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Appeared on: Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Call of Duty 2

1. Storyline

Activision logoNamed Xbox360 Game of the Year, Call of Duty 2 seems like it would be a game worth buying. It's a World War II first person shooter played from the often forgotten Russian point of view. It sounds exciting and perhaps even shows a side of the war never before shown in a video game... and in Xbox360 High Definition to boot. Does Call of Duty 2 live up to the expectations? In a word, yes.

retail box

Game Informer calls it “the best WWII game ever.” It was named the Xbox360 Game of the Year. Judging from the accolades, Call of Duty 2 must be something to behold... and it is. Never before could I feel bullets whiz by my head and actually see them coming. Never before did a camouflaged German sniper blend in with the snow so well. Never before could I see one of my comrades make a small mistake and pay for it dearly with brutal realness. Never before could I actually get dizzy from spinning my character in circles. Yes, all of these things were a part of my gaming experiences with Call of Duty 2 for the Xbox360.

The story line of CoD 2 is very similar to those of other World War II games before it. You fight the Germans, try to take strategic checkpoints, and take out those who stand in your way of survival; all of which are part of trying to win the war. Everyone these days knows the outcome. The Allied Forces (led by America and Russia for those history buffs at home) win the war. There's no alternate ending here, so sadly the game is predictable in that way. However, one intriguing difference from any WWII game I have played was the fact that the main character (your character) is Russian. What, no Americans? I could not have been happier with the change of pace. Not only does it provide the gamer with a different side of the war (the Russian front), but it gives the gamer a new outlook on the effects of the war.

2. Gameplay

I cannot praise the game enough. Just because the storyline was predictable and irreversible, it did not stop the creators from making the game challenging. This may have been the only WWII game where I actually had to stop and take cover, moving stealthily and strategically from place to place. The only downside to this aspect of the game was the fact that you could get shot 500 times on a mission and not die. The only way to die was to be shot x-number of times in a row without taking cover. This meant, though, that the AI characters of the enemy had extremely good aim. I know its hard to picture an AI sniper actually hitting you, but please believe me, they can, even in mid-air. Another thing about the game that I particularly enjoyed was the fact that when you are in pain, it’s harder to see. Normal people get blurry vision after they’ve been shot. This is the first game that I have played that has incorporated it into the gameplay with such a major affect.

The game's controls were pretty much standard and easy to use. For example, to shoot the gun, you have to pull the trigger (in this case the right trigger). The other trigger (the left for those counting at home) is used to aim the gun. For snipers, it is used to scope. Controlling characters was extremely easy because the controls were sensitive, but not over sensitive to the point where you would be walking, turn left, and find yourself assuming a position against a brick wall. The character motion was seamless, no matter how much action was happening around you; there was no lag whatsoever. One last favorite control of mine was the melee button. Essentially, if you ran out of ammo, you were able to fight your way to a cache using only the butt of your gun. In my opinion, somewhat unlikely that you would be able to achieve such a feat with such a simple weapon, but nonetheless a great experience.

Online Play:
The online feature of CoD 2 can only be compared to that of Halo 2. Still, it is not a fair comparison because it is so much better. The graphics are better, the lag is less, and it's a game made to be played online on the Xbox360. Halo 2 was not made for the 360. Along with better online play comes better online players, so the game can be a little frustrating when played Live. Still, it's an experience worth bragging to your friends about. “Dude, I just got owned by someone with a Luger...”



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