Call of Duty! A video game series that’s never too short of crash, bang and wallops so much so that each and every year it keeps on coming back to haunt us like a pesky sore no cream can fix or an ex-girlfriend you can’t quite shake off your back. We wouldn’t have it any other way though! Recently, however, the announcement that the upcoming Black Ops 4 will be without a single player campaign is sure to leave us a little wanting when October rolls around. So to remember the good times, we thought we’d explore the best missions sprinkled throughout the series.
Obviously with so many jaw-dropping set pieces, knife stabbing narrative twists and war-hardened characters it’s not possible to cover all bases, so we saw it best to narrow it down to a tight top 5 Call of Duty missions. All successful in perfectly capturing the tense mission experiences only Call of Duty is able to deliver.
Vendetta (World at War)
Starting you off in the very welcoming and delightful setting amongst a pile of dead bodies, World at War’s Vendetta acted as the perfect introduction to the kinds of gritty battles that regularly featured throughout WWII as the Western and Eastern world joined forces in an attempt to prevent the Nazi threat. Vendetta see’s you travelling through the aftermath of the brutal battle of Stalingrad in which the Russian Army took an absolute battering, giving you all the more reason to fight back in the hope of one day storming the Reichstag.
Vendetta has all of the merits every excellent Call of Duty mission should have; traversal through a war-torn city, a fairly simple reason for wanting to kill the enemy, not to mention an incredibly tense sniper shootout across the city street that occurs half way through the level, as you continue your attempt to sneak through the Russian city as quietly as possible. Vendetta was our first introduction to Gary Oldman’s Reznov, and by god was it a powerful one.
Turbulence (Modern Warfare 3)
Placing you in the fairly unique role of an FOS agent tasked with the protection of the President of the Russian, there are no top marks available for working out what catastrophic eventuality occurs during the mission “Turbulence” in Modern Warfare: 3. The mission served as a nice call-back to Call of Duty 4’s mission Mile High Club, once again letting you duke it out with terrorists within the confined setting of a plane in which the airplane seats were your best friend.
The entire mission is full of shocking and surprising upsets throughout, with more and more enemies being sucked out by the natural force of air pressure as you slowly mutter to yourself, “Get off my damn plane”. What makes Turbulence so memorable is the sheer darkness of its ending moments, with you slowly realising that you have failed your mission to protect the president and taking a little more than an arrow to the knee to meet your doom.
Vorkuta (Black Ops)
Simply one of the best opening missions to a Call of Duty to date, and it doesn’t even feature the vacuum of space or exo-suits. Vorkuta quickly establishes itself as quite the reverse of what players have come to expect from the series, tasking you to escape from a facility as opposed to infiltrating it. Black Ops’ Vorkuta mission is loud and bombastic, placing you at the heart of a collective energy that truly makes you want to flee from the prison gulag of Vorkuta.
As you make your way through the shadowy tunnels of the underground prison, you eventually emerge only to be greeted by heavy enemy resistance which will require you to use a mine cart for cover, man turret weapons and even star in your own motorcycle chase before witnessing the apparent death of famed Russian war hero Viktor Reznov. Vorkuta is simply the Call of Duty mission that never stops firing on all cylinders, and that’s saying something.
Second Sun (Modern Warfare 2)
Tense, quiet and unnerving, Modern warfare 2’s Second Sun marks a definite high point in Infinity Ward’s bombastic second entry, forgoing the intense battles that come with roaming the suburban streets for a much more quiet and unsettling tone that comes when a EMP blast renders all of your unit’s technology ineffective.
The dialogue between comrades help pull of this niche concept of being cut off from others, along with the lack of gun reticule, dark streets and the lack of knowing who is and isn’t the enemy as you make your way to the Oval office’s underground bunker. Modern Warfare 2 isn’t a game short on memorable moments or missions, however Second Sun acts as a nice change of pace that keeps the sense of danger high despite a lack of explosions.
All Ghillied Up (Modern Warfare)
Those with even a fleeting concept of Call of Duty could have guessed that this gem of a mission would be set to appear on this list, and whilst the competition is strong between All Gillied Up and Modern Warfare’s highly moody AC-130 mission, this flash back to Captain Price’s early days as an SAS infiltrator still remains head and shoulders above all other missions.
Tasked with escaping the outskirts of Chernobyl once their assassination on terrorist leader Imran Zakhaev goes horribly wrong, throughout the mission you and Captain Macmillan will crawl, hide and leg it as far as you can before epically holding off enemy forces in true Black Hawk Down fashion as you await pick up from a friendly chopper. Words cannot describe the awesomeness on All Ghillied Up, I’m gonna go play it right now – so should you!