Call of Duty (2003)

by Christopher
5 minutes read


Introducing players to a new era of military FPS games, Call of Duty (2003) offered an unprecedented level of immersion into World War II, setting the stage for future titles in the iconic series.


Call of Duty (2003) revolutionized the first-person shooter genre by immersing players in the gritty realism of World War II across multiple fronts. This groundbreaking title set a new standard for immersive gameplay and historical accuracy.


The game simulates infantry and combined arms warfare of World War II using a modified version of the id Tech 3 engine1. The player takes on the roles of an American paratrooper, a British SAS commando, and a Soviet infantryman as they fight against the Axis powers23.

The game begins with the player as a US Paratrooper in the 101st, falling from the sky into France to begin hitting targets before the D-Day landings begin on Normandy shores3. It’s eerily quiet as you fall by yourself in order to place a beacon for other paratroopers to have a point of reference to drop on3.

The gameplay is similar to the Medal of Honor series; however, Call of Duty showcases multiple viewpoints staged in the American, British, and Soviet theaters of World War II1. The game introduced a new take on AI-controlled allies who support the player during missions and react to situational changes during gameplay1. This led to a greater emphasis on squad-based play as opposed to the “lone wolf” approach often portrayed in earlier first-person shooter games1.

As a first-person shooter, Call of Duty places the player in control of an infantry soldier who makes use of various authentic World War II firearms in combat1. Each mission features a series of objectives that are marked on the heads-up display’s compass; the player must complete all objectives to advance to the next mission1. The player can save and load at any time, rather than the checkpoint system utilized in later Call of Duty games1.

The player has two primary weapon slots, a handgun slot, and can carry up to ten grenades1. Weapons may be exchanged with those found on the battlefield dropped by dead soldiers1. Unlike later Call of Duty games, the first allows the player to toggle between different firing modes (single shot or automatic fire)1.


Unlike games centered around a single protagonist, Call of Duty features an ensemble cast of soldiers, providing a varied and authentic wartime experience.


With two primary weapon slots, a handgun slot, and the ability to carry grenades, the game emphasizes tactical squad-based combat and realism. Players must navigate the battlefield, utilizing cover and coordinating with their squad to complete objectives.


Call of Duty (2003) remains a landmark title that not only defined a genre but also established a legacy that continues to influence gaming today.

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