Winter!: Prepare for holiday gaming!
How does a good game get greater? Surely the words 'excellent', 'awesome', 'splendid', 'amazing', 'remarkable', and 'magnificent' roughly mean the same thing. United Offensive is the expansion pack to the best-selling game of the year Call of Duty, and best-selling it should be, for it raises the bar for future first-person-shooter games even higher.
United Offensive is the only expansion in the 'Call of Duty' franchise, and is programmed using the original PC 'Call of Duty' graphics engine. Expect the same manner of plot and storyline with the addition of several and exciting new features.
Many people believed, and still believe that the appearance of tanks made their debut on Treyarch's console-only 'Call of Duty 3'. If you played the first 'Call of Duty' on the computer, you'd realise that the game suggests otherwise. What does this have to do with the expansion pack you say? 'United Offensive', which I must strongly emphasise, was released in 2004 - a year before 'Call of Duty 2' - Already had flamethrowers. Meaning that Treyarch's 2008 'World At War' was not the first game of its franchise to produce usable flamethrowers on site.
This impressive expansion pack's selling point doesn't stop there; 'United Offensive' brings in a large addition of guns and elements that count towards the game's grand gameplay. The most obvious one of them all is the new sprint feature which was missing in the first 'Call of Duty'. It provides a more realistic feel when you need to spring from one cover to another without strafing too slow out in the open to be gunned down by enemy infantry.
There is also a large addition of new weaponry, especially for the Russians. If you were one of those people tired of continuously using the Mosin-Nagant or haplessly looking for the extremely rare sub-machine PPSh ammos, you can now take a hard-earned break. Instead of having to keep picking up a German MP40 or Gewehr, you are sometimes given a Tokarev SVT40. In one of the missions, you are even able to use a Russian DP28 mounted MG; a great counter to the Nazi's MG42. The flamethrower mentioned earlier doesn't have a rechargeable bar like in World At War. You have to find ammunition by killing other Nazi soldiers who use a flamethrower, unlike World At War, the flamethrower doesn't explode, it just drops there for you to pick up.
United Offensive introduces the use of video debriefing. The campaign is split into three sections. At the end of each section, a short low-resolution clip provides flashback on the story that you have just completed - For example; after you have completed the American part of the campaign, the video will showcase several scenes from the missions that you have just completed, and will then end with a small paragraph which states what happened to your squad after the last mission you just completed prior to the video. If it helps you to understand, your squad's aims and objectives are all non-fictional.
The game also has a strong variety of gameplay this time round. In one of the SAS' mission, you are one of the seven crewmen in an American B-17 flying fortress; part of a huge airborne daylight bombing raid over occupied Holland - You can trek across the winding cabin of the plane so that you can switch from tail gun, to dorset gun, to the side guns - Where by all means you should be gunning down Messerschmitts as you see fit. In addition, there's also a mission that sees you using a small mounted armour-piercing cannon that is fitted on a type of boat, where you have to destroy other cannon-mounted boats who also seek to destroy you.
Expansions aren't known for any graphical updates, and this one doesn't do anything to disapprove of that. In fact, the voice acting and AI have both improved slightly in terms of realism and intensity; but you still hear the odd issue where a person standing 20 metres away from you can shout so loud that it sounds almost as if he was shouting into your ear.
The multiplayer is a slight disappointment though, especially for UK players like me. Compared to the original 'Call of Duty', there looks to be like a 50% drop in populated servers, and finding a populated server would often require a good ASDL or a broadband connection of over 512kb/s. Perhaps it's down to the fact that the game is now nearing its 5th anniversary and also being dominated by its successors or maybe it's because expansion and compilation packs are quite uncommon in all retail stores.
Nevertheless, 'United Offensive' makes a great game even greater and is highly recommend for any first-person-shooter fans, especially if you thought the original 'Call of Duty' was meticulously well-designed. Ignoring the empty multiplayer servers, the game deserves a high rating for one that was released in 2004 and although it is an expansion pack, it almost feels like a whole new game which offers a completely refreshing experience. It's a shame most people haven't heard of this game.
Game Traits applied to Call of Duty: United Offensive (PC) by crazy-m-tz