Not One Step Back is the first of many missions in Call of Duty: Finest Hour. The player starts on a small boat moving across the water to Stalingrad, which the Germans have taken. The objective is to penetrate the German defenses and begin the assault on Stalingrad.
As the player starts on a boat, the only thing the player can do is look around and watch as the boat approaches the docks. German Stukas will make an occasional run, and some of the boats in the makeshift transport fleet will be destroyed and some of the men on the player's boat die or abandon the boat. Once reaching the docks, the character will automatically leave the boat and begin walking in the line of soldiers. The first soldier in line gets a rifle, and the one behind him gets a clip of ammunition. As luck would seem, the player gets the Mosin-Nagant Ammo "weapon" every time. Sergeant Puskov will call the player over and tell the player to follow him. It is recommended to do so closely. Do not worry about what is happening around the character, as long as the player stays close to the Sergeant the character won't be hurt. Eventually, after following him through a war zone, him and the player will enter a factory. It is in this factory that the player will get their first weapon, which the sergeant will point out after one of the soldiers dies after shouting "Die, Nazi devil!". Take it, and begin attacking the German soldiers. After all the Germans are dead enter the refinery and when looking out the window the player will see retreating Germans running past. Pick them off with the rifle (there are a few who will stop and shoot at the player, so it is important to kill these men first). Soon after, Russian reinforcements will arrive. Sgt. Puskov will then blow up a wall so the player can advance. When getting to the other side the player will see a large group of soldiers with a Commissar who is giving them a speech. After he finishes he and all the soldiers charge straight into the enemy machine gun emplacements. Sgt. Puskov then informs the character that there is a better way in, and the player then has to follow him. He leads the character over a railway line and around the back of the building. There are a couple of Germans around the back - kill them and move in. Once the player is inside, shoot all the Nazis and continue into the back room. Sgt. Puskov will say that he is impressed that the character is still alive and then the level will end.
At any point in the level, if the player moves backwards, a fellow Russian will shoot you.
This level is an upgraded version of the first Russian level of Call of Duty, with enhanced effects and a larger map.
The title of the level is a reference to the main line of Order No. 227, a grand order issued by Stalin on 28 July 1942 that prohibited the mass retreat/desertion of Soviet forces on pain of death.
There are multiple references to Enemy at the Gates at the beginning of this mission. Most noticeably is when the player is going toward the shore through wrecked ships, the suicide charge at the machine guns, the Commissar shooting soldiers as they jump off the boat, the terrain leading up to the city is even the same, and handing out a weapon, then ammo.
Even if Puskov takes cover when the charge is set his health drops.
There is no one with Puskov and Sokolov, but after the mission there will be two more soldiers.
The player cannot pick up a rifle until they are scripted to do so.
After the player takes out the MGs at the end of the level, look closely at the cheering soldiers that are not standing; instead, they will be floating.
Durasov's speech quotes directly from a contemporary article "Kill" by the Soviet journalist Ilya Ehrenburg: "Do not count days, do not count miles, count only the number of Germans you have killed. Kill the Germans - this is the cry of your mother. (...) Kill the Germans - this is the cry of your Russian earth".