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Call of Duty can easily be argued to be the biggest game of the last 10 years, but with it having such a big place on the next-gen consoles could it really make an impact on the DS.
For those of you who have never played a CoD title , it is a first person shooting game and set in an alternate war environment. The game sees you do many missions through the SAS and other organisations , relying on high octane action and multiplayer.
The game is a different story to MW2 , set 5 years after the events of the origional MW. To pull the story down to a few lines , Prince Farhad has left the country due to the rising and angry ultranationalists, he wants revenge and has set about to use a nuclear device. The SAS and USMC are called in to stop Farhad, retrieve the nuclear weapon and stop world war 3, so just a walk in the park for these lads.
This story was well written, much more than I expected and wouldn't have been out of place on the console version. Their is action galore, as well as intresting characters (none of which have appeared before) with many twists and turns. It shows that a lot of care has gone into making a worthy portable version of the shooter.
The story lasted about 5 hours and this is on par with the console version of MW2, this is acceptable for a portable version but the console version needs to go and have a good long think.
The gameplay reflects well off of the dual screen , with the game playing on the top screen and your weapons,grenades and heartbeat sensor showing on the bottom, this really helps keep you informed with whats going on and the best course of action.
Weapons and vehicles have also been re-worked over the previous games, these are all responsive and have their own style. All the weapons will be instantly recognisable from anyone who has played a CoD title before and the transistion is pretty seamless.
Mini games have also been used to make the game feel more like its home console counterpart, these include controlling UAV's , Drones , AC130 gunships as well as more mundane things like hacking computers.
You also have 2 AI companions who are quite useful and will pitch in with a few kills every now and again, the problem is they are too british and will generally keep the "no , I insist , after you" attitude to taking down enemies.
But it's no good doing all this without enemies, these have also seen a review and so the AI is a lot better than the previous games as well as their actions.
When you move into a room the enemy soldiers will take cover or move back, enemies with shotguns will charge and those with heavy machine guns will stick back. When you manage to shoot one down they roll on the ground in agony which is a good detail to the game.
The thing that really caught me by surprise though was the online multiplayer mode. Up to 6 players can play in a variety of modes, such as Team deathmatch and free for all , but also a few new objective modes like Sabotage where you must disarm a bomb.
The multiplayer is exactly the same as the console, where you gain XP to level up. Along the way you unlock weapons , perks and customizing options for their character, this is nice as it doesn't feel like your losing out on any of the experience.
It should be said that there are only a small amount of players who are online so it is often difficult to play the game, this is a shame as its not the games fault and they have put so much effort into it. When I did play online there was no lag and it was a joy to play.
There were a handful of maps , all individual to the DS version. The maps have some good spots but are notably smaller than what I am used to so there is a lot more action and less camping.
Along with campaign and multiplayer, there are also 2 others modes called survival and arcade. Survival mode is facing wave upon wave of enemies and trying to survive, this is really thrilling and will keep you on the edge of your seat.
Arcade mode is just the campaign on time trial, complete the games levels in certain time limits to get secret unlockables and achievements. This does little in adding to the game but is a nice option to have after everything else.
Graphically I guess the game is as good as you would expect considering the size of the task. The graphics highly resemble the pixel graphics of DOOM, but once your used to it it's not as bad as it may seem as you will be too busy dodging bullets.
Weapons are recognisable and looking down the sights feels good, some of the environments are also destructible which I didn't expect.
Level designs are varied and take you through different cultural areas all with an individual look, this helps immerse you in the pace and action of the game, generally showing off the attention of the game.
Explosions dont look as powerful as they could do , but still suitably terrifying when your covering in a gap in the wall.
The sounds of war are good , explosions and gunshots all feel suitably big and really immerse you into the world. Voice acting is also done well and the characters are easy to recognise, however the game only has one noise that the enemies use when they are shot so this is a little annoying and lets it down a little.
The controls do take a little bit of getting used to, especially when the console game relies on sticks to control movement. The D-pad does as well as it good but it still doesn't give you as much freedom or ease as the sticks do , however you cant expect the console to change design for a game.
The bumpers throw out your grenades or let you shoot, this are extremely responsive due to their small size and means you can get your shots off quick.
Everything else is the bottom screen and simply tapping, this includes changing weapons or grenades, activating switches or moving the camera around. All these feel good except the camera movement , which took getting used too and you feel a little pulled out from the action.
The game is available on Amazon for £24 , this is a good price as it is quite a strong title. If you are a big fan of the series then you will be pleased with this portable outing to keep your fix on the go, in total you can expect around 15 hours of gameplay due to the lack of online players.
The game has some issues but it deserves the highest acolade for its representation of such a well known game, it tries not to miss out anything that appears on the main game and on the DS that is a brilliant achievement.