Group: Head Moderator
Joined: 6-January 04
Member No.: 89367
Xbox Version: v1.0
360 version: v1 (xenon)
TITLE: Call Of Duty 2, NTSC
DEVELOPER: Infinity Ward
DATE RELEASED: November 22, 2005
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 1-2
XBOX SYSTEM LINK: Yes, 2-16 players
XBOX LIVE COMPATABLE: Yes, 1-8 players
HDTV Support: 420p, 720p, 1080i
5.1 Surround Sound: Yes
PLATFORM: XBOX 360
ESRB: Teen: Blood, Mild Language, Violence
Retail Price: $59.99 USD
While standing in a painfully long line at Best Buy on Boxing Day (Dec 26th for those who don’t know), I noticed one lonely remaining copy of Call Of Duty 2 on the shelf. I enjoyed the 2003 Game Of The Year, Call Of Duty, on the original Xbox, so, much to the dismay of some kid behind me, I snagged their last copy. I initially planned on getting it on launch day with my 360, but sadly I had purchased PDZ instead. Well, today I planned on kicking some Nazi ass.
-This game sets a new standard for quality. The visuals are stunning to say the least. Whether you are charging through your smoke grenade cloud, or staring through the scope of your sniper rifle, the graphics will not disappoint. Draw distance is excellent, and helps give the impression that you are part of a world and not just stuck in an arena.
-Level loading times is exceptional for a game of this quality so you wont have long to wait to get right into the action.
-5.1 surround sound gives you good situational awareness, and the near constant sound of gunfire in the distance is engrossing, drawing you into the urgency of your missions. A bit more bass would be good with some of the nearby explosions though.
-AI is one of the best in any game; characters do not constantly repeat the same moves every time you respawn to try again. Your fellow allied soldiers can be very beneficial in showing you where NOT to go at times, but also do a fairly good job of watching your back if you charge blindly into a building. It seems that the enemy will constantly regenerate if you don’t advance, so don’t sit back with a sniper rifle thinking you can clear a whole building before moving in.
-The difficulty settings of this game are excellent, adding to the replay value (veteran mode is very hard).
-It would be nice to see a few more interactive objects, like doors you can kick in, or damage to buildings from grenades or tank fire.
-There are quite a variety of useable weapons, from the stationary MG42, to the antitank weapon and flak gun. Sniper rifles, submachine guns, and pistols are everywhere waiting to be picked up, the choice is yours what you want to pack around and the game allows you to carry two weapons. Two basic types of grenades are there to help you through your missions, smoke and fragmentation. Many sections would be nearly impossible with out a smoke grenade, which can fill quite a large area. The frag grenades come in very handy when tossed through a window to clear a room, however its blast radius is relatively small.
-The health system is different from other games in this genre, after taking damage you must hide out and rest momentarily before advancing or your death is imminent. There are no health packs.
Single Player, Campaign:
The single player campaign starts you off as a Russian soldier in training. After a quick tutorial of the controls, you are off to fight. The default difficulty of the game is very good for a casual player, offering enough of a challenge without being overwhelming. There are a nice variety of winter environments in the Russian campaign, with interesting mission tasks. For those who have yet to play this game, I will not spoil you with the details of the missions.
Next up are the British missions, which are in the desert. Foxholes, bunkers, and trenches offer a bit of variety with some opportunities for hand-to-hand combat. Two levels have you commanding a tank, which is not overly difficult, even on veteran, but gives you a feeling of awesome power that the real tank operators must feel.
Lastly you fight as an American soldier through some difficult missions. When the war is won, you are left feeling ready to battle on farther, but sadly it’s the end. I am not saying the game is short, but the end seems rather anticlimactic.
I experienced a few glitches while playing the game through the campaign. Once I saw a character, which was trapped in a narrow area, bounce up and down 3 times as if on a trampoline and then blast off into the sky never to be seen again. I was also stuck in the ground, knee deep once behind a building in France, away from the battle, I had no choice but to restart the level.
Live. This is where the game should really shine, playing versus other players, no AI, but sadly it falls very short. In the few matches that I have played on live, most have been burdened by some sort of glitch.
The first team game I played, I was invisible to my teammates as well as the enemy but I was able to see my enemies flag icon hovering over their heads. As fun as it may sound, standing in the center of the courtyard in Tunisia sniping everyone while they are oblivious to your whereabouts, you feel pretty lame, pretty fast. I ended up being killed by one of my teammates numerous times (as he could see my flag icon) while he kept chanting “Cheater!!!” I did not become visible after a respawn either.
Many people have stated they have difficulties joining game sessions, and at times the lag can be ridiculous. I have yet to have a problem joining a game, but twice I have experienced “lag” so bad that I had to quit the game. I don’t mean a slight delay between shots and kills, its like playing a game at one frame per second, totally unplayable.
The LIVE multiplayer menu is sadly lacking as well, missing options that almost every other game has, but what really annoys me is the placement of event info (who killed who text). If you are playing a busy 8-person match, and you are zoomed in with a sniper rifle, you cannot see your target, because of the text scrolling right in the center of your view. You pray for someone with a short name to die just so it doesn’t take up your whole view. Is it that much to ask to have the ability to turn off kill data, or at least move it right to the bottom of the screen?
Despite its problems, its still fun to play on live. At the time of this writing a patch had not yet been released but a patch is reportedly in the works, so hopefully most of these issues will be fixed.
Overall, I love this game, and it should be a welcome addition to any gamer’s library.
-Visuals (smoke effect, etc)
-Difficulty (veteran mode is a challenge)
-AI is phenomenal
-Minimal load times
-Few minor graphical glitches
Obligatory Overall Rating: 9/10
Addition Feb 6/2006:
Well the much-anticipated patch came out on Feb 1, but unfortunately it only addressed the campaign save glitch. A multiplayer patch is reportedly still in the works though.
In the time since my initial review I have played numerous online matches, and here I will sum up the game types.
Death match: Pretty straight forward, every man (or woman as the case may be) for him/herself, Max 8 players. You pick which character you want to be, Axis or Allies, or let it auto assign a model for you. The starting weapons vary by which side you choose, but both sides have comparable weapons, and you are permitted to pick your favorite. Depending on the map that loads you may want to pick a different weapon. The trenches in Egypt, or the town in Tunisia are great maps for the trench gun (shottie). Some of the bigger more open maps, like Russia, beg for a sniper rifle. After a few runs through the map, you will quickly learn what a good weapon is for your playing style. You’re on your own; so expect to get shot in the back a lot.
Team Death match: Same as above except you play Axis versus Allies. Normally I am not a big team player when it comes to shooters, if I see something moving I want to kill it, but I have thoroughly enjoyed playing quite a few team matches in COD2. Voice chat is permitted among teammates and can be quite helpful if you are playing with tactical players, but occasionally you will have someone always saying obvious things like “there is a sniper up in the broken building” … really?… the broken building???…imagine that.
Capture The Flag: Well we all know what CTF is and this one is pretty typical of that game type. Can be fun if your team is laid out with certain roles (home flag guard, enemy flag grabber, flag grabber cover man, and sniper/backup/team watchdog)
Headquarters: This game type is a variant of King of the Hill. Basically your team tries to set up a radio station and defend it while the other team tries to do the same. Points are scored for successful uptime of your radio.
Search and destroy: Allies have to try and set up a bomb on one of two targets. Axis has to defuse the bomb or prevent its placement within the time limit. This game was a real surprise to me how much I enjoy it. I prefer playing the defense on this but if you choose auto-assign, a team will be picked for you to even it up. Once again Max 8 players. You only have one life per round in this game, so be careful.
Here’s hoping a multiplayer patch is coming soon. For those who have trouble getting connected to play, try starting a split screen game then backing out then trying Live again. You can also pull up the xbox guide, go to the player tab (or friends tab if you have lots) and look for someone who is online and playing COD2, if it allows you to select join game, do it…. usually works. Seems that once you are in, you are in for good, so keep trying. I still stand by my original review, the lag and inability to join a game can be infuriating, but when it all works the way it’s supposed to, this game is one of the best.