Review

Call of Duty 2 Review (PC)

It seems as though we have been at war in WWII games for longer than the real war. When the first Call of Duty came on the market, it was one of the best WWII FPS games in a category that was already overflowing with games. It had a great single player campaign, gritty and hectic combat, amazing sound effects and a very enjoyable multiplayer. If you were a fan of the original game, you will be pleased to know that Acitvision has brought all of those aspects to COD2. Any Call of Duty addict will easily become very addicted to COD2, and hopefully the new girlfriend will be more understanding of that addiction.

I have him in my sights
Such a nice day in the country side

The game is set in the world during World War II, just like the first game. And just like the original, you will be placed in the combat boots of different individual soldiers fighting for the various allied armies, those being the British, American and Soviet armies. You will play through various missions for each of the armies following the path of the war as it swept across Europe. You get to start off as a lowly private in the Soviet army, fighting off the Germans in Stalingrad and Moscow. After completing the first mission, you will unlock the first British mission where you get to fight in the harsh North African Dessert. After fighting your way through the countryside of Caen, France you will get to move onto the American campaign. You will become a corporal in the US Army climbing up the cliff faces of the Pointe du Hoc as bullets stream by. That gave me such a rush that I had to take a break from the game in order to calm down a bit.

The game allows you to select the difficulty level for each of the 10 missions if you get to a part where you can not beat at the difficulty level you are at. For me, playing at regular difficulty, I found it quite easy to breeze through most of the missions. It could easily be finish in less than 10 hours at the regular setting and probably 6 or less if you want to wuss out on easy. As you up the difficulty passed regular you will find that the game gets significantly harder. You will really have to slow your pace down by peaking around every corner instead of just running in. This makes the game much more enjoyable if you want a challenge and to extend your purchase well passed the 10 hours.

After you have jumped into your first mission, you will quickly notice that the game plays very similar to the original. You will normally have a squad leader giving you instructions as to what you are supposed to do during different point in a particular mission. You will also be joined by a squad of NPCs. In the original, I found that they were only good for helping you find out where enemy positions were by getting killed beside you. In COD2, I noticed that they would actually help me kill the Germans quite a bit. As long as I was actively fighting my way through the mission, they would take out quite a few enemies along side of me instead of just being bullet magnets. This added a lot to the realism of the game for me, since most games do not script their NPCs very well in those situations. Another thing you will notice from the original is that you can only have 2 weapons at a time, which was a great idea in my opinion. Having an endless arsenal on your back is just unrealistic. While the COD series only allows you the 2 weapons, you can still drop and pick up any new or different weapon that was on one of your squad mates or enemies. Which allows you to equip your self for a good number of situations? My favorite combination is the PPS machine gun for the up close fighting in the Soviet missions with a KAR98 German rifle to pick off the pesky enemies from a distance if needed.

The programmers were able to fix one problem that has always bothered me in games similar to this one. That is the endless streaming of enemies unlit you pass a specific point on the map. In COD2, the enemies will eventually stop spawning after you have killed enough of them. This makes the game way more fun to play, because you can concentrate on killing instead of just advancing far enough to stop the spawning.

Clearing out the bunkers
Ouch that hurts

Ahhh yes, the gameplay. How can I put this? Extremely intense! No matter what mission or campaign you are in, you will have your heart pounding and your eyes glued to the screen. The enemies have quite deadly accuracy if you give them a target to shoot at and if you are in the open, even if it behind an enemy, they will turn directly at you and open fire. With no health packs in the game, you can find yourself in some pretty hairy situations that get the adrenaline flowing. In one of the Soviet missions you are crawling through a pipe (like in the movie Enemy at the Gates) with a few comrades when all of a sudden the pipe is rattled with bullets and your comrades are no more. Scared the living hell out of me so bad that I screamed out loud. The enormous amount of “potato-mashers” that are thrown at your, the streams of MG-42 bullets and the yelling of orders from both sides will keep you glued to the edge of your seat just like any good WWII movie fire fight scene.

I mentioned that there is no health packs in COD2, just like the original did not have any. Instead, if you get behind cover you will regenerate health even if you were just shot point blank in the chest a few times. This has its good and bad about it. It keeps the game moving along instead of always looking for health packs when you are low on health, which is a real good thing. The bad thing is that, you are almost invincible. As long as you employ the tactic of being near something that you can hide behind, you will almost never die in the game. Which to me did not give me the same sense of impending death by the next bullet that hits me, instead it just made it feel like I could never die. But with being invincible, it allows you to do things in the game that you would normally not do, like rush a group of 3-4 Germans. As long as you can kill them, it did not matter how many times you were shot, you could just rest a second and you get to rush another room full of Germans. Even at the higher difficulty setting, as long as you figure out how much damage you can take before dying, you can always fully recover from any firefight as long as you rest.

The only thing you can not do is sit your butt on a grenade; they will kill you if you are too close. I think the Germans actually know that about the game since they chuck tons of grenades at you. You do get a little indicator that pops up on your screen showing you that a grenade is near you and it has a little arrow telling you where the grenade is relative to you, allowing you to run the other way. Your squad mates do not seem to have this little indicator as they die a lot by way of grenade explosions, but not to worry a new squad mate will show up to replace the newly dead one in no time.

Wrong place at the wrong time
Like shooting fish in a barrel

The graphics and sound in Call of Duty were impressive for it’s time but with COD2 the graphics blow the original out of the water. I found myself with a wide open jaw many times as I played through the missions. Even with all the settings turned down, the textures and sounds were so good it felt like I was in a movie theater instead of playing a game. The designer’s attention to detail is amazing and the little things that they add to keep you in character just makes you feel like you are really there. Having bombers flying over head, fighter planes having dog fights above you, the sound of the wheels turning on a tank, the metallic clinks as bullets bounce off metal, and the think black smoke from a smoke grenade. All of this just sucks you into the feeling of being that soldier that you are playing. They even allow you a few brief moments of calm in order to actually take in some of these extras to the game, which is very nice since most games you barely get to enjoy the scenery during the course of battle.

The single player game will fill any needs that a WWII fps fan has, that is where we move into multiplayer mode. The multiplayer component is very similar to the original in all aspects, except the pace of the game. In the original there was a steady pace to all maps and type of multiplayer games. In the new COD2, the pace of the game seems to be ramped up a few notches. This makes for a more visceral multiplayer game with more carnage and fast paced action.

The game comes with 13 maps, including 3 remakes from the original COD. Up to 32 players can play on a server at one time as well as having VOIP chat and 2 weapons that are not available in single player mode. You can play deathmatch, team deathmatch, Capture the flag, search and destroy (where one team has to plant a bomb at one of the other teams two objectives in order to blow it up) and mode called headquarters. In this mode there are two different points on the map designated as capture points for each team. In order to score points a team must control and “setup” headquarters at one of these capture points. Once they have done that, they must defend that headquarters. The longer they can keep the headquarters from being taken, the more points they get. The interesting twist is that if you die while on the defending team, you are not allowed to respawn until your headquarters is taken over by the other team, while the attacking team still gets to respawn. This means that as you defend your headquarters, you have less team mates to help you as they slowly get killed. Always a pain being the last defender alive. Once taken over, the capture points are changed to new locations and it starts all over again. This is a very fun mode to play and is always changing.

The weapons are still very balanced in the normal fashion of WWII fps games. You have your sub-machine guns, your bolt action rifles, semiautomatic rifles, shotgun, assault rifles and your sniper rifles. The grenades are the same as in single player and depending on the weapon you choose, you will get a different amount of grenades. The smoke grenades are very effective in multiplayer and sometimes a little effective with some maps turning into a giant forest fire of smoke. The weapons and damage model is a little higher in multiplayer so you will find that you will die from a lot less bullets than you did when playing single player. All the level seem very balanced for all the weapons but with the slightly faster pace, I found it hard to try and camp any where. The action is always happening and finding a good spot to plop myself was very difficult. That is something that I find refreshing, no more yelling at a team mate because they are just hiding and not helping their team.

How did it really felt?

Russians

Top game moment: Crawling through pipes as a soviet soldier with bullets turning the pipe into swiss cheese.

I would have to say that Call of Duty 2 continues the great game play that the original Call of Duty started. The graphics and sounds are intense, the single player campaign is extremely compelling, the multiplayer is fast paced fun and the overall game play is down right awesome. The only bad feature would be the health regeneration feature in the single player campaign. For any gamer that wants to spend the next few months in World War II, I suggest you get this game. Just make sure you have the machine to run this game in all its glory.

Videos

Comments

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killdrode26
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hangon2
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