The following review was written in December 2010. It has only been modified in the way of format.
Call of Duty 2 was one of the last World War II first person shooters. A launch title for the Xbox 360, the game alternates between three major fronts in the war. In the first section, you play as a Russian in Stalingrad. In the second, you play as a British soldier in North Africa. In the third, you play as an American storming the shores of Normandy. As far as a story goes, that about sums it up.
1. The game features a lot of varied level design (once you get past Russia) and gameplay. For example, in North Africa, you will fight and take over a village. Once you have the village, you have to climb to the top of one of the buildings and call in mortar strikes on advancing tanks. This helps keep the game interesting enough so you don’t get bored of just gunning down Nazis (which is still pretty fun).
2. The Nazis do not stop coming until you have reached the position you are supposed to take. Remember when you could just sit back and take out the enemy one by one with the sniper rifle? Well, this is not the case in Call of Duty 2. The game forces you to advance and fight the Nazis close and personal. If you do not do this, then the Nazis will continually spawn until you get the nerve to go after them.
3. In Modern Warfare, we are introduced to one of the most memorable characters in the game: Captain Price. It turns out Price has been around for a long time because he makes an appearance in the game. Of course, the natural conclusion could still be that he’s a descendant of this World War II veteran. Still…
1. This game has absolutely no story and no character development. I do not remember any of the names of the characters you play. The basic premise of each level goes along the lines of “Take this town!” or “Destroy those guns!”
2. Modern Warfare gave us the perfect control scheme; however, this control scheme went through quite a few stages of evolution before being refined in that game. In Call of Duty 2, the sprint button is replaced with some pretty worthless binoculars. Sure, they are kind of cool; however, I rarely used them and found them to be more of a nuisance rather than an aid in combat. The melee also leaves much to be desired since it is not always responsive when you press it. There is no knife.
3. Your squad is very unhelpful. They mostly tell you what to do and watch while you go out and get shot. I could overlook your squad’s utter uselessness if it was not for the fact that they also get in your way when you are moving to cover. This often results in your death and makes you want to shoot and kill all of your squad members.
4. My biggest complaint with this game is a glitch that kept me from finishing the game. Call of Duty 2 skips the last British mission and moves you straight into the American campaign; however, upon completion of the British mission, the game moves into the first American mission again. I attempted to replay the first American mission again, but, even then, the game would not let me progress.
Call of Duty 2 was very nostalgic for me. I got my start in first person shooters with the Medal of Honor series. Overall, I enjoyed Call of Duty 2; however, the game relies too much on chaos to keep going. The whole game is fighting past one chaotic thing after another. It ends up being mostly about explosions and not much else.
For some people, this fact would not hinder the game’s enjoyment. For me, part of what keeps me hooked on a game is the story. Part of the reason I finished Modern Warfare 2 so quickly was because I really wanted to know how it was going to end. This is not the case with Call of Duty 2. After walking down another street and seeing yet another tank waiting to be destroyed by my rocket launcher, I got bored.
Thankfully, developer Infinity Ward solved this problem by leaving the World War II genre altogether and giving us Modern Warfare. If one looks at Call of Duty 2 as a bridge between the World War II games of old and what we have today, then one can appreciate its place.