Call of Duty 2 – Review PC
There is no doubt that when the original Call of Duty hit the stores back in '03 it made waves in the FPS, War simulation genre. Call of Duty was a huge success and sold bucket loads of copies. It raised the bar in the world of cinematic quality in war games and since then other titles have had to up their standards to align and compete. So, a lot of time has past, Activision are back with Call of Duty 2. Has the wait been worth it?
For those who didn't get to play Call of Duty, we are basically talking about a first person shooter set in WW2. You play through interwoven campaigns which see you as a British, Russian or American soldier fighting against the German army. As I mentioned before the cinematography is what set the original apart from the pack and you find yourself in many heart stopping scenarios, for example, firing out of the back of trucks as the driver speeds up narrow mountain passes and so on. The game isn't like some of the other free roaming titles out there; you progress through the game on a fairly rigid track which can take away the feeling of actually being in a war zone but keeps the tempo high and the story moving. This said Call of Duty was still a cracking romp and was accessible to all kinds of gamer's not just hard-core war players.
Call of Duty 2 is very much like its predecessor you control an allied troop in various WW2 scenarios. One thing that has changed is you can jump from mission to mission instead of having to play through in sequence. This is no big shakes really but it is a nice option to have. Graphically COD2 is looking hot! Much better than before but saying that, computer hardware has advanced a lot in two years. Like many new games COD2 auto-detects what hardware you are running and alters display settings to suite. On my machine at a fairly healthy spec the graphics are outstanding, this graphical beauty brings a lot of atmosphere to the game, and sometimes when you should be hiding you just want to look around to appreciate the scenery. Once you hear the bullets whistle past your head you will soon be keeping a fairly low profile. The music, as players of the original will remember, also plays a major role in the game. When the music swells you know s**t is about to hit the fan! And your pulse does race.
I mentioned before that the game runs on a track. Well, with COD2 it doesn't feel as heavily tracked. On the original the script was too predictable; by crossing invisible markers set in the game you trigger the scripting. This means that if you are defending a point and don't quite go forward enough to trigger the sequence, you can be stuck fighting off endless amounts of enemies.
The damage meter works in an interesting manor. You can heal yourself by hiding away to recuperate, so if you take a head shot or two and your vision blurs and your peripheral sight turns red you can simply duck down behind a rock out of the line of fire and re-heal yourself. I am not too keen on this, and believe having medics or health packs is a far more realistic way to portray health issues, although, this does open COD2 up to many more players and not just battlefield aficionado's.
You will pass through some recognizable setting including the American landing at Normandy and the taking of Stalingrad which does help with the realism of the whole thing.
Player AI is very well balanced. Your own automated team mates perform well and help you out a lot when it comes to cover fire and shouts of incoming missiles. Enemy AI is also well crafted and you will encounter some rather persistent enemies out there.
The single player mission pans out well, and once you have completed this you have the added extra of multi-player mode which holds up to 32 players per server and features lots of maps, extra weapons and the usual game-play modes.
Overall, COD2 isn't blowing me away in the same way the original did. Other than the better graphics I don't think COD2 takes the title onto a new level. It is more of a lush extension of the first. If you know the game and have been waiting for COD2 to come out, I don't think you will be disappointed and COD2 will remind you how engrossing this title can be. If you are new to COD and like FPS war titles then this is one of the greats. COD2 is a great way to spend your Sunday afternoons. Re-write the history of Europe as you fight for freedom!
8 out of 10