I have to admit that in the overall scheme of FPS games, I tend to not like the nasty monsters jumping out at me. That might seem like a strange comment from someone who played Doom and Doom 2, Quake, Halo, and Half Life 2, but it's the truth. So it was with great pleasure that I found myself playing a historical FPS in which the only guys jumping out at me were Germans. And while the jumping isn't necessarily any less unexpected at times, at least you know that it's not going to be some multi-armed freak of nature (or not) that's going to tear you limb from limb in less time than it takes you to raise your gun.
But what was the game actually like? Great! I played it first on the Hardened difficulty level, and have to say it wasn't all that bad to go through. A few hairy moments that needed reloading, like when you have to lay the satchel charges on the Panzer II which is driving around the square faster than you can run, but it wasn't impossible. Then played through on Veteran and, because I knew what I had to do in certain places, it was easier in some respects but more difficult in others - like when you're strolling around in the armoured car in Tunisia. That said, the game certainly had at least a certain replayability, and even more when you take it online.
The graphics in this game are execellent. They aren't perhaps pushing the graphics for graphics sake like Crysis seems to be doing, but I thought everything was extremely good on my system. There certainly were moments that you just wanted to stop and look around, but couldn't if you didn't want to be cut in two by some enemy MG.
I also liked the realism of the fact that you can only carry two weapons, but you can switch either one of them for anything that is lying around. I found that I nearly always switched my rifle for something like the Gewehr 43, unless I was using the M1A1 or Garand. I also liked the MP44 wherever I could find it, though the MP40 was much easier to find ammunition for. I thought the implementation of all the weapons was good though, and it was very easy to use the sights when shooting.
I have to admit that I did like the health system. Perhaps it's because I'm always getting the crap shot out of me and running out of health packs. I have to say that while I did get hit a fair bit, I certainly died on more than one occasion and found myself restarting from the closest checkpoint. What I found most refreshing was that I didn't try to spend ages looking for ways of getting healed. I just moved on with the game. For me it made the game flow so much better, and I somehow really got into it more. Maybe I'm just an easy mark that needed the assistance, but it sold me.
Multiplayer is also a lot of fun, especially with how you can follow around other players once you are killed. I'm not sure if this is new to COD2 as I didn't play COD, but it's a nice feature. So is the ability to see how your oponent killed you. You can learn a lot from this. I haven't played online as much as I have the single player game, but it's definitely worth the effort.
Overall this is a great game with very good graphics, a storyline that doesn't feel too much like you're being channelled down one path, and a very intense playing experience. Definitely worth the money.