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I have decided to give my general grading for each game their own in-depth reviews, to explain why I feel the way I do about these particular titles. We will start at the beginning, the 2003 title that started it all.
Simply put, as first impressions go, they couldn't have done it any better. The American, British and Soviet campaigns are equally well-constructed, and still have incredible replay value. Obviously, as this initial game was a port of the Quake III Arena engine, this is part of the reason for the healthpack-based system in this game. But it works quite well, and isn't really that much different in difficulty compared to the later games. The environments are beautiful and detailed, the various effects are quite impressive, even today, the weapons handle well, and the musical score (a pre-fame Michael Giacchino) and the acting is superb. There is also quite a pleasant surprise in the appearance of Jason Statham as Sgt. Evans, certainly impressive given that he wasn't yet a household name, though he did already have the first Transporter film under his belt by this point. In addition, the humorous asides help bring levity to tense situations, especially in the famous end credits statement of "No cows were harmed in the making of this game."
This game is still a must-have for any FPS fan's collection, and is a lovely five-finger warm-up for the symphonies to follow.