running around an open field in search of cover and a vantage point from which to fire your Garand, before diving into the trenches, busting out with the Thompson and clearing out some rooms.
A few weaker missions pop in here and there, but itís nothing that detracts from the overall value of the game.