Call of Duty 2 Xbox 360 Review
It’s amazing that we aren’t tired of World War II games by now, with the amount on the shelves it’s testament to how a little drama, lots of explosions and educating ourselves on the conflict just doesn’t wane. As long as they don’t run out of any battles or new stories to tell, then we’ll remain happy with the genre.
Call of Duty 2 isn’t any old FPS though, it’s the sequel to one of the most critically acclaimed World War II shooters that man has ever seen. When we say that COD wasn’t short of many pats on the back, it just goes to prove that it gave Medal of Honor a good run for its money.
Unlike Ubisoft’s Brothers in Arms, Call of Duty 2 has little to show in the way of originality. In fact the game retreads old ground in the genre, and has few real surprises up its uniform sleeve. We welcome the return of the different scenarios, which sees you take control of a Russian, an American and a British soldier, and it remains refreshing due to all the yank bias seen elsewhere.
Not refreshing for the FPS genre is that of the rechargeable health meter, and COD2 embraces this like a soldier would a loved one after two years of fierce fighting. Don’t expect to find health packs lying around here, instead you’ll discover that taking too much lead will result in bloody vision and heavy breathing then one or two bullets later you‘ll find yourself dead on the deck. In this way, it’s certainly no “run and gun” shooter as it requires ample use of cover, and when the screen becomes curtained in red you just know that it’s a signal to scramble for salvation and not move until your vision and breathing return to normal.
With the highly intense genre that the World War II shooter is, COD2 definitely looks the part. The overall look is bleak and fittingly war torn and some of the graphical effects are truly jaw dropping: the Stalingrad missions for instance have your Russian comrades uniforms (which are stunningly detailed) powdered with snow whilst later missions showcase a soggy effect during a downpour. Then there’s the smoke of course, which looks so brilliantly real that you could almost begin to smell it, and if produced from one of your smoke grenades it aids you a great deal as well.
The game takes place over some of the most pivotal moments of World War II across an ample 27 missions. Playing as three different nationalities throughout Stalingrad, Africa (which includes some tank missions!) and Normandy means that you see a bigger scale of the war opposed to America‘s usual and exclusive perspective. In a nice touch, you are able to play some tasks in the order you see fit, which means that the game doesn’t necessarily have to be a large and linear corridor, although the environments are so frequently huge that it wouldn’t be such a common problem anyway.
What is commonplace these days is an online mode, and those expecting one here will not be disappointed. A little more disappointing is the fact that many problems have been reported about the game whilst being played online, although an update is hopefully being readied to sort things out. As far as options are concerned, there’s the standard Death Match and Capture the Flag modes alongside Headquarters (setup and defend a radio or destroy the oppositions) and Seek and Destroy (blow up targets or defend them). System Link and Split-screen options assures that the game is one for the multiplayer as well as the solo player.
It does everything you’d expect from a game of its type, and does it all very well indeed. Call of Duty 2 is quite simply one of the most immersive and impressive games on the 360 in its infancy, and without question, one of the finest First Person Shooters we have ever played.