Call of Duty 2 is one of the most anticipated games of 2005, and it doesn?t disappoint. Building upon the already huge Call of Duty franchise with a new engine, great looking new graphics and new AI, the game is set to be one of the best games of the year.
Call of Duty 2 is set in WW2 and allows you to play through previously unseen battles from 1941 through 1944. You can play as the Russians, the British or the American forces. Developed by Infinity Ward, COD 2 builds upon the original game and adds an even more cinematic feel, which makes you feel like you?re taking part in a war movie, if not the actual war itself.
Call of Duty 2 plays almost exactly the same way as the previous game, with a few new additions. Firstly, the graphics engine has been completely revamped, allowing for some extremely good looking textures and models, rivaling most of the new games on the market. The AI has also been greatly revamped, and although there are a lot of parts in the game that are obviously scripted, the enemy soldiers move around in their own ways using tactics like flanking and throwing grenades. The battle chatter system also adds a new feel to the game, with your soldiers calling out information about enemy locations; this helps a lot in the heat of battle.
Apart from the new minor tweaks, there is nothing too new about the gameplay in comparison with the original Call of Duty, although it does have a more arcade feel to it now that grenades are thrown with a separate button. Grenades are also not classed in an extra weapon slot. The health system has also changed. You no longer have a health bar that empties when you take damage and your health is no longer replenished by eating health packs. Instead, your health will regenerate if you take cover, and you'll die by taking a lot of damage in a short amount of time. It takes a bit of getting used to, and in theory you?ll think it might spoil the game; but you'll learn to love it as you play through some of the extremely tough missions later on.
The graphics in Call of Duty 2 are some of the best out there. Providing you have a super computer and can run it maxed out. To be honest, the graphics don't look too bad even on lower settings, and the game comes bundled with a few neat options allowing older machines to run it with some of the new features disabled. This can be done by forcing DirectX 7. This will remove a lot of the high tech new features that make Call of Duty 2 look extremely realistic, but will greatly improve the frame rate of the game. DirectX 9 contains a lot of new features, like bump mapping, which makes objects and characters look more realistic than any game I?ve seen to date. However, it is very demanding on the system, and even with a rather good PC you'll probably have to put up with only 30 frames per second as you play through single player. There are plenty of screenshots out there showing off the graphics, so they don't need too much explaining. They are greatly improved in comparison with the previous games.
The sound is one department where Call of Duty 2 can't be beaten. COD 2 has some of the most realistic World War 2 weapon sounds I?ve heard thus far. The emotional music and the battle chatter system adds a whole new dimension to the game. There are literally hundreds of different things each of the characters shout, and they all help immensely as you play through the game. COD 2 also includes some extremely realistic footstep sounds over different textures and ground types that can instantly be recognized, such as muddy puddles, or snow.
Play Time / Replayability
Call of Duty 2 should take you about ten to fifteen hours to finish on Veteran mode. I wouldn't like to estimate the time on Easy mode, although it will probably be between to six to eight hours. You've really got to play it on Veteran to get the real feel for the game; but having said that, the game is ridiculously hard on Veteran and you'll sometimes spend hours stuck at the same checkpoint. If you want the game to be challenging, but fun and not frustrating, you should play it through on the second difficulty, or maybe a bit higher. Easy is ok for new players, but it makes the game play less realistic.
There is a slight problem with Veteran mode. It's all well and good to be a hardcore gamer and want to prove something to yourself by finishing it on Veteran, but take it from me, it's probably not worth the frustration you'll go through on some of the harder missions, in particular the later American missions, especially 'Silotown,' which had me stuck for a good two or three hours with no chance to do anything because of the amazing accuracy the enemy soldiers have.
The game contains a great multiplayer mode that plays very much like Counter Strike. If you've played Call of Duty 1 you'll notice a big difference with this multiplayer. It plays more or less the same as the previous game, however weapon recoil has been reduced greatly, and all guns do more damage. With rifles you'll pretty much kill in one shot, and it'll only take you three to five shots with an auto for a kill. One shot in the head will work with any weapon.
All of the maps are very small too, so the rounds are over pretty fast. The multiplayer is extremely fun in my opinion and is way better than CoD and UO, although there are a few problems. Infinity Ward thought it would be a good idea to ship the game WITHOUT any anti cheat support. And guess what? In less than three days after its release, there are already hundreds of cheaters running around with aimbots ruining the game completely. IW really screwed up on this, and in my opinion, they have really let the game down with this oversight. Even with PunkBuster on there are still hacks slipping through. However I'm sure in a few weeks, or more likely a few months, we'll have a patch that includes some anti-cheat support. Once this is sorted out the multiplayer replay value is huge.
Call of Duty 2 is undoubtedly one of the best games of the year. It's by far the greatest WW2 game to date and it will be so for a long time. Single Player is extremely fun and very cinematic, and Multiplayer will be great once they disallow the use of hacks. Definitely a must buy for all WW2 FPS lovers. Just make sure you have a pretty good gaming machine or you won't enjoy it as much as you could.
- Single Player is extremely fun and takes a pretty long time to complete.
- Multiplayer is very addictive, and even new players can jump straight in and not do too badly.
- The sound effects are amazingly well done.
- The graphics are fantastic on a good gaming machine.
- Single Player is almost impossibly hard on Veteran, which can be frustrating
- A lot of the Single Player missions are repetitive, but the contexts are different, so it's not as bad.
Gameplay - 8/10
Not a lot wrong with it.
Graphics - 9/10
They are some of the best graphics out to date on max settings.
Sound - 9/10
The weapon sounds are incredibly realistic.
Play Time - 8/10
The Single Player section of the game will keep you entertained for a good while.
Replayability - 8/10
Single Player WILL get boring once you've done it a few times. The non-linear missions they promised are few and far between, but multiplayer will keep you entertained once the cheats are filtered out.
Overall - 8/10
Great game, great graphics but it's let down by a few factors, such as multiplayer and how demanding the new game engine is on PC's.
Call of Duty 2ESRB:
Platform: PC Games