2005 Reviews

Call Of Duty 2

  • Review Date: 2011-01
  • Release Date: 2005-10
  • Developer: Infinity Ward
  • Rating: 7.5

Call of Duty 2 is, at the time of it's release in October 2003, the best war shooter to date. It's not quite the best shooter of 2005. Quake 4 is my pick with F.E.A.R. slightly ahead as well. But being third best of the year in a shooter sub-genre dominated by bland level design and repetitive gameplay, is a good accomplishment.

Call Of Duty 2 proves that the realistic level design required for war shooters doesn't have to be ugly and uninspiring. It's miles ahead of 2005's other contenders including Vietcong 2 and Brothers In Arms. While the original Call Of Duty was okay in the design department, particularly for 2003, it wasn't amazing. Call Of Duty 2 doesn't look amazing either, but it's the consitency that counts. There's variety in design from Moscow and Stalingrad, Egypt, Libya, Germany and even the expected Omaha beach raid. The highlight for me was running up a giant French hill with mortars and machine gunners mowing you down from above.

So overall, the design and levels were consistently sprawled with debris, destroyed houses; everything to make them look like they've been part of a war. And importantly, there's plenty of vertical movement instead of huge flat levels.

Having said that the design looked good throughout, it was the gameplay that is COD3's main feature. You can only carry two weapons at a time, although once you have an automatic that's all you need. There's no healthbar and in fact no health pickups at all. Instead, at least in medium difficulty, it takes around 4-5 shots to kill you. If you get shot once or twice, you can duck down and your health will regenerate in a few seconds. It ends up being a great way to manage health as you'll still die plenty but also have many close calls where your on the verge of death but manage to somehow find cover and survive. Unfortunately the game uses checkpoints instead of quicksave, but there's several per level, all at good saving points.

Enemies are all the same, just with different weapons. However machine gunners, tanks and other vehicles help to break up the action. You also have plenty of objectives per level, from clearing out buildings, disabling tanks, destroying obects. The game is only several hours long but never gets dull. The action is constantly full-on and intense.

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