Review by elsquanto
Is your country worth dying for 3,468 times?
"War alone brings up to their highest tension all human energies and imposes the stamp of nobility upon the peoples who have the courage to make it." ~ Benito Mussolini
The World War II shooter has become a genre all in itself. The genre has turned what was essentially one of the darkest moments in human history, into a game that teenagers everywhere sit on the couch and relive with a plate of Hot Pockets and a greasy controller. Call of Duty is one of the best known series that cover this war, and its newest simulator could possibly be the best yet.
You open up as an underage Russian soldier fighting for his motherland. After a quick training mission which shouldn't be neccesary, you'll get word of fascists advancing on your position. Eager to protect your communist, totalitarian state, you rush to kill as many krauts as possible. This is only the tip of the iceberg, as you wind up running through snowdrifts and ice in all different parts of Russia, killing as many fascist pigs as possible. After that, you are quickly turned into a Brit fighting Rommel's forces in North Africa. Finally, you'll land on Normandy as an American and fight your way through France into Germany. Will you defeat the Germans? I really don't want to spoil the ending of World War II for you.
But every part of the world you visit in this game looks beautiful. Whether you're dodging bullets in sand dunes in Tunisia, or sniping Germans from your third story window in a bombed out shell of a building in St. Petersburg, the game looks fantastic. Smoke floods the screen, producing a great looking cloud to cover your advance. You can almost feel the weapons you're holding.
And these weapons are not just realistic looking, but great as well. They have realism too, as you can't reload a carbine mid-clip, and you can't snipe somebody accurately without holding your breath. Of course, you can use all the classic World War II weapons, the Thompson, the BAR, the Bren, and all of those which are fun to use. The game uses the classic Halo control scheme that is all too common these days. It actually feels comfortable however, even though you move slower and can't take as many bullets as a seven foot tall cyborg, it's still a blast.
Your allies are another high point of this game. They react to grenades, warning you of their location. They'll shout lame insults at krauts like "your sister says hi!", they'll scream death throes and throw back grenades. Even the enemies trash talk, and not just in fragmented English, but authentic German. I remember one memorable moment where me and my fellow Red army gunner were mowing down Germans, he was shouting "This is for my mother, this is for my sister, this is for my son, and this is for my Dog, suck on that you fascist pigs!".
The action doesn't end there however. Occasionally in your paid vacation through distant hostile lands you'll be able to take a joyride in a tank or APC. These vehicle missions are a blast, but there should've definitely been more of them. Them, like most of the missions are just epic. As opposed to a game like Gears of War, where you'll be clearing room with four enemies after room with four enemies, in this game, you'll be holding off a charge with hundreds of krauts coming at you, clearing entire buildings instead of just the living room.
The difficulty level is something that hardcore players will love. In this game, you will die often. You'll hug that "Checkpoint reached" update like it was the second coming of christ. You'll watch your body fall to the ground in a bloody mess and see a famous war quote way too often. During the campaign, you'll probably die thousands of times. Is your country worth dying over thousands of times? If it's that fun, then yes.
After you get sick of killing enemies, you may want to try out the multiplayer, which is fantastic in itself. The multiplayer isn't any different in theory than most games, there's the standard Capture the Flag, Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, etc. The thing that sets this game's multiplayer apart is the tension that the game creates. You'll be sitting up with a sniper rifle in your window in St. Petersburg, and you'll hear footsteps. "Is somebody sneaking up the stairs?" You'll go and hide in the corner, waiting for the person to come through. But the footsteps stop, and you slink back to your window in silence, then, you look back once again, and see somebody crouching in to execute you, you turn around quickly and manage to wound him with your sidearm, and he slinks back behind the wall. You wait for him to come out, knowing he's going to, but as you sit there waiting, a stick grenade bounces through the door and lands at your feet.
Final Score: Call of Duty 2 is one of the best World War II shooters ever made, a feat to be broud of. It delivers with an excellent campaign and a matching awesome multiplayer.
Graphics - 9 - Near perfect
Presentation - 8 - Fine
Multiplayer - 9 - Intense
Gameplay - 9 - Near perfect
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
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