Call of Duty: Finest Hour

Call of Duty: Finest Hour is a first-person shooter for the Xbox, PlayStation 2 and GameCube video game consoles. This video game simulates the infantry and combined arms warfare of World War II. It is published by Activision and developed by Spark Unlimited. Although it is based on the original Call of Duty for the PC, it has a completely different storyline. In the spirit of previous Call of Duty games, it features six different perspectives with stories and battles based on real world events from soldiers on each side of the allied campaign (US, British, and Soviet). Call of Duty: Finest Hour was released on November 16, 2004 in North America. It was followed up by a sequel, Call of Duty 2: Big Red One, in 2005.

The game's music was composed by Michael Giacchino who previously worked on the original Call of Duty and the Medal of Honor franchise. AC/DC singer Brian Johnson provides the voice of the British commander.


Call of Duty: Finest Hour has no online multiplayer on the GameCube. On Xbox, Finest Hour is Xbox Live compatible and through system link has a potential of 32 players. Finest Hour is online compatible for PlayStation 2 as well with 16 players per session.

Playable Characters

  • Pvt. Alexsandr Sokolov

Sokolov was a young 20-year-old man whose dream was to learn to be a watchmaker, open his own business someday and maybe start a family. After the German invasion, however, he was conscripted into the Red Army and was assigned to Stalingrad. Instead of getting a rifle, he was issued a Mosin-Nagant clip of five bullets. His superior was Sgt. Oleg Puskov. After fighting through the ruined city, Puskov was killed by a German sniper. Sokolov then met Tanya Pavelovna, a sniper who was also fighting in the city. The next mission is set a month after Alexandr's first days in combat. He is seen with Tanya being her spotter as she snipes out many German infantrymen. After fighting through the sewers of Stalingrad and arriving at a tank factory and valiantly defending it the two go with a tank squad into the heart of the city. When in the city the tank stops for repairs and Alexandr and Tanya go to a high building to scout out any danger. When the tank crew is ambushed a German tank, it fires a shell into the building and Tanya and Alexandr are assumed dead. However further on in the mission Tanya is seen on a stretcher with Alexandr carrying her into the main Russian headquarters. Alexandr's fate after this is unknown, however he is unwounded at the time.

  • Lt. Tanya Pavelovna

Tanya was an ordinary girl whose village was invaded by the Germans when she was 25; a tank round separated her from her family, Tanya assumed that they had been killed by the blast, however she can not be certain. She flees and is taken in by a patrol of Red Army soldiers. In their first skirmish her squad got pinned down by Germans and were slowly being killed. She managed to escape and find a dead comrade's sniper rifle and, using her "father's aim" she cut down her first four Germans. This earned her recognition from the Soviet commanders and she was deemed useful for the situation in Stalingrad. There, she met Alexsandr Sokolov, who became her spotter. Later on in the game, Tanya is thought to have been killed along with Alexsandr by a Panzer IV, which fired at the building they were standing in. However, she was only wounded. She was later seen on a stretcher in General Belov's headquarters, being carried by Alexandr and another soldier.

  • Lt./Maj. Nikolai Badanov

Nikolai was an engineer who left his wife and infant son in the care of his parents to join the Red Army. He was assigned to a tank crew because of his aggressiveness and skill with machinery. Lt. Badanov and his crew drive a T-34 tank through Stalingrad, and aid on the assault of the Tatsinskaya airfield, in Operation Little Saturn. Nikolai was later made a Major for his bravery.

  • Sgt. Edward Carlyle

A British chemistry teacher, Carlyle, joined the British army as a commando and became a part of the PPA (Popski's Private Army). In his commando unit, he was assigned as the demolitions expert for his chemistry background. Carlyle aided his commando team by raiding a German-occupied village called Matmata and defending a British mountaintop fortress.

  • Sgt./Lt. Chuck Walker

Walker is a member of the US First Army, and the First Infantry Division (Big Red One.) Walker took part in the Normandy and Sicily invasions, and fought in North Africa against Rommel. Later, he was assigned to help capture Aachen, the first Major German city to fall to the Allies. Walker takes part in missions to defeat pockets of remaining German resistance. In the months after the capture of Aachen Walker is promoted to Lieutenant for his services during the capture of Aachen. Walker and his squad are then given the mission of capturing the bridge over the Rhine at Remagen. During this mission Sgt. Sam Rivers reappears as the armour support granted to Walker and his men during their assault at Remagen.

  • Sgt. Sam Rivers

Sgt. Sam Rivers is an African American who leads a small tank battalion. Because of the bravery of Rivers and the rest of his crew (who are also African Americans) he was promoted to Sgt. His single mission allows the player to operate an Allied Sherman to help back up the Americans during the German assault on Bastogne. He is later seen in Last Bridge Standing level and talks to Chuck Walker. During the mission he gives them armour support and is seen driving across the newly liberated Remagen bridge.


Eastern Front

Call of Duty: Finest Hour begins with Russian Pvt. Aleksandr Sokolov in Stalingrad, Russia. After fighting his way up a shoreline and through several buildings, Sokolov meets Lt. Tanya Pavelonva, a hard willed sniper. She sends Sokolov on a mission to capture a German bunker atop of a steep hill. After the mission is completed, Sokolov becomes Pavelovna's spotter as the two work to harass the Germans. The game then switches over to Pavelonva. Pavelona then clears out a section of German-occupied sewers and helps defend a tractor factory that has been converted to the role of manufacturing T-34s After successfully defending the factory, a tank crew led by Nikolai Badanov arrives to crew the tank just as a Panzer IV advances on the factory. Atop the T-34, Tanya and Aleksandr escape the apparently doomed factory. The player next assumes the role of Nikolai Badanov. After fighting through pockets of German resistance, Nikolai stops at General Belov's headquarters. He receives orders to deliver a radio to a team of spotters. The spotters' radio had been damaged and the Soviet artillery wasn't receiving coordinates of German armour, which was massing to overrun the headquarters. Nikolai's task is to recapture the ruins of Red Square, arrive at the Stalingrad Train Station (where the spotters were,) break through to the team and deliver the radio. Thanks to Nikolai, the Panzer IV column is destroyed by rockets and General Belov is not captured or killed. Afterwards, Nikolai and his crew are involved in the Russian assault on a German airfield at Tatsinskaya. This attack is codenamed Operation Little Saturn. After fighting through the heavily defended barracks and supply areas, Nikolai and other T-34s proceed to the airstrip to destroy grounded German Messerschmitt Bf-109s, Ju-87 'Stuka' dive-bombers, and Ju-52 transports. Upon destroying the airfield they meet up with more Soviets to assault the German headquarters which is the air traffic control. There is a rocket launcher behind a truck that the player can use to take out the two machine guns. After forcing entry, Nikolai and his men find German intelligence documents, which they deliver to their superiors.

North African Front

The British campaign lets you play as Edward Carlyle. Carlyle embarks on a nighttime raid in Matmata to destroy a German fuel depot. The commando team led by Sgt. Starkey manages to destroy the depot, a radio post and an electricity generator. Sticky bombs and teller mines are used to take out German armor. After the Matmata raid, a jeep picks up Starkey and Carlyle. As they refuel in the desert, a German sentry shoots the machine-gunner. Carlyle takes up the .50 Caliber to riddle Opel Blitz trucks, Ju-87 'Stuka' dive-bombers and German soldiers; a Stuka pilot drops a bomb that separates Starkey and Carlyle. Thrust into the battle for an unnamed Roman fortress, Carlyle destroys the German entrance to stop them from entering and silences the MG42s. He then rescues Sgt. Dehart, who was trapped on the roof of a German strongpoint. After being rescued, Dehart tells Carlyle that the 'Cartographer' is being held prisoner. This cartographer had vital information: he knew a way to outflank Rommel through the desert. Carlyle finishes off the German remnants and rescues the cartographer. A surprised Starkey feigns shock that Carlyle would leave him to defend himself in the fortress, and all have a good laugh.

Western Front

The American missions see the player control Chuck Walker, an American veteran of D-Day, Sicily, and Africa, and Sergeant of the American 1st Infantry Division. The first three missions concentrate on the capture of Aachen. For their meritorious service in Aachen, Walker and his friend Benny Church are promoted. After capturing Aachen, the story shifts focus on M4 Sherman tank commander Sam Rivers, a young Black man who has also been made Sergeant for his commitment and bravery. After successfully helping to fend off Germans in the around Bastogne, the player returns to the now Lieutenant Walker. Walker's new mission is to infiltrate the city of Remagen and scout the status of a bridge that is rumoured to still stand over the Rhine. After finding the bridge, Walker teams up with Sgt. Rivers as he and his men protect River's tank group and escort them to the bridge. Upon reaching the bridge, a huge hole in the ground prevents the tanks from moving on which means Walker and his squad must capture the bridge alone. After crossing, Walker operates a Flakvierling anti-air gun on top of a tower and fends off the counterattacking German Stukas. After rebuffing the aerial threat, Walker hangs the US flag over the tower and waves the tank column into Germany. This game features many of the same weapons as featured in previous Call Of Duty games, however this game has added the M3 Grease Gun, the Russian DPM LMG, a portable M1919A6 Browning .30 caliber LMG, (an unusual model of the M1919,) and a portable version of the mislabeled German MG34. A Sten MK IIS (the silenced version of the Sten MK.II submachine gun) was planned, but was not included in the final game.


Review scores
Publication Score
GameSpot PS2: 6.7 of 10
GCN: 6.6 of 10
Xbox: 6.7 of 10
IGN PS2: 7.3 of 10
GCN: 7.0 of 10
Xbox: 7.3 of 10
GameSpy PS2: 4 of 5
GCN: 4 of 5
Xbox: 4 of 5
X-Play Xbox: 3 of 5
Compilations of multiple reviews
Game Rankings PS2: 77.2% (based on 58 reviews)
GCN: 76.0% (based on 36 reviews)
Xbox: 73.4% (based on 63 reviews)
Metacritic PS2: 76% (based on 49 reviews)
GCN: 74% (based on 31 reviews)
Xbox: 73% (based on 55 reviews)


External links

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