The Call of Duty
games are about as generic as you can get when it comes it the FPS genre. Little has been done in the way of innovation here. What Call of Duty 2
does offer is a solid gaming experience with little to no hindrances in terms of control or accessibility.
Like its predecessor, Call of Duty 2 provides three different single player campaigns that must be played sequentially. The main allied forces are all accounted for: Russia, U.S., and Great Britain. Each campaign is strung together through a series of missions that take you through some of the major conflicts of WWII, including Northern Africa, Stalingrad, and of course, Normandy.
In each of the levels, you will be accompanied by many other soldiers who will help you in the efforts to rid Europe of the Nazi scum. However, unlike other squad-based games, you never give a single command to your allies. They instead work strictly off of their own AI, making their own decisions. For the most part it works great, not only to strengthen the gameplay, but to make you feel like youíre actually playing with other people who have their own minds. Left to their own devices, these guys will usually take care of themselves. There are only slight problems with some of the AI, like when they try to get cover from a grenade by crouching right on top of it. These instances are minor and donít have that great of an effect on gameplay.
Also unique to Call of Duty 2 is the lack of any life meter. Instead of having to constantly be on the lookout for health packs or medics, you rely on a general "feel" for how many times you have been hit in a certain space of the game. One minor shot wonít kill, nor will a hundred minor shots spread out over an hour. But if you get hit five or six times in a few seconds, you will most certainly perish. You would be amazed at how good it feels to be rid of the tedious act of frantically searching for health packs, and instead left to worry about the immediate situation.
As I stated earlier, Call of Duty 2 is simply a generic FPS. But what it tries to do, it does right. The levels are completely linear, meaning that you have a single objective that must be carried out before you go on to the next. What matters is the journey there. Most of the missions take place in and around buildings, farmhouses, and city streets. They have been deliberately designed to allow you multiple paths to your objective. These paths are not ones that alter endings or get main characters killed; they instead let you decide if you want to try to dodge bullets running through a field, or if you want to take your chances in close quarters through a series of buildings.
The Multiplayer aspect of Call of Duty 2 may not be as deep as what other FPS games have to offer, but like the single player experience here, what is offered is definitely solid. The basic Multiplayer modes are offered, including Deathmatch and CTF, but the structure is such that most games end up swapping spawn points, and there is little room for teamwork unless youíre in a clan. The experience can be enjoyable, but itís definitely not something to purchase the game for.