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World War 2 is undoubtedly one of the major events of the world history at large and of the 20th century in particular. It is depicted in lots of fiction books and movies and, of course, is a popular theme in the video game industry. Indeed, there are a lot of WW2 games of different genres, from global turn-based strategies in which you can test your leadership skills to first-person shooters for those who want to live the life of a rank-and-file soldier and feel all the excitement of hot combat. One of the most popular games about that war is Call of Duty that has evolved into a complex and far-reaching series with an army of fans.

Unlike some dinosaurs of gaming franchises such as Doom or Fallout, Call of Duty does not trace its origin back into prehistoric times. The original game of the series came out in 2003 when 3D graphics accelerators had already become widespread. Developed by Infinity Wards and published by Activision, the game ran on the id Tech 3 engine that had been used for the world-famous multiplayer shooter Quake 3: Arena. As opposed to the latter, Call of Duty was not limited to multiplayer. Instead, it offered three full-featured plotlines for Private Joey Martin of the U.S. 101st Airborne Division, Sergeant Jack Evans of the British 6th Airborne Division and Special Air Service, and Private Alexei Voronin in the 13th Guards Rifle Division of the Soviet Army. This approach helped the gamer see the war from different sides and take part in different episodes of it. The game enjoyed a warm welcome with the audience, receiving a number of awards, and was soon followed by an add-on, Call of Duty: United Offensive.

A full-featured sequel was released on October 25, 2005, on a wide range of platforms: from the PC and Xbox 360 to Mac OS X, PDAs, smart-phones and even ordinary cell phones. Call of Duty 2 carried on the tradition of telling about World War 2 from different points of view. Its plotlines focused on the Eastern Front, the North Africa events, and the D Day when the allies landed in Normandy. In the game’s finale the gamer was to fight two famous Tiger I tanks at once. The developer kept up his high quality standards and the second game of the series was received just as warmly as the first one. Call of Duty 2 ran on an original engine that improved it visuals noticeably.

The third installment of the series was developed by Treyarch and Pi Studios. It was a console project, never released on the PC. We can only tell you that campaigns in Poland and Canada were added to the traditional warring parties in it.

The fourth game marked a sudden departure from the WW2 theme. CoD 4: Modern Warfare is set in our time, its plot being almost as surrealistic as in the Red Alert games. Bent on restoring the Soviet Union, Russian ultranationalist Imran Zakhaev provokes a war in the Middle East to draw the public attention away from his actions in Russia. The game begins with a SAS group infiltrating an Estonian registered cargo ship suspected to have a nuclear weapon on board. You mostly play for Sergeant “Soap” MacTavish, but for a few levels he is substituted with Paul Jackson of USMC 1st Force Recon. The rest of the roles the player has to enact throughout the game are episodic. Despite the surrealism, the plot is well-devised and interesting to follow. No wonder that the game got positive reports from all leading reviewers.

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