#630 Call of Duty 2

Posted: 10th October 2011 by Mulholland in Games
Tags: , , , , ,

91st game played so far

Genre: First-Person Shooter
Platform: PC/Xbox 360
Year of Release: 2005
Developer: Infinity Ward
Publisher: Activision

Whenever you launch a new console you really need that killer app to make sure you can tie in gamers early. Like how the original Xbox had Halo, which we will be covering very soon, the Xbox 360 had Call of Duty 2 which really saw the birth of an immensely successful console shooter franchise.

I always feel bad for the Germans when I play games like this… I know I know World War Two and all that but still it has always made me wonder how games like this would sell in those areas. Anyway, here’s Call of Duty 2.

Our Thoughts

Whilst I am grateful that these games have all the dialogue in English but do they have to give them such dreadful accents? Didn’t they sound like proper German and Russian accents to you? And I thought the British was spot on… What I hear in the streets every day. I know you are baiting me since they used mannerisms that I don’t think anyone would say on the street. Then again this, like all the early Call of Duty games, is set in World War Two so I am guessing it is rife with forties slang. As well as accents straight out of a Sean Connery movies but this really is a moot point. The accents are just there to set the tone, obviously.

As Peter mentioned this is an FPS set in the second world war and it’s clearly trying to be realistic, which is probably a first for us while doing the blog. This is really mostly just a small setting thing, but there’s something fun about heading into some skirmishes in the second World War, so far probably unlikely to have a major effect on the war, but making you feel like you’re in the middle of a battle in the streets of some Russian or African city. Fun, yes but also fairly intense when suddenly you enter a bunker and are surrounded by Germans who want to turn you into a sieve. A bit of the gameplay that really gives it’s age away is the lack of cover-based shooting, something which we became very well acquainted with in Killzone 2. On the other hand, the squad based gameplay, where you actually have squad mates with you who support you and who you have to protect, seems like something Killzone 2 copied from the Call of Duty series – appropriately changed and refined as the following years required.

With the leaps in graphics that would have come to expect. I am in no way dismissing the graphics in Call of Duty 2 since they are of the current generation and are still fairly good but not up to the standard of modern releases. Fair enough considering this was a launch title for the 360, although it makes it hard sometimes to seperate friends from foes. I think a lot of that is things being in the heat of the moment and drab colours being a requirement of World War Two uniforms. That being said it can be hard to differentiate between them every now and then and the moment you make a mistake and commit an act of friendly fire it’s game over. Pretty brutal and nothing like war to be honest. Being a ‘traitor to the motherland’ is the worst thing you can do… probably mostly to keep the game working properly.

However, outside of gameplay which is pretty damned solid (despite the lack of cover based shooting), the best part of this is the sound. Sound does add to the experience. While there’s epic music in the FMVs, the game itself is subdued, with gunfire around you and both sides in the war shouting… oddly enough in English, but I guess it sort of sets the tone. The ring of the artillery is pretty loud with the overall game sounding like it had been turned up to 11.

All in all the game can get fairly intense, and while there are moments of excitement, such as when you duck for cover as tanks drive over the trench you’re in, mostly you end up trying to find out where your enemies are hiding now and firing from. Make use of cover, sparingly use your grenades and try to root them all out before you move on. Sometimes with the help of your squad mates, just as often hoping they either come by or get out of the way when you need a quick getaway. (Absolutely necessary considering the amounts of grenades thrown at you)  It would help if the squad were more helpful or were not so keen on being bullet fodder. Granted it helps you rush in where angels fear to tread and ram the butt of the gun into your enemies gizzard, but when you are infiltrating a building it’s annoying being the only guy with a gun. Especially if you are running out of ammo. There’s a number of places where they’re useful, and just as many where they aren’t… mostly depending on whether there’s enough room for them to run for their cover (meaning you can’t use it) Still, the rallying cries of your teammates can help raise the morale of you as the gamer having dodged many a bullet and feeling the gaming world is against you.

What helps here is that your objectives go beyond ‘kill all enemies’ or, to go back further in time objective-wise, ‘reach the end of the level’. While at times your main goal is to reach a spot, there are also several other goals, such as you having to blow up tanks, repair a telephone wire so you can call your headquarters and infiltrating a base (where infiltrating means, kill the enemies in your way) to get the secret papers for some plans. I also greatly appreciated the missions were you made things explode, I do enjoy a big boom. The explosion missions are, indeed, awesome. As are the graphics when buildings, tanks and other such things become engulfed in smoke. It makes me want to play more urban destruction games. Of course by the time you walk through these areas, they’re pretty much blown to pieces anyway, with tables overturned and gaping holes in the walls that are still standing.

Being our first foray into a ‘historical shooter’ Call of Duty 2 is at a great advantage, but I can safely say that we are looking forward to the next one.

Final Thoughts

Since we are actually rather behind we are going to be doing a lot of shooters (both FPS and Shoot ’em Ups) so this catch-up does feel a little bit forced at times but then we play games we enjoy and remember why we do this blog and look forward to sampling every genre… let’s just hope that we get the numbers up to scratch soon.

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