Call of Duty 2 is easily the best FPS available for the Xbox 360 launch. The single player campaign mode is great and the graphics and sound are simply outstanding. It doesnt tell as good of a story as the Brothers in Arms games, but the gameplay is a lot more fun and that is why CoD2 is the best WWII shooter yet. Xbox 360 owners, this is a must own game.
In Call of Duty 2 you play as the British fighting Rommel in Africa, the Russians driving the Nazis out of Stalingrad, and the Americans in France. The three separate campaigns all have a very different feel to them and it all comes together to make for a really satisfying experience overall. CoD2 doesnt try to tell a detailed and specific story the way Brothers in Arms does and instead sort of lets you make up your own story. The battles are all historically significant, yes, but you arent thinking about that when you are playing. You are instead focusing on trying not to get killed in some of the most realistic and intense battles ever to grace a videogame. It is all about your fear and your excitement and your happiness when you get out alive and it is all really enjoyable.
Call of Duty 2 features some of the most intense firefights I have ever played in a videogame and the gameplay is what really makes this game special. The game moves at a brisk pace (much faster than, say, Perfect Dark Zero) and the FPS fundamentals are all very well implemented. This is a shooter that just feels right when you play it. The levels and objectives are mostly linear, but they open up a little bit more as you play through the game. Basically, though, you move through the levels until you reach a bottleneck where the Nazis are dug in and you shoot it out. If you dont press and try to take their position when you see an opening, reinforcements will arrive and the battle will continue. It is a great mix of aggressive shooting and ducking for cover that works extremely well. There are also sections where you will have the strong point and waves of enemies will try and take your position. You have AI squadmates fighting with you, but you dont have any direct control over them which Im thankful for. You just have to focus on saving your own butt which is more fun if you ask me.
The game is fast paced and hectic and amazingly immersive. The AI for both the enemies as well as the soldiers fighting alongside you is incredibly good and everyone around you acts just like you expect them to. Even though the levels are mostly linear and you are funneled from one set piece to the next, the battles are so intense that you wont really care that you cant run around and explore. You are entirely focused on blowing the treads off of that tank or taking that building away from the Nazis. The game is filled with objectives that hold your attention in the short term but strings them together so close to one another that you never, ever feel the game is becoming boring or repetitive. One aspect that sort of ruins the realistic feel is that you dont have a health bar. When you get shot your screen turns red and you have to duck behind cover to recover for a few seconds similar to Halo. While this isnt realistic, it shifts the focus from collecting health packs back onto actual fighting so it is a lot more fun. Whether you are fighting in the streets of Stalingrad, driving a tank in Africa, or climbing the cliffs of Pointe du Hoc in France on D-Day, Call of Duty 2 is undeniably fun.
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