With Modern Warfare 2 the sixth part of the Call of Duty series has been released. PC Games Hardware takes a closer look at the brand that regularly dominates the sales charts since 2003.
Call of Duty: Fire compared [Source: view picture gallery]
The first part of the series, the original Call of duty, was published in late 2003. It was based on an engine that id Software initially designed for a shooter back in 1999. With heavy modifications to the code the developers were nevertheless able to improve the graphics with huge outdoor levels and some pixel shading for better water surfaces. Call of Duty 2
Call of Duty 2 was released two years later. The game was once again set in World War II but this time a new engine was used. The structure used DX9 features and thus delivered the probably most realistic graphics of 2005. Even today the game still looks quite respectable. Call of duty 3 + 4
Part 3 remained a console exclusive title, but in November 2007 the PC gamers could walk the modern battlefields. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare introduced high-tech weapons, night vision goggles and helicopters. The rest, except the graphics, stayed the same: Fight and survive with a team of soldiers. In visual matters the game is absolutely up-to-date but can't really set itself apart from its predecessors in some effect categories. Call of Duty 5: World at War
The development of the Call of duty series was continued with World at War, but the basic schemes were still there. New effects improved the graphics: Especially the flamethrower of the Russian OT-28 tank was blazing extremely realistic - the sea simulation was well done, too, though. Call of duty: Modern Warfare 2
At a certain point of the development the current part of the series, Modern Warfare 2, wasn't supposed to be called Call of Duty. But obviously the developers decided against this bold step. While the news coverage was quite good and the game build up a lot of good reputation, a few decisions revealed close to the launch caused quite a lot of negative PR. The fans were for example quite angry about the decision that Modern Warfare 2 wouldn't support dedicated servers and that Steam is required for the authentication.
In order to demonstrate the evolution of Call of Duty, we have assembled on click comparisons with screenshots of significant examples like vegetation, fire, explosions, weapons and NPCs.