Call of Duty: Finest Hour is a historic first-person shooter that takes place during World War II. Call of Duty: Finest Hour was released on November 16, 2004 from Activision and Spark Unlimited for the PlayStation 2, GameCube, and the Xbox.
Call of Duty: Finest Hour starts out in Russia in the Red Army as Aleksandr Sokolov who is sent to the city of Stalingrad and soon meets a hard willed sniper named Tanya Pavelovna. Aleksandr is given a task by Tanya to take the bunker at the top of the hill. After seeing his skill, Tanya allocates Aleksandr as her spotter. Soon the player becomes Tanya and the two hold up a German advance, before being told about a factory holding a lone T-34 tank and its crew in need of help. However, the path is blocked, and the two must make it through a dark sewer along with some other comrades. They finally reach the factory, and have to defend it off for 10 minutes (real time) before the tank is ready to leave. They then meet the tank's crew, and join them as they push further into Stalingrad.
The tank crew is led by Nikolai Badanov, who the player next assumes the role of. After driving through the ruins of Stalingrad, the tank starts to break down, giving off smoke and their position to the enemy. A wave of Nazis then appear, and Nikolai must protect the tank as it is being repaired. Tanya (who is sniping at the time) is targeted, and supposedly hit by a German panzer, making the crew believe she might be dead. The tank is repaired and the crew must drive and fight through the battle damaged Stalingrad. Nikolai then stops at a Soviet base of operation where he gets ordered to deliver a radio to forward observers for the artillery because their radio had been damaged, and the Commissar wasn't receiving co-ordinates of the German tank column to be destroyed with Katushya rocket. After fighting through the war torn streets Nikolai arrives at the train station where the objective is. The tank crew must climb out and fight through the station to deliver the radio.
Soon after Nikolai and his crew are involved in the Soviet assault on a German airfield which was code-named Operation Little Saturn. After fighting through the heavy defenses, Nikolai and other A-20s proceed to the German airstrip to destroy the remaining German planes and troop transports planes heading towards Stalingrad. Once the airfield has been destroyed they meet up with more Soviets to assault the command center. After breaking in, Nikolai and his men find official German intelligence documents and hurry to deliver the information to their superiors.
Then the British campaign starts as a PPA Commando named Edward Carlyle fights in a night-time raid in North Africa to destroy a German fuel depot, a Communications outlet, and a generator powering the German base. The team is led by Sgt. Bob Starkey. After the fuel depot is finally destroyed Sergeant Starkey and Carlyle take part in a fortress assault that could break the German chokehold on North African territory. The British soldiers have to take take a dangerous jeep journey while Carlyle mans the 50 cal. machine gun. After evading their German pursuers the duo is thrown from their jeep and into the fortress raid by an explosion. Carlyle and Starkey split up in an effort to break the German's defenses and rescue the objective Sgt. James Dehart. They rescue Sergeant Dehart, who tells Carlyle that the Cartographer (a mapmaker) is being held prisoner in an underground tunnel. After rescuing the Cartographer they meet up with Starkey and escape through the tunnels.
The American missions the player's control Chuck Walker, who has been fighting in the Big Red One 1st Infantry Division through North Africa, Sicily, and the beaches of Normandy. The first three missions concentrate on the capture of Aachen following Sergeant Walker, Corporal Benny Church, their men, and the tank column they are escorting after the failure of Operation Market Garden. After successfully capturing the antique village Sergeant Walker and Corporal Church are promoted up the ranks.
After the capture of Aachen the story focuses on tank commander Sgt. Sam Rivers who is tasked to support the 87th Infantry and Capture the road through Tillet that the Germans are using to supply their assault on Bastogne. After successfully capturing the village and destroying German supply lines, the player again returns to the promoted Lieutenant Walker. Now Walker's new mission is to infiltrate the German town of Remagen and scout the status of a bridge over the Rhine that could allow soldiers and tanks plow right into Germany. Soon Lt.Walker links up up with Sgt. Rivers and his column. Walker and his men protect River's tanks and escort them through dense German defense to the bridge. After reaching the bridge a huge hole that had been detonated in the ground prevents the tanks from moving on which means Walker and his squad must capture the bridge alone before the desperate German soldiers demolish it. After crossing the misty bridge and fighting his way up the guard towers, Walker mans an anti-aircraft gun on atop one of the towers to fend off attacking Stuka planes. The triumphant Americans hang the America flag over the Nazi flag and wave the tank column into Germany.
The game ends here.
Call of Duty: Finest Hour's multiplayer is available on the PlayStation 2 and Xbox for online play and system connect only, leaving out local splitscreen. The GameCube has no multiplayer. Call of Duty: Finest Hour system link is able to have up to 32 players as well with 16 players per session. For a list of all available game modes, see Game Modes.
Although the Xbox service is no longer available due to the offline Xbox Live servers, the PlayStation 2 servers are still online as of early-to-mid-2013, and still has a few active matches being played at any one time.
- The entire Russian campaign has overtones from the 2001 movie Enemy at the Gates, including scenes such as the boat landing, machine-gun charge, and defense of a tractor factory. Some characters, such as Tanya Pavelovna, even share their name with movie characters.
- It features the lead singer of AC/DC, Brian Johnson, in one of the main roles. He said he based his character's voice on his father, a sergeant-major.
- The game was originally going to have a sequel, Call of Duty: Combined Forces, but the idea was rejected by Activision after Spark Unlimited spent eight million dollars to make Finest Hour but was only given a budget of two million dollars. It is also known that during the development of 6 single-player campaign missions were given by Activision for development to third-party employees; and to justify the delay in release of the game, the publisher decided to add multiplayer mode, which was not planned in contractual obligations.