Call of Duty: Roads to Victory PSP Review

Thanks to the lack of variety and the occasional glitch, there was definitely a hint of a rushed game when EA’s Medal of Honor was released on the PSP. It was enjoyable enough, but it was still a little disappointing in a series that has offered us such delights as the very first game, as well as Underground and Frontline. Activision’s Call of Duty games are also great, and like MOH before it the series has gone portable. The difference between these two portable World War II titles, is that more effort has definitely been put into one of them, which makes for a more complete game.

Make no mistake about it this sticks more closely to its series than Medal of Honor stuck to its own on PSP, and as the Call of Duty name is normally a seal of quality, this is obviously a very good thing, and indeed, Roads to Victory is also a very good game that does a lot of things right for a portable FPS.

Like the previous games, Roads to Victory draws upon more than America’s World War II history, instead acknowledging the fact that other allied nations were also involved in the global conflict. The game is set during the Normandy Breakout, and you’ll be taking control and fighting the battles of individual soldiers from The 82nd Airborne Division (naturally the US get the lions share of the missions), the Canadian First Army, and the Elite British Parachute Regiment.

More importantly the game works pretty well for a FPS game on the PSP. By default an aim assist option is turned on, although thankfully it can be turned off, as it does make things that little bit too easy for those of us who prefer to do all the work ourselves. As for the controls, out of the four schemes on offer you’ll more than likely find one that will sit comfortable with you, even if you don’t bond with one from the get-go. We opted for Set B, which we found to be the most functional and the one that we felt would contribute mostly to us helping to win the war. Movement is achieved with the nub, whilst strafing is easily brought into action by combining the nub and the L button, R is used to look down the sights of your gun, whilst stance and weapon changes are meanwhile handled with the d-buttons, and finally firing, reloading, tossing grenades, and interacting are conveniently mapped to the face buttons. That’s just our pick out of the four schemes of course, but be rest assured, this is as good as it gets for FPS controls on the PSP.

Fortunately there’s a lot more variety in the missions themselves when compared to EA’s portable shooter. The missions will obviously be familiar to anyone who has ever played a FPS, which means clearing hostiles out of buildings, blowing things up, protecting friendly’s and more. This is most definitely a complete entry in the series opposed to a half baked one. Simply put, this is Call of Duty, just on a smaller screen.

Having said that compromises other than the controls have had to be made. There’s nowhere near the amount of action going on in the game, although things are still intense and there’s still a lot of screen shaking and explosions going on around you. Like we said before, it’s still unmistakeably a Call of Duty game, and much like any other World War II FPS for that matter.

The AI is one of the games biggest problems. We can put up with dumb enemy cannon fodder most of the time, although being pushed into the path of enemy gunfire by our own comrades is inexcusable, and the cause of quite a few of our own deaths. Whilst these same soldiers also run in front of your sights as you are trying to line a precision shot up. It can get pretty frustrating at times, and you’ll wish you were fighting this war alone, if only it meant for an easier life.

The game is pretty short, although if you’re a perfectionist you’ll want to aim for all the gold medals, and unlock all the historic material. For everyone else, a saving grace comes in the form of an ad-hoc multiplayer mode for up to six players. Well it’s a saving grace if you know others with PSP’s and copies of the game, as Game Sharing isn’t supported. Multiplayer is also rather standard stuff if you are looking for something a little bit out of the ordinary.

Call of Duty: Roads to Victory is most probably as good as the series is going to get on a handheld system. It was hardly going to be as great as ordinary Call of Duty, although full credit must go to the development team for getting all the important elements in there and making the controls functional without being frustrating.