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Aspyr Media
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Call of Duty: United Offensive
September 20, 2004 | Tuncer Deniz

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Call of Duty is easily one of the best first-person WW II shooters ever created. Thanks to its cinematic style of story telling and gameplay, COD played out more like a movie unfolding before your eyes rather than just a game. The game focused on Allied operations by British, American, and Russian troops and featured an incredibly intense single-player campaign coupled with fast-paced multiplayer that emphasized team tactics.

So when it came time to create an expansion pack for the wildy popular game, Call of Duty developer Infinity Ward turned to Gray Matter, whose previous work includes Return to Castle Wolfenstein and Kingpin.

Call of Duty: United Offensive adds an all-new single-player campaign that features 13 new mission that features epic WWII battles such as the Battle of the Bulge and the Battle of Kursk. The expansion pack also features 11 new multiplayer maps along with three new multiplayer modes.

Single-Player Campaign
Much like Call of Duty, United Offensive's single-player campaign features three mini-campaigns where you play the US, Great Britain, and the Soviet Union.

The American campaign takes place during the infamous Battle of the Bulge. During one of the coldest winters in recent memory, the Germans plunged into the heavily forested Ardenees region of eastern Belgium and northern Luxembourgh. It was up to the Americans to hold the line. Campaigns in the United Offensive expansion pack involve clear out enemies, planting charges on tanks, and more. While battles in Call of Duty involved a manageable number of Germans to deal with, some of United Offensive's battles are ultra intensive featuring massive amounts of German bad guys.

The British campaign revolves around the invasion of Sicily and includes a cool airborne mission in a B-17 bomber. Your task in this mission is to man onboard turrets and drop bombs on enemy targets.

Other missions in this campaign are similar to that in Call of Duty. One "Guns of Navarone" commando style mission involves destroying coastal guns that threaten the invasion of Sicily.

The Soviet campaign features Hitler's last major offensive on the eastern front. Missions in this campaign are intense with trench warfare and house to house combat.

There are a total of 11 gigantic new maps for multi-player fans. Some of the maps in United Offensive will allow you to drive jeeps to get to spots on maps quickly. Tanks are also another introduction to multi-player. Thankfully you'll have plenty of antitank weaponry to deal with the tanks.

One of the biggest complaints of Call of Duty's multiplayer was that many battles became sniper-camping fests. Thanks to addition of tanks and much larger maps, snipers tend to be spread out more.

As for new multiplayer modes, fans of Battlefield 1942 will easily recognize "'domination" mode which is much like Battlefield's conquest mode where each team must take over a set of points on the map to win.

In another new mode, base assault, your team's goal is to destroy the other team's bunkers. In order to destroy their bunker, you first have to shatter the bunker with heavy weapons fire and then infantry has to run into the ruins of the bunker to set the explosives.

The last and rather unique multiplayer addition is a ranking system that rewards gamers for helping their team with the game. The more you help your team win by capturing objective, the higher your rank rises. With a higher rank you'll get bonuses like extra grenades and have access to binoculars which can be used to call in artillery strikes.

Despite what you might think, though, this objective really does emphasize team work as you get points for seizing objectives rather than just simply killing the enemy.

On The Offensive
Visual improvements have also been made. Explosions and smoke effects have been vastly improved and particle effects like plumes of dirt caused by explosives look fantastic.

Expansion packs are big business (just check out the number of The Sims expansion packs that are available" and these days expansion packs are created by top-notch teams. United Offensive is a must have if you are a fan of Call of Duty. To sure to pick it up when it arrives in stores in November.

Call of Duty: United Offensive
Publisher: Aspyr Media
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