Call of Duty 2 (PC)

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Sunday, October 2, 2005

The original Call of Duty was one of the best World War II themed shooters on the PC that anyone had ever seen, even to this day. Although the console versions might not have been as successful, Activision is now preparing a true sequel for the PC and Xbox 360. Right now one thing is clear from the PC demo, and this is that Call of Duty 2 is going to be a game to get this holiday season.

Immediately players will notice how good the game looks. Even if your computer can’t handle the maximum settings, Call of Duty 2 still manages to look absolutely stunning. Environments and character models are all visually stunning, and really bring the war atmosphere to life. Draw distance is also excellent; you can look off a good ways into the distance and see things happening. Also let it be said that COD2 has some of the best smoke effects that have been seen in a PC game yet. When you use a smoke grenade and wade through smoke to surprise the enemy, it looks realistic and works exactly as you would expect it to. All of the little details in the game have been enhanced when compared to the original, and they add up to create a downright gorgeous game.

One area Call of Duty always excelled in was the sound, and the sequel appears to continue this tradition. There is a ton of voice chatter as you make your way through the level, as all of your team-mates will be shouting out orders and other things as they blast their way through enemies. In-game music is also used very atmospherically as well, and it all adds up to create a very convincing war setting that will instantly remind you of the great war movies (such as Saving Private Ryan).

The demo puts you in the shoes as a member of the British infantry, tasked with taking out some German artillery crews in Egypt. Right from the start of the demo the action is intense as you will have to dodge a German machine gun placement and flank it from the other side. Your team mates will generally do a good job fending for themselves, just make sure not to accidentally kill one in the crossfire or you will fail the mission. Players can only hold two guns at a time, and can alternate between them using the number keys (this is also how you alternate between frag and smoke grenades). However, if you find another gun that you want to pick up, you can always get it by swapping it out using the F key.

One of the game’s goals is to be a more realistic experience, and for the most part this is true. The status displays do not take up too much of the screen, and you only have a navigational compass and ammo display to really worry about. However, the game no longer has any sort of health bar. Rather than worrying about a health bar, instead the game uses a system where if you are hit too many times, the screen begins to get blurry and tells you to seek cover. If you are hit again during this time your character will die, but if you seek cover the damage will go away and you can continue. Some people might argue that this makes the game too unrealistic, but in any case it seems to work out well.

The Call of Duty 2 demo is one of those PC demos that you find yourself playing over and over again while impatiently waiting for the final game to be released. It is quite clear that this is going to be one of the best PC shooters this fall season, even if the gameplay is still fairly linear. Keep any out for it, the full version will be out on October 25th.

Leave a Reply