As one of the earliest games released on the Xbox 360, Call of Duty 2 set a bar reasonably high for first-person shooters (FPS) and on top of that it takes place during World War II. Call of Duty being one of the largest franchises out today, this is the game where it all started on consoles. Developers Infinity Ward though managed to provide a game with a fluid and exhilarating experience on consoles.
The campaign for this game is split up between the point of view of soldiers from the three forces that were allied against the German military. You first start out in the Russian military to fight off the invading Germans in Stalingrad, then as you move forward in the game you will play as a soldier in the British and U.S. military. A World War II game wouldn’t be complete without a D-Day mission, and there is in fact one of those in this game.
Call of Duty 2 has 10 missions to play through, which can take around 12 or so hours to finish if playing on Veteran, the hardest difficulty, and also depending on your skill with FPS games. The way the game is paced also keeps you alert and on your toes. One minute you’ll be on the offensive and the next you’ll be making a defensive position to hold your objective at hand. The game does prove to have some frustrating parts though such as the Hill 400 and D-Day missions, but with patience and taking cover you can get through it. The missions themselves also take place in what were real world events from the war, which can add a realistic element to it, rather than just playing made up scenarios.
Your ally’s AI in the game though can be hit and miss. They do help in taking down enemies, but it’s your job to move up and advance since they won’t do that for you. Although you can’t just sit back and take out enemies until it’s all clear either as German troops will keep respawning. Your allies do a good job for the most part at keeping up with you and clearing out the objective so it’s not just you having to do all the work, which can be daunting while playing on Veteran. At times though the enemy AI can be a little too annoying as they seem to lock on to only you and pay no attention to your ally teammates. Even throwing up smoke grenades, which can help, still proves to not phase them as they can still get a kill on you through the smoke. When you die though, which will happen a lot on Veteran, the game does a good job at reloading quickly and getting you back into action.
In the graphics department, Call of Duty 2 does look good, especially when you take into the fact that it’s a nine year old game and a Xbox 360 launch title. By today’s standards it is obviously not up to par, but you can’t really compare it fairly. This was one of the better looking titles that were available at launch and the series has only gotten “prettier” over time. Just about everything in the game including; weapons, set locations and the uniforms are nicely detailed. A great amount of detail was put into the levels as well. The sound in the game is top-notch. Everything from the in-game score to the sound effects of explosions or the bullets whizzing by your ears sounds great. The voice acting is also very good and hearing the yelling and screaming of your squadmates during fights can be heard easily. If you’re playing and using surround sound, well you’re in for a treat.
Call of Duty 2 is a great game for it’s time and even to this day. The World War II story and theme might be a little played out for some, but for me it’s one of my favorites. There isn’t a whole lot of new innovation that is brought forth with this game, but the aspects of a FPS shooter are nailed down. It offers a well rounded campaign that you can put some hours into, superb sound design and gameplay, along with challenging enough AI to make this a great experience in playing.
- Nice sense of immersion into the game
- Detailed levels and weapons
- Level variety keeps things interesting
- Frustratingly hard at times
- Enemy and Friendly AI can be wonky