First-Person Shooter Release Date:
November 17, 2005Written by:
Throw away your copies of Medal of Honor and Brothers in Arms because the greatest World War II game ever has arrived! Call of Duty 2 hits the Xbox 360 and PC with a blitzkrieg that every gamer will want to experience. A follow up to 2003s hit PC shooter; Call of Duty 2 lets gamers enter the intensity and velocity that was World War II. It’s not question, Call of Duty 2 puts every other WWII shooter to shame.
Like the original Call of Duty, you’ll once again play as a solider of the Big 3 or for all you people who lack history knowledge, the Soviet Union, Great Britain and the United States. Sorry for all you other Allied countries like France, China and Canada. You’ll begin the game as Vasil Koslov as a private in the Red Army, then move on to fight along side the British as both John Davis and David Welsh. The game ends with you taking the roll of Bill Taylor in the U.S Army. Through these 3 campaigns, gamers will experience World War II on 3 different fronts.
Call of Duty 2 plays just like its predecessor. Players can shoot, jump, duck, precision aim and throw grenades. What’s new to Call of Duty 2 is the context sensitive buttons. The A button is normally used to jump, but it you approach a wall or other obstacles, a command will pop up at the bottom of the screen. If you hit the A button, you’ll leap over the obstacle. The X button is used to reload and to perform other context sensitive actions such as picking up guns, placing bombs, etc. Players can hold 2 guns, 4 frag grenades and 4 smoke grenades.
Smoke grenades play a big part of Call of Duty 2 and you’ll be using them more than you think. Smoke grenades obviously let off a huge cloud of smoke. In this smoke, the player can hardly be seen and likewise, you can hardly see anything. This is useful for when the enemy is raining down gunfire on you and you need a way to charge at them without getting shot. The smoke can conceal your location and the Germans will stop firing on you. In the smoke, you can only see the outline of objects very close to you. You might suddenly see someone running through the smoke at you, but you won’t know if it’s friend or foe. However, the smoke does clear so if you stay in it too long, you’ll be cut down. Often when the smoke clears, you’ll be surprised how close you have gotten to the enemy and a large up-close gunfight may commence.
Call of Duty 2 incorporates a new health system. Instead of picking up health packs to refill your health bar, you actually have no visible health bar. Once you’re hit, your character will pant and red splotches will surround your line of sight and things will get blurry. The biggest the damage, the more blurry things become. To regain your health, you’ll simply need to get out of gunfire and wait a few seconds for it to regenerate. This may seem to make the game easy, but you’ll die pretty fast. You hardly have any health at all and just getting shot once could be critical. Take cover!
The AI is much improved in Call of Duty 2. Where as Call of Duty took a heavy focus on scripted events, Call of Duty 2 focus less so and more on enemy and ally intelligence. You and your team fight as well…a team. They’ll cover you and you’ll need to cover them. The Germans fight as a team as well. They’ll flank and take the place of other soldiers when one has fallen. When an enemy is near death, he’ll either try to crawl away or attempt to take you down with him by taking out a pistol and firing a few more last shots. The death of an enemy can cause others to fear and run away. If you snipe out a guy, the person standing next to him may run away and attempt to take you on later.
Graphically, Call of Duty is impressive when compared to current gem standards, but disappointing when it comes to next gem standards. It looks good, but when compared to Perfect Dark Zero, you’ll want more in the graphics department. Where the graphics do impressive are in the gunfire, smoke, and explosion effects. No game does it better. A big disappointment is that none of the environment is destructible or movable like in games like Half-Life 2. It would have really added to the realism of the game.
The sound in Call of Duty 2 is unmatched. The music is your typical war music, but the game really shines in its voice acting and weapon sounds. Weapons sound like their real-life counterpart. The voice acting is so good; it actually feels like these are real people. The game is very loud and gunfire will usually drown out conversations like they should. The only problem I had with the audio is why do the Russians speak English? Shouldn’t they be speaking Russian?
You’ll begin the game in a making shift Soviet training camp outside of the Soviet capital of Moscow. Here is where you’ll learn the basics of the game. Once you’ve finished with your training, the city will be attacked and you’ll be called to defend it. Once you’ve successfully defend Moscow, you’ll be sent off to the bloodiest battle in world history; Stalingrad. In Stalingrad, the Russians will have to fend on the Germany invasion in an urban street warfare. The typical pattern in Stalingrad is that you’ll be fighting in the streets, then proceed into a large building which you’ll clear out, then either defend it or move onto the next street. The greatest part of the Russian campaign is the large infantry charges. You’ll be held in a structure with your allies and usually armed with a sniper rifle. Ahead of you is a wide open plain, where there is little room to take cover. You’ll hear the Germans shout of their battle cries and a huge amount will begin to charge on your position. From the “safety” of the building you’ll need to pick off the oncoming German soldiers and prevent them from getting too close. Once the Germans retreat, it’s your turn to charge. You and your men will storm out the building and attack a German outpost. These are some of the best moment in Call of Duty 2.
Once the Russian campaign is over, you’ll move on to the British campaign in North Africa, which is the longest and most varied. You’ll start the campaign in open desert with trenches here and there. Near the end of the campaign, you’ll be fighting for major cities in Egypt. The city sizes you fight in gradually get bigger. At first, you’ll only encounter a town consisting of only a few houses. In one of the missions, you’ll be tasked with the defense of a small village. You’ll be shooting down Germans in the trenches, then begin using artillery guns on them, and then finally you’ll be calling in artillery. While standing on top a roof, you’ll navigate the surrounding desert for German troops. They’ll come at you in the masses and be back up with tanks. With the simple press of a button, you’ll launch a target market in the location of where you binoculars are pointing. In a few seconds, artillery will barrage the area, destroying all troops and tanks in its vicinity. The British seem to rely heavily on tanks. You’ll often be saved by friendly tanks during the campaign. You’ll even get to drive one.
Two missions in the British campaign have you driving a tank. Tanks controls were frustrating in Finest Hour, but thankfully, they’re much better in Call of Duty 2. The two tanks missions will have you fighting against the Africa Corps Panzer division. You’ll begin in a small town fighting only infantry. They can’t harm you since you’re in a tank and your gun turret will mow them down. Then the real battle will begin. You and about 20 other allied tanks will glide across the desert and meet battle with the Panzer division. They’re sitting upon a hill meaning they’ll be taking shots at you first. As you move closer, rockets will begin to fly by you and puffs of sands will bust up in front of you. Once you’re close enough, it’s all out hell. Rockets will be bursting and tanks will be exploding. It’s all out chaos! Sadly, the tank missions aren’t that long and they only make up two mission of the game.
It’s time to go on the offensive against Germany in the American campaign. This campaign is certainly the most explosive and visually pleasing. The campaign begins on D-Day with the invasion of Normandy. Instead of fighting on Omaha Beach like most WWII games, you’ll be landing at Pointe due Hoc, a smaller battle of the Normandy invasion. The boats open up and gunfire will rain down upon you and your allies. After being knocked to the ground and watch helplessly as your men die, a solider will pick you up and then it’s off to climb the cliff. Once over the cliff, it’s trench warfare. You’ll either need to navigate through the German bunkers or go over the top into no mans land and risk being cut down by machine gun fire. Once the coast is cleared, you’ll be doing a lot of house-to-house fighting in small farm towns. The missions here usually have you clearing out different houses to secure the town. The siege of a hill is probably the most intense battle of the game. You’ll be must fight you way up the hill and then defend it. Artillery will fall down on you like no tomorrow. At the point, you’ll be talking to your friend and then suddenly a mortar blows him away and your character goes into shock. Sadly, the American campaign is very short and the ending isn’t very satisfying.
Call of Duty 2 has some multiplayer option like Deathmatch, team Deathmatch, capture the flag and radio capture. Sadly, only 8 people can play on Xbox Live which is low compared to other games. Luckily, PC gamers can get up to 50. 16 players are achievable on the 360 with a system link.
As good as Call of Duty 2 is, there are some drawbacks. For one, the graphics are just ok like I mentioned above. Enemies are really cheap when it comes to grenades. They have near perfect grenade throwing aim. Almost every grenade will land next to you even if the enemy is behind cover. If he can’t see you, then how come then can throw the grenade exactly where you are? Sometimes, the grenade indicator, which is suppose to tell you if you’re at risk of being hit by a grenade, doesn’t show up and since grenades almost always kill you instantly, it becomes a problem. I wish the game included some other major battles like the Battle of the Bulge and the Battle of Berlin. The game is also pretty short. Finally, your teammates can block your away and they’ll sometimes walk into fire, killing them and starting the mission from the last save point because you can’t kill your own teammates.
Call of Duty 2 is not only the best WWII game ever, it’s the best Xbox 360 game. Don’t even bother looking at Perfect Dark Zero if you don’t own this yet. It’s nearly everything you want out of a great shooter. With intense action and lots of replay ability, this is a game no one should miss. Pros:
Tight controls, intense action, great audio, amazing battles, lots of enemies, plenty of guns to use, lots of reply ability with 4 difficulty levels Cons:
Weak Xbox Live play with only 8 players, a bit too short, should have included other major battles, the Russians speak English, grenade deaths become extremely annoying 9.6/
Spread The Word...