Episode 21: Call of Duty

Back in the early 2000s, World War 2 shooters were in vogue.  The broader gaming audience had moved on from the more abstract settings of Quake or Doom, and were demanding real world locations, guns and lethality.  Call of Duty wasn’t the first, nor the last of these - but at the time of release it was praised for its bombastic, cinematic action-thriller feel. Before Half Life 2 or Far Cry, Call of Duty was the king of PC FPS shooters.

But how well does it hold up, all these years later?  With a staggering 15 entries alone in the Call of Duty franchise, can the original hope to compete with over a decade of (debatable) innovation?

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On this episode, we discuss

  • How well does Call of Duty tell its story? Can its narrow focus on ‘soldiers in the trenches’ stand up to the globetrotting, world-ending spectacle of later Call of Duty games?

  • Are hitscan based shooters fundamentally poorly designed when compared to projectile based ones? To what degree can a skilled player overcome the sheer lethality of enemies versus repeatedly dying to random chance?

  • Should Call of Duty strive for historical accuracy in its portrayal of historical events? Or is it fine to pay homage to cinema (in this case, Enemy At the Gates), regardless of its historical authenticity?

We answer these questions, and many more, on the 21st episode of the Retro Spectives Podcast!

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Intro Music: KieLoBot - Tanzen K
Outro Music: Rockit Maxx - One point to another
Call of Duty OST: Michael Giacchino