The sounds and fury of real live WWII combat, right in your living room. That’s what the creators of Call of Duty- Finest Hour were after when they put together this gritty and brutally realistic videogame based on the second war to end all wars.

Using military experts to advise, and taping real-life weapons and other military and combat sounds, this game is about as close as one can get to WWII combat without getting shot full of real holes that bleed. Fighting through 24 separate missions in three different theaters- Stalingrad, North Africa, and the drive to Berlin- taking on the role of a Russian peon, a British commando and an African-American tank commander, players inflict all out damage on the Nazi war machine.

The game play is frenetic, chaotic, ultra-fast cinema-grade warfare. The sounds of bullets wizzing past or rattling of ones’ defensive armor, the clanking of tank treads and grenade pins bouncing off the floor, the voices shouting and screaming all lend a tension that’s lacking in other, more sci-fi oriented FPS games. Created by Infinity Ward (with over 20 people who helped put together the classic Medal of Honor- Allied Assault), developed by Spark Unlimited, and produced by Activision, this is an epic war game, winning “Editors’ Choice” awards from PC Gamer magazine, scoring 93 out of a 100, and IGN.com gave it a rating of 9.3.

The single player mode is brilliant, offering hours upon hours of rough and tumble face to face urban warfare, but the online play leaves something to be desired. While the graphics are still amazing, and the weapons all work fine, the maps are too small, the game play is just a bit too slow, and the voice communication doesn’t seem to work very well. It’s also a bit irritating to go through a major portion of a single-player level only to get blown away by some stray round or missed enemy. If it’s a difficult obstacle you may find yourself killing the same AI troopers over and over again before you finally get past the obstruction and move on to new game play. This left me wishing for a save feature. But these are minor irritants that shouldn’t keep you away from this game, because all in all this is a great game, well worth the $49.99 asking price. Rated T for Teen because of all the blood and violence, this game isn’t for the faint of heart or bullet shy, nor for the pacifist stoner, but for those who love to engage in wonton violence of the cyber-sort, blowing away AI opponents and going online to kill other computer gamers’ avitars as they try to kill you in all out war, this is a addition for the game collection you do not want to miss.

Reviewed by Preston Peet