With Call of Duty: World at War the all in all fifth title of the series has been released. PCGH takes a look behind the scenes of the CoD series that dominates the sales charts since 2003.
Call of Duty: Vegetation compared (picture: PCGH, Jay.Gee) [Source: view picture gallery]
The original and thus first part of Call of Duty was released in late 2003 and utilized an engine that once was the basis for an id Software shooter in 1999. But back then heavily modified code enabled up-to-date graphics in extensive outdoor levels and some pixel shading for improving water surfaces.
Call of Duty 2 hit the market about two years later. The distinctive features this time: Call of Duty 2 takes place in World War II and utilizes a self developed engine that massively used DX9 features to create the possibly most realistic visualization back in 2005. Even with today's standards the game is still looking very good.
Part 3 had been for the consoles exclusively and thus the transfer to modern battlefields came to the PC in November 2007. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare offered high-tech weapons, night vision sight and helicopters: The rest was, despite the graphics, still the same: Shooting and bombing with a squad. Visually the title is up-to-date, but can't outrun its predecessors in certain situations. Here the rule of marginal profit comes into effect: Every little bit of visual improvement costs a lot of performance.
The development of the CoD series is continued with Call of Duty 5 World at War, but the origin is still obvious. New effects deliver very good graphics and the visualization of the ocean or the flames are really impressive.
So that you can get an impression of the evolution, we put some significant screenshots into the picture gallery. We compare vegetation, fire and explosions, weapon models and NPCs. Have fun. Would you like to see more comparisons between the parts of any game series? Just give your opinion in the comments.