Call of Duty 2 [360]

by

Call of Duty 2

Review by Milesh Bhana

So, World War II based First Person shooters have passed their prime, and here I am with an old copy of Call of Duty 2. Call of Duty 2 was pretty much the first shooter to grace the brand spanking new XBOX 360. It won a decent whack of Game of the Year Awards. So how does it hold up by today standards?

I must admit that I missed the boat on WWII shooters, I preferred games with a sci-fi twist, Unreal, Quake, Half-Life. So I’m starting this game with an open-mind rather than an attitude of being sick of these games.

The first thing that really struck me about this game was the feeling of being in an epic battle. It’s almost always hectic, confusing and you’re often disorientated. Gun shots everywhere, smoke from recent explosions, it’s well… a war. While you won’t find 100s of friendlies and enemies, I’d say that at the peak moments, there may be as many as 50 soldiers on the field at a time.

You play a few different characters in each of the Allied forces. Firstly you play a Russian solider in the Battle of Moscow and driving the Germans out of Stalingrad. The levels here are closed quarter city settings. You’ll find yourself doing lots of running around in buildings and in the snow. It’s a great way to get this action packed game started.

Next up you’re a British soldier in North Africa, driving the Germans out of Africa and eventually heading up to France to being the battle of Normandy. The African levels are all in the desert. You’ll be greeted with much bigger levels of open desert and trench warfare. They start mixing up the game play here and not only will you be running and gunning, but you’ll also get to drive a tank, man artillery guns and shoot down some airplanes with an anti aircraft cannon. When the French invasion starts you’ll see the setting change to a much prettier and colourful French countryside.

Approaching Omaha Beach - D-Day

Approaching Omaha Beach - D-Day


Finally, you’re the Americans, D-Day has arrived and it’s time to drive the Germans out of France and initiate the final blow to the German border as you Cross the Rhine. Over here the battles get more frantic and both sides are trying to keep control. It’s a mixture of open spaces, street fighting in the villages and huge battles with tanks and artillery. You also get to do some sniper levels here keeping things nice and varied.

Each mission begins with a slide show or movie from the Military Channel, giving you some historical context to the battles you’re about the play. Further information is given in the form of diary entries from the soldiers giving it a personal touch.

For it’s time, I’d say this game looked great with beautifully designed levels, weather effects and some decent smoke/fog effects and explosions. Naturally, after 3 years this game does look dated. The sound design is still good and the guns and explosions sound authentic.

There are many nice touches, like the battle chatter system. The soldiers will constantly call out locations of enemies giving you a decent idea of what’s happening around you making you feel like you’re part of a team. The friendly and enemy AI works pretty well and they will take cover, flank and make good use of their grenades. This brings me to my one gripe to all COD games. No cover system. I don’t really mind an FPS without a cover system, but when I see my enemies and allies ducking behind cover and peeping out like they do in Gear of War, I expect to be able to do the same. What do I get? I get to crouch and stare at the wall! I feel a little cheated.

Fortunately, on the easier levels, you can afford to run and gun. COD2 was one of the first games to use the automatic healing system, so it’s really shoot some bad guys, hide until you heal and keep going. On Normal Difficulty, getting through the campaign was a breeze. I’d say the campaign took me just under 10 hours to complete.

I didn’t get to check out the multiplayer. I couldn’t find any games. Unless you’ve got some friends on XBOX Live who still want to play it, I’d say that multiplayer is pretty much defunct. Not surprising with the awesome multiplayer action to be found in Call of Duty 4.

All in all, I’ll say that the Call of Duty 2 single player campaign was loads of fun to play. The epic battles are something that modern games don’t always do as well. It can sometimes be painfully apparent that you’re playing an old game. Still, if you’re not sick of WWII games, picking up COD2 in a bargain bin or the pre-played section of your local game store is not a bad way to go, but it’s definitely not a must-have.

Verdict : 4 Stars (Excellent for its time)

Release Date : 15 November 2005

Pricing :

Take 2 – R256

Kalahari.net – R270

Zaps (2nd hand) – R159

Approx 2nd hand price on xbox-360.co.za – R80-R120

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3 Responses to “Call of Duty 2 [360]”

  1. 2Three Says:

    I’d have to say that even after playing COD4, this game is still extremely enjoyable. The graphics hold up, though other shooters have now surpassd it that department.

    Although there are many to choose from, this is the best WW2 FPS game, in my humble opinion.

  2. milez_away@budgetgamer Says:

    I couldn’t get into WW2 games, but something about this one really drew me in. Probably the best launch 360 title.

  3. Freight Forwarder in Malaysia Says:

    Freight Forwarder in Malaysia…

    […]Call of Duty 2 [360] « Budget Gamer[…]…

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