Pick upp ze grenade soldier!
ESRB Rating: (Teen) Blood, Violence, and Mild Language
Developer: Infinity Ward
Video: HDTV 480p / 480i / 720p / 1080i
Audio: 5.1 Dolby Digital
Release Date: 22th November 2005
“Great, another bland FPS” was my reaction upon playing it for the first 10 minutes. I had little choice to purchase this game at the time because the 360 was going through a phase where it had little titles following its December 2005 launch.
I went through a range of motions playing this game. I came close to breaking my 360 wireless controllers, and then only managed to control myself as I almost threw it at a wall. Countless hours of sweat, cursing and sheer frustration I had experienced playing this title. I am, of course referring to its Veteran difficulty mode.
Call of Duty 2 was one of the 360’s launch titles, and the best selling one too, alongside Project Gotham Racing 3. During the 360’s launch, almost everyone was playing Call of Duty 2 (from this point, I’ll refer to it as CoD 2) due to its hellish missions which almost recreated various key World War II events.
CoD 2’s campaign puts you right into the shoes of three different soldiers who fight for the Russian, British and American factions. The first leg of the campaign takes place in the Russian army, fighting off the invading Nazi’s in Moscow and around Stalingrad. After finishing the Russian missions, you’re then thrown into the British army in the desert regions of North Africa and finally with the Americans themselves during the D-Day landings climbing the cliffs of Pointe du Hoc while artillery and gun fire rain down on you.
Each of these three campaigns are broken up into smaller stages. Each stage can be played through in either Easy, Regular, Hardened and of course the cream of the crop – Veteran. Easy mode is of course extremely easy and I’d not recommend this to even beginners, regular makes things slightly more harder, while Hardened and Veteran are difficult, the latter being extremely taxing and a test of patience and temper control rather then skill.
The campaigns are full of very memorable moments and extremely well created with plenty of atmosphere. Playing the game through Veteran mode is where all the goodness is, although it is insanely difficult, and frustrating, you do get rewarded with maximum achievement points should you finish all missions in veteran difficulty. You can attempt the missions in any particular order too which is an added bonus.
Infinity Ward have managed to come up with some superbly designed levels which put you in a variety of interesting situations. One very memorable level was on the Russian pipeline mission where you’ll be crawling through a raised pipeline to sneak behind enemy lines into a heavily fortified building. As you slowly crawl through the pipeline, sometimes you’ll find large gaps in the pipeline in which you can snipe any enemy soldiers lurking below. If they do spot you and start firing into the pipe itself you’ll see lots of bullet holes on the pipes itself letting in light. It’s a lovely effect that adds a lot of depth to this mission, especially when you look up occasionally to see German bombers flying overhead.