The first thing I should mention before getting to far into
this review,is that I’m one of those keyboard/mouse snobs who usually can’t
stand to play FPS games on consoles.
I’ve never been a huge fan of the console control as it lacks the
precision that a keyboard/mouse solution provides. So it was with a bit of trepidation that I
approached Call of Duty 2. Having played a bit of the PC version at a
LAN party a few weeks before the 360 launch and having tested out the playable
demo at Best Buy a few times I knew roughly what I was getting into. While my first impressions were positive they
weren’t nearly as positive as the experience I had when I actually played
through the entire game.
Like every other WWII shooter on the market, Call of Duty 2 has you playing through
several different major campaigns of WWII.
This time around you will slog your way through Russian, North African,
and Western Europe. You start out in the excellent Russian
campaign and then head to North Africa for the British missions and then wrap
up with some American/British missions in Western Europe. The missions themselves are well structured
as you’ll be doing everything from patching up communication lines to taking
out squadrons of Panzers in the African desert.
For he most of the game you’ll be on foot but there are a couple of fun
vehicle based missions (including a romp in a armored car that’s a bit
reminiscent of the insanely fun jeep sequence from the first Call of Duty game).
The great part of the missions is that they are presented in
a very cinematic manner that you really feel like you are playing a movie. This is done through the excellent graphics
in the game and the amazing score as well as the excellent environments the
developers have created. The developers
at Infinity Ward did a great job of adding dramatic music through out the game
in the right places to enhance the game play.
Early on in the game you are charged with repulsing a large German
rush. As they attack the music swells
then changes over to a victory song when you beat them back. It’s a great moment especially when you
factor in the huge yell that the Germans give when they rush. If you’ve got a good 5.1 surround stereo
setup you’re in for a real treat as the game uses all of the channels to create
an immersive environment.
Weapons in the game sounds like you would expect, from the
high speed MG82 to the various rifles and machine guns everything sounds pitch
perfect. The voice acting in the game is
also solid and your squad mates will provide you with valuable information
about where enemies are shooting you from and what your next objective is. There’s even a bit of humor interspersed
throughout the game.
You can’t have an immersive environment without good AI and
the AI in Call of Duty 2 is
solid. The Nazi’s will actually react in
an intelligent manner to your attempts to kill them for the most part and they
use the cover in the game well. They
will also run away from thrown grenades and try to flank you if you’re not
careful They occasionally do some stupid
things like run right at you but that’s more the exception rather than the
rule. Your squad AI is also solid but
they do tend to run right into your line of fire on occasion but they do make
for good meat shields against enemy hordes and they do tend to take out their share
of Germans if you give them enough time.
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