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NVIDIA GeForce FX 5950 Ultra Preview - Page 4 Of 8

CALL OF DUTY GAMEPLAY

The Call of Duty demo, which is based on the upcoming World War II first-person shooter, is serving as the showcase game for this GeForce FX 5950 Ultra preview. With a desire to improve this particular genre of games, former members of the Medal of Honor: Allied Assault development team formed Infinity Ward and unveiled Call of Duty at the 2003 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). Feedback from our forum members in response to demo was very positive and makes Call of Duty one of the most anticipated games scheduled to be released in the 4th quarter of 2003.

Call of Duty
Click to Enlarge - 546 KB

The artificial intelligence (AI) is said to be a step above the competition as enemy forces normally remain behind cover making them difficult to target. German soldiers can be heard giving out commands, calling for reinforcements and warning teammates when a grenade is on the way. One welcome improvement is in the abilities of your squad members. The unit actually functions with a purpose and reacts in a manner that minimizes the risk of being struck by friendly fire. Squad members provide cover fire and will even tend to wounded soldiers. The improvement in AI is perhaps the most important feature that makes the Call of Duty demo an enjoyable gaming experience.

Call of Duty
Click to Enlarge - 684 KB

The graphics are a testament to the skills of John Carmack and Infinity Ward, as Call of Duty makes use of Return to Castle Wolfenstein's graphics engine, which is a by product of Quake 3. The demo takes place in the dark making it somewhat difficult to notice the effects of antialiasing and anisotropic texture filtering, but objects (buildings, roads, and player models) and special effects (gunfire, explosions, lighting, and smoke) look great. The graphics are admirable and complimented the outstanding gameplay.

Call of Duty
Click to Enlarge - 490 KB

Call of Duty testing consisted of navigating through a predetermined route on the Burnville map up to the point where the first Flakpanzer is to be destroyed. God mode was enabled and is set by enabling the console, which is accomplished by adding the "+ set monkeytoy 0" parameter to the command line and using the "~" key in-game to activate. In the console, enter "devmap burnville" and then "god".

In-game menu settings were configured as follows:

  • Graphics - Full Screen, Extra Character Textures, High General Textures, Trilinear Texture Filtering, 32-Bit Texture Quality, NVIDIA Distance Fog (enabled on the GeForce FX 5950 Ultra only)


  • Sound - 44Khz Sound Quality, Sound Provider Creative Labs EAX2


  • Performance - Wall Marks On, Ejecting Brass On, Dynamic Lights on Everything, Nicest World Dynamic Light, Don't Sync Every Frame, Show Blood, Small Number of Corpses

A walkthrough takes approximately 3 minutes and 45 seconds to complete and the average and minimum frame rates are based on the average of three runs. Overall, I spent close to 5 hours testing Call of Duty and another 6 hours on research, planning, and analysis activities. The results from the tests consist of the minimum and average frames per second.

Call of Duty Gameplay Results
Call of Duty Gameplay Results

The Call of Duty demo was a great gaming experience on both the GeForce FX 5950 Ultra and Radeon 9800 Pro. There are cases where the GeForce FX 5950 Ultra will outperform the Radeon 9800 Pro when AA and AF are disabled, which is reflected by the Call of Duty results. With AA and AF disabled at a resolution of 2048x1536, the GeForce FX 5950 Ultra was faster than the Radeon 9800 Pro by 28% (83 fps vs. 65 fps). However, when 4X AA and 8X AF were applied, the Radeon 9800 Pro edged the GeForce FX 5950 Ultra at resolutions of 1280x1024 and at 1600x1200, but again, not at 2048x1536.

Next Page: Gameplay Testing - Halo Combat Evolved

Last Updated on November 18, 2003


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