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Five Favorite Call of Duty Moments

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Posted November 9, 2009 - By Andrew Pfister






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Five Favorite Call of Duty Moments

Infinity Ward has made only 3 games in their 7-year history, but you can't deny the impact that those games have made -- not just from a financial perspective, but also on the first-person shooter genre. The battle scenes in Call of Duty, Call of Duty 2, and Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare played with our expectations, put interesting twists on conventional shooter design, and ratcheted up the intensity level. As evidence, we submit to you our Five Favorite Call of Duty Moments (as developed by Infinity Ward). By clicking on this story, we're going to assume that you're not averse to Call of Duty spoilers, so no complaining!

COD Videos   |   COD2 Videos   |   COD4 Videos

Number Five:  "Car Ride" -- Call of Duty

The opening of Call of Duty has you go through the requisite movement and weapons training, and then drops you right into the fray of France. The first few mission objectives, while intense, are standard enough…that is until you hop into the car with Pvt. Moody. This is our first glimpse at IW's ability to design those rollercoaster moments, with the car careening through the countryside, weaving through German defenses and narrowly avoiding the business end of a Panzer tank. The opening statement was clear: "This is what we're doing with Call of Duty. Enjoy."

Number Four: "Shock and Awe" -- Call of Duty 4

It's not so much the mission itself, but what happens at the end of it. There are few images more dreadfully awe-inspiring than the flash and billowing mushroom cloud resulting from a nuclear explosion. When presented as the primary threat in a work of fiction (like say 24, or various Tom Clancy books), the day is usually saved in the nick of time. But when it's not (like in that one episode of 24, or that one Tom Clancy book), the impact is enormous. The end of "Shock and Awe" was completely unexpected, and because IW gave you control as you spent your final moments crawling futilely toward help that wasn't there, it didn't just change the tone of the game, but it told us that the safeties were off for all IW games going forward. If you're willing to set off a nuke, then anything goes.

Number Three: "Death From Above" -- Call of Duty 4

The move away from World War II meant that Infinity Ward had a brand new set of military toys to play with. In the mission preceding "Death From Above," your squad was trying to get clear of an area infested by enemy troops. Capt. Price calls for air support, which came in the form of one of those new toys: the AC-130 gunship. But instead of remaining on the ground and marking targets for the flyboys, IW throws a curve and puts you in the plane's gunner seats. The intense ground combat was suddenly contrasted by the calm and cool black-and-white cameras and the nonchalant chatter of the AC-130 crew. And whether or not it was an intended effect, wiping out enemy defenses from the safety of 10,000 feet while your pilot makes wry remarks struck a realistic chord for some players (who compared it to YouTube videos of actual AC-130 combat footage).

Number Two: "The Battle for Hill 400" -- Call of Duty 2

Part of the conclusion of Call of Duty 2 was a grueling ascent to the top of Hill 400, taking it forcibly from the entrenched and overpowering German forces, and then holding the peak while they mounted an epic counter-attack. There are quite a few missions in Call of Duty that have you holding your ground for a set amount of time, but scrambling around the top of Hill 400 and defending it from all sides is probably the most intense of these scenarios. And because it was a lot of work getting up there in the first place, you really felt possessive of the bunker area, in that "this is mine, I've earned it, and I'll be damned if I'm letting you take it" sort of way. Seeing your P-51 air support scream overhead and clear out the German forces was sweet relief.

Number One: "All Ghillied Up" -- Call of Duty 4

"Shock and Awe" was, well…shocking, and "Death From Above" was an interesting creative twist on an otherwise typical combat mission. But "All Ghillied Up" was COD4's design high point, and probably the best beginning-to-end sequence in the Call of Duty series to date (unless you played on Hardened or Veteran, where the Ferris wheel finale was pretty frustrating). Concealed head-to-toe in the ghillie suit and moving behind the enemy lines undetected created a genuine sense of tension, which peaked with the "please don't see me, please don't see me" moment in a field filled with advancing tanks and troops. Nailing the signature sniping objective was extremely satisfying, and the ensuing retreat was frantic and exhilarating. "All Ghillied Up" was the Infinity Ward sampler platter: story progression, infiltration, a signature set-piece, and intense combat. (And lots of grenades.)

So what are your most memorable battles? There's a lot to choose from...

Five Favorite Call of Duty Moments
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