Classic WWII shooter makes a respectable debut on sonys handheld
Call of Duty is a houshold name in gaming terms. The game that took Medal of honour on and beat it at its own game. There have been versions on just about every format going, even mobile phones. So it stands to reason that Activision would want to bring their flag ship WWII shooter to the PSP.
The PSP is not a stranger to first person shooter. Medal of Honour has already made a respectable appearance, as have several other well know names, like Battle Front and SOCOM.
If you like Call of Duty on other formats then this will appeal to you.
Call of Duty is famous for its stunning looks, atmospheric and dramatic single player missions, its epic multi-player battles. Amaze have done a pretty good job of making this look like a Call of Duty game, with great graphics, dramatic, news reel style, cut scenes and some kick ass sounds. The single player missions are all unique to the PSP (not just low res ports of previous CoD games). You get to play 14 levels as the Americans, British and Canadians. They all follow standard Call of Duty structures; deliver messages, bomb bunkers, take out tanks etc. This is a Call of Duty game so the structure should come as no surprise, but there is a bonus mission type especially for the PSP, the bomber run. You fly as a gunner trying to defend your squadron.
As with every FPS game on the PSP, controls will make or break the playability. Call of Duty offers 4 control types. The default set-up uses the analogue stick to move forward, backward and to strafe. The face buttons let you look around and the right shoulder button deals with shooting. For me this felt very awkward, however control scheme 3 was a better fit. This allows the analogue stick to control full movement with the shoulder buttons dealing with stafeing. Still a little awkward, but much better. It is a real shame that there is no way to map keys the way you want to.
Once you are set up with controls that suit your style, you will notice a couple of other control related problems. They are a little sluggish. This makes manual aiming quite hard to do in a hurry. There is an auto aim, that works quite well. Look at a target and if you are in range for your current weapon you will lock on… most of the time. To improve your aim you can look down the sights, using the analogue stick to aim. A lot of people have said that the controls make the game a bit unplayable. It is less intuitive than say SOCOM, but after getting into the swing of it there was no real problem.
My biggest problem with CoD:RV is the lack of an Infra-structure on-line mode. One of the most enjoyable parts of Call of Duty has always been the on-line play. I wasted many days of my life in Call of Duty and Call of Duty 2 team death matches! Having played SOCOM on-line for several month, I was really hoping that CoD:RV would step up to the plate and show all the other FPS games how to do it. Sadly all we get is 6 player ad-hoc mode.
For the most part Call of Duty: Roads to Victory is a by numbers WWII FPS, but that is what you would expect, the numbers were written by CoD in the first place! If you like Call of Duty on other formats then this will appeal to you. My only real gripe is the lack of on-line play, a real missed opportunity.
The Bad: No online play. Controls are a bit fiddly at first.