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Call of Duty 2
(hx) 02:02 PM EST - Nov,17 2005

Developed by Infinity Ward, Call of Duty 2 is in every way a sequel to the original. As in the original, there are American, British and Russian campaigns, set from 1941-1945 - the Russians fighting in the area around Moscow and Stalingrad, the British fighting in North Africa and Normandy, and the Americans fighting in Normandy and Germany. This time out, though, you do not have to play the three campaigns in a linear order. You'll be free to switch between campaigns this time - you can jump from one campaign to the next to play through all the missions in chronological order, play through each individual campaign, or jump back and forth as you please. There are 27 missions in all where the first 7 are included in the Russian campaign, the next 13 in the English, and the last 7 in the American campaign. The missions themselves are full of drama, dragging you ever further into the unfolding action.

Call of Duty 2 plays in almost exactly the same way as the previous game with a few new additions. Perhaps the biggest advancement over the previous installments was made in the visual department. Large outdoor environments, detailed textures, weather effects, realistic explosions all put together a solid performance. You have the option of letting the graphics engine choose what's best for you of you can go full manual. The new system allows you to choose if you want to play DirectX 9 or DirectX 7. The effects and dynamic lighting give the game atmosphere - as bombs are going off and the city streets are filled with dense smoke...If there is one thing negative to say about the graphics though, it's the fact that you can't destroy vases or any other object except those red explosive barrels.

Audio is also awesome when you hear explosions and bullets whizzing by your head. You gets orders, threats, requests and maneuvers from your squad mates, even more unnerving is that you can hear the enemy AI doing the same in their own language. And there's nothing quite as scary as the sound of enemy armor approaching your lowly infantryman. The positional audio (with EAX3 enabled) is immersing and breathtaking.

One of the biggest changes in the gameplay is the health system. Instead of a traditional health bar and medkits, the developer has decided to use a system where if you take cover for a few seconds, any damage you have taken will disappear. You can still virtually die, but you're more like Terminator now. That may sound like the game is too easy and in some ways it can be, but you'll find yourself restarting from the last checkpoint many times - especially on the higher difficulty where you'll get killed in one or two shots. There is also a grenade indicator - something I want to see in every shooter from now on. When the enemy is rude enough to toss a grenade in your general vicinity an indicator appears in the center of the screen with an arrow pointing to the grenade's location. Its very handy to know where the grenade landed, and get away from it.

Another notable improvement is with the AI of both friends and foes. Although there are a lot of parts in the game which are obviously scripted, the German soldiers hide, attack, and retreat when they need to and using tactics like flanking and throwing grenades. At the higher difficulty levels the enemies will adopt more player type behaviors like pitching all the grenades they can, so there is some replay value :P Also your squad mates do a very capable job of attacking the enemy and doing so with a good degree of coordination.

You can only carry 2 weapons at a time, plus your smoke grenade and standard grenade. This can be two rifles or machine guns, not necessarily one smaller and one larger weapon. The selection on hand is as you'd expect from the era, so there's nothing really new here - M1 Carbine, M1 Garand, Thompson, Browning Automatic Rifle, Springfield, Colt 45, PPSh, Mosin-Nagant, Mosin-Nagant (with scope), Lee Enfield, SVT 40, Sten, Bren LMG, MP40, MP44, Kar98, Kar98 Scoped, Luger, Panzerfaust, MG42. Smoke grenades are your best friend and they have a noticeable effect on the AI, once deployed, the smoke grenade lets you move about without threat.

After playing through the intense single-player, you can take it online just like the original Call of Duty. Multiplayer is fun and offers plenty of variety. You can choose between Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, HQ (both sides trying to establish a base, or Headquarters, while the other side has to try and destroy it and then set up their own HQ), and Seek and Destroy modes (your team working to destroy a certain object without being killed) - each with a whole array of settings to customize at your leisure. The game comes with 13 maps, including 3 remakes from the original Call of Duty, and support for up to 32 players.

Although Call of Duty 2 goes down the very linear scripted levels path, I found this highly enjoyable. If you liked the original Call of Duty, then you're sure to enjoy the sequel, which stays true to the strengths of its predecessor.

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Minimum System Requirements: Pentium 4 1.4GHz or AMD Athlon XP 1700+, 256 MB RAM (512 MB RAM recommended), 100% DirectX 9.0c compatible 3D Hardware Accelerator video card* with 64 MB, 100% DirectX 9.0c compatible 16-bit sound card, 4 GB of uncompressed free hard disk space (plus 600MB for Windows 2000/XP swap file, 8x Speed CD-ROM or 2x Speed DVD-ROM drive.

* ATI Radeon 8500, 9000, 9200, 9500, 9600, 9700, 9800, X300, X550, X600, X700, X800, X850, NVIDIA GeForce 2 Ultra, GeForce 3/Ti Series, GeForce 4/Ti Series, GeForce FX Series, GeForce 6 Series, GeForce 7 Series


snd: 5/5 - sound effects are amazingly well done, great music
gfx: 5/5 - impressive new engine, extremely good looking textures and models, some nice effects
playability: 5/5 - intense and chaotic fire fights, great cinematic feel, improved AI, robust&addictive multiplayer - huge replay value
genre: WWII first-person shooter
platform: PC (also available on Xbox 360)
release: October 2005
developer: Infinity Ward
publisher: Activision
Excellent
Overall: 91%


last 10 comments:

xxxx(04:08 PM EST - Nov,17 2005 )
Your review really ticks me off HX, though I know you don't care. It's an unfair review. You talk up and down about COD 2 and then you give it 5/5 for everything without even a 'con' mentioned except 'linear' game play.

Now tell me, how does HL2 come up with 95% with more cons against it in your review. HL2 also has linear gameplay, more so than COD 2. At least in COD 2 the player can pick and choose the missions so right there is way less linear that HL2. But you didn't even mention linear gameplay in HL2. And then it got 95% even thought the only MP on it was CS. Like, Huh???

Other than physics in HL2, I'd like to know the innovation behind the followup to HL1. They only just added a 'cheap' rendering of HDR. Ev eryones by now has seen HL2 gfx don't stack up to any newer titles coming out. COD 2 being one example. And I still think UT2k4 has better gfx than HL2 and can handle a HELL of a lot more than Source.

I personally think COD 2 totally stomps. Gfx are amazing, gameplay is hugely fun and addictive and it really immerses you. HL2 does none of that. Gfx are ok, but it's still the pyjamas models with the exception of a satchel on their side. And lets not forget Valves 'CS only' support. COD unlike HL2 isn't gonna need a million patches. And COD 2 doesn't even appear to have any cheats. Certainly not to the level of existing cheats on HL2. COD 2 will have Punkbuster soon too. HL2 has a bs system called VAC 2 and it doesn't stop the Aimbot + Wallhack, nor is anyone getting booted for using it.

Anyhow, what's the point? not like you will go back and adjust the score.. Inconsistent reviews and way too much personal bias. Anyone that spends time here reading the reviews will likely see the same trend.

It's really too bad you can't rate fairly. :(

P.S. The other thing COD2 does that HL2 doesn't come close to doing is using features prominent on our cards, real DX9 features, part of the reason we have new video cards. For example, how many games have you played, or better yet FPS games where you see hair standing up on your arms? COD 2 has this an lots more than you will ever see in HL2. Even that cheap HDR they are selling off. Want real HDR, play NFS Most wanted. You will see what real quality HDR is, not some Walmart tradeoff.

(04:29 PM EST - Nov,17 2005 )
COD2 and HL2 are two totaly different games. Besides, HL2 is out pretty long time. I don't want to debate or argue with you. If you don't agree with my review then write your own review :)

Anonymous(05:13 PM EST - Nov,17 2005 )
DELETED

lmer(07:11 PM EST - Nov,17 2005 )
Well, hx does sometimes go overboard with high grades, but that generosity surely comes with old age.
..anyway....:)...
..i just wanted to say that the sound really anoyed me. It was so exagerated, overcompressed. I dunno how it sounds on 5.1 cause it's stereo fo' life for me, but on the headphones it just sounded awfull. The health system really made the action frantic. GJ on that i must say. Very very nice gfx, even on "dx7" mode.

Oh and although we can see a rise in Wild West titles recently.....this surely isn't the last WW2 themed game.

xxxx(08:36 PM EST - Nov,17 2005 )
@Hx, ya wish my work and family life didn't take up all but 4 hours a day otherwise I would do my own reviews. I am looking to do my own game site with reviews, just no time to recruit anyone who is interested in the same venture. Right now, I give people your news through your RSS feed. :D

@Bill Gates. If you think HL2 brought in innovation to FPS games, you are a definite n00b at gaming. HL2 didn't bring in anything that wasn't already seen already. If you want my to sit here and spill titles for everything then that would just further prove how much of a n00b you are. The only thing HL2 had going for it was CS and a huge Marketing Budget and a lot of lies.

Craftos(03:38 AM EST - Nov,18 2005 )
COD2 : excellent ?!?!?!?, 91%, 5/5 in all departments - what a sick joke is that ?
COD2 is mediocre sequel. Very little improvement but disappointing speeed even on high-end gaming machines.
Graphics is not much better than COD: low res textures, blocky graphics in many places. The only improvement and cool thing is smoke. I haven't noticed any improvement in sound despite my 5.1 setup.
Auto-regenerating health and adding grenade indicator are moves to total dumbification of this game. Maybe they ahould also add radar with enemies and auto aiming rockets, hm ? It's f..... WW2, if you can't find yourself on battlefield you die. Reload the game and try again. Too hard for you?, play tetris.
Total linearity (in mission), linearity in mission sequence is totally not important. Every mission in COD2 is virtuall the same. HL2 is way above typical shooter (COD2), variety of: shooting, vehicle missions, use of physics.
HL2 hasn't the best grapics seen in games, but for sure it looks better than COD2. Even MoH:PA is better that COD2 :\.
xxxx: stop that BS kid, you know nothing about gaming.

DOOM3 is more linear and has more dumb enemies than COD2 and HL2, Quake4 not much better. In Doom3 Graphics may look better but quickly gets boring after 3rd level as everyting in this game.

If you want someting good play FEAR.

ThePacifier(04:36 AM EST - Nov,18 2005 )
COD2.. I loved it too..but..when i put everything in maximum detail in HL2 and everything in maximum detail in COD2..you will see the difference..

HL2 runs perfect while COD2 just slows..

Anonymous(05:04 AM EST - Nov,18 2005 )
Hi Hx

When you write your reviews i think you should put the quate "One mans meat is another mans poison" .

No one will ever be able 2 write a review that will satisfy everyone.
For a while(2 year or plus), i have found your reviews to be very fair in all aspects of a game except for 2 which you were been very mercyful like spiderman2 the game(PC). I played that before your review, i would of given it 10% at most.

Anyway keep up the good reviews .

COD2=WW2=bored ww2 series= I tick with f.e.a.r. Sorry just tired of world war 2 games now, theyve been so over done now

xxxx(09:13 AM EST - Nov,18 2005 )
Craftos> COD2 : excellent ?!?!?!?, 91%, 5/5 in all departments - what a sick joke is that ?
COD2 is mediocre sequel. Very little improvement but disappointing speeed even on high-end gaming machines.
Graphics is not much better than COD: low res textures, blocky graphics in many places. The only improvement and cool thing is smoke. I haven't noticed any improvement in sound despite my 5.1 setup.
Auto-regenerating health and adding grenade indicator are moves to total dumbification of this game. Maybe they ahould also add radar with enemies and auto aiming rockets, hm ? It's f..... WW2, if you can't find yourself on battlefield you die. Reload the game and try again. Too hard for you?, play tetris.
Total linearity (in mission), linearity in mission sequence is totally not important. Every mission in COD2 is virtuall the same. HL2 is way above typical shooter (COD2), variety of: shooting, vehicle missions, use of physics.
HL2 hasn't the best grapics seen in games, but for sure it looks better than COD2. Even MoH:PA is better that COD2 :\.
xxxx: stop that BS kid, you know nothing about gaming.

DOOM3 is more linear and has more dumb enemies than COD2 and HL2, Quake4 not much better. In Doom3 Graphics may look better but quickly gets boring after 3rd level as everyting in this game.

If you want someting good play FEAR.


Get a new video card, yours obviously sucks. Blocky gfx Hahahaha! Boy you crack me up. Every mission the same, uh huh, ya.. they really are :shock: Ya, this guy played COD 2, my ass.

Thanks for your input bud. Good to see you came out of the wood work to post your '9th' post! Pfff. Just to say HL2 looks better than COD 2. You are smoking some good drugs buddy. Send some my way. Obviously you have a very very small eye for detail.

I like that tho, HL2 is way above any shooter. Vehicle missions?? Wtf game were you playing. What going in a boat that could travel on concrete water and most anything? Ya..why even bother continuing to reply to you. Obviously pointless. Another n00b.

Enjoy your already 3 year old game. Hahaha! I moved on and I'm not looking back.

P.S. For those who are interested in joining with me to do a game site, as I read in my PM's(surprised as I thought people would lecture me on my comments in PM's). As I've said, I don't have a huge amount of time but I can contribute a site. I've sent you people responses to your PM of where you can go. The site was only put up a day or two ago but it is functional. Who knows, maybe we can get a real site going with downloads, reviews etc. At least I wouldn't be blowing the money away that I paid for the domain since the piece of $hit HL2 clan I was in folded, partially because I was Leading it and the other puppets who were so-called co-leaders couldn't handle it on their own so it all fell apart. The BTU is not important, I've already got a new meaning for it. Anyhow, I sent you people links. Register up and lets see where it goes. Maybe we can give HX some competition.

Ozieo(09:20 AM EST - Nov,18 2005 )
Played it & got 0% excitement from it. Enemy spawning is lame as shit.
Also the Omaha Beach level in MOH:AA was a refreshment.
This game wants to completely dupe this & it failed miserably.

My score : 42%

xxxx(09:27 AM EST - Nov,18 2005 )
I'll leave my comments as they are. Lot's have applauded me. On my site and in real life. It's pointless arguing here and I wouldn't be surprised if these are solicted comments.

Anonymous(06:32 PM EST - Nov,18 2005 )
DELETED

Anonymous(06:36 PM EST - Nov,18 2005 )
DELETED

Nosferatu(05:51 AM EST - Nov,19 2005 )
I absolutely agree with Bill Gates. Imagine HX calling you a noob and telling that you know nothing of gaming whenever you didn't agree with his point of view and his review score! Would that be great? Would this attract more people to the site? I think not.
XXXX, any game released by Valve would get 0 out of 10 from you just because Valve released it, not because it's awful, but because your point of view is biased. You personal failures or whatever shouldn't be the reason for bad scores, but they are. How come do you have the right to accuse anyone at all?
Still, I do wish you luck with your site, really. Not any person would start an enterprise like this, it does require a lot of effort.

Anonymous(02:37 AM EST - Nov,20 2005 )
DELETED

Jelster(03:06 AM EST - Nov,21 2005 )
I'd probably say 91% was just about right if a little high. I've just finished playing the SP of CoD2 and would say it equals CoD1 although is much better then UO (that gave me a nasty scripty taste in my mouth). Frankly as many have said, looking past the shallow exterior this is a fun run and gun game.

That said there really isn't much new here. They've patched up the Q3 engine to give some new eye candy, recorded lots of actors and implemented a health system that means they don't need to balance the levels as much. Its also incompatible with X2 processors which I'd luckily read up on before being frustrated during missions (Use STARTAFFINITY and assign one CPU to the game and it'll work fine).

Do I regret buying it? Probably not, I got a good weekend out of it and I expect the MP will be fun once IW get someone to release the expansion pack to put in all the features they left out. (spot the frustrated gamer).

As for HL2 I agree its the better game, I enjoyed it more, the world was more... realised. Even now when I hear crows outside my house I think of HL2. :) The game left an impression and considering this is a sequal it certainly brought a lot more to the table than CoD2 has. And I'm not a big Valve fan either, I just respect good work.

What should CoD2 have brought to the table to be considered the same? Well without changing the dynamics of the game how about full physics and destructable environments? Perhaps take on the war from the German perspective? or pick some lesser known nations, maybe even resistance forces? Introduce classes for the single player games which would allow you to take on the same missions but as a medic, sniper, engineer etc. Hell I don't know, I just don't see anything new here.

The Outlaw(12:17 PM EST - Nov,25 2005 )
Well wat I think that they could have made some changes in gameplay not just graphics. Even with better graphics and no change in gameplay its just gonna be COD1 with some more missions.

They could have made it more strategic and more flexible like choosing your own path and all.... well u know wat i mean to say.

Although above all that debate it still is a Good game, and even I think a 91% is quite a respectable score for any game.

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