Sunday, January 02, 2011
Call of Duty Classic (Xbox 360) Impressions
Last Spring, at least I think it was last Spring, I won a downloadable token for Call of Duty Classic. Released in 2003, Call of Duty was the only title in the franchise I've ever actually liked, and I was eager to give it a whirl on my Xbox 360 and earn some Achievements to pad my Gamerscore. At the time I was playing through some backlog though, and I didn't actually get a chance to fire it up until early Fall-ish.
What a sloppy port! Seriously, I seem to be on a theme today about writing about mediocrity, but there it is.
Being a 2003 PC first person shooter, Call of Duty Classic was intended for a keyboard and mouse, and while one expects a loss of precision when going to a Controller with such an older game, the one thing the developers didn't seem to incorporate properly into the Xbox LIVE Arcade port was proper auto-aiming. Happen to be in a tight spot and you really need to pop up quick to land that headshot? Sorry, won't happen. You'll likely hit the body, take a headshot yourself, and reloading your last checkpoint. Aiming and shooting is just significantly clunker than the several year old PC original, and it's a real shame.
What's a damn annoyance is the complete removal of the traditional quick save system, and the forced reliance on checkpoints only. One of my major griefs with console gaming today, aside from the general lack of being unable to rebind the Controller (which Call of Duty Classic suffers from as well), is a checkpoint-only save system. What does this mean? You'll be re-experiencing frustrating moments in this sloppy port again and again and again as you're forced to redo them.
Also of great annoyance is the lack of a brightness slider under the Options Menu. The game is far too dark from the get-go, and while I can certainly adjust my TV's brightness independently, was it so hard to put that basic video option in? Apparently so.
So, we have clunky aiming, a stripped down save system, and too dark of an experience. Worth the 1200 Microsoft Points? My impressions, hell no. For the $17.40 it costs, you're better off spending $19.99 (US) here and getting a version of the game that's actually good. So horribly disappointing, but come to think of it, not unexpected.
When I borrowed the Xbox 360 version of Quake 4 off a buddy, I fired up the port of Quake II, and it was pretty much the same thing, at least with precision aiming. And for a gamer like myself, such oversights make the product unplayable.