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Call of Duty 2 Review

Developer: Infinity Ward Publisher: Activision
Release Date: November 17, 2005 Also On: PC

The sequel to the PC game of the year, Call of Duty 2 is a title that turns heads and brings a smile to every shooter fan’s face. Beginning life on the PC, Call of Duty 2 makes its way over to the consoles on the Xbox 360 as a direct port. Being built from the ground up for the PC, COD2 makes a believer out of many that all ports don’t have to suck. This one looks and feels as nice as the PC version, and maybe even better in some cases. Many will argue that FPS’s are better on the PC, but Call of Duty makes a strong argument that this may not be entirely true. It easily is the best launch title for the Xbox 360.

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While most of the Xbox 360 launch titles are simply high resolution and polished versions of the current gen games, COD2 was created identically to the PC version however. This means the hefty amount of special effects, and high levels of detail is completely mind blowing and nothing that could be seen on a current gen console. There is something about running through a hazy smoke that is just light enough so you can see through it that makes you wonder if it was real. The detail throughout is just breathtaking and the environments are enviable to any game. You’d only wish every game looked this good right now, but things will get better. This is still nothing compared to what could have been on the 360’s hardware. If you’re playing it however, you won’t have many complaints with what you’re seeing.

All the sounds of the battlefield hit you as soon as the first level loads up. Everything sounds incredibly real. Whether it be the Jeep that just rolled by you or the gun your teammate just fired next to your ear, everything there is to offer sounds outstanding. Team chatter is helpful throughout the levels and helps clue you in on where enemies are coming from or where to find your next objective. It just adds to the realism the battle brings you and making you feel like your teammates are your best friends trying to help you survive the ordeal. Bullet impacts sound real and bullets can be heard bouncing off the walls. Sure, there are a few complaints with the score, but that’s really all.

Sure, you don’t have a keyboard and mouse to play Call of Duty on the 360, but the controller works extremely well with the game. Sure, this isn’t a run and gun type of shooter, but the shooting is great for what its worth. The guns all feel like the real thing and scope with the real sight of the weapon. The precision that comes from shooting with the actual sight is near flawless and helps with picking off an enemy around the corner. The intelligent AI helps matters with making the game more difficult and enjoyable at the same time. These enemies won’t sit and wait for you to shoot them, they will take the chance to find cover and gun you down before they go. They will try and kill you by any means necessary and even fight to their feet after being shot in a non lethal spot. Their reactions are fantastic and they can organize and coordinate strategies against you to try and gain the upper hand. It’s nice to know that the computer is actually trying to win for once.

While multiplayer is excellent, the number of players per match is a bit lower than what is to be expected. There are only up to eight players per Live match which really doesn’t make a large scale battle. Considering the look of the game however, more players may hinder the frame rate and ruin the experience. LAN play allows up to 16 players duke it out though which is good for LAN party fans. Playing through Live however, I have run into countless amounts of lags in the early servers which will more than likely be improved, but is something to note. There is no Co-Op play, but there are 5 versus mode options for LAN or Live play. These include the standard deathmatch and team deathmatch, but also add Headquarters, Search and Destroy, and Capture the Flag game types. Even with only eight players, you will warrant a lot of fun out of these games. The weapon selection allows you to start with any weapon you choose, but you can’t pick up anyone else’s weapons. That won’t matter since you might not live long enough to run out of ammo anyway.

If you are looking for a good launch title to pick up for your 360, Call of Duty 2 should be your first look. Without a doubt, it is the best looking, playing, and sounding game on the consoles so far. Even though the World War II genre is over used, Call of Duty makes you want to play it all over again even though you know what happened by now. Until Gears of War or Oblivion come out, this could be the closest thing the 360 gets to a must have game. Enjoying the experience won’t be difficult as the fun will keep you occupied for a long time.

Graphics: 9.5
Sound: 9.5
Gameplay: 9
Creativity: 7
Replay Value/Game Length: 9.5
Final: 8.9
Written by Shawn Review Guide