Written on: 25/01/2007 by rudeboymick (16 reviews written)
High system requirements
Enemy AI spawns from nowhere
British and Russian campaigns are too easy
The original Call of Duty wasn't the first world war 2 shooter to come out, in fact there was no shortage of games to choose from in this genre, but still it managed to stand out. The feeling that you were just one part of a huge war was what made it so successful. The other world war 2 shooters didn't feel as real as COD. It was hard to believe that an individual could kill so many Nazis and complete the objectives on his own. In COD, you felt like part of a team, and every objective met felt like an accomplishment for that team.
Call of Duty 2 retains this feeling of teamwork; you are consistently surrounded by dozens of team mates, and placed in the centre of huge firefights between allied and axis troops. The developers have kept the great gameplay and improved the AI and graphics hugely. The locales and indeed the characters look beautiful.
Large scale battles are commonplace in this game, with dozens of enemies and allies on screen at once. There are few games that can offer the excitement of seeing 25 or 30 Germans charging through the smoke towards you on the battlefield. You get to take part in your fair share of charges too, using smoke grenades to your advantage.
The enemy are challenging; they will advance on your position, flush you out from behind cover with grenades and when shot, they will react realistically. Sometimes an enemy will limp away to find cover, or if his weapon has been dropped and he is laying on the ground dying, he will draw his pistol and take pot-shots at you. This makes for exciting gameplay, as enemies that are down aren't necessarily out for the count. You have to carefully check the corpses of fallen enemies to ensure they aren't drawing their sidearm or crawling away.
In some ways, though, the AI spoils the game. It knows too well the advantages of using grenades, and with what appears to be an inexhaustible supply of the things, enemies will consistently sit behind cover and bombard you with grenades for what seems like an eternity. All you can do is sit tight behind a wall until they start shooting at you again. The gameplay can be broken up by these extended periods of grenade use, and it detracts from the fun somewhat. Storming a building can be frustrating too. Until you actually enter the building, the enemies just seem to re-spawn endlessly. You are forced to storm the buildings rather than sitting back and softening the enemy up with long range fire.
The game borrows heavily from films such as Saving Private Ryan and Enemy at the Gates, going so far as to recreate music that sounds very similar to fans of either of those films. Crawling through pipelines in Moscow is particularly reminiscent of a scene from enemy at the gates.
The Russian and British campaigns are noticeably easier than the American one, and both of them can be completed relatively quickly. The weapons are much the same as in the first game, with a few additions, but this can't be helped in what is quite a true to life game. I don't like the fact that the British can now use the Tommy gun and Garand rifle on multiplayer though.
All in all Call of Duty 2 is still a must have for any FPS fan. The steep system requirements are worth the playing experience that the game provides, and while I wouldn't have bought the game for it's release price, you can now pick up a copy for under a tenner on ebay. If you are a WW2 shooter fan, and you enjoy visceral gameplay and large scale battles then this is definitely a game to look for.
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