Call of Duty: Roads to Victory Review
The Call of Duty series has been known for delivering some memorable and intense battle settings in spite of its linear level design and scripted action. Now for the first time the series goes portable with Call of Duty: Roads to Victory. In the past the series has always had the power of PCs or home consoles to work with when creating its battles, but how does it fare when shrunk down to fit in the palm of you hand on the PSP?
The short answer to that question is “OK”. Roads to Victory is a pretty straightforward shooter, but on the PSP it lacks the dramatic intensity that’s the hallmark of this series. Part of the problem is the PSP itself which lacks the horsepower to throw dozens of enemy soldiers at you at once, although the game does manage to add some nice atmospheric touches such as planes flying overhead. The AI is a little below average, able to pop up and down behind cover and move between a couple of spots, but prone to boneheaded moves. You’ll face attacking soldiers trying to make their way up staircases on numerous occasions, and in spite of the fact that you can just camp at the top of the stairs killing them, their comrades will continue to insist on walking over their corpses to get their chance to be mowed down. They’re also horrendously bad shots – we’re talking Stormtrooper caliber marksmanship here – and the only real times that you’re in danger of dying are when you’re facing a tank or machine gun nest.
Roads to Victory faced a tough battle in bringing a first person shooter to the PSP and the result of its efforts are a stalemate. The default scheme works about as well as it can for an FPS with the analog nub controlling movement and the face buttons used to control look. The problem with this scheme (and the others available in the game) is that the controls are simply not responsive or sensitive enough for you to be able to move your weapon from one soldier to another during a firefight. The game compensates for this by using a very liberal auto-targeting scheme that locks your shots on target as long as you’re aiming in the general vicinity. The left trigger can be used to aim your weapon, which lets you fire at soldiers outside of the range of your auto-lock. However, it’s tough to aim the weapon precisely when aiming, and you’ll overshoot your target back and forth several times before you can line him up in your sights.
You’ll play through the game fairly quickly because none of the missions are difficult enough to keep you stuck for long. There’s some welcome variety to your tasks that include an enjoyable interlude manning a gun on a bomber, but for the most part you’ll be moving from alley to alley and room to room taking out untold numbers of German grunts. The game’s multiplayer would have gone a long way towards extending the life of the game, but only Ad Hoc play is supported. Games like capture the flag and king of the hill aren’t too much fun unless you can find enough friends with a copy of the game to reach the maximum of six player gameplay.
If you’re looking for a WWII shooter for your PSP, then Call of Duty is not a bad choice as long as you don’t expect it to match the excitement of the other games in the series. For everyone else the game is probably a better candidate for renting as there is not enough gameplay here to keep you going for a long time, and the gameplay that is here is not overly compelling.
In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 66%. The call to duty here is not as strong as it is on the console systems.